DIAGNOSIS by LISA SANDERS is a 5 Star Read and will soon be a series on Netflix

Title: DIAGNOSIS

Subtitle: SOLVING THE MOST BAFFLING MEDICAL MYSTERIES

Author: LISA SANDERS, M.D.

Genre: NON-FICTION, MEMOIRS, MEDICAL, HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Length: 320 PAGES

Publisher: CROWN PUBLISHING

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: AUGUST 13, 2019

ISBN: 9780593136638

Price: $17.00 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

As a Yale School of Medicine physician, the New York Times bestselling author of Every Patient Tells a Story, and an inspiration and adviser for the hit Fox TV drama House, M.D., Lisa Sanders has seen it all. And yet she is often confounded by the cases she describes in her column: unexpected collections of symptoms that she and other physicians struggle to diagnose.

A twenty-eight-year-old man, vacationing in the Bahamas for his birthday, tries some barracuda for dinner. Hours later, he collapses on the dance floor with crippling stomach pains. A middle-aged woman returns to her doctor, after visiting two days earlier with a mild rash on the back of her hands. Now the rash has turned purple and has spread across her entire body in whiplike streaks. A young elephant trainer in a traveling circus, once head-butted by a rogue zebra, is suddenly beset with splitting headaches, as if someone were “slamming a door inside his head.”

In each of these cases, the path to diagnosis—and treatment—is winding, sometimes frustratingly unclear. Dr. Sanders shows how making the right diagnosis requires expertise, painstaking procedure, and sometimes a little luck. Intricate, gripping, and full of twists and turns, Diagnosis puts readers in the doctor’s place. It lets them see what doctors see, feel the uncertainty they feel—and experience the thrill when the puzzle is finally solved.

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MY REVIEW:

Author Dr. Lisa Sanders is the doctor whom the television show HOUSE was based on. She is well-known for her diagnostic prowess as well as for her column in the New York Times. Now, Netflix is filming a series based on her case files. I am very much looking forward to watching this new series. I LOVED watching HOUSE and was sad when the television series ended.

DIAGNOSIS is a fascinating and informative read, as well as being chock-full of information that most doctors (and patients) are unaware of. In my opinion, everyone, especially doctors need to own a copy of this book.

I am well aware of the theory known as “Occam’s Razor” which is a principle from philosophy that states that the simplest explanation is usually correct. However, sometimes that theory does not apply. In medicine sometimes a zebra masquerades as a horse and because the disease is so rare, it is unknown to the doctor and/or because of it’s rarity, it is dismissed as a possibility.

If you have any interest in medical mysteries this book should be at the top of your ‘TBR (TO BE READ)’ List. Once I started reading, I was unable to put it down.

Not only does the author do an exceptional job of describing the symptoms each patient is experiencing, she also gives a brief description of the person’s home and work life which provides a perfect balance between the technical and the personal aspects of each case.

Dr. Lisa Sanders also provides the reader with an update as to how each patient is faring at the present time. This is something that I find many medical books leave out. It is as if many doctors see only the medical mystery and view the patient as callously as they would view a lab rat; ignoring them once the mystery is solved and leaving the follow-up to others. Lisa Sanders does NOT do this. In fact, several of the cases were diagnosed years earlier and yet she has taken the time to call each patient and ask after their current help.

This book is worthy of more than just 5 Stars, however, since five stars is the highest rating I can bestow upon a book, 5 STARS will have to suffice. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The world is lucky to have diagnosticians such as Dr. Lisa Sanders and she has saved multiple lives and livelihoods. She is an inspiration to women everywhere.

*Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.*

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr. Lisa Sanders is a clinician educator in the Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program. In addition to her work as a physician and teacher, she writes the popular Diagnosis column for the New York Times Magazine and the Think Like a Doctor column featured in the New York Times blog, The Well. Her column was the inspiration for the Fox program House MD (2004-2012) and she served as a consultant to the show. In 2010 published a book titled Every Patient Tells a Story: Medical Mysteries and the Art of Diagnosis. Currently she is collaborating with the New York Times on an 8 hour documentary series on the process of diagnosis. It will air on Netflix in the summer of 2019.

