Anatomy of an Illness was the first book by a patient that spoke to our current interest in taking charge of our own health. It started the revolution in patients working with their doctors and using humor to boost their bodies' capacity for healing. When Norman Cousins was diagnosed with a crippling and irreversible disease, he forged an unusual collaboration with his physician, and together they were able to beat the odds.
Norman Cousins, a journalist and professor, believed in taking massive doses of Vitamin C and laughing to cure illness. Reflections on Healing and Regeneration was originally published in and is now considered an important classic of patient involvement in from kalireads. Reflections on Healing and Regeneration was originally published in and is now considered an important classic of patient involvement in medical care.
Cousins documents his own path to healing from his diagnosis of a serious form of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis doctors give him a chance of recovery of 1 in He checks into a hotel, and watches funny movies, laughing bunches. After he laughs, he sleeps. He gets an IV of Vitamin C, a slow drip so his body can absorb the Vitamin C better than if he consumed it all at once.
And then he gets better. Obviously, there is much debate about Cousins healing himself this way. Many doctors speculate that he has experienced a placebo effect, or a perhaps it is now speculated a misdiagnosis.
Rather than protest the placebo idea, Cousins embraced it. The history of medicine is full of toxic remedies, and we survived these things and even felt better once we took them as cures, perhaps because of placebo. While some of the book is outdated, some of it comes across as an almost prescient warning of what will be lacking in medical care in the future.
We are overeducated on pills we can take, while being undereducated on usual causes of pain like stress and how to solve those problems ourselves. Indeed, no form of illiteracy in the United States is so widespread or costly as ignorance about pain—what it is, what causes it, how to deal with it without panic.
Almost everyone can rattle off the names of at least a dozen drugs that can deaden pain from every conceivable cause—all the way from headaches to hemorrhoids.
I have talked about this with so many people, how doctors seem to just read charts and then prescribe medicines without doing much of a physical exam anymore, and how odd that is. A pain doctor recommended facet injections for lower back pain without feeling the area of my lower back that was in pain.
Did the doctor know what he was doing?
Am I confident in my doctor, knowing he will shoot a needle in my spine without taking the time to feel what is going on in my lower back? In this chapter Cousins also brings up what seems like a quaint idea to me, that in order to have trust with your physician, they need to be the one to meet you at the Emergency Room during a heart attack.
Who has that sort of relationship with a doctor now? And finally, Cousins encourages laughter. He encourages it for everyone, especially those with serious diseases, morose and in bed. At one point he explains the purpose of laughter to a depressed young woman with a progressive illness: In short, it helps make it possible for good things to happen.
Carole wanted to know how she could find things worth laughing about. I said she would have to work at it, just as she would have to work at anything else worthwhile.
Thirty years later, it seems that Cousins may have been saving himself from bad medical advice and incorrect diagnoses for much of his life.
He was misdiagnosed with tuberculosis when he was young. While in the sanitarium, he stuck with the kids who believed they were healthy until he was released; he was diagnosed with a heart problem and told to stay in bed, he refused and later he was told that vigorous exercise probably kept him aliveand there are a lot of suggestions on the web that Cousins was suffering from reactive arthritis from some sort of infection rather than his more serious diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis.Norman Cousins’s iconic firsthand account of victory against terminal disease, Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient inspired a revolution, encouraging patients to take charge of their own treatment.
Cousins, Norman. Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient. Norton, , reprinted , , , , The best-selling, groundbreaking classic by Norman Cousins on combating life-threatening illness through humor and patient participation in attheheels.comy of an Illness was the first book by a patient that spoke to our current interest in taking charge of our own health/5(8).
Anatomy of an Illness As perceived by the Patient Reflections on Healing and Regeneration by Norman Cousins Norman Cousins is senior lecturer at the School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, and consulting editor of Man & Medicine, published at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University.
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Norman Cousins Anatomy Of An Illness Summary Inevitable Grace Breakthroughs In The Lives Of Great Men And Women. Norman Cousins Anatomy Of An Illness Summary Anatomy Of An Illness As Perceived The Patient Review. By Molly. The life force may be the least understood force on earth." Norman Cousins (in his; Anatomy of an Illness)” ― Norman Cousins, Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient.
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