Robert Murphy was in the prime of his career as an anthropologist when he felt the first symptom of a malady that would ultimately take him on an odyssey stranger than any field trip to the Amazon: a tumor of the spinal cord that progressed slowly and irreversibly into quadriplegia. In this gripping account, Murphy explores society’s fears, myths, and misunderstandings about disability, and the damage they inflict. He reports how paralysis like all disabilities assaults people’s identity, social standing, and ties with others, while at the same time making the love of life burn even more fiercely.
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company;
In his brief life, Chekhov was a doctor, essayist, dramatist and a humanitarian. He saw no conflict between art and science or art and medicine. This collection of stories presents powerful portraits of doctors in their everyday lives, struggling with their own personal problems.
Publisher: Kent State University Press
“Dr Reynolds was a young woman, only a few years older than I was. I rather liked her. We sat down and chatted, exchanging social pleasantries for a while. So, what did the path. results show? Do you know what it is?’ I asked, trying to get down to the issue that had been gnawing at my mind constantly for over a week. I don’t think it will mean that much to you’ she replied. Now, obviously the first question you will have is how long have you got’ she looked directly at me and I’m afraid I can’t tell you.’ I was confused. What was she talking about? I’m sorry’ I started haltingly, I don’t understand what you mean. Do you mean how long it is going to take until I’m better? How long the treatment is going to take?’ No’ she hesitated, I meant how long you have got to live’ she paused and I’m afraid I can’t tell you because I’m not an oncologist.’
Here was another medical word I was expected to understand. What was an oncologist’, and why wasn’t one here, whatever they were? Half-formed questions tumbled around inside my head. To each poorly articulated question that stumbled out of my mouth she seemed to answer I don’t know, I’m not an oncologist.’ She was right, she wasn’t, where was this elusive beast? Come back on Monday morning’ she told me. Her parting remark stuck in my mind. Please don’t go and jump off Sydney Harbour Bridge.’ At least she didn’t attempt to tell me to have a nice weekend’. She didn’t know that I didn’t know I had cancer. She didn’t know.
A Long Walk Home is Rachel Clark’s evocative and moving account of her treatment and experiences with health professionals in Britain and Australia while she was living with, and dying from, cancer. It includes an Epilogue by her twin sister Naomi Jefferies, and learning points for health professionals by John Hasler and David Pendleton.”
“Pulitzer-winning, scintillating studies in yearning and exile from a Bengali Bostonian woman of immense promise.
A couple exchange unprecedented confessions during nightly blackouts in their Boston apartment as they struggle to cope with a heartbreaking loss; a student arrives in new lodgings in a mystifying new land and, while he awaits the arrival of his arranged-marriage wife from Bengal, he finds his first bearings with the aid of the curious evening rituals that his centenarian landlady orchestrates; a schoolboy looks on while his childminder finds that the smallest dislocation can unbalance her new American life all too easily and send her spiralling into nostalgia for her homeland…
Jhumpa Lahiri’s prose is beautifully measured, subtle and sober, and she is a writer who leaves a lot unsaid, but this work is rich in observational detail, evocative of the yearnings of the exile (mostly Indians in Boston here), and full of emotional pull and reverberation.”
“A true story of one doctor’s journey as a patient coming to terms with a terminal cancer diagnosis. The hope is that by reading it healthcare professionals will be better able understand exactly what being the patient is really like and how their behaviours, no matter how small can impact massively on the people they look after. It is also a story of personal battles with control, learning how and when to relinquish this.”
Meet Norm. He’s 31, 5’9″, just over 13 stone, and works a 39 hour week. He likes a drink, doesn’t do enough exercise and occasionally treats himself to a bar of chocolate (milk). He’s a pretty average kind of guy. In fact, he is the average guy in this clever and unusual take on statistical risk, chance, and how these two factors affect our everyday choices. Watch as Norm (who, like all average specimens, feels himself to be uniquely special), and his friends careful Prudence and reckless Kelvin, turns to statistics to help him in life’s endless series of choices – should I fly or take the train? Have a baby? Another drink? Or another sausage? Do a charity skydive or get a lift on a motorbike?
Because chance and risk aren’t just about numbers – it’s about what we believe, who we trust and how we feel about the world around us. What we do, or don’t do, has as much do with gut instinct as hard facts, with enjoyment as understanding. If you’ve ever wondered what the statistics in tabloid scare stories really mean, how dangerous horse-riding is compared to class-A drugs, or what governs coincidence, you will find it all here.
“Anyone who has ever spent any time in a hospital or in a hospital waiting room will love these poems, anyone who has ever been to the doctor or felt ill or had to fill in a form will love these poems. That covers everyone. Here are poems about a difficult, scary subject, cancer, that circle around it lightly, on light dancing feet, and every so often whack you on the head. Oddly enough, Sudden Collapses is compulsively readable. The poems are funny, irreverent, moving and never sentimental. You can recognise yourself in them, recognise your family. They are warm, full of compassion: Julia Darling’s imagination is a shining bright light.” Jackie Kay
Title: Sudden Collapses in Public Places
Author: Darling, Julia
Publisher: Arc Publications
On December 8, 1995, Bauby, the editor-in-chief of Elle magazine, suffered a stroke and lapsed into a coma. He awoke 20 days later, mentally aware of his surroundings but physically paralyzed with the exception of some movement in his head and eyes (one of which had to be sewn up due to an irrigation problem). The entire book was written by Bauby blinking his left eyelid, which took ten months (four hours a day). Using partner assisted scanning, a transcriber repeatedly recited a French language frequency-ordered alphabet (E, S, A, R, I, N, T, U, L, etc.), until Bauby blinked to choose the next letter. The book took about 200,000 blinks to write and an average word took approximately two minutes. The book also chronicles everyday events for a person with locked-in syndrome.
There’s also a page for the 2007 film version here
Publisher: London : Harper Perennial
First published in 1987, this second edition contains over 1000 alphabetically arragned entries on all aspects of the mind, including topics in neurophysiology, communication, psychology, and philosophy, as well as people relevant to the field. Returning as editor, Gregory oversees a team of British and American researchers who contribute articles varying in length from a few sentences to longer essays and are generally accessible to the nonspecialist.
Author: Gregory, Richard L. (Editor)
Title: Oxford Companion to the Mind
Publisher: Oxford University Press