Sanders’ path to medicine was anything but traditional. As an undergraduate at the College of William and Mary, she majored in English, wrote for The Flat Hat, the college paper, and served pints of ale at Chownings Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg. After graduation she took a job with ABC at Good Morning America. Less than 10 years later, while working for CBS News, she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story for coverage of Hurricane Hugo as it slammed into her hometown of Charleston, S.C. But by then, Sanders said, she was ready to move on professionally and decided that of all the subjects she covered as a journalist, medicine intrigued her most. After two years at Columbia University’s Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program, Sanders was accepted to the Yale School of Medicine “as part of the 10 percent of the class they reserve for weirdos,” she said. In addition to her time in the hospital, Sanders is currently researching clinical decision making and the way diagnostic decisions and errors are made. She has published two books previously — “The Perfect Fit Diet: Combine What Science Knows About Weight Loss With What You Know About Yourself” in 2004 and “The Perfect Fit Diet: How to Lose Weight, Keep it Off and Still Eat the Foods You Love” in 2005.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

YALE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

GOODREADS

NEW YORK TIMES – DIAGNOSIS COLUMN

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

#Diagnosis #NetGalley #Review #Reviewathon #bookreview #medical #medicalmysteries #rarediseases #doctor #Doctors #health #healthandwellness #bookblog #book #2019 #2019release #2019booklovers #2019bookrelease #lisasanders #reallifedrhouse #realhealthmysteries #raredisease #whattolookfor #patient

A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO CANNABIS by Nikki Furrer is the BEST Book on this subject I have ever come across. Recipe for Cannabis Lollipops Here.

Title: A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO CANNABIS
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Subtitle: Using Marijuana to Feel Better, Look Better, Sleep Better – and Get High Like A Lady
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Author: NIKKI FURRER
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Genre: NON-FICTION, HEALTH, CANNABIS, RECIPES

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Length: 215 PAGES

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Publisher: WORKMAN PUBLISHING
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Received From: NETGALLEY
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Release Date: DECEMBER 25, 2018

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ISBN: 978-1-5235-0200-4

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Price: $16.95 USD (Softcover) AND WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!!

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Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

A woman’s handbook to demystifying the world of weed, whether it’s being used for pain relief, a moment of calm, or a fit of giggles.

Women of all ages are using cannabis to feel and look better. For rookies and experienced marijuana users alike, this lively, information-filled book is just the supportive guide you need to find the right dose to relieve anxiety, depression, and inflammation, and mitigate the onset of dementia and other signs of aging. Plus boost moods, ease aches, even lose weight, and get restful sleep. And a dose just for fun? Well, that works, too!

Here’s how to navigate the typical dispensary, with its overwhelming options of concentrates, edibles, vape pens, and tinctures. Understand the amazing health-giving compounds found in cannabis—THC, CBD, terpenes, and more—and how to use topicals to reduce pain and give your skin a healthy glow. There’s even advice on how not to get high but still reap all the amazing health benefits.

Plus over twenty recipes, from edibles like Classic Pot Brownies and Netflix and Chill Caramels to self-care products like Radiant Glow Serum and Happy Body Bar.

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MY REVIEW:

In the introduction to “A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis” the author states:

“Now that I am in my forties, cannabis makes me feel prettier and more relaxed than I ever was in my twenties or thirties. Even after a car accident fractured my spine and created permanent back pain, medical marijuana makes me healthier and happier than I’ve ever been before.”

This quote, especially the part about her permanent back pain struck a chord with me. I have spent the last ten years in constant pain. I have to take pain medication just to be able to get up and have a shower in the morning. Anyone who lives with debilitating pain will understand me when I say, “I am willing to try anything to reduce my pain.”

With the booming marijuana industry in both Canada and the United States, books are finally being written and research is finally being conducted out in the open on this plant that was once a staple in society. Hemp has been used for hundreds of years, and now that same plant that is used to make items such as rope and even clothing, can be openly studied for its medicinal qualities.

“Sure, there are lots of books about marijuana – cookbooks and gardening books and books about the history of marijuana legalization – but I couldn’t find a book that could take my mother through her first shopping trip at the dispensary and her first time getting high.” “So I wrote this book for anyone who wants to feel better, look better, and sleep better. Everything we teach new patients at the dispensary is in these pages, including how cannabis works, why it works, and how to make marijuana gummies at home. Plus there are a few surprises in this book that you won’t learn at the dispensary.”

