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Books  >>  Health

Jessie Gruman

Aftershock

Jessie Gruman Aftershock What To Do When The Doctor Gives You
 
 




Biographical note:

Jessie Gruman, Ph. D., is President of the Center for the Advancement of Health, an independent, nonpartisan Washington-based institute dedicated to helping individuals make use of scientific information when making decisions about their health. Former director of public education for the American Cancer Society, Dr. Gruman has been published in the New York Times, Chicago Sun Times, Washington Post, and other newspapers and magazines.  This is her first trade book.

Main description:

Every year millions of Americans are diagnosed with cancer, stroke, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, ALS, and other life-threatening or life-altering diseases. When faced with a devastating diagnosis people must quickly understand the diagnosis, prognosis, and choose from several treatment options—while still in shock. AfterShock identifies the processes required to respond to a serious diagnosis, regardless of the specific disease.
 
Social psychologist Gruman offers practical advice in a 10-stage approach to making clear-headed, informed decisions about who to tell and when; how to get a second opinion or find the right doctor and hospital; where to find reliable online information and telephone help-lines about a particular diagnosis and treatment; how to navigate the health care maze; where to turn for support and comfort.
Dr. Gruman not only draws on her expertise in consumer health information and the advice of doctors and nurses, she shares the personal stories of people who have dealt with traumatic diagnoses, including her own experience of having had three different kinds of cancer and a dangerous heart condition. AfterShock is inspiring and empowering, and is an essential companion book to the disease-specific titles that most people with a devastating diagnosis purchase.

Review quote:

Praise for Aftershock:
 
With her first book, social psychologist Gruman (founder & president, Ctr. for the Advancement of Health) aims to empower patients, and those close to them, with practical and well-organized information about how to use the first few days after a serious medical diagnosis to help those involved make the right decisions for themselves. This is a very sensitively written book, with patient concerns always central and information arranged to avoid overwhelming the reader. Gruman uses various interesting points of view expressed by experts in the field, as well as her own personal experiences, to illustrate key issues and ideas, which helps to confirm that there is no one right way to react to a diagnosis. The mix of topics covered in the ten chapters and eight appendixes includes the factual "Finding the Right Doctor and Hospitals" and a chapter called "Involve Others," which covers interpersonal issues. Highly recommended for all public library and consumer health collections.-Elizabeth J. Eastwood, Mesa P.L., Los Alamos, NM, Library Journal (*starred review)
 

“I consider this book so valuable I plan to keep it on my bedside table should I need it later on. Its recommendations are based not just on the author’s experiences with illness, but also on interviews with more than 250 others: patients, family members, nurses, doctors, health plan administrators, managers of busy practices and nonprofit leaders.”—Jane E. Brody, New York Times

 

“A comprehensive and invaluable guide. The plain language and easy-to-follow instructions make this a ‘must have’ for every family, healthy or otherwise.”—Tom Brokaw, NBC Anchor

 

AfterShock is important to have in your home, not just to give you vital information should you get bad news about your own health, but also to help friends and family who may have to cope with all of the issues facing them.”—Barbara Walters, ABC News

 

“Those who must enter the emotionally turbulent world of medical care for a serious illness always want, but often lack, the calming influence of a sensible companion who has been there before. Jessie Gruman’s book provides that companionship and will be greatly valued by many facing disturbing diagnoses.”—Harold Varmus, M.D., President and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Nobel Prize recipient

 

“There comes a moment in all our lives when we get bad news about ourselves or someone we love. Jessie Gruman shows that how we handle the news—and what we do next—can make a huge difference in the life of the person affected. As someone who has been through a shocking episode with a child, I find the book worth reading and—just as important—worth keeping close at hand.”—Judy Woodruff, special correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

 

“Anyone with a scary diagnosis would do him/herself a favor by reading this book without delay. AfterShock is wise, sensitive, practical, readable, and helpful in the extreme.”—Betty Rollin, author of First, You Cry and Here’s the Bright Side

 

“This is an extraordinary guide based on solid research and depth of expertise. It is infused with clarity, wit, wisdom, compassion, and most of all, hope.”—Vartan Gregorian, President, Carnegie Corporation of New York       

 

“If someone you love has ever had a frightening diagnosis, they surely could have used Jessie Gruman’s book. By assuring you that your initial state of shock is normal, then by guiding you through the ways to make tough choices, AfterShock helps restore the sense of control you probably lost. A how-to on getting the best care, the book is both reassuring and empowering.”—Lesley Stahl, correspondent on 60 Minutes, CBS

 

“Each of us, or one of our loved ones, is likely to receive a diagnosis of devastating illness. That is why this perceptive, comforting, and practical book belongs on every family’s shelf.”—Joseph A. Califano Jr., Chairman and President, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, 1977–1979

 

“In this period of bewildering complexity in our fragmented health system, Jessie Gruman’s book is a quiet, reassuring refuge from the challenge of receiving shocking medical news&#


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