Paul Brand Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants

ISBN 13: 9780060170202

Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants

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9780060170202: Pain: The Gift Nobody Wants

In a work that is part biography and part medical history, the author recalls how his work treating leprosy in India forced him to confront his own notion of pain. National ad/promo. Tour.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

The engaging memoirs of a physician whose professional life has revolved around pain--and who packs his personal story with solid information on how and why we experience pain and how we can manage it. Brand was born in 1914 in India, the son of English missionaries who practiced medicine in the hill country near Madras. Educated in England, he took a one-year course in medicine designed for overseas missionaries, and was caught up by the wonder of it. In 1946, Brand returned to India as a missionary surgeon and soon was performing reconstructive surgery at a leprosy sanitorium. Later, in 1965, he moved to the US to set up a rehabilitation program at a leprosy hospital in Louisiana. His work with lepers gave him a unique perspective on, and appreciation for, pain--he calls it the ``beloved enemy''-- and direct experience of the hazards of painlessness. Nerve damage in leprosy (and in various other disorders, such as diabetes) causes loss of the sensation of pain, putting its victims at risk of unknowingly incurring disfiguring and even deadly injuries. Brand (assisted here by Yancey, Where Is God When It Hurts?, etc.--not reviewed) selectively includes tales of his childhood in rural India, his student days in London during the Blitz, his work with lepers and other patients, and even his own personal encounters with pain, showing how these experience have shaped his outlook. His observation of different cultures' views of pain have convinced him that one's attitude toward pain largely determines how it's experienced--and that fear, anger, guilt, helplessness, and loneliness all intensify it. Brand's stated goal is to restore balance to how we think about pain, and he succeeds admirably. Valuable for its insight into pain; unforgettable for its glimpses into the lives of lepers. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

This autobiography transmits a healthy respect for, and new understanding of, the body's most basic warning system: pain. Seattle surgeon Brand was born in India in 1914 to British missionary parents. His childhood gave him an Indian perspective on pain as one of life's unavoidable challenges. After attending medical school in England during WW II, he returned to India and discovered that insensitivity to pain in lepers, and also in people with nerve disorders, alcoholism and other conditions, put them in constant peril of injuries and wounds. Continuing his work at a Louisiana leprosarium, Brand also opened a foot clinic for diabetics and innovated simple procedures that, if widely adopted, could eliminate thousands of unnecessary amputations in diabetics diagnosed with "nonhealing" foot ulcers. Brand, who collaborated with coauthor Yancey on Fearfully and Wonderfully Made , offers practical, wise advice on coping with, and learning from, physical pain as well as grief or emotional trauma.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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