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Pain, Patience and the Patient/Physician Relationship

On Labor Day, 2014 I began a new documentary-style photo essay in collaboration with Dr. Mark Ibsen who owns Urgent Care Plus in Helena, Montana. We are telling a story with photos of his patients, of Mark and of his staff. We aren’t sure what the story will be yet — that will come when we see what the photos are telling us. For now, I am going to be spending time at the clinic and with permission from the patients themselves, documenting their time with this passionate, compassionate healer.

hands in lap

On Labor Day, 2014 I began a new documentary-style photo essay in collaboration with Dr. Mark Ibsen who owns Urgent Care Plus in Helena, Montana. We are telling a story with photos of his patients, of Mark and of his staff. We aren’t sure what the story will be yet — that will come when we see what the photos are telling us. For now, I am going to be spending time at the clinic and with permission from the patients themselves, documenting their time with this passionate, compassionate healer.

Watch my blog and my Brown Bird Studio Facebook page for progress on the photo essay, and for announcements of an exhibit which we hope to have sometime in the next few months.

Hands can tell so many stories just by themselves. Like eyes, hands are expressions of our history, our struggles and triumphs, our pain, sorrow and celebrations. Hands instruct. They argue. They heal, comfort and can hurt. Here are a few images from this week, from the first batch of photos that really pulled at my heart. I am curious what you think and feel when you see these images.

Hands 3 Hands 2 Hands 1 Hands 5 Hands 4

Thank you for looking and appreciating. I look forward to some dialogue about this project as we continue.

~ Maureen

12 replies on “Pain, Patience and the Patient/Physician Relationship”

I have to HAND it to you Maureen.
Never thought hands would show so much.
Thank you for your brilliant and vulnerable contribution.
Looking forward to what will be revealed in time.
Our patients and their stories are clearly in good hands.

I love this. Pain is so under treated as well as unacknowledged. It’s changed lives although I may not look sick on the outside my body is fighting on the inside. Thank you for helping bring awareness.

I’m glad you wrote what you did. For most of my adult life I have had excruciating migraines that sometimes lasted up to 3 weeks. It made a major difference in my life having that kind of pain, and now that I don’t have them as much (after menopause) I can truly appreciate the fact that I’m not always in pain. But back when I was … very few people knew how much my head hurt. I was pretty good at hiding it.

pain is the silent destroyer of lives.
it’s amazing what a simple photo of someones hands shows.
i like this project
thank you, Dr. Ibsen, for standing up for us!

Mike,thank you for the comment. It truly does destroy lives, or at the very least, chronic pain can make everything much more difficult. I am excited about the project too. So is Dr. Ibsen. Watch for updates on the blog here, and on my Facebook page.

Thank you for partnering with Dr. Mark Ibsen to tell the story of his pain patients. Pain can take over your life make you withdraw and feel like you don’t belong. Thank you both Maureen and Dr. Mark Ibsen for making a difference in the conversation of Living with Pain and bringing awareness to the subject. Thank you for bringing the subject of Pain Public.

I really appreciate your feedback, Ariela. Stay tuned for more when we find funding. This is going to be a great way to bring awareness to the public about some of the less-obvious aspects of chronic pain.

Weird, I can see so much in these pics. Here is what I see. The patient-vulnerable, nervous, I don’t even know the word…almost like w child.

Dr. mark? Totally see a bunch. Experience, his hands are also open, welcoming, relaxed and above all…caring. They show he explains to his patients as well. He doesn’t just think something is wrong and not say what he’s tearing for. I have never seen Dr. Mark, but I bet money I’m right.

I see above all, deep compassion.

This thing you are doing here? Could be very groundbreaking…

Thank you for really looking at the photos and reading the post, Kimmie. You are right about Dr. Mark Ibsen. He has so much compassion and cares very much for his patients. He does a good job of explaining what’s going on to his patients. Thanks for commenting. Hopefully we will eventually be able to finish the photo essay we began.

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