As the movement for legalization of marijuana spreads across the country, it is important to weigh the possible benefits and pitfalls of cannabis use. Cannabis Consulting is both a handbook and a report from the front lines of medical marijuana use. Writing from the perspective of a parent and veteran schoolteacher turned professional cannabis consultant, Ezra Parzybok tells the often-inspiring stories of his practice, where he assists victims of chronic pain, terminal disease, and even conditions such as ADHD. This timely volume was written for patients and families, law enforcement and health professionals, who are trying to make decisions about cannabis during this critical era of transition. It is an honest, clear-eyed exploration of the marijuana debate that looks beyond the hype and disinformation on both sides to chart a new path toward rational and safe use of cannabis.
Needless Suffering offers a sociological examination of a complex medical problem: chronic pain and the inability of doctors and other health professionals to understand and manage it in their patients. People in pain, writes Dr. David Nagel, are the poor of the medical world. Like the poor, they are stigmatized and left at the mercy of powerful social actors who tend to work in their own self-interest, frequently at the expense of those they propose to serve. This leaves those who suffer with little control over their own destinies and creates a dysfunctional status quo that harms instead of helps. Drawing on his own experience witnessing his mother’s chronic pain and numerous clinical stories from over thirty years’ expertise as a pain management specialist, Nagel looks first at patients, their families, and their doctors (usually not trained in pain management), and then broadens his canvas to elaborate a pain power structure that includes the entire healthcare community, insurers, lawyers, government regulators, employers, politicians, law enforcement agencies, and painkilling drugs. Concluding with concrete reforms to create more effective and compassionate pain care, this book is designed for pain patients and their families, healthcare providers, legislators and other public policymakers, judges, personal injury and other attorneys, insurers, government regulators, law enforcement personnel, and health care businesspeople.
Pain. Vomiting. Hours and days spent lying in the dark. Migraine is an extraordinarily common, disabling, and painful disorder that affects over 36 million Americans and costs the US economy at least $32 billion per year. Nevertheless, it is frequently dismissed, ignored, and delegitimized.
In Not Tonight, Joanna Kempner argues that this general dismissal of migraine can be traced back to the gendered social values embedded in the way we talk about, understand, and make policies for people in pain. Because the symptoms that accompany headache disorders—like head pain, visual auras, and sensitivity to sound—lack an objective marker of distress that can confirm their existence, doctors rely on the perceived moral character of their patients to gauge how serious their complaints are. Kempner shows how this problem plays out in the history of migraine, from nineteenth-century formulations of migraine as a disorder of upper-class intellectual men and hysterical women to the influential concept of “migraine personality” in the 1940s, in which women with migraine were described as uptight neurotics who withheld sex, to contemporary depictions of people with highly sensitive “migraine brains.” Not Tonight casts new light on how cultural beliefs about gender, pain, and the distinction between mind and body influence not only whose suffering we legitimate, but which remedies are marketed, how medicine is practiced, and how knowledge about disease is produced.
Combining clinical experience with patients’ own stories, the authors cover the causes of and prognosis for SCI through case studies, review common courses of rehabilitation, and answer the “what now?” questions—from daily routines to larger issues concerning sex, education and employment, childbearing, and parenting with SCI.