Wisenberg may have lost a breast, but she retained her humor, outrage, and skepticism toward common wisdom and most institutions. While following the prescribed protocols at the place she called Fancy Hospital, Wisenberg is unsparing in her descriptions of the fumblings of new doctors, her own awkward announcement to her students, and the mounds of unrecyclable plastic left at a survivors’ walk. Combining the personal with the political, she shares her research on the money spent on pink ribbons instead of preventing pollution, and the disparity in medical care between the insured and the uninsured. When chemotherapy made her bald, she decorated her head with henna swirls in front and an antiwar protest in back. During treatment, she also recorded the dailiness of life in Chicago as she rode the L, taught while one-breasted, and attended High Holiday services and a Passover seder.
Wisenberg’s writing has been compared to a mix of Leon Wieseltier and Fran Lebowitz, and in this book, she has Wieseltier’s erudition and Lebowitz’s self-deprecating cleverness: “If anybody ever offers you the choice between suffering and depression, take the suffering. And I don't mean physical suffering. I mean emotional suffering. I am hereby endorsing psychic suffering over depression.”
From The Adventures of Cancer Bitch:
I found that when you invite people to a pre-mastectomy party, they show up. Even those with small children. The kids were so young that they didn't notice that most of the food had nipples. . . . I talked to everyone—about what I'm not sure. Probably about my surgery. Everyone told me how well I looked. I felt giddy. I was going to go under, but not yet; I was going to be cut, but not yet; I was going to be bald, but not yet. As my friend who had bladder cancer says: The thing about cancer is you feel great until they start treating you for it.
A Choice Significant University Press Titles for Undergraduates, 2005–2006
This history of the African AIDS epidemic is a much-needed, accessibly written historical account of the most serious epidemiological catastrophe of modern times. The African AIDS Epidemic: A History answers President Thabo Mbeki’s provocative question as to why Africa has suffered this terrible epidemic.
While Mbeki attributed the causes to poverty and exploitation, others have looked to distinctive sexual systems practiced in African cultures and communities. John Iliffe stresses historical sequence. He argues that Africa has had the worst epidemic because the disease was established in the general population before anyone knew the disease existed. HIV evolved with extraordinary speed and complexity, and because that evolution took place under the eyes of modern medical research scientists, Iliffe has been able to write a history of the virus itself that is probably unique among accounts of human epidemic diseases. In giving the African experience a historical shape, Iliffe has written one of the most important books of our time.
The African experience of AIDS has taught the world much of what it knows about HIV/AIDS, and this fascinating book brings into focus many aspects of the epidemic in the longer context of massive demographic growth, urbanization, and social change in Africa during the latter half of the twentieth century. The African AIDS Epidemic: A History is a brilliant introduction to the many aspects of the epidemic and the distinctive character of the virus.
David Eltis has observed that "in terms of immigration, America was an extension of Africa rather than Europe until late in the 19th century." The unwilling African immigrants were not spread evenly across the Americas; the overwhelming majority arrived in tropical and subtropical "plantation America" with the result that the disease and nutritional environments of this region also became extensions of Africa. While the implications of disease ecology for world history have been examined, and the details of the "Colombian exchange" of plants and pathogens between Europe and the Americas studied, we have no comparable study of the "African exchange." The essays in this volume form the cutting edge of biohistorical research that promises to rewrite the story of humankind's past in significant ways.
Alive with Alzheimer's
Cathy Stein Greenblat University of Chicago Press, 2004 Library of Congress RC523.G745 2004 | Dewey Decimal 362.19683100222
The confusion, losses, and devastation of Alzheimer's disease are familiar to the millions of Americans suffering from the disease and to their family members. Understandably, declining abilities and changing personal characteristics shape our picture of the disease, leading some to refer to the "double death" of Alzheimer's in which the sufferer drifts away long before his or her eventual physical end.
This small, tender volume of 85 photographs and accompanying discussion powerfully shows the limitations of this view. Cathy Stein Greenblat, an internationally respected sociologist and photographer, demonstrates in Alive with Alzheimer's that, while the ravages of the disease are real, Alzheimer's sufferers can do more than survive, they can thrive. Her images, interviews, and observations attest to the possibility of their being "alive" with Alzheimer's far beyond the expectations of the general public and even of many physicians with long experience with the disease.
