31 Oct 2006 11:41 pm

Reversal: When a Therapist Becomes a Patient

This book is a first-person account of life as a young adult patient with a medical background. It is considered a “blook” because it is a book based on my personal blog. More of these “blooks” will probably be popping up soon because anyone can start a blog! I’m not a writer, so this “blook” is not perfect.  The “blook” is meant to give students an idea of what a patient goes through. It’s also meant to give HOPE to anyone going through difficult ordeal. It details my reactions when finding out about the tumor, my emotions waiting for surgery, my experiences with the whole rehab process as a patient in the hospital and at home. The “blook” also details my experiences with radiation therapy and with my obsession to return to work. I also included: a list of lessons I’ve learned along the way, a glossary, a list of resources for brain tumor patients, and a paper I wrote from physical therapy school that discusses my experiences for 1 day in a wheel chair. What sets this book apart from most patient written books are the multiple perspectives on a single patient’s rehab by the people that interact with the patient the most.

Music has always been a large part of my life. I’m always listening to something whenever I’m reading, writing, or studying. There’s always a song that captures a moment. The chapters have the names of my favorite songs that correspond to the different phases/aspects of my unique experience. In addition, the perspectives of my family and friends are essays titled with popular songs.

I’ve dedicated a large portion of the book to my friends and family. I couldn’t have done this by myself. I asked a few people close to me to share their experiences and to title their essays after songs just for fun and to keep with the spirit of the book. The essays take into account their perspectives on my rehab process because rehab affects more people then just the patient.

The book is a compilation of my personal journal entries/blogs for my friends and family. Most people have blogs to express their opinions about certain topics: political, pop culture, or whatever. All my friends in San Diego have blogs. In fact one of my friends wrote a book about blogging, The Rough Guide to Blogging by Jonathan Yang. I’m sure that if you think of a topic, there is a blog on the internet somewhere dedicated to it. My blog was boring compared to those ones. I started it when I moved to San Diego as a way for my friends and family to “keep up” with me.

One afternoon, I was lying in my hospital bed on the rehab unit staring at the ceiling and I had an epiphany. I should share my experiences with students and young patients. I remember how boring the books we read in school were and thinking, “I wish I knew what to expect as a patient”. Hmmm, I could write a book! Yeah! Why not, I’ll have plenty of time on my hands. I think I told a few people of my grand plan, but they probably laughed it off. The idea got more concrete the longer the rehab process lasted.

It is my hope that this book is a quick and easy read but elicits an emotion from you. Be it laughter, disgust, or pride, I promise this won’t be your average patient written book! It’s filled with corny jokes and random pop culture references mostly about Star Wars or Comic book heroes.



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