The Truth About Chronic Pain: Patients and Professionals on How to Face It, Understand It, Overcome It

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"It's all in your head." "Learn to bear it." "That drug will make you a junkie." For the more than seventy-five million Americans affected by chronic pain, these are fighting words. Despite extraordinary medical progress in recent years, millions of people, debilitated by the pain of incurable cancer, crippling arthritis, unremitting headaches, and a host of degenerative disorders, continue to suffer needlessly. Here, in their own words, are the stories of more than forty people whose lives are dictated by pain--patients, healthcare ...

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Overview

"It's all in your head." "Learn to bear it." "That drug will make you a junkie." For the more than seventy-five million Americans affected by chronic pain, these are fighting words. Despite extraordinary medical progress in recent years, millions of people, debilitated by the pain of incurable cancer, crippling arthritis, unremitting headaches, and a host of degenerative disorders, continue to suffer needlessly. Here, in their own words, are the stories of more than forty people whose lives are dictated by pain--patients, healthcare professionals, ethicists, social commentators, and scientists--shining a powerful searchlight on America's most misunderstood health problem. The Truth About Chronic Pain reveals that pain is often ignored or under-treated due to widespread beliefs that it is a sign of weakness or unfounded fears that properly administered painkillers will cause addiction. As bureaucrats, doctors, and pharmacists become combatants in the War on Drugs, people in pain too often become unforeseen casualties. The Truth About Chronic Pain provides what pain-sufferers need just as keenly as physical relief: the knowledge that they are not alone. The voices on these pages are an eloquent testament to individual courage and a powerful plea to medical institutions, political leaders, and insurance companies to implement effective solutions to the problem of pain.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Pain is a part of life, and in this engrossing book Rosenfeld, an author and journalist, provides a forum for discussing all aspects of managing it. In more than 40 interviews, he allows patients, caregivers, educators, legislators, enforcers, and clergy to speak out on the medical, ethical, moral, religious, legal, cultural, and fundamental, life-consuming reality of chronic pain. As growing scientific evidence suggests that controlling patients' pain improves their medical outcome, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has issued new standards for pain assessment and management by adding pain as a fifth vital sign (after heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and respiration) to the medical record. Treatment of chronic pain challenges medicine to overcome many barriers, and this excellent book presents intelligent, professional, and compassionate answers from experts. For all health collections.-James Swanton, Harlem Hosp. Lib., New York Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465071388
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 3/27/2003
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.74 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Arthur Rosenfeld has written for Vogue, HG, and Vanity Fair. He is the author of six books, including the critically acclaimed A Cure for Gravity. He lives in Boca Raton, Florida.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Foreword xiii
Introduction xv
Part 1 Patients in Pain 1
Mary Vargas, J.D. 4
Hertz Nazaire 13
Allyson Gabrey 22
Hal E. Garner Jr. 28
Esther Reiter 34
Penney Cowan 42
Stephanie Staker 50
Susan Shinagawa 57
Matthew Rudes 66
Kenneth Anbender, Ph.D. 72
Deborah Hunter 79
James Hanlon 87
Part 2 Caregivers on Pain 93
Howard Fields, M.D., Ph.D. 97
Othon Molina, Ph.D. 105
Kathleen M. Foley, M.D. 113
Wendy Lazar, L.M.T. C.Ht. 121
David Seidenwurm, M.D. 129
Gerald Young, M.D. 135
James S. Hicks, M.D. 146
Steven Graff-Radford, D.D.S. 151
Grace Forde, M.D. 157
N. Gregory Hamilton, M.D. 166
Marcia Gill, R.N., M.H.M, C.H.T.P. 172
Ronald Melzack, Ph.D. 178
Part 3 Thinkers About Pain 187
June Dahl, Ph.D. 191
Marilyn Vos Savant 199
Father Robert Kennedy, D.D., Ph.D. 206
John Sarno, M.D. 214
Joseph J. Fins, M.D. 222
Robert Jarvik, M.D. 230
Madeline Ko-i Bastis, R.N. 237
Antonio M. Gotto Jr., M.D. 243
Patricia M. Good 250
Peter Muryo Matthiessen, Roshi 259
Pamela Bennett, R.N. 266
Rabbi Rami Shapiro 275
Epilogue: Toward Compassionate Pain Management 285
Resource Guide 291
Glossary 297
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 21, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    This should be required reading for anyone in the medical field!

