Dancing at the River's Edge: A Patient and Her Doctor Negotiate Life with Chronic Illness / Edition 3

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An invaluable resource for medical professionals, victims of chronic illnesses, and their loved ones, this dual memoir by a doctor and his longtime patient traces the growth of their unique friendship over a span of decades. By exploring the bond between caregiver and sufferer, this sensitive account evokes not only the constant day to day frustrations and emotional toll suffered by the chronically ill, but also an understanding of the mental struggles and conflicts that a conscientious doctor must face in deciding how best to treat a patient without compromising personal freedoms. In alternating chapters, the narrative explores the frustration, joy, despair, grief, and pain on both sides of the doctor-patient relationship.

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  • Alida Brill & Michael D. Lockshin
    Alida Brill & Michael D. Lockshin  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Brill's writings and Lockshin's writings . . . are poetic, revealing, insightful, and at times shocking in their honest and frank discussion of aspects of chronic disease that are rarely brought out into the open."  —New England Journal of Medicine

"Dancing at the River's Edge . . . is about the trials and tribulations of chronic disease . . . you ought to get a copy and read it. You won't be able to put it down once you pick it up."  —Paul A. Volcker, former Federal Reserve chairman

"A must-read for anyone who has traveled to the 'other planet' that is chronic illness, or loves someone who is making this arduous journey . . . a life-affirming and deeply moving book."  —Nancy Matsumoto, staff contributor, People; former contributor, Health, Los Angeles Times,  The New York Times, Newsweek, and Time; coauthor, The Parents' Guide to Eating Disorders

"A book unlike any other; this slim volume probes the intricacies of a magical relationship, that of a patient with her doctor. A heart-wrenching dialogue that carries profound and life-altering insights for us all."  —Dr. David Sachar, head of gastroenterology, Mt. Sinai Hospital, and world's leading expert on Crohn's Disease

"Delves into the intricacies and intimacy of chronic illness . . . it illuminates the spirit. Important for those suffering from chronic illness and [their] families."  —Lauren Shuler Donner, film producer, You've Got Mail and the X-Men series, a lupus patient

"Whether you are doctor or patient, you see a bit of yourself in [this book]. . . . It demonstrates how profound the bond between doctor and patient can be—how much power it imparts."  —Susan Golick, founder, S.L.E. Lupus Foundation

"A deeply personal exploration on both sides of the medical scene—the patient who suffers and strives to retain her 'self,' and the physician who struggles to maintain a balance between knowing the truth while attempting to understand its implications."  —Virginia Ladd, president and executive director, American Autoimmune Diseases Related Association

"An extraordinary meditation on illness—a poetic, powerful and groundbreaking work that illuminates the resilience and strength of the human spirit."  —David Isay, executive director, Storycorps, and editor, Listening Is an Act of Love

New England Journal of Medicine
Brill's writings and Lockshin's writings ... are poetic, revealing, insightful, and at times shocking in their honest and frank discussion of aspects of chronic disease that are rarely brought out into the open.
Story Circle Book Reviews
A beautiful book, both informative and moving, written from the heart by people who, through their interactions over the years, and through the conversation recorded in this book, know each other and themselves intimately. It is introspective, often poetic ... always the creation of 'a meeting of minds and hearts' ... a peculiar kind of magic.
While it may be a chronic illness, Alida still has hope. She still has a life. And she's learning how to make the most of it. Maybe she has some hints for you
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780980139402
  • Publisher: Schaffner Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 787,547
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Alida Brill is a sociologist, an essayist, and the author of several nonfiction books, including Dimensions of Tolerance, Nobody’s Business, and A Rising Public Voice. She lives in New York City. Michael D. Lockshin, MD, is one of America's preeminent experts in the long-term care of chronically ill patients. He is the director of the Barbara Volcker Center for Women and Rheumatic Disease at the Hospital for Special Surgery and a professor of medicine and obstetrics-gynecology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York. He is the author of Guarded Prognosis and The Hospital for Special Surgery Rheumatoid Arthritis Handbook. He lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 16, 2009

    Classic Book on living with Chronic Illness

    Alida Brill¿s Book Review 2/16/09<BR/><BR/>Dancing at the River¿s Edge: A patient and Her Doctor Negotiate Life with Chronic Illness.<BR/><BR/>This book teaches one of Life¿s most important lessons: to listen with an open mind and caring heart. <BR/><BR/>Alida Brill, patient, enduring courageously with a life-long chronic illness, and Dr. Michael Lockshin, her sympathetic and caring physician trade chapters as they struggle to understand Alida¿s lifelong autoimmune disease.<BR/><BR/>Both Alida and Dr. Lockshin touch each other with their ardent search for care (but never ¿cure¿) for this mysterious medical problem. Both are dauntless and daring as they explore and build their long term relationship as patient/doctor and, in time, as close friends. I found the book touching and warm-hearted, brave and heroic and an important book that should be read by all.<BR/><BR/>As readers, we must hope that writing the book was also therapy for Alida to put it all down on paper, to edit, rewrite and fine tune her thoughts and insights. Their engaging dialogue should be an assigned ¿must read¿ book for every medical professional.<BR/><BR/>I couldn¿t help but admire Alida¿s intrepid courage in trying to understand and heal herself, to deeply enjoy the sweet periods of remission and, like the ¿Man from La Mancha¿ to dream the impossible dream.<BR/><BR/>If this wonderful touching book isn¿t discovered and doesn¿t jump to the top-10 in non-fiction, then somebody is sleeping in book review circles!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

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  • Posted May 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Send this book to your doctor!

    Many people are unaware how hard it is to live with a disease, or live with someone with a disease that has no cure. I was one of those. My mother was diagnosed with lupus 30 years ago and is still fighting today. Although I have been with her every step of the way, it is still difficult to understand unless you are in their shoes. This book lets you peek into the mind of a person who has a cureless disease. She doesn't glitter it up, rather she drags you through the trenches with her and lets you in to the secret hell in which the patient sometimes resides. The doctors viewpoint along with the patients allows you to see the conversation and how each perspective is. I highly reccomend all patients with an incurable disease read this and send a copy to their doctors because more ofthen than not, they have no idea what you are going through.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

    Dancing at the River's Edge

    As a woman who has struggled with several autoimmune diseases throughout my life, I was eager to see a book about another woman and her story.

    I was more intrigued by the physician's prospective than the patient's. It was somewhat of a disappointment learning that they are friends as well as doctor/patient.

    I was left wanting more...there really is no end to the story. However, it was a relief and a satisfaction that others have essentially played out my life, and can unstand what it's like to live with pain and uncertainty.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 21, 2009

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    Posted February 24, 2009

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    Posted September 8, 2009

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    Posted April 4, 2011

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