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In shock : my journey from death to recovery and the redemptive power of hope

by Awdish, Rana,

Format: Print Book 2017
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Now a Los Angeles Times Bestseller

The New York Times Book Review: "Awdish's book is the one I wished we were given as assigned reading our first year of medical school, alongside our white coats and stethoscopes...dramatic, engaging and instructive."

A riveting first-hand account of a physician who's suddenly a dying patient and her revelation of the horribly misguided standard of care in the medical world

Dr. Rana Awdish never imagined that an emergency trip to the hospital would result in hemorrhaging nearly all of her blood volume and losing her unborn first child. But after her first visit, Dr. Awdish spent months fighting for her life, enduring consecutive major surgeries and experiencing multiple overlapping organ failures. At each step of the recovery process, Awdish was faced with something even more unexpected: repeated cavalier behavior from her fellow physicians--indifference following human loss, disregard for anguish and suffering, and an exacting emotional distance.

Hauntingly perceptive and beautifully written, In Shock allows the reader to transform alongside Awidsh and watch what she discovers in our carefully-cultivated, yet often misguided, standard of care. Awdish comes to understand the fatal flaws in her profession and in her own past actions as a physician while achieving, through unflinching presence, a crystalline vision of a new and better possibility for us all.

As Dr. Awdish finds herself up against the same self-protective partitions she was trained to construct as a medical student and physician, she artfully illuminates the dysfunction of disconnection. Shatteringly personal, and yet wholly universal, she offers a brave road map for anyone navigating illness while presenting physicians with a new paradigm and rationale for embracing the emotional bond between doctor and patient.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* In a gut-wrenching memoir approaching Job-level suffering, Awdish recounts her ordeal as a doctor-turned-patient and the many changes in her perspective and practice of medicine. During her seventh month of pregnancy, the 33-year-old Awdish goes into shock due to profuse internal bleeding. She is near death and has an out-of-body experience. She undergoes emergency surgery, is placed on a ventilator, and suffers a stroke. Her baby girl dies. Awdish's condition is misdiagnosed as HELLP syndrome, a rare combination of liver failure and bleeding during pregnancy. But it is actually the result of benign liver tumors (hepatic adenomas) that are prone to rupture and massive bleeding. Half her liver is surgically removed. She astonishingly returns to work at her demanding, high-pressure job and later gives birth to a son. Awdish's emotional tenor is electric (and understandable): angry, anxious, self-pitying, vulnerable, even terrified. But she's also heroic, smart, and determined. She ponders notions of risk, failure, remorse, and empathy in the medical profession. She wonders who or what should ultimately get the credit for her miraculous survival, the medical treatment and surgical skills of her physicians, fate, luck, or God? One thing is certain: Hope is not just hype. It's a real force and very potent.--Miksanek, Tony Copyright 2017 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Awdish's debut memoir is a compassionate and critical look at medicine and illness from both a doctor's and a patient's perspective. Awdish, the director of the pulmonary-hypertension program at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, suddenly saw things from the other side of the table when, late into her pregnancy, she arrived at the hospital where she worked with internal bleeding and a near-fatal preeclampsia condition, called HELLP syndrome. She describes the hospital as "an inner-city hospital with advanced subspecialty services that took care of the sickest of the sick" and recounts that as a patient there, she relearned how to approach patients. The baby died in utero, and for the several years she cycled in and out of the hospital fighting to stay alive with various organ failures that resulted from the condition. Her book is an intimate account of her recovery with the help of her doctors. Over the course of her journey, she comes to understand how doctors fail to fully humanize their patients, arguing that they become more concerned with patients' symptoms and a diagnosis than with the actual patients themselves. She also provides a self-reflective account of suffering from a chronic illness with the desire to be heard as a patient. She writes of her professional life: "It's a very different course than the one I set out on all those years ago when I believed healing to be clean, academic and straightforward. It's far more humble, honest, and informed by an ocean's weight of suffering." Awdish has written a unique and insightful memoir. Jacqueline Murphy, Inkwell Management. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Awdish, Rana -- Health.
Physicians -- United States -- Biography.
Physician and patient.
Medical ethics.
Publisher New York :2017
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 266 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9781250119216
Other Classic View