Greenblat offers a new vision, taking us into a world of life-enhancing institutional care. Nursing homes and similar facilities don't have to be a last resort; as Greenblat shows, with a dedicated and experienced staff and an enriched environment (that includes respect, choices, pets, and music), extraordinary changes can be effected in Alzheimer's patients. Alive with Alzheimer's, the first photographic book on the disease, offers hope and inspiration. Moreover, its vivid, impressive evidence that ongoing stimulation in a good institutional setting can sustain Alzheimer's patients at a far higher level than is generally believed has significant implications for personal and policy decisions.
The new standard of care chronicled in Alive with Alzheimer's will provide hope and inspiration to those touched by the disease. As Dr. Enid Rockwell writes in her Afterword to Greenblat's moving book, "These photographs are extraordinary for practitioners, for family members, for everyone to see what's going on with these people. The stimulation pictured in this book is more powerful than any medication that we will have in our lifetime. . . . They so vividly show us that there are people inside these bodies, people with personalities, who experience emotion, and they show that there is life after Alzheimer's."
All about Your Eyes
Sharon Fekrat, M.D., FACS and Jennifer S. Weizer, M.D., eds. Duke University Press, 2005 Library of Congress RE46.A44 2006 | Dewey Decimal 617.7
A concise, easy-to-understand reference book, All about Your Eyes tells you what you need to know to care for your eyes and what to expect from your eye doctor.
In this reliable guide, leading eye care experts: —explain how healthy eyes work —describe various eye diseases, including pink eye, cataract, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy —provide up-to-date information on eye surgery, including refractive, laser, and cosmetic
For each eye problem, the authors describe in simple, straightforward language —what it is —the symptoms —what, if anything, you can do to prevent it —when to call the doctor —the treatment —the likelihood of recovery
All about Your Eyes includes a glossary of technical terms and, following each entry, links to web sites where further information may be found.
In one case after another, Charles L. Bosk reveals the process by which parents, physicians and other health professionals come to guide decisions about pregnancies. A story of both extraordinary drama and ordinary routine, this is a pioneering case study of authority and control in a pediatric hospital, showing how genetic counselors work with colleagues and with parents to be, and how they deal with their powerlessness to control life-and-death decisions that they must address.
Individuals or families receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or brain damage from a stroke face daunting questions: how to provide for care when the patient can no longer manage his or her own affairs, how to protect their rights and property, where to go for help, and how to cope with the day-to-day challenges of fading memory and diminished cognition. Here is a comprehensive guide specifically for aging Nevadans and for family members, professional caregivers, and health care workers who help them.
The authors—an elder law attorney and a specialist in geriatric care management—offer readers useful advice from the perspective of Nevada resources and Nevada law, addressing such topics as the legal and financial steps that patients and their families can take to protect themselves and their assets, paying for long-term care, arranging for guardianship, and tending to the details that follow the death of a loved one.
This edition, updated in 2011, includes information about recent changes in laws that affect seniors, new research and treatments, and a new guide to resources throughout the state that can provide assistance to people afflicted with these medical conditions.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, American cities began to go dark. Hulking new buildings overspread blocks, pollution obscured the skies, and glass and smog screened out the health-giving rays of the sun. Doctors fed anxities about these new conditions with claims about a rising tide of the "diseases of darkness," especially rickets and tuberculosis.
In American Sunshine, Daniel Freund tracks the obsession with sunlight from those bleak days into the twentieth century. Before long, social reformers, medical professionals, scientists, and a growing nudist movement proffered remedies for America’s new dark age. Architects, city planners, and politicians made access to sunlight central to public housing and public health. and entrepreneurs, dairymen, and tourism boosters transformed the pursuit of sunlight and its effects into a commodity. Within this historical context, Freund sheds light on important questions about the commodification of health and nature and makes an original contribution to the histories of cities, consumerism, the environment, and medicine.
Alan L. Olmstead Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress SF781.O46 2015 | Dewey Decimal 636.08969
Sixty percent of infectious human diseases are shared with other vertebrates. Alan Olmstead and Paul Rhode tell how innovations to combat livestock infections—border control, food inspection, drug regulation, federal research labs—turned the U.S. into a world leader in combatting communicable diseases, and remain central to public health policy.
In 1987 poet and physician Jon Mukand published Sutured Words, a volume of contemporary poems to help patients, their families and friends, and all health care professionals embrace the complexity of healing, illness, and death. Robert Coles called the collection “a wonderful source of inspiration and instruction for any of us who are trying to figure out what our work means”; Norman Cousins was impressed by the “discernment and high quality of the selections.” Now, in Articulations, Mukand adds more than a hundred new poems to the strongest poems from Sutured Words to give us a lyrical, enlightened understanding of the human dimensions of suffering and illness