When Breath Becomes Air When Breath Becomes Air question

Overall Takeaways
Blake Skaja Blake Jan 02, 2018 10:52PM
What were your overall takeaways from Paul's Story?

Make the small moments count today.

There were quite a few take home messages, but the ones that resonated with me were the importance of communication and the loss of one's identity through illness.

Open communication is what allows the doctor/therapist to better understand their patient as a person (not as a condition), as well as to help the patient make sense of their experience. The author explains that the first conversation with a patient can forever colour how the family remembers that experience. It determines whether the family will be at peace or regretful. In Paul Kalanithi’s words, “when there’s no place for the scalpel, words are the surgeon’s only tool.”

“My body and the identity tied to it had rapidly changed.” Our body and it’s ability is extrinsically connected to our identity. When a patient experiences pain and disability that separates them from that identity, they no long suffer as a result of the pain, but they experience a sense of loss of who they formerly were.

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