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Beyond Embarrassment, reclaiming your life with neurogenic bladder and bowel Paperback – December 1, 2015
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From Kirkus Reviews
Lake’s debut offers a candid memoir of her experience with neurogenic bladder and a wealth of practical advice about coping with its daily complications.
Five million Americans suffer from neurogenic bladder, which has symptoms and stigmas similar to incontinence. It occurs when nerves between the brain and bladder are damaged, often due to spinal injury or prolonged vaginal delivery of a baby. Lake, a Seattle-based special needs educator, had several strikes against her, including heavy lifting during her youth on a California farm, a difficult first labor, a hysterectomy that included removal of her cervix, and back surgery on a herniated disk. By age 55, her pain was intense enough to require a urologist’s attention. It turned out that urine retention had stretched her bladder and left her prone to frequent infections, so Lake now had to use an intermittent catheter for every bathroom visit. This book arose from her anonymous blog, begun in 2012 under the name “Trudy Triumph.” By revealing herself as an NB sufferer and discussing it in detail, she reassures others that they’re not alone: “I see toileting dysfunction as a last frontier of topics that need to have mature acceptance and an active audience,” she says. The text, attractively laid out with leaf motifs and inset boxes, is packed with helpful tips on diet, exercise, hygiene, and intimacy issues. A nitty-gritty chapter on urinary devices and aids recommends adult diapers and special toilet seats and provides a diagram for inserting a female catheter. While useful, however, some sections aren’t always pleasant reading for the squeamish. The book’s second part, “Blog Chatter,” is less essential, but its reader testimonials reveal the diversity of NB experiences. Lake seems clued-in and research-savvy, so she might have been able to write the “Knowledge Nuggets” and answer the reader Q&As without “Biosleuth” Julia Parker on board as a medical consultant. Appendices list suggested products, books, and websites, and the glossary is especially useful. Epigraphs from the Bible add an appropriate inspirational aspect, with Lake encouraging readers to see “setbacks a bit like sea glass….As we encounter adversity, we are forced to adapt and grow.”
An invaluable resource for NB sufferers.
An absolute "must read" for anyone having to deal with a neurogenic bladder condition, and in view of our increasingly aging general population, "Beyond Embarrassment" is a vitally important and strongly recommended addition to community Health/Medicine reference collections. Exceptionally well written and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation.
---Midwest Book Review
JoAnne has created a truly important and entirely engaging book. Gratefully, I do not share her diagnosis, at least at this point in my life, but was drawn into her book simply because it is SO interesting. Her wisdom, born of challenges and triumphs, runs throughout---wonderfully applicable to life's everyday demands. Long after finishing her book her guidance still pops into my mind. (Who knew?!) Carpe diem!
A "very powerful and important book, an impressive achievement."
Beyond Embarrassment is for everyone who has ever had to face a daunting medical or physical challenge. It is truly inspiring, offering suggestions for managing life s hurdles. I was engaged with JoAnne s story and have no doubt others will be too. While I was prepared for the book s medical content, what really made a lasting impression is JoAnne s honest, forthcoming and will-to-succeed story. None of us wants to end up with a neurogenic bowel and bladder, as JoAnne shares, but few can overcome what could be such a life halting condition, as she has done. It is within her generous spirit to tell about her experience. Her goal is to help others avoid the show stopping situations that she had to confront. I particularly like the Knowledge Nuggets and Tip Time. Each highlights points that JoAnne feels would be of particular importance to readers. And, I agree, they are! I strongly recommend that health care professionals read this and share with their patients who would benefit from JoAnne s story. It will make for better, more understanding practitioners, and enhance their patients will to succeed. --Elaine Plummer, RN, BSN Always Discreet Ambassador
JoAnne Lake has written from a unique vantage point as she has both the condition and a vast knowledge of that condition. She writes a reliable guide and a fresh prescription for those who are living with the diagnosis of neurogenic bladder/bowel and for those who suspect they are. It is the best and most complete book on neurogenic bladder syndrome that I have read in my 30 years of family practice medicine. I will use it again and again as a resource and I will refer my patients to read this excellent book. --Kathy Matteson BS MN FNP ND, Medical Provider, Seattle, Washington
Beyond Embarrassment is a book that helps friends, family, and those afflicted with a Neurogenic Bladder understand and deal with it. As our population ages, you know or will know, someone with a Neurogenic Bladder. Problems develop from hereditary genes, from accidents, from trauma, from aging, from diseases totally unassociated with bladder issues. JoAnne Lake has studied and written a face-saving book for those who have to deal with this condition. Frank, open and researched to the max with Julia Parker, it explores the ways of dealing with this malady. An excellent resource book and one that lets you know you are not alone and can avoid the embarrassment. --James A. Misko, Award Winning Author of As All My Fathers Were and three other novels.
JoAnne Lake is a recipient of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Gold Seal. The Mom’s Choice Awards (MCA) evaluates products and services created for parents and educators and is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. Using a rigorous evaluation process, entries are scored on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality, appeal and cost. Around the world, parents, educators, retailers and members of the media trust the MCA Honoring Excellence seal when selecting quality products and services for families and children.
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wonderful reference section. " Beyond Embarrassment: reclaiming your life with neurogenic bladder and bowel " is a book that I wish EVERY urologist and neurologist had in their lending library. I recommend this book not just for people with neurogenic bowel and bladder disorders; it's also for partners of anyone dealing with this. It's a book that I wish every beginning doctor would read and add to their lending libraries. It's a book that I wish would be on the shelves of every GPs, neurologists, gynecologists waiting rooms and in their personal libraries ! So grateful that I won this book from GoodReads.
Beyond Embarrassment contains stories from JoAnne Lake's life and how she has coped with the condition and still managed to live life to the fullest. There are little "Tip Time", "Chuckle Time", and "Knowledge Nugget" boxes scattered throughout the book with extra tidbits of information as well jokes to make you smile.
JoAnne describes her journey from before diagnosis, through diagnosis, and up to today. Through her stories, she educates us on how to choose doctors, and even when it's time to change doctors. We must always remember, first and foremost, that we are our own best advocate in most instances. She reinforces this in the book.
There are chapters on symptoms, doctor visits, intimacy, and devices and how to use them. JoAnne teaches us that even with a difficult condition, we can keep a positive attitude and learn to live life to the fullest. In the book, you will find sections with letters from readers, and questions to ponder, as well as a section on parenting a child with these conditions.
The book is a complete guide on living with Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel conditions. If you suffer from either condition or know someone who does, this book is a definite must read. It is easy to understand and provides a wealth of necessary information. I am giving Beyond Embarrassment five stars. JoAnne Lake is definitely an inspiration to us all.
JoAnne Lake and Julia Parker should be commended for tackling this issue. Written in language for the layman, the book is full of insight, personal testimony, and helpful information including where to go for on-going help and additional reading.
Whether you are suffering from a simple case of urinary incontinence due to age and/or overweight or whether more serious issues like chrons or interstitial cystitis, this book will help you cope. I highly recommend it.
Linda Wood Rondeau
Author/Fiddler's Fling, It Really IS a Wonderful Life, A Father's Prayer, and The Other Side of Darkness