“Cannabis doesn’t just make us feel high and happy; it also has powerful analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antianxiety, and antidepressant qualities.

I have been searching “high” (pun intended) and low for a book about cannabis that actually answers all my questions. My goal has been to find a book that I can use as a guide to assist me in deciding what form, what strength, and what strain of marijuana might be able to help reduce the crippling back pain I suffer from on a daily basis. With all the hype surrounding cannabis lately; especially since October of 2018 when marijuana became legal for both medical and recreational use in Canada, I thought I would have no problem finding multiple books containing the information I was seeking, but wowzer, was I ever wrong. I have bought and read over ten books on this subject and this is the first and only book that was not a complete waste of my time and money.

I knew I was onto something special by the end of the first eight pages. Why? Because of the following few sentences: “Legal cannabis is curative and restorative. It makes us sleep better, eat better, and feel better. But it’s important to have realistic expectations, so no, I will not tell you that cannabis cures cancer … [also, to] be perfectly clear: I am not suggesting you change any medication unless you discuss it with your doctor.”

Author Nikki Furrer has impressed me tremendously, her vast knowledge of the cannabis industry is not merely academic, nor is it solely based on other people’s experiences. Her nearly encyclopedic knowledge of the various methods of ingestion and of the different strengths, mixtures, and ratios of THC to CBD is exactly the type of information that I had almost given up on finding. I am so glad that I didn’t give up.

My advice to other people (both men and women) is that if you are planning to spend some of your hard earned money on a book about marijuana, make sure this is the book you choose. I received a free eBook copy of “A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis” through the Publisher and NetGalley, but I was so impressed that I also bought a physical copy of the book so that I would always be able to look up certain points whenever I want to, as well as to have the included recipes to hand at all times.

I highly recommend that you purchase your own copy of this book whether you are planning to partake of cannabis yourself or not. Because there is so much misinformation floating around currently, it is important to have a solid, reliable source of information, especially if you are a parent, or just a concerned member of society. If you are informed, you will be able to better understand both sides of the marijuana debate.

I rate this book as 5+ OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. If it were possible I would rate it even higher. Very few books receive my coveted 5+ Star rating but this book clearly deserves the highest rating possible. I would like to personally thank Author Nikki Furrer for creating THE DEFINITIVE BOOK ON CANNABIS.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me, I am off to partake of some cannabis myself.

** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.**

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nikki Furrer grows legal cannabis in several states. She works as a consultant for dispensaries, cultivators, processors and edible makers, and has created edible and topical products for both medical and recreational markets.

Nikki Furrer is the CEO of Fleur, a cannabis company that develops strains and products with a focus on women’s health. Nikki is a cannabis lawyer, cultivator and budtender. Before joining the marijuana industry, Nikki owned Puddn’head Books, an independent bookstore. She currently lives in St. Louis, MO.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

PINTEREST

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

CANNABIS RECIPE FOR LOLLIPOPS:

(From A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO CANNABIS)

DIY Cannabis Lollipops for 4/20

Hard candies are a sweet, discreet way of medicating on the go, and they can be made in any dose, color, flavor, size or shape. Hard crack temperatures and pouring syrup as fast as you can seems intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be making professional looking, gourmet marijuana hard candies in your own kitchen.

Hard crack is the hottest stage of candy making, and the temperature is a precise 300 degrees. If the syrup does not get heated to 300 degrees, the candy will be sticky and soft. If the syrup is cooked over 305 degrees, it will caramelize and turn brown. Heat the sugar syrup on a high heat. Longer cook times increase browning of the syrup. Heating the solution as quickly as possible keeps the color clear and prevents caramelization of the syrup.

We do need a few tools and supplies. The most important is a candy thermometer. Hard candy must reach an exact 300 degrees, and if you try to make suckers without one, I promise, you will make a mess.

I have sucker molds that make each pop perfectly, but you can make suckers without molds. Spread parchment paper out on the counter. Then, when your syrup is ready to be poured, simply pour out dollops of syrup onto the parchment paper and roll a sucker stick into each dollar of hardening syrup.

The flavor of a lollipop comes from whatever flavor you add. LorAnn oils are perfect for flavoring suckers.

I love to play with color, so I have a rainbow supply of food coloring. Add food coloring one drop at a time.

