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Mountain Stirred Memories of Medicine by Colleen Patton

Mountain Stirred Memories of Medicine

by Colleen Patton

70 pages
Narrative of Memories of Patients in Medicine

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Category: Health:Medicine
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About the Book
The Appalachian Mountains are at once awe-inspiring and serenely pastoral in their beauty. Viewed from a distance they appear a muted shade of deep blue that provides their description as the Blue Ridge Mountains. These mountains alone however, are not Appalachia. Appalachia is both region and culture molded by lives lived on its hillsides and beside its clear mountain rivers.

It was during one annual trip home to the place of her roots that the author experienced memories of family, childhood, and patients she had met and cared for over her years as both Registered Nurse and Physician Assistant.

The work is a narrative inquiry into these memories and the places and locations in which they returned to her. The author explores and shares the descriptions of "ties that bind" her to both her work and the region and mountains that she calls home.

She describes memories of patient experiences that return to her as easily as she describes childhood experiences and explores those that tie her to places, times, and people.

Riding beside tobacco fields along the streambeds and riversides brings “Jim” to her mind. She recounts for us the impact Jim made in her life as she saw his life end due to emphysema. Jim was the first patient she saw die, and here in this place on this afternoon—he was vividly in her mind again.

Walking on fields and hillsides covered with Timothy grass she hikes and realizes that she had never before seen the beauty and color of an individual blade and tuft of this pasture staple. It brought the memory of “Sarah” to her as she relived an experience in which she had seen a patient very differently from that of the physician she was working with that day. Was it blindness or a different vision of a patient in the bed?

Her love of the region as well as her love of patient care is as vivid as her descriptions of the mountains she calls home. She realizes that both the Appalachian Mountains and the patients are a part of who she is. They have become for her—a true “tie that binds”.



About the Author
Bio Colleen Patton EdD, RN, PA-C

Colleen is an Appalachian native with roots that extend deeply into the mountains. She is the author of “The Mountains Pulled Me Home”, a blog describing her return to the region. Her experiences in healthcare extend over 28 years. Her passions are rural healthcare, narrative inquiry, and curriculum theory.



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