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A Helping Handbook : When A Loved One Is Critically Ill Paperback – December 12, 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I've shared it with my hospital and hospice; all who've used it have found it to be a wonderful resource." -- Betty Ferrell PhD, FAAN, Research Scientist, City of Hope Medical Center

"Not only do patients in crisis move into ICU, their families do too. This powerful tool guides..." -- Katherine Brown-Saltzman, Clinical Nurse Specialist, UCLA Medical Center

"This valuable tool helps sort out the feelings too difficult to share, but writing them down brings understanding and healing." -- Les Zendle, M.D., Associate Medical Director, Southern California Permanente Medical Group

From the Publisher

Kaiser Permanente of Southern Caifornia bought 1,000 copies to give away to families dealing with critical illness. Clearly there is a need for this intimate workbook.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Marco Press; 2000 Second Edition edition (December 12, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970909209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970909206
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When my friend was diagnosed with colon cancer and was hospitalized, I was at a loss for dealing with the experience. Although I have dealt with illness, her protracted bouts of surgery and chemo were overwhelming to me. The Helping Handbook captured my feelings of helplessness and the inevitable anger at doctors and hospitals, while providing recommendations on what to do. By writing my thoughts in the book, I selected possible actions I could take with the doctor and regrets I could express to my friend. Although I searched book stores, I have never seen another book so useful and compassionate for this situation. Stephanie Waxman's writing is comforting to read, like getting advice from a good friend. Her father must have been an exceptional person -- his poetry captured the feelings I was experiencing during this trying time. Now that my friend is doing better, I have time to send friends copies of this book in their time of need. Ms. Waxman has provided a outstanding and insightful book about dealing with critically ill loved ones.
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Format: Paperback
The Helping Handbook specifically "helps" family and friends deal with a medical crisis -- often for the first time. Patients frequently tell me that it feels like "This has all been a mistake. But it isn't. I don't know what to do." Caring for seriously ill loved ones require multiple and ongoing decisions, comfort, research, interventions with medical staff and on and on. What most of us don't realize is that the family and helpers need support too. Ms. Waxman offers insights and "prompts" to help readers help themselves, and in so doing, they can better bear their crisis and be as effective as possible at a most difficult time. I have given this book to hospice workers, patients and family. I recommend it to you. Dr. Candace De Puy
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Format: Paperback
I heartily recommend "A HELPING HANDBOOK when a loved one is critically ill" as an invaluable resource for all of us who have, are presently or will tend for a loved one during their final days, weeks, months or even years.
Tending to the care of an ill or dying loved one, inevitably evokes strong emotions in the heart and mind of the care giver. We might feel angry toward people or over circumstances we can't control. We may experience fears we are unwilling to share or regrets and hoped for outcomes we feel ashamed to voice. We, as Care Givers, also have our own emotional needs evoked by memories as well as by present day challenges.
While Stephanie Waxman poetically shares her inner journey caring for her father at the end of his life, she extends a helping hand, welcoming and guiding us to actively explore inevitable emotional challenges we all experience when tending to the needs of those special ones in our lives. I encourage you to explore "A helping HANDBOOK when a loved one is critically ill" when it's your turn to serve.
Steve Wolf, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Co-Author of Romancing the Shadow, A Guide to Soul Work for a Vital Authentic Life".
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Format: Paperback
This book is amazing! Speaking as both a family member of a critically ill loved one AND a clinical social worker//social work professor-- This is the most helpful tool I have come across in over 15 years in geriatric social work. During those awful times of waiting and sitting with the unknown this handbook is incredibly helpful, honest, and reassuring.
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Format: Paperback
With more than 35 years of work in healthcare, I've been with many patients and their families in crisis. My experience is that their predominant feeling is one of being overwhelmed--with the complexity and unfamiliarity of the crisis, the powerful amassing of feelings bundled together, the fatiguing sense of powerlessness when your're present but not able to really "do something" to help. There are thousands of people just like this sitting this moment in ICU waiting rooms across the county--in uncomfortable chairs lined up around the edges with the TV blaring.
Into this stark reality comes the gentle, encouraging and hopeful messages of A Helping Hand Book by Stephanie Waxman. Such a simple book, really. It unbundles a few of those feelings and, with the gentleness of a good mother's hand, leads the reader to just consider, just feel for a moment, just experience one feeling that's knawing away at your heart. Each section leads with a few lines that capture the essence of the feeling and how it plays itself out during intensely difficult situations. How great it feels to "do something" like write down (or even imagine writing) a regret or two, what we fear most in this situation, or what we hope would happen. And then there's the poetry, soothing the spirit by saying what we feel but can't possibly find the words to express. I leave tomorrow morning not to care for a patient, but to visit a sister-in-law who is in the ICU following brain surgery. You can bet that the Hand Book is packed as an essential gift to my brother. Thanks, Stephanie, for this gift for us all.
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Format: Paperback
When my father's wife was suddenly hospitalized in ICU with a life-threatening but mysterious lung ailment, our entire family was plunged into a state of shock and grief -- especially my father. Like the rest of us, I'm sure he believed that he would be the first to "go" and was not prepared for his otherwise healthy wife to be so near death. In my worry and grief, I was at a loss how to give him support in those dark hours, until I ran across Stephanie Waxman's gem, A Helping Handbook: When A Loved One Is Critically Ill.

Waxman guides the overwhelmed and grief-stricken toward greater acceptance of themselves and of the crisis at hand. More workbook than how-to treatise, the reader is prompted to express herself in writing -- ruled pages are provided for this purpose.

Drawing from her own life experience, Waxman provides gentle yet penetrating insights about the crisis of a dear one's illness. These are underscored by wonderful poems by her father, Stanley Waxman, her muse and initial inspiration for the Handbook. It is his line -- "Where there is honesty, there is endurance." -- that opens the book, and reminds us that anger, fear, regret are not only very human emotions we can expect in a crisis, they are also calls to face and accept our selves and our situation as honestly as possible.
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