In the process of writing this book I sent it out to get real life feedback. 

I’d like to share some that really touched my heart.

Feedback for Bug in a Jar

May 2015

Peter W. Bates, MD, Senior VP & Academic Affairs/Chief Medical Officer, Academic Dean, Maine Medical Center / Tufts Medical School Program

Alison,

With your permission, I shared “Bug in a Jar” with our graduating class of Maine Track medical students on April 29 as part of a Capstone session I had with them on end of life care.

The response was overwhelming; your story touched them very deeply.  I heard many comments from them and their families as part of graduation.

Thank-You-Handprints

Comments from graduating medical students:

Thank you for sharing your experiences through you beautiful book, it is a story all physicians should read!  ~ Dan

Your story will always stick with me – thanks for sharing it.  I hope I can be the physician that can hold my patients hand, guide them in their journeys and keep them out of jars.  Thank you for being an inspiration!  ~ Sarah

The story you shared in your book will stay with me as I care for patients throughout my career.    ~ Randy

What a beautiful message and reminder to be compassionate with our patients and “offer our hand.”  ~ Heidi

Thank you for sharing your story!  Your message will inspire me to be a compassionate caregiver, and always think of my patients first.  ~ Ryan

We were so lucky to be able to hear your story.  It will inspire us all to be more compassionate doctors.  Thank you.  ~ Caleb

Thank you for sharing your story with us!  I hope to be the physician that can extend an open hand to my patients and foster relationships that promote shared decision making and avoid labels and jars!  ~ Kevin

Thank you for sharing your father’s story, it will stay with me throughout my career caring for patients.  ~ Anne

November 2015

Jen Hambrock, Grade 1, Etna-Dixmont School

Jen Hambrock shared Bug in a Jar  with her first grade class and as they read aloud they stopped to discuss it as they went along.  Here is what they had to say.

Teacher…I asked them if they knew anyone who had or has cancer.  Out of 16 students, I had 6 students who had a family member, 1 student with a neighbor who died of cancer, and 1 pet who had cancer.  Thought that was interesting…sadly it was more than I thought have been touched by cancer.

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Teacher: Why do you think Bug feels like he is in a jar with the lid screwed on?

Students:  Doctors told him he is sick but he feels fine and doesn’t understand.

He is sad, feels all alone, feels like he is going to die.

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Teacher: Who do you think a healer is?  Who could that person be?

Students:  Doctors, hospital people, nurse, friend, parent/family member, church people, teacher, guidance counselor

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Teacher: What was the amazing thing that happened?  Why did it happen?

Students: Sickness was taking his color away.

He was happy to have someone to care and love him.

The fresh air outside the jar makes him feel better.

Someone is helping him.

Maybe the medicine is working now.

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Teacher: What made Bug feel better?

Students: They shared memories and looked at pictures.

They showed love and care for each other.

Teacher: Today we read the book with no interruptions and then discussed what we thought you wanted others to learn or remember from reading your book…What do you think the author’s central message is?  We just shared our thoughts orally.  Here are the responses:

-When someone dies they are always in your heart.

-If someone dies you can just remember them and not cry…think about the happy things you did with them.

-Don’t give up trying to help them.

-It’s ok to cry.

-Don’t give up hope.

-Keep living your life even if someone tells you that you might die.

-Don’t ignore being sick.  If you don’t feel good go to the doctor cause it could be something bad.

-Go to people who make you feel better when you are sad.

-Family and friends take care of each other, they love each other and they don’t give up on you.

Teacher: I cried!  They gathered so many different messages from your text that they will take with them as they travel through life.  Gave me goose bumps! 

©Alison Bramhall Yarmouth, Maine All Rights Reserved 2015