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Are We Feeling Better Yet?: Women Speak About Health Care in America Paperback – December 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penultimate Press Inc.; 1 edition (December 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976067528
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976067528
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,155,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Health and Human Services: "This book is a terrific encapsulation of the challenges facing our health care system."

From the Back Cover

Kathy J. Gentile, Director of the Institute for Women and Gender Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis: I highly recommend this new collection of personal essays about women's encounters with life-changing medical treatments and bodily crises. [The contributors] bring an acute awareness to their accounts of struggles with illness and the medical establishment. In memoirs that are alternately irreverent, despairing, pugnacious, and affirming, they explore the pain, frustration, and triumph of claiming their own bodies, sometimes with support from the healthcare system and sometimes by defying it with alternative choices. Michelle Sewell, Founder and publisher, GirlChild Press, Editor of Growing Up Girl and Just Like a Girl: Gather around this sister circle. No sideways glances or accusations of hysteria here. In its light, truth to power is allowed to thrive and your voice allowed to soar. Are We Feeling Better Yet? is exactly what a woman, taking charge of her life, needs to have in her arsenal. Lois Uttley, MPP, Cofounder, Raising Women's Voices for the Health Care We Need: What kind of health care are we getting for the billions of dollars we are spending in the United States? It depends a lot on who you are, where you live, what kind of insurance you have (if any), and how determined you are to get the care you need from the providers you encounter on any particular day. That's the unvarnished truth that emerges from this fine collection of often-penetrating personal essays by American women. You'll cry along with the new mother struggling to understand the mysteries of breastfeeding her first child while medical experts offer contradictory advice. You'll feel the outrage of a woman who, as an uninsured immigrant, experiences the indignities of a public health clinic where pregnant women are forced to stand on line for hours. You'll feel the shame of a young woman whose diagnosis of HPV means she might have to tell her parents she has had premarital sex. And you'll share the relief of a woman whose sudden grave illness is expertly diagnosed as meningitis and prompt;y treated by doctors at a local hospital. Health policymakers debating how to reform our system should read these stories first! Kathleen Finneran, author of The Tender Land: A Family Love Story: Dear Readers: Beware of this blurb! Its enthusiastic recommendation of this book has been written by an undeniably biased woman whose thoughts and opinions can be traced directly to a life lived under the powerful influences of gender inequality, mental illness, obesity, financial insecurity, aging parents, dying siblings, long periods (years and years) of playing the health care lottery forced upon the uninsured, and, oh, a predilection for good literature. You too? Then, in the words of Emily Dickinson, "there's a pair of us." And you will see from this wise and compelling anthology that there are many more of us. Not you? No matter. The reach of this book is wide. The stories told within it will touch any one of us who has experienced some struggle in the act of staying alive. Read this book and give it to everyone you know who cares about the changes of perception and policy that need to be made in order for all of us to start feeling better.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Annie Richards on April 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
In this collection of first person accounts, twenty one women write about illness and treatment. All the stories are compellingly personal, and many are well written and interesting. They reveal telling details about the health care system--its inequities, costs, frustrations, and failures as well as its technical competence and even, on occasion, compassion--but they don't give the reader an encompassing sense of the state of health care in the U.S. Maybe that's the point: to give instead the personal details that bring issues alive. But the divide between what the policy wonks write and this kind of confessional is broad, and we need the something in between that the editors and design of this substantial volume lead us to expect.

Cathy Luh, M.D., writes engagingly in "Die Another Day" of her doctor father's tuberculosis, which looked for so long like it might be lung cancer. She has the writerly and medical skills to turn her attention to what her dad's story reveals about American health care and how that care could be improved, from a woman doctor's perspective. Anne Earney's "A Long Forced March," a long, honest account of her battle, at age 27, with thyroid cancer, is both personal (taking responsibility for her own initial negligence and resistance) and objective (a detailed description of her treatment and its effects). Earney's story is also about her good fortune in getting health insurance before she got diagnosed. She, too, could write tellingly about the system itself.
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