The Other Side of Impossible: Ordinary People Who Faced Daunting Medical Challenges and Refused to Give Up

Susannah Meadows. Random House, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8129-9647-0
At age three, journalist Meadows’s son Shepherd was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Concerned about the side effects of traditional medications, she entered “the healthcare underground” of patients struggling with chronic, debilitating autoimmune illnesses and willing to look at complementary or alternative strategies for treating and defeating them. This book presents the stories of several people who found relief through new, still-unproven approaches such as dietary changes or fecal transplants. Meadows is skeptical in the best sense, considering the treatments, as well as the character traits of her subjects, as potential keys to success. She never sufficiently acknowledges that her stories are anecdotes, not conclusive research, but she has confidence that they point to real solutions. Her purpose is to “suggest potential targets for new research,” and she does so with writing that’s compelling and fair. When presenting a case, she is balanced, as in discussing Terry, a doctor stricken with multiple sclerosis, who subdued her illness through medicine, diet, meditation, physical therapy, strength training, and massage. This is a terrific book for those who need encouragement to take control of their diagnoses, and for their physicians and families. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/17/2017
Release date: 05/02/2017
Compact Disc - 978-1-5247-7547-6
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