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    a book: The Pain Chronicles

    downloaded this last night and listened all night. would be interested to know what others think. it just came out.

    http://www.amazon.com/Pain-Chronicle...2429638&sr=1-1

    the author is a journalist who suffers chronic pain. she explores the history of pain, its actual physical effects on the brain and body, people's (including doctors) reactions to those of us who suffer, etc. there are some alarming stats, e.g. the lack of pain specialists in the u.s.

    anyway, anybody else out there read it yet?

    from NPR, more on this book:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...029&ft=1&f=100
    Last edited by cass; 21 Aug 2010, 6:50 PM.

    #2
    I saw this at Barnes and Noble and then decided not to get it.

    I don't read self help books much and I thought this is what this book was.

    Let me know how you like it.
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

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      #3
      The Wall Street Journal just reviewed the book positively.

      I like the quote "pain is neither sensation or emotion but rather an experience that draws upon both: the elusive intersection of three overlapping circles - cognition, sensation, and emotion.."
      She has the gift of language, but she needs to listen to some of the prose generated by Dejerine for some real schooling. ;-)

      From the NPR article - about the author -
      " She has trouble sleeping; she stumbles through her days. Her sense of her body as a source of pleasure changes to a sense of it as a source of pain. She feels haunted, persecuted by an unseen tormentor. Depression sets in. It feels wrong ... maddening ... delusional. She tries to describe her torment, but others respond with skepticism or contempt. She consults doctors, to no avail. Her original affliction — whatever it may have been — has been superseded by the new disease of pain."

      Good stuff. I am sorry that anyone here can relate to this. I am certainly sorry that I do....
      Last edited by arndog; 22 Aug 2010, 7:10 PM.

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        #4
        Originally posted by darkeyed_daisy View Post
        I saw this at Barnes and Noble and then decided not to get it.

        I don't read self help books much and I thought this is what this book was.

        Let me know how you like it.
        definitely not a self help book. it's hard to describe other than what i already did. there's some parts ppl may not care for, such as historical/religious views of pain, but i liked this. also, she writes about the pathology of pain in some detail. one surprise to me (and not an encouraging one): she writes that pain actually changes physical pathways in the body over time, destroys grey cells in the brain (she quotes a figure for every yr of pain) and these changes will/can make the pain worse with time. i actually cried when i read that. it was a validation to me, in a sense, as i've had to quit work due to worsening pain.

        right now i only have this book downloaded on my ipod. but i am going to also buy it. i want to highlight portions to share with ppl. i also want to see her reference material. i think i'm going to buy a copy for my pcp as well.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by arndog View Post
          The Wall Street Journal just reviewed the book positively.


          From the NPR article - about the author -
          " She has trouble sleeping; she stumbles through her days. Her sense of her body as a source of pleasure changes to a sense of it as a source of pain. She feels haunted, persecuted by an unseen tormentor. Depression sets in. It feels wrong ... maddening ... delusional. She tries to describe her torment, but others respond with skepticism or contempt. She consults doctors, to no avail. Her original affliction — whatever it may have been — has been superseded by the new disease of pain."

          Good stuff. I am sorry that anyone here can relate to this. I am certainly sorry that I do....
          that quote is directly from the book.

          now i have finished the book, i think that NPR article kind of missed the mark. for example, the distraction quote. at the end of the book she talks about being in a machine (REMRI, i think she called it) where she could actually see her brain real time. distraction actually made it worse. one pain specialist and one sufferer talk about focusing on it actually helped. again, i only have this on ipod. once i have it physically in front of me, i can reference it better.
          Last edited by cass; 23 Aug 2010, 6:46 PM.

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            #6
            can't find/access wsj review. here is nyt review:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/20/bo...book.html?_r=1

            however, the title of this review ("aches that won't go away") makes me want to kick epstein from here to hell. she obviously has no understanding of pain. aches? for god's sake, somebody put this reviewer in my body, or any of ours.
            Last edited by cass; 24 Aug 2010, 2:24 AM.

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              #7
              Originally posted by cass View Post
              here is nyt review:

              http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/20/bo...book.html?_r=1

              however, the title of this review ("aches that won't go away") makes me want to kick epstein from here to hell. she obviously has no understanding of pain. aches? for god's sake, somebody put this reviewer in my body, or any of ours.
              That's what I thought, aches that won't go away? Talk about somebody not getting it (or the book review editor, either).
              MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by cass View Post
                can't find/access wsj review. here is nyt review:

                http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/20/bo...book.html?_r=1

                however, the title of this review ("aches that won't go away") makes me want to kick epstein from here to hell. she obviously has no understanding of pain. aches? for god's sake, somebody put this reviewer in my body, or any of ours.
                I don't think the reviewer, Helen Epstein, uses the word "aches" in the text of her review. In the newspaper/magazine business, the writer doesn't get involved in the "titles" or "headlines." So she may not be the one to blame for a title that diminishes the impact of pain.

                The best,
                GJ

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by gjnl View Post
                  I don't think the reviewer, Helen Epstein, uses the word "aches" in the text of her review. In the newspaper/magazine business, the writer doesn't get involved in the "titles" or "headlines." So she may not be the one to blame for a title that diminishes the impact of pain.
                  Thanks for that information, it does clarify things.
                  MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I almost downloaded this to my Kindle the other day, and then for some reason I did not.....but it sounds as though you thought it worthwhile Cass?

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                      #11
                      I think aches is an perfectly appropriate word if by aches you mean unrelenting searing flesh with boring pain like a hot poker driven into your rectum.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Yes!! Or both arms plugged into an electrical outlet and then set on fire, that sure does ache!
                        MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Eileen View Post
                          I almost downloaded this to my Kindle the other day, and then for some reason I did not.....but it sounds as though you thought it worthwhile Cass?
                          eileen, i like this book. it is interesting to me on 2 levels: 1) history of how pain has been perceived and handled (which some may find boring) and 2) the author visited pain clinics today and goes into some medical detail that i found fascinating. oh, and i'll add a third: she is a cp sufferer and (spoiler alert) no, she found no answer to her own pain in terms of really good relief despite all her research, attempts etc.

                          i think this was a very good read. i have it on my ipod and go back to it at night when i can't sleep.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thanks Cass, I am going to download it right now.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The Pain Chronicles

                              Hi All,
                              I found it fascinating that you found this book! I for one seldom read books on pain because it is just a reminder of what I (and You) live with every day! However, this book is so different! As you indicated it is very interesting, wonderfully written so that everyone can understand, not just academics and physicians. I met Melanie Thurston, the author about 10 years ago when she first was interviewing doctors and patients for her NY times article on chronic pain. She interviewed my doctor, Dr. Scott Fishman at UC Davis medical Center, then she interviewed me. About 5 years later, she found me again--we had moved to FL., we reconnected, talked on the phone and she told me she was writing a book and asked if she could include my story. Years went by and I had forgotten about the whole thing when about 8 months ago I received a phone call, it was Melanie letting me know she had finished writing the book and it was being sent to the publisher. She mailed a copy of the manuscript to me, I couldn't believe how well she could explain what I had felt for so many years. I truly felt, from the first chapter on, she was speaking for me, only much more eloquently! I hope lots of people read this, not just those of us in pain,,,,,,,,
                              Thank you Melanie, for using your voice and talent to help promote understanding.
                              And, yes, I am the Holly she refers to in the book!

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