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Breathing for Two Paperback – March 18, 2013
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"Breathing for Two is a short and sweet gem. I worry that some readers will glance at it, think--What do I care about anesthesiology? - and pass on it. You will care about anesthesiology when you read this book, I promise. More importantly, Pascoe writes so well that you will get the opportunity to step in his shoes and see the world a little differently. What more can you ask for in a book?" -- Compulsion Reads
"Breathing For Two is a deep and resonant book; in writing about what he knows Wolf Pascoe follows that age-old writing advice, but in having written much and long, he layers subtext and raises profound questions. A natural story-teller, Pascoe engages us immediately and the book's current runs swift and steady and before we know it we are done--awake, abruptly stepping back into the light of day like kids after our first time on Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland." --Privilege of Parenting
Breathing for Two is a short and sweet gem. I worry that some readers will glance at it, think--What do I care about anesthesiology? - and pass on it. You will care about anesthesiology when you read this book, I promise. More importantly, Pascoe writes so well that you will get the opportunity to step in his shoes and see the world a little differently. What more can you ask for in a book? -- Compulsion Reads
About the Author
Wolf Pascoe is a poet, playwright, and physician. At Just Add Father (justaddfather.com) he blogs about mindful fatherhood and his attempts to get the problem right. He lives with his wife Nora and son Nick in Southern California.
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My daughter is a CRNA, Certified Nurse Anethistist. I watched her carefully choose her intended profession after graduating Pre-Med with honors and then watched her earn a nursing degree, again with honors, apply herself in the field of nursing, earning the respect of her peers and then returning to school and the hours upon hours of study graduating again, with honors, all in order to earn those letters, CRNA and enter the field as described in my first sentence. I have never seen such devotion, dedication and perseverance as demonstrated by my own daughter in the persuit and practice of her profession and yet, because I don't have a medical education it was hard for her to explain exactly what she does. This book helped me better understand the intricacies and complexities of her world. It gives me some understanding of her knowledge base and what she must be going through every day. And, as if there were any natural limits on a fathers pride, the insights provided by Breathing for Two, has redefined the pride I have in my daughter as limitless.
I think most of us view Doctor's as God like. We need to, because they go inside us and repair damage or disease. We want and perhaps need to believe they are infallible.
In this piece, Wolf Pascoe, who I first encountered through his excellent blog on the trials and joys of fatherhood, Just Add Father, takes us on a fascinating and sometimes harrowing journey into the world of the Anesthesiologist as seen through his own eyes.
What I most enjoyed about this very personal journey is that Pascoe reveals in an unflinching way, his mistakes, narrow brushes with disaster, as well as his victories, and how it all has changed him during his thirty years of practice.
Through necessity there is a fair amount of technical information in order for Pascoe to tell his story, but the wait is worth the learning curve.
Having read this piece and enjoyed it very much. I recommend it as a unique and personal examination of such a vital but little known part of medicine.
That said, Pascoe gives an uncommon glimpse into the shadowy world inhabited by anesthesiologists, surgeons, and nurses in the O-R, where innocent people place their lives and fates in their hands. He shares the particulars of his labors with a rare humility, including the chances he took (or didn’t take) with a few “close calls” and near misses. While in lesser hands this narration could easily turn dreary, the author delivers his tale with a lyrical, almost ethereal style that imbues this short work with a near-sacred quality. And, health care debates aside, isn’t that what medicine and its practitioners are supposed to provide in the end—a blessed (we hope) gamble on improved health and healing?
Breathing for Two is a brave, honest, and important work of nonfiction, with the added bonus of being artfully done.
More seriously, this book moved and frightened me. As I got absorbed in it, I experienced the delicious sense not of reading, but of being right in the room as the author faced the intensity of the struggle to save someone whose life was literally in his hands. If you find yourself in a situation of needing an operation, it helps to have a sense that the person who is attending you is as compassionate and caring as this writer is. I felt deeply touched by full contact and availability of the author in dealing with his patients. The stereotype of the uncaring, profit-driven medical professional is successfully exploded here, and I was inspired by the courage of the author in facing and overcoming the risks.
Most recent customer reviews
The author did an excellent job narrating his story.Read more