Meagen Arensdorff, AAPM&R Staff
Every day, physiatrists help their patients define functional outcomes and maximize quality of life. In many cases, function isn’t defined by progress but maintenance; not all conditions are reversible. The human body is imperfect but the human spirit is strong. And thankfully, physiatry is more than…well, you fill in the blank.
If you’ve ever visited the AAPM&R National Office in Rosemont, Illinois, you may have noticed vibrant pieces of art featuring a brain and spine hanging in the reception area. We’d like to introduce Elizabeth Jameson to you. Ms. Jameson graduated from Stanford University with a BA in 1973, and received a law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law in 1976. After a 30-year career as a lawyer representing poor and vulnerable children with chronic illnesses and disabilities, her professional and personal life changed dramatically when she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Today, Ms. Jameson navigates the world with a wheelchair, as she is now a quadriplegic due to the progression of her MS. Trust us when we say, she doesn’t want a pity party.
As physiatrists know, Ms. Jameson receives consistent MRIs to monitor her MS. At first, the images were terrifying—her imperfect body was letting her down. But then her spirit and a drive to be fully accepted as vulnerable, kicked in. The images—including all of their imperfections—captured the fascinating beauty of the human body. Now, Ms. Jameson utilizes state-of-the-art neuroimaging technologies to capture the complexities of the human body, so that her art can be a form of education, acceptance, and celebration.
During this Brain Injury Awareness Month, we encourage you to keep celebrating the imperfect body; to keep advocating for persons with disabilities; to continue being more than…a medical specialty.
To learn more about Ms. Jameson’s artwork, please visit www.jamesonfineart.com.