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

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

True stories about people who triumphed over seemingly impossible medical diagnoses using untraditional, inventive therapies and perseverance and about what scientists are discovering on the psychology of healing and the mind-body connection from the author of the New York Times Magazine article about her own son, The Boy with the Thorn in his Joints, which led to this boo...

Title:The Other Side of Impossible: Ordinary People Who Faced Daunting Medical Challenges and Refused to Give Up
Author:
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ISBN:081299647X
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:320 pages

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

  • Jeff Giles
    Mar 24, 2017

    What an inspiring, empowering, beautifully written book about families who loved each other so much that they refused to believe there were no more options. Meadows is the best kind of reporter-- she can distill and clarify the most complicated medical thinking, but also bring human beings to life with great, vivid, often funny detail. Western medicine is in no way an enemy, but it is certainly not all there is. I applaud this book, and every one of the people in it.

  • Doug Moe
    Mar 24, 2017

    Susannah's reporting in the NY Times Magazine on this was super interesting and I'm excited to read her book! In a time when people are struggling to make sense of the contradictions in new medical information and the re-thinking of old beliefs, it's good to have someone to illuminate these issues.

  • Rae Meadows
    Mar 24, 2017

    I might be slightly biased because the author is my sister, but this book is fantastic, truly compelling, about people (mainly parents) who exhaust traditional medicine and have to forge their own paths. It includes the story of my sister's son, diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when he was four, which appeared in the New York Times Magazine (

    )

    My sister Susannah is an excellent journalist, a former senior writer at Newsweek, and this book is scrupulously

    I might be slightly biased because the author is my sister, but this book is fantastic, truly compelling, about people (mainly parents) who exhaust traditional medicine and have to forge their own paths. It includes the story of my sister's son, diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when he was four, which appeared in the New York Times Magazine (

    )

    My sister Susannah is an excellent journalist, a former senior writer at Newsweek, and this book is scrupulously researched, full of science, and a book you'll have a hard time putting down for the stories of these determined people. It might even change your life. Read it!

  • Darin Strauss
    Mar 25, 2017

    I don't know who this author is*, but her book is a tour de force. "The Other Side of Impossible" is packed tight with great stories, with real-life characters who fight (and often beat) impossible odds. If you are battling -- or if you know someone who is battling -- a cruel diagnosis, you need to get this book.

    And it's a great read. Not only are all the people herein brave and interesting**, Meadows writes with precision and music and lots of surprising jokes. You'll read this book with enjoy

    I don't know who this author is*, but her book is a tour de force. "The Other Side of Impossible" is packed tight with great stories, with real-life characters who fight (and often beat) impossible odds. If you are battling -- or if you know someone who is battling -- a cruel diagnosis, you need to get this book.

    And it's a great read. Not only are all the people herein brave and interesting**, Meadows writes with precision and music and lots of surprