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The Pain Chronicles: Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, Healing, and the Science of Suffering Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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About the Author
Laural Merlington has recorded well over one hundred audiobooks and has received several AudioFile Earphones Awards, including one for Never Say Die by Susan Jacoby.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Top Customer Reviews
I loved THE PAIN CHRONICLES for all the same reasons that I loved Andrew Solomon's THE NOONDAY DEMON, and I think it's fair to say that THE PAIN CHRONICLES does for pain what THE NOONDAY DEMON does for depression. In both books, the author faces a potentially crippling medical issue and fights hard to vanquish it. Both authors try different, fascinating approaches, and fight a strong fight. Both use their formidable skills as journalists to not only address their own predicament, but to cast light on an epidemic -- but until very recently, poorly-understood -- disease. Along the way, both learn much more than they originally knew about the disease that is afflicting them -- and there are many surprises in the mix. No wonder Solomon loved the book and blurbed it. Neither author finds a cure-all; both find much reason for hope.
Thernstrom not only tells her own, fascinating story, but also tells other pain patients' stories and recounts her conversations with eminent pain doctors. If you suffer from pain, this book is invaluable -- it gives you a birds' eye view of the state of the art in pain treatment, coupled with patients' specific experience and doctor's specific advice, right and wrong. If you don't suffer from pain, the book remains completely fascinating. Thernstrom investigates how other cultures treat pain and provides a fascinating (and at times horrifying) intellectual history of pain treatment.
In short, I couldn't more highly recommend this book.
This book failed badly in both regards. First, from my experience and that of fellow sufferers, what are major, complex issues are only touched upon very briefly--between a paragraph and a page--in widely scattered sections of the book (the first of these was on page 55, the next on 145). Second, the author is a horrible exemplar of the effects of chronic pain. Although she _states_ that it was debilitating, the book does not present it as anything more than an occasional inconvenience. And the picture the author paints of herself is not only unsympathetic, but plays into various of the negative stereotypes (she comes across as indulged, immature, lacking discipline, failing to follow-through, ...).
The book is a series of short chapters, almost all are one to four pages, with the chapters being largely independent units instead of building on each other. Thus there is little opportunity for insight. For example, a chapter describing someone with chronic pain from a lost limb would be dominated by describing the person and the injury and the circumstances of the interview. The lessons-learned are typically so terse and shallow as to be useless, for example, the author stating that she didn't understand how the person with such injuries could have such an upbeat attitude.Read more ›
Since that incident I have spent three decades in constant pain, sometimes almost unbearable, and am now retired on disability. After six spinal cord operations, I have titanium rods and screws holding my vertebrae in place, and have even had an implanted electronic stimulator that "confuses" the pain impulses my brain receives. Largely BECAUSE of these procedures I can still walk -- sometimes unaided, sometimes with a cane.
Over the last few decades it has gotten so I am never without pain. If conditions are right, it can be minor and leave me largely unimpeded. If conditions work against me, the pain can be so debilitating that I can do little more than lie in bed, dosed to the hilt, and hope that sleep overtakes me and leaves me unconscious.
Pain is an amazing thing: it is like another person in the room with me, a restrictive, sometimes aggressively angry person, a person whom I have tried hard to understand over the three decades we've been together. I have rarely been successful.
That's why it is such a blessing to read Melanie Thernstrom's wonderful book THE PAIN CHRONICLES. It's a wise, sensitive book that not only looks at the history of pain and of its treatment, but also closely examines the philosophies of those who have had to deal with it, both from the healers' point of view and from the sufferers'.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've had chronic pain my whole life, genetically migraines since a small child, degenerative disc disease osteoarthritis. Read morePublished 4 months ago by D.A. Morrison
Very long but well-researched with new information. Not five stars because it could have been more tightly edited.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
As someone with chronic pain I could relate to this book. I cried a few times because I knew exactly how she felt. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Donna Beauchamp
Phenomenal book detailing not just the authors research but also her experience of chronic pain. I understood so much more about my loved one's experience, as well as the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Consumer
If you are a chronic pain sufferer this book is for you. Sometimes it just helps to see how other people cope and it helps to know many people have similar challenges. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mrs. Camp
A highly personal approach to one woman's journey with pain remediation. She didn't convince me that her pain was not psychologic to some degree, although she protests a lot. Read morePublished 9 months ago by B. Neswald
Needed this book for class but it was a very good read. Would def recommend for causal reading not just required reading :)Published 10 months ago by Debra J. Brosch