The author’s hard-won wisdom is well suited for anyone who ends up spending time in a waiting room, on an examination table...

A PATIENT'S PERSPECTIVE

TIPS FOR YOUR DOCTOR VISITS AND MORE

First-time author Cyr draws from her years of experience as a patient with several chronic ailments in this useful collection of suggestions and advice for other patients.

With few exceptions, going to the doctor isn’t considered a fun time by most people. However, that doesn’t preclude taking steps to be educated and assertive in being your own best advocate, as this guide illustrates. While most readers may be fortunate enough to avoid long-term health care or chronic illnesses, many people, including the author, aren’t so fortunate. This book is a thorough guide to the multiple issues that patients can face and teaches readers how to address them with tact and determination to achieve the best outcomes. Cyr breaks down the material into several general groupings and illustrates her own experiences as a way to drive points home effectively. The wealth of experience Cyr has amassed as a patient and health care advocate shows in her no-nonsense, straightforward explanations and in the easy way concepts are introduced and broken down for readers new to both medical and insurance terminology. Stylistically, the prose is utilitarian but suited to the task at hand, and the chapters are organized logically to make progress between stages of the doctor-patient relationship simple and clean. The material occasionally shows signs of needing updates—some of the issues Cyr points out with prescriptions lacking basic information have been corrected; the information she posits as missing has been included by default with prescription medication for a few years. But, as an overall body of knowledge, Cyr’s work is both thorough and timely. For patients with chronic illnesses and their loved ones, this book can serve as an indispensable guide and helpful resource. For insight into the experiences and issues chronically ill patients face, Cyr’s book may have even greater value to health care providers of any stripe.

The author’s hard-won wisdom is well suited for anyone who ends up spending time in a waiting room, on an examination table or undergoing medical procedures.

Pub Date: July 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-1463648800

Page Count: 254

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 13, 2012

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Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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The lessons to draw are obvious: Smoke more dope, eat less meat. Like-minded readers will dig it.

F*CK IT, I'LL START TOMORROW

The chef, rapper, and TV host serves up a blustery memoir with lashings of self-help.

“I’ve always had a sick confidence,” writes Bronson, ne Ariyan Arslani. The confidence, he adds, comes from numerous sources: being a New Yorker, and more specifically a New Yorker from Queens; being “short and fucking husky” and still game for a standoff on the basketball court; having strength, stamina, and seemingly no fear. All these things serve him well in the rough-and-tumble youth he describes, all stickball and steroids. Yet another confidence-builder: In the big city, you’ve got to sink or swim. “No one is just accepted—you have to fucking show that you’re able to roll,” he writes. In a narrative steeped in language that would make Lenny Bruce blush, Bronson recounts his sentimental education, schooled by immigrant Italian and Albanian family members and the mean streets, building habits good and bad. The virtue of those habits will depend on your take on modern mores. Bronson writes, for example, of “getting my dick pierced” down in the West Village, then grabbing a pizza and smoking weed. “I always smoke weed freely, always have and always will,” he writes. “I’ll just light a blunt anywhere.” Though he’s gone through the classic experiences of the latter-day stoner, flunking out and getting arrested numerous times, Bronson is a hard charger who’s not afraid to face nearly any challenge—especially, given his physique and genes, the necessity of losing weight: “If you’re husky, you’re always dieting in your mind,” he writes. Though vulgar and boastful, Bronson serves up a model that has plenty of good points, including his growing interest in nature, creativity, and the desire to “leave a legacy for everybody.”

The lessons to draw are obvious: Smoke more dope, eat less meat. Like-minded readers will dig it.

Pub Date: April 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4478-5

Page Count: 184

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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