In search of the sun. Peter Schur Henrietta Aladjem. New York Charles Scribner's Sons 1988. 265 pp. 12.95 hard-back 9.95 paperbackкод для вставкиСкачать
BOOK REVIEWS 879 a psychologist, takes pains not to cause undue alarm, reminding readers that no one patient has all the symptoms listed and that emotional reactions also vary. Other sections of the book discuss emotional reactions (e.g., depression, anger, guilt, and fear), changes in general lifestyle (resulting from physical symptoms, pain, medication), interactions with others (family, friends, and physicians, and sexual relationships), and pregnancy. The special problems encountered by those who live with a lupus patient, and the problems of the child o r adolescent with lupus, are also described. The issues are reinforced and highlighted by examples taken from lives of patients, a device that enhances the book’s readability. The book is replete with concrete suggestions that patients should find useful, particularly patients with newly diagnosed lupus who need basic information. When discussing anger, for example, Dr. Phillips identifies different types, describes the effects of anger on the body and mind, and suggests ways to cope with this emotion. Dr. Phillips responds creatively to the special problems of lupus patients. A good outlet for releasing the energy that results from anger, he contends, is physical activity; yet he acknowledges that patients may be too fatigued to depend much on this approach. Watching a sporting event or a violent or emotional movie, or reading a thriller allows identification with characters and indirect release of the emotional energy. Dr. Phillips has written an excellent guidebook, which has most of the strengths and weaknesses of books of that genre. However, such books can suggest subtly that change can be fairly easy and fast, a seductive notion in our culture, but one that is untrue. Enduring change, emotional or behavioral, is often very difficult. The fears, sorrows, and angers that sick people experience are often deep-seated and abiding. potential treatments. The book carefully details visits to physicians, and therefore, has much useful medical information. The doctor-patient relationship is addressed in depth, and a dialogue between Dr. Schur and Ms. Aladjem illustrates that theme nicely. That Ms. Aladjem harnessed the energy which returned after her lupus remitted to help found the Lupus Foundation is testimony to her understanding that an important aspect of healing is the ability to reach out to others. Dr. Schur’s informative comments are interspersed between Ms. Aladjem’s chapters. His writing is concise and readable (medical terms are defined in a glossary). Dr. Schur speaks from a physician’s point of view-but with an understanding of the patient’s view-about a variety of patient concerns, including fatigue, sun sensitivity, the need for consultation, tests, and hospitalization, therapy, and emotional healing. In the final section of the book, he answers common questions that haven’t been addressed elsewhere in the text. In Search of the Sun presents patients with a unique opportunity to read what goes on in a physician’s mind when he or she hears a patient’s story, and is a refreshing gift to patients who want precise medical information. Dr. Schur’s section is written at a level that allows rheumatologists to appropriately recommend the book to internists and family practitioners. Physicians who believe the human relationship is as important as the pharmacopeia in helping patients cope with systemic lupus erythematosus will also want to read the personal experience stories. Patients are more likely to trust and adhere to medical treatments prescribed by physicians who they believe understand how an illness affects their lives. Physicians (and other health care providers) in training would also benefit from reading, discussing, and comprehending the many health care issues presented. In Search of the Sun. Peter Schur, Henrietta Aladjem. New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1988. 265 p p . $12.95 hardback, $9.95 paperback. Patients will find all 3 of these books well worth reading. Each is valuable as a reference work, and all are useful to patients with illnesses other than lupus. In Search of the Sun is authored by Dr. Peter Schur and Ms. Henrietta Aladjem, a founder of the Lupus Foundation of America. Since both have seen, talked to, and corresponded with hundreds of lupus patients, the book reflects their individual experiences. Ms. Aladjem’s portion is a well-written, sophisticated, yet accessible story that describes the dramatic effects of lupus on her daily life, marriage, and family. Her first symptoms appeared in 1953, so the time period covered is the 1950s and 1960s. The story was first published in 1972, as The Sun is My Enemy. It has become a classic, creating a standard by which other patient accounts are measured. Despite consultation with a series of physicians, Ms. Aladjem’s disease went undiagnosed for 3 years, so the book should be of particular comfort to patients who have undergone that agony. A person of great fortitude and will, Ms. Aladjem did not succumb to apathy or lose hope. She managed, instead, to tap an inner resolve that enabled her to create a meaningful life. Despite inordinate fatigue, she traveled to Switzerland and her native Bulgaria in search of Robert B. Zurier, MD University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester, MA Living With It: Why You Don’t Have to be Healthy to be Happy. Suzy Szasz. Buffalo, Prometheus Books, 1991. 283 pages. $22.95. Suzy Szasz has had active systemic lupus erythematosus for most of her life. In 1968, when she was 15, the disease began with sun sensitivity, arthralgia, fatigue, and nephrotic syndrome. It was brought under control with prednisone and cyclophosphamide, and she did well with the prednisone and other medications for 14 years. Then, in 1983, she nearly died from a flare of systemic symptoms and thrombocytopenia, which necessitated a splenectomy. Soon after, she began having repetitive, steroid-induced vertebral fractures, which left her with short stature and chronic pain, and dependent on the use of back braces.