Wednesday, January 7, 2009

As I Live and Breathe

From Google Reader: Jamie Weisman was a patient long before she was a doctor. She was born with a rare defect in her immune system that leaves her prey to a range of ailments and crises and that, because it is treatable but not curable, will keep her a patient for life. In this probing and inspiring book, she brings her sojourns on both sides of the doctor-patient divide to bear on the issues of the flesh that preoccupy us all. It is a worthy addition to the best that has been written about our physical selves, a meditation on our extraordinary powers of healing and the limitations that leave intact the miracle and tragedy of being.

From Curled Up With A Good Book: Jamie Weisman is a doctor with true empathy. Empathy is not just feeling pity for someone, but is the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes and walk around in them. To know what that person knows in that situation, to understand exactly how they feel. Jamie Weisman suffers from a congenital immune deficiency disorder.

It took eleven years of misdiagnosis, unnecessary surgery, bone marrow biopsies and the insult of being called a hypochondriac. After all of this, being around good and bad doctors, Jamie decided to become one herself. Her unique understanding of what a patient feels gives her the ability to comfort her patients, to help them understand what they are being told and how it will affect them. She can put herself in their shoes and walk around because she’s been there.