Once you have all of your supplies and tools, get everything ready before you start boiling sugar. Once the syrup hits 300 degrees, you have to work fast.

Rose petals and other edible flowers make elegant, beautiful lollipops. Fill half of a sucker mold with syrup, then place a rose petal, lavender, carnation, honeysuckle, violets or candied lilacs in the mold and cover with enough syrup to finish filling the lollipop. Add cardamom to rose petal pops. Use ginger or mango flavoring with mint leaves.

Skip the coloring if you want to use flowers, but you can add a drop of coloring for a hint of color around the flower.

A gram of cannabis concentrate (like wax, shatter, live resin, etc) can have from 500-900 milligrams. This recipe makes 22-24 lollipops, so they should be between 30-40 mg THC. For strong pops, look for the highest THC potency you can find. For mild pops, try a half gram of concentrate.

Put the concentrate in a small glass dish, or the pyrex cup you plan to mix your syrup in, then place it in the oven for 30 minutes at 250 degrees to fully convert THCA to THC and CBDA to CBD.

CANNABIS LOLLIPOPS RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/4 cup water

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (a Martha Stewart touch. You don’t have to, but the cream of tartar makes the finished sucker smoother and more professional looking)

1 teaspoon flavoring oil

1 gram cannabis concentrate

2-3 drops coloring

edible flowers or colored sanding sugar

Spray molds with nonstick cooking spray or spread parchment paper on the kitchen counter.
Over high heat, mix sugar, corn syrup and water in a heavy pot. Stir until all of the sugar dissolves. Use a small brush to wipe sugar from the sides of the pot and into the mixture.
Add food coloring. Attach a candy thermometer to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Do not stir as the temperature rises.
At 300 degrees, remove pot from heat and place in an a ice bath to stop the cooking process.
When the syrup has stopped boiling, add flavoring and concentrate. Use a small silicone spatula and stir well.
Pour syrup into lollipop molds or pour round dollops on parchment paper.
Press and roll a small stick into each lollipop. Leave them for an hour to set.
When the suckers have hardened, they will pop out of the molds. Wrap in plastic or sucker bags and store in a cool, dry place for several months.
I spent years making a mess of hard candy. When it comes off the stove the sugar mixture is a hot 300 degrees, and we’ve only got a few minutes before it cools down and hardens. In those few minutes we need to add the perfect amount of color and the right amount of cannabis concentrate, stir it well and pour out 24 perfectly shaped suckers. And then add edible flowers or a sprinkle of glitter for fun.

It can’t be done.

The syrup hardens up before all the suckers are evenly poured. The syrup hardens all over the pyrex cup so we waste a sucker or two. I had given up on hard candy when Martha Stewart offered a tip that saved my lollipops – the oven.

So now I can take my time and complete each step perfectly, which results in perfect pops. Since the oven is already at 250 degrees from the decarboxylation process, we can simply put the pyrex cup of syrup in the oven whenever it hardens. The heat in the oven will warm up and smooth out the syrup so it can be poured.

And remember, suckers can be made with honey instead of white sugar, too.

Happy Medicating!

QUOTES:

“Because the more we know about cannabis, the easier it is to use it in a way that’s effective for us.”

“After decades of reefer madness propaganda, we’re now learning about how good this demonized plant is for our health and happiness. Cannabis doesn’t just make us feel high and happy; it also has powerful analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antianxiety, and antidepressant qualities.”

“… prescription pills are handed out like candy, it’s not surprising that the opioid epidemic has hit every suburb in the country … Swapping out the medicine cabinet for marijuana can prevent that downward spiral to rehab.”

⭐⭐⭐ ” My fortysomething friends have just as many questions as my mother’s friends, because the marijuana in dispensaries today is so different from the marijuana we remember from our youth.”

WALK IT OFF by RUTH MARSHALL

Title: WALK IT OFF

Subtitle: The true (and oddly hilarious) story of how I learned to stand, walk, pee, run, and even have sex again, after a nightmarish diagnosis turned my perfectly awesome life upside down

Author: RUTH MARSHALL

Genre: NON-FICTION, MEMOIR, AUTO-BIOGRAPHY

Length: 257 PAGES

Publisher: SIMON & SCHUSTER

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER ARC

Received From: GOODREADS GIVEAWAY

Release Date: JANUARY 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7362-2

Price: $26.00 CDN / $21.99 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

MY REVIEW:

First off, let me say that I ADORE the title of this book. I generally am averse to book covers with long subtitles, however this book would not have caught my eye without it.

I was lucky enough to win an ARC (Advance Reader Copy) from GOODREADS and I am very glad I did.

This memoir chronicles one woman’s journey to find out what was causing the bizarre symptoms she was experiencing, through diagnosis, surgery, rehab and beyond.

I suppose I should tell potential readers right away that this is NOT a self-help book. Instead, it is the unflinchingly honest memoir of a woman who goes from leading something closely akin to a charmed life, to discovering that no life is perfect.

I have never met Ruth Marshall, but after reading her story, I feel confident in stating that she is an amazing woman. This is not due to the fact that she is famous (or as famous as any Canadian television actress can be), nor is it because of her health issues. My opinion of Ruth as an amazing woman is based on her honesty.

It could not have been easy to chronicle her medical condition and her efforts at recovery, and yet she has done so while managing to be surprisingly honest. She does not shy away from the “icky” stuff. She talks about everything from poop to sex to shoes.

It’s human nature to want to ‘put your best foot forward’ (yes, pun intended) and to present yourself to the world as close to perfect as possible. However, if this memoir had been written that way, it would not have been authentic, nor would it have been such a compelling read.

Ruth has been able to tell her story in such a way that instead of pitying her, you find yourself following her journey with rabid interest.

You will want to cry at times, yet at others, you will be laughing along with her – and a few times you just might find yourself laughing at her antics.

It may not have been her intention, but this memoir also has lessons to teach us all. Firstly, even though Ruth looked perfectly healthy and happy, she was struggling with a wide variety of symptoms. Not yet diagnosed, and working at a voice acting gig, Ruth says: “I was able to stand for the entire voice session, ignoring the temptation to rest on the stool behind me. Neither the producer nor my voice partner seemed to notice the effort it took for me to remain perfectly upright, making me wonder for the thousandth time: If no one else was noticing, was anything wrong with me.”

This is something that many people struggle with. But, as Ruth proved, it is important to listen to your body and to be your own healthcare advocate. Do NOT ignore your symptoms.

By all accounts, Ruth Marshall is a terrific actress, but I believe she was always meant to be an author.

Judging by the readability of WALK IT OFF, I am sure others will agree. This memoir is destined to become a Bestseller and I would bet money that Ruth Marshall’s name will be on literary lips everywhere in 2018.

I rate WALK IT OFF: THE TRUE (AND ODDLY HILARIOUS) STORY OF HOW I LEARNED TO STAND, WALK, PEE, RUN, AND EVEN HAVE SEX AGAIN, AFTER A NIGHTMARISH DIAGNOSIS TURNED MY PERFECTLY AWESOME LIFE UPSIDE DOWN as 5 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Excerpt from Chapter One:

“I wanted to be an actress from the time I was six years old and have been one since I was twenty-five. My career has been notable for three reasons: I got naked in my first film role; I was in a television series with Billy Ray Cyrus; and for eight seasons I played a Mom on the Canadian teen drama DEGRASSI. The biggest chunk of my career, however, has been made up of commercial voice work. My voice has sold everything from Ikea kitchens to condoms.”

Ruth Marshall was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is known for her work on Casino Jack (2010), Doc (2001) and Dolores Claiborne (1995).

She graduated with a degree in English from McGill University in Montreal and then returned to her hometown of Toronto to pursue a career in acting.

Ruth Marshall made her feature film debut in the lead role of Candy in Love and Human Remains.

Marshall is also a stage actor and was critically acclaimed for her one-woman performance in 4 Letters, 5 Years, which she wrote, produced and starred in.

In 1994, Marshall took on the role of Celeste in Transit of Venus at the Globe Theater in Canada. In addition to her career as an actor, Marshall is also a very accomplished voice actor as well.

Features & TV Movies:
Love & Human Remains (1993)
TekWar: TekJustice (TV-1994)
Dolores Claiborne (1995)
Waiting for Michelangelo (1996)
Too Close to Home (TV-1997)
Half a Dozen Babies (TV-1999)
Dogmatic (1999)
Apparent Woes (2006)
Baby Blues (2007)
Daniel`s Daughter (TV-2008)
Degrassi Spring Break Movie (TV-2008)
Casino Jack (2010)

TV Series – Cast:

Wild C.A.T.S. (voice, 1994)
Doc (2001-2004)
The Path to 9/11 (mini-series, 2006)
Degrassi: The Next Generation (2007-)
Flashpoint (2008-2009)
TV Series – Guest appearances:
F/X: The Series (1997)
Power Play (1998)
This is Wonderland (2004)
Zoe Busiek: Wild Card (2005)
Puppets Who Kill (2006)
Love You to Death (2007)
Friends and Heroes (voice, 2007)
The Dating Guy (2009)
She’s the Mayor (2011)
The Listener (2011)
The Firm (2012)
Rookie Blue (2012)

To learn more about Ruth Marshall and her new career as an author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

INSTAGRAM

NORTHERN STARS – CANADA’S CELEBRITY DATABASE

INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE

BACKBONE: Living With Chronic Pain Without Turning Into One by Best-Selling Author KAREN DUFFY hits shelves on November 7th.

Title: BACKBONE: LIVING WITH CHRONIC PAIN WITHOUT TURNING INTO ONE   

Author: KAREN DUFFY  

Genre: NON-FICTION, CHRONIC PAIN 

Length: 252 PAGES 

Publisher: ARCADE PUBLISHING an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing     

Type of Book: EBOOK 

Received From: NETGALLEY 

Release Date: NOVEMBER 7, 2017

ISBN: 9781628727951

Price: $22.99 USD 

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


DESCRIPTION
:

AN INSPIRATIONAL, PRACTICAL, AND FUNNY GUIDE FOR EVERYONE LIVING WITH CHRONIC PAIN.

“My friend Karen Duffy, who lives with unimaginable pain, has taught me so much; that my 
complaints are the most ridiculous in the world.”     George Clooney

Over one-third of the United States population—nearly one hundred million Americans—is currently living with chronic pain, while another 133 million Americans live with some form of chronic illness. Over half of the United States population suffers from these invisible illnesses where their symptoms are not always obvious to the casual observer. Among them is Karen Duffy, New York Times–bestselling author, former MTV DJ, Revlon model, and actress: she suffers from sarcoidosis, a disorder that causes the growth of inflammatory cells on different organs of the body. In her case, her sarcoidosis is located in her brain, causing her unimaginable pain. 

For two decades, Duffy has managed to live a full life, despite living in a state of constant pain. 

In BACKBONE, a powerful, inspirational, funny, and important manual for surviving pain, Duffy draws on her experience as a patient advocate, trained recreational therapist, and hospice chaplain to illuminate gratifying methods people can use to cope with chronic pain. 

Addressing a country ravaged by both chronic pain and opioid addiction, BACKBONE offers a salve of self-sufficiency, spunk, and perseverance. 

BACKBONE is for the massive population of sufferers who are eager to be understood and helped and sends the message that despite the pain, there is a way to have a good life. 

MY REVIEW

In her introduction, author Karen Duffy states; “When I first got sick, I thought the doctors would figure it out and I’d go back to my life the way it was before. It didn’t turn out that way…I never imagined that the pain was going to last this long, that it would be endless, and that I’d have to figure out how to deal with it for the rest of my life.” I can completely relate to her and to this statement, it is exactly how I feel. Our diseases may be different, but chronic pain is something that we share (unfortunately). I felt EXACTLY the same way Karen did when I was diagnosed. 

We are very spoiled as a society, especially here in Canada. When a person gets sick or is injured, they go to the doctor or the hospital where tests are completed, a diagnosis is made, a treatment plan and/or presciption is handed out, and they get better. With chronic pain there is no cure, and treatment consists of little more than prescriptions for pain medication which helps with the symptoms, but does absolutely nothing to fix the underlying condition.

 To those who have never had to deal with pain that never stops, I say be thankful. To those who think that chronic pain sufferers are all liars and frauds, I say that I would trade just about anything to be lying about the pain I endure on a daily basis.

Karen says; “The minutia of daily life are more taxing when you have the stress of a chronic condition, and I often need to regulate my pain medication around [my son’s] hockey schedule.” Thankfully my sons are older now, but I distinctly remember doing the same thing. In fact, currently I have to wake up two hours before leaving for work so that I have one hour for the pain meds to kick in and one hour to actually spend getting ready. Reading that I am not alone in this is strangely yet incredibly helpful.

I am not someone who typically reads self-help books. This book is more of a memoir (laced with humor,) rather than a self-help book, yet it helps to feel that there are people out there who understand what my daily struggles are. I guess the saying that “misery loves company” must be true. Just kidding.

Karen offers up advice in a non-standard way. She does not claim to be an expert on chronic pain. Rather, her writing comes across more like a series of conversations with a friend over coffee or more likely a glass of wine. This is why her tips seem so genuine. They are things that have helped her to manage her pain.

Karen Duffy’s writing comes across as coming from her heart. She offers anecdotes from her own life as well as offering up quotes from experts in various fields.

I have read several books on chronic pain and I can honestly say that this book was the easiest to read and the most realistic. 

Karen Duffy does NOT promise to know how to cure chronic pain, she simply informs readers of what has worked for her to help her live with it, and suggests that what has helped her may also help others.     

She also includes modern, up-to-date links to helpful websites for those seeking more information about specific issues. 

I recommend this book to anyone suffering from chronic pain as well as family members and caregivers. I rate this memoir as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

**Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.**  

QUOTES 

As I read through this book I ran across so many quotes that I wanted to remember that I actually started keeping a list. 

Some of the quotes are funny, some I highlighted because they hit close to home and were so similar to my own life, and some I kept for no reason other than they struck a xhord with me somehow. I will leave it to your imagination to decide which quote falls into each category. 

“Chronic pain is like serving a life sentence. It’s punishment for a crime you didn’t commit.”

“… I look a lot better in person than I do on paper.”


“I take strong opiates to tamp down the burning, biting, sharp sensations. Before the morphine takes effect, it feels like a donkey wearing hockey skates is kicking me in the neck. After the medication, it feels like the jackass put skate guards on, but he’s still kicking.” 

When writing about her son playing hockey she wrote the following: 

For example, would it surprise you that the first nut cup (also known as a testicular guard) ever sported in a hockey game was worn in 1873? That the first helmet worn in the NHL was in 1973? That it took a full one hundred years for hockey players to consider protecting their brains was as important as protecting their down below.” 

“…the sinister vapors emanating from a hockey bag would flatten most people. It’s like getting sucker-punched in the face by an invisible roundhouse of adolescent B.O.” 
“… family dinners are a dim memory like dial telephones and eighteen-hour girdles…” 

“When things are easy, you miss the chance to learn how tough you are.”

“… life is going to give you some hits and you have to get up and keep going.”    

“If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?”


“The ability to walk without pain is a gift that we don’t have anymore. Being able to walk with pain and not give up is a superpower.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

KAREN DUFFY – Bio partially obtained  from Hollywood.com 
  

Witty, alluring performer whose offbeat charm and amiability landed her a gig as an MTV VJ. Duffy’s (aka “Duff” on-air) less-than-serious approach to her job quickly made her a favorite to viewers. Unlike many of her predecessors who quickly fell into obscurity, she diversified into commercials and feature appearances.

 She made her feature debut playing a “Crack Den Girl” in the Christopher Walken actioner “McBain” (1991). Her subsequent feature credits include small roles in Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” (1991), “Who’s the Man” (1993)–which also featured such MTV luminaries as Dennis Leary and Ed Lover–and “Reality Bites” (1994) in a cameo spoofing MTV’s “The Real World.” Duffy made her first substantial feature performance as a woman reminiscent of Mrs. Robinson (“The Graduate”) in the Disney comedy “Blank Check” (1994).

Karen “Duff” Lambros is an American model, actress, and author. Diagnosed with neurosarcoidosis in 1995, she has become an outspoken advocate for sarcoidosis patients and those who suffer from chronic pain. Her positive approach to coping with sarcoidosis is highlighted in her autobiography, Model Patient: My Life as an Incurable Wise-Ass. The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research is proud to have Duff as a board member and the Board Chair to the Patient Ambassador Program.

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

GOODREADS     

TWITTER 

FACEBOOK 

AMAZON     

CHAPTERS 

SARCOIDOSIS FOUNDATION