    I am not in chronic pain, but my sister is. This book helped me understand what's going on with her and her frustration with the medical field. This book validates people who have this problem, and enlightens those of us who care for them and are trying to understand them. It was the only book I could find that didn't say there was a "cure" if only the person in pain would eat this, or do this, or meditate, or ask God, or........ FOR SOME PEOPLE THERE IS NO CURE! These people need to be validated, treated, understood, listened to, and loved!!! There are a lot of books on pain, but this is the only one that really tells it like it is! People in pain are not junkies looking for a "fix". Someone in pain relies on medication to live a life worth living. Taking medication to relieve pain is not a crime, but inadequate pain management should be! <BR/>I started reading the book, stopped several pages into it, and went on-line to order 3 more copies. I really can't say enough about this book. If you are in pain or know someone who is I highly recommend this book!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2005

    Will VALIDATE your pain! A MUST HAVE

    I'm 39, and I don't 'look' like I'm in pain, but I have had SEVERE chronic pain for over a decade. You MUST treat yourself to this book. I own at least 25 books and this is the best! You are sure to see yourself in one of the featured chapters. This book is written with great compassion, and is PRACTICAL not 'fluff.' I have written over and over in the margins. When I get 'down' I re-read various chapters and it has helped me to 'advocate' for myself. You did NOT ask for this pain, and we all 'deserve' the best relief available. Good Luck!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2005

    Hits the nail right on the head

    I was truly enlightened when reading this book. I found so many examples of the little nuances that comprise the life of a person with chronic pain. The struggle with the pharmacist, the caregiver, loved ones, friends, co-workers, and most importantly ourselves. This book is the closest thing that I have read to doing what most people with chronic pain wish they could do. I would never wish pain on anyone, however, I sometimes think that if I could pass it on to them for one day maybe they would understand. This book is as close as it gets to that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2003

    A Must for All to Read

    Having suffered from chronic pain for several years it gave me an insight as to how to deal with and relate to my pain and others. I highly recommend that family and friends of pain suffers read this to better understand chronic pain. I am buying it for my treating Doctor that has been so patient and understand thru this ordeal. It helped me understand her treatment plan and may be able to help ohters better understand their pain.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2003

    A Vivid Picture of the Effects of Chronic Pain on People's Lives

    For people facing chronic pain, as well as their caregivers, this book offers insights into the life of a pain sufferer through a series of 36 fascinating conversations. To compile this book, Rosenfeld talks face to face with persons intimately involved in the world of chronic pain as patients, healthcare professionals, scientists, ethicists, and social commentators. The patients are coping with chronic pain due to a range of debilitating conditions, including injury, sickle-cell anemia, spinal stenosis, cancer, Marfan syndrome, and AIDS. These conversations, together with the author's commentary, paint a vivid picture of the effects of pain on people's lives and of their efforts to overcom

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2003

    Inspiring

    I highly recommend this book to all readers...chronic pain sufferers or not. The interview format provides insightful answers to provocative questions and highlights the need of better education, treatment and understanding of this important issue.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2003

    Demystifies and comforts

    'The Truth About...' makes clear how many live in pain and just how pervasive the matter is. In short, Rosenfeld's work clearly and concisely explains the issues while demystifying a series of complex problems. While there are many philosophical and religious dimensions involved, it's equally amazing to hear how so many personal and divergent points of view all lead to the same bottom line: that none of us should ever have to suffer because of someone's hang-up about prescription drugs or about pain as a character builder. If 'The Truth...' does nothing else but shed light while comforting those who suffer in the dark without knowledge, then undoubtedly hundred of thousands, or perhaps even millions of untold sufferers will be better for it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2003

    The Guide to Understanding Chronic Pain

    Insightful, Inspiring, important. Whether or not you suffer from chronic pain, this book is a must read and it is truly accessible to a very wide audience. As we don¿t yet have a cure to offer those who suffer, understanding the pain will have to do. Mr. Rosenfeld¿s book is the ultimate handbook for this daunting task. After dividing the book into 3 parts, patients (that¿s me), caregivers and thinkers, it was amazing to see how many common threads there were. I found myself, highlighter in hand, saying, ¿yes, that¿s it.¿, or ¿he got it¿ or ¿she shed thought provoking new light.¿ This book belongs in the hands of medical students and practitioners as well as the general public. Everyone would benefit from this very important book. The author has succeeded in making this a page-turner.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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