MK Czerwiec was not the kid in school who could draw.  But in 1994, during her first nursing job on AIDS Unit 371 in Chicago’s Illinois Masonic Medical Center, she began writing and creating comics as a way of coping with what she witnessed daily: the terrible toll of AIDS.  In today’s show, MK talks about Taking Turns: Stories From HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371, her graphic novel which combines her memories of working in Unit 371 with the oral histories of its patients, family members and staff.  MK tells us how the book came about, how creating comics has helped her in caring for her own family members, why graphic narratives are useful in high-stress situations and how comics are now being used as a vital tool in healthcare.

Link to MK’s website and book: Comic Nurse
Link to Graphic Medicine website: Graphic Medicine
Graphic Medicine Manifesto: Read Chap. 6 – Recommended in the Show

Graphic novels/memoir that feature caregiving & living with long-term illness:

Elderly family members: 
“Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant” by Roz Chast (excerpt here)
“Special Exits” by Joyce Farmer

Alzheimer’s Disease:
“Tangles” by Sarah Leavitt
 “Aliceheimer’s” by Dana Walrath

“Things To Do In A Retirement Home Trailer Park When You’re 29 And Unemployed” by Nye Wright

Parkinson’s Disease:
“My Degeneration” by Peter Dunlop-Shohl

Music: “Wounds” (remix) by Ketsa | CC BY NC ND | Free Music Archive