The Interstitium: My First Time


January 16, 2019


The Interstitium: My First Time

By Stephanie Cooper & Elizabeth Dorn, NWNMC Board Members

Interstitium: A dynamic fluid-filled space existing between a structural barrier and internal structures; a reservoir and transportation system for communication between cells; a place where magic happens.  

Seattle's inaugural event, The Interstitium:  Stories of Health, Wellness, Illness, and Beyond, bounced into life this Sunday at the beautiful Shafer Baillie Mansion. The storytelling gala, centered on the theme "My First Time," featured 10 storytellers who spilled tales of hilarity, woe, power dynamics, and other epiphanies. We are grateful for the immeasurable support of Elizabeth Lahti and Ben Colburn who came up from Portland to share and aid with the launch.

The event sold out within 10 days, revealing a deep desire for narrative medicine in Seattle. The storytelling was captivating, vulnerable, and meaningful--all themes that align with the practice of medicine. 

NWNMC plans to hold quarterly Interstitium events in Seattle.  As we gear up for the next Interstitium, we will galvanize the excitement of this storytelling event and begin to form a core group of Seattle NNMC members. 

"I somehow both laughed until I peed my pants, and then almost cried"

- Interstitium audience member

Fear not Portland, NWNMC also plans to hold quarterly Interstitium events in the City of Roses. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@nwnmcollab) to keep up.

More from Our Stories

Three Hour Glucose Test

I have wished to be silent, to sleep deeply,my body grown large again. Cravingonly the juices – no pulp, no bone.Before, my prayers were always thy will not...

I am the emotion for this machine

Her eyes blink heavilybeneath a sloppy wigChest rising and fallingHeart beating hardas I touch my sister’s wrist She can’t reactwhen the nurses drag the breathing...

RX: A Poetic Act of Resistance and Resilience

What gives us olagaWhat gives us soifua maloloina The rationed insulin                                                 The hard pills to swallow Only heal the                         Physical                                                 Pain What prescription              Can be written...

“I can’t breathe.”

These are the devastating words uttered by George Floyd before he was murdered by a white police officer on May 25, 2020. Collectively, our communities...


Life has been interrupted. I’ve taken on these interruptions, like all of us, wearing different hats. The doctor, mother, wife, daughter, sister, teacher, and friend...

How We Began: Northwest Narrative Medicine Collaborative’s History

In 2014, April Brenneman googled “Portland Narrative Medicine” and found Elizabeth Lahti, the newly appointed director of narrative medicine at Oregon Health & Science University....