Inside Chronic Pain: An Intimate and Critical Account (The Culture and Politics of Health Care Work)

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9780801447969: Inside Chronic Pain: An Intimate and Critical Account (The Culture and Politics of Health Care Work)
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"With Lous Heshusius as a guide, pain patients can learn much about the perils of a modern health-care odyssey. Health professionals can learn how an articulate middle-class female white patient thinks (with all that thinking entails) when her world is irreversibly altered by pain. She does not promise happy endings. Chronic pain is like that. From the rare intersection in this text between patient narrative and physician response, however, readers may construct a dialogue on pain in our time that cannot fail to bring plentiful opportunities for personal insight and professional enlightenment."―from the Foreword by David B. Morris

Chronic pain, which affects 70 million people in the United States alone―more than diabetes, cancer, and heart disease combined―is a major public health issue that remains poorly understood both within the health care system and by those closest to the people it afflicts. This book examines the experience of pain in ways that could significantly improve how patients and practitioners deal with pain. It is the first volume of a new collection of titles within the acclaimed Culture and Politics of Health Care Work series called How Patients Think, intended to give voice to the concerns of patients about their own medical care and the formulation of health policy.

Since surviving a near-fatal car accident, Lous Heshusius has suffered from chronic pain for more than a decade, forcing her to give up her career as a professor of education. Inside Chronic Pain, based in part on the pain journal Heshusius keeps, is a stunning memoir of a life lived in constant pain as well as an insightful and often critical account of the inadequacies of the health care system―from physicians to hospitals and health insurance companies―to understand chronic pain and treat those who suffer from it. Through her own frequently frustrating experiences, she shows how health care providers often ignore, deny, or incorrectly treat chronic pain at immense cost to both the patient and the health care system. She also offers cogent suggestions on improving the quality and outcome of chronic pain care and management, using her encounters with exceptional medical professionals as models.

Inside Chronic Pain deals with pain's dramatic and destructive effects on one's sense of self and identity. It chronicles the chaos that takes place, the paralyzing effect of severe pain, the changes in personality that ensue, and the corrosive effects of severe pain on the ability to attend to day-to-day tasks. It describes how one's social life falls apart and isolation takes over. It also relates moments of happiness and beauty and describes how rooting the self in the present is crucial in managing pain.

A unique feature of Inside Chronic Pain is the clinical commentary by Dr. Scott M. Fishman, president of the American Pain Foundation. Fishman has long tried to improve the lives of patients like Heshusius. His medical perspective on her very human narrative will help physicians and other clinicians better understand and treat patients with chronic pain.

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"Great poets have struggled through time to convey the inner experience of ongoing physical pain--but Lous Heshusius accomplishes that task. While her writing is steady, educated, and reasoned, her personal reflections pack a cumulative punch to the reader, building on each other to convey layers of frustration, isolation, and struggle. Much of her suffering is not a result of her illness, but the medical system that is more geared toward treating acute pain than the kind that lingers and becomes a chronic illness in its own right. Meanwhile, the book counters entrenched and malignant cultural stereotypes of the female chronic-pain patient as hysterical--and chronic pain as absolutely mysterious and inherently 'unknowable,' and thus medically untreatable.

Those who haven't suffered chronic pain will get new insight, and long-time 'thick-folder patients' like me will experience a jolt of recognition with every turn of Heshusius's story. This book will be especially useful as a practical user-manual for caregivers to learn about routine, yet powerful, ways to improve patient care, and to address a critical related issue too often brushed under the rug: the high rates of suicide of these patients."--Paula Kamen, author of All in My Head: My Epic Quest to Cure an Unrelenting, Totally Unreasonable and Only Slightly Enlightening Headache, and Finding Iris Chang: Friendship, Ambition and the Loss of an Extraordinary Mind

"Inside Chronic Pain is a scholarly work of storytelling. It is shocking, powerful, challenging, and assaulting. Lous Heshusius pulls us into her story with truth and balance, with unrelenting honesty and forthrightness, without weeping in self-pity. Inside Chronic Pain is credible narrative, sprinkled with personal experience, mixing events with reflection and interpretation to reveal, in retrospect, a story that should not have happened, portrayed in chapters relating hardships that should not befall anyone. This is a story of a slow metamorphosis that was triggered by a single event, but which evolved over the ensuing years. The author portrays isolation, fear, depression, sadness, disappointment, anger, and exasperation without drowning in sorrow. This is a pivotal work; I hope that it will prompt or provoke others who live with chronic pain to announce their own experiences. Give pain a voice! This work is a wake-up call from the invisible in our society who live with chronic pain. The author leaves it up to the reader how to respond to this call. If you live with chronic pain, this is a must read. If you do not know chronic pain, this is a must read."--James L. Henry, Scientific Director, Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care, McMaster University

About the Author:

Lous Heshusius is Professor Emeritus of Education at York University.

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Lous Heshusius
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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 2009. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. With Lous Heshusius as a guide, pain patients can learn much about the perils of a modern health-care odyssey. Health professionals can learn how an articulate middle-class female white patient thinks (with all that thinking entails) when her world is irreversibly altered by pain. She does not promise happy endings. Chronic pain is like that. From the rare intersection in this text between patient narrative and physician response, however, readers may construct a dialogue on pain in our time that cannot fail to bring plentiful opportunities for personal insight and professional enlightenment. -from the Foreword by David B. Morris Chronic pain, which affects 70 million people in the United States alone-more than diabetes, cancer, and heart disease combined-is a major public health issue that remains poorly understood both within the health care system and by those closest to the people it afflicts. This book examines the experience of pain in ways that could significantly improve how patients and practitioners deal with pain. It is the first volume of a new collection of titles within the acclaimed Culture and Politics of Health Care Work series called How Patients Think, intended to give voice to the concerns of patients about their own medical care and the formulation of health policy. Since surviving a near-fatal car accident, Lous Heshusius has suffered from chronic pain for more than a decade, forcing her to give up her career as a professor of education. Inside Chronic Pain, based in part on the pain journal Heshusius keeps, is a stunning memoir of a life lived in constant pain as well as an insightful and often critical account of the inadequacies of the health care system-from physicians to hospitals and health insurance companies-to understand chronic pain and treat those who suffer from it. Through her own frequently frustrating experiences, she shows how health care providers often ignore, deny, or incorrectly treat chronic pain at immense cost to both the patient and the health care system. She also offers cogent suggestions on improving the quality and outcome of chronic pain care and management, using her encounters with exceptional medical professionals as models. Inside Chronic Pain deals with pain s dramatic and destructive effects on one s sense of self and identity. It chronicles the chaos that takes place, the paralyzing effect of severe pain, the changes in personality that ensue, and the corrosive effects of severe pain on the ability to attend to day-to-day tasks. It describes how one s social life falls apart and isolation takes over. It also relates moments of happiness and beauty and describes how rooting the self in the present is crucial in managing pain. A unique feature of Inside Chronic Pain is the clinical commentary by Dr. Scott M. Fishman, president of the American Pain Foundation. Fishman has long tried to improve the lives of patients like Heshusius. His medical perspective on her very human narrative will help physicians and other clinicians better understand and treat patients with chronic pain. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780801447969

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Lous Heshusius
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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 2009. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. With Lous Heshusius as a guide, pain patients can learn much about the perils of a modern health-care odyssey. Health professionals can learn how an articulate middle-class female white patient thinks (with all that thinking entails) when her world is irreversibly altered by pain. She does not promise happy endings. Chronic pain is like that. From the rare intersection in this text between patient narrative and physician response, however, readers may construct a dialogue on pain in our time that cannot fail to bring plentiful opportunities for personal insight and professional enlightenment. -from the Foreword by David B. Morris Chronic pain, which affects 70 million people in the United States alone-more than diabetes, cancer, and heart disease combined-is a major public health issue that remains poorly understood both within the health care system and by those closest to the people it afflicts. This book examines the experience of pain in ways that could significantly improve how patients and practitioners deal with pain. It is the first volume of a new collection of titles within the acclaimed Culture and Politics of Health Care Work series called How Patients Think, intended to give voice to the concerns of patients about their own medical care and the formulation of health policy. Since surviving a near-fatal car accident, Lous Heshusius has suffered from chronic pain for more than a decade, forcing her to give up her career as a professor of education. Inside Chronic Pain, based in part on the pain journal Heshusius keeps, is a stunning memoir of a life lived in constant pain as well as an insightful and often critical account of the inadequacies of the health care system-from physicians to hospitals and health insurance companies-to understand chronic pain and treat those who suffer from it. Through her own frequently frustrating experiences, she shows how health care providers often ignore, deny, or incorrectly treat chronic pain at immense cost to both the patient and the health care system. She also offers cogent suggestions on improving the quality and outcome of chronic pain care and management, using her encounters with exceptional medical professionals as models. Inside Chronic Pain deals with pain s dramatic and destructive effects on one s sense of self and identity. It chronicles the chaos that takes place, the paralyzing effect of severe pain, the changes in personality that ensue, and the corrosive effects of severe pain on the ability to attend to day-to-day tasks. It describes how one s social life falls apart and isolation takes over. It also relates moments of happiness and beauty and describes how rooting the self in the present is crucial in managing pain. A unique feature of Inside Chronic Pain is the clinical commentary by Dr. Scott M. Fishman, president of the American Pain Foundation. Fishman has long tried to improve the lives of patients like Heshusius. His medical perspective on her very human narrative will help physicians and other clinicians better understand and treat patients with chronic pain. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780801447969

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