A Hand to Hold

A Hand to Hold explores my patient’s experience of her disease through the lens of her relationship with her family and Christianity, both of which have served as a bedrock for her as she has navigated living with rheumatoid arthritis.

She remarked to me during one of our meetings that “she has two hands, one for each of her sons.” My patient was diagnosed with RA shortly following the birth of her first son. Shortly before becoming unexpectedly pregnant with her second son, she decided on her own to stop taking methotrexate (a teratogen). She attributes this decision to a small miracle from God. Things like this have confirmed her faith and made her more certain of the connectedness of her disease, Christianity, and family.

I wanted my project to reflect some of these details — to pay homage to how all these parts of her life are interconnected.

About the Artist: Grace Nipp

I am a rising 2nd year medical student from Raleigh, NC. I always joke that any art of mine looks like something that a really talented 12-year-old might produce. I don’t really consider myself an artist for this reason, but when my mother and grandmother taught me how to embroider several years ago, I found something that allowed me to relax and contemplate. However, until now, I’ve never explored art’s intersection with medicine and a patient’s experience. I am excited to participate in SCOPES as a way of pushing my own boundaries and learning more about a patient’s experiences and feelings about their illness in a way that is not traditionally done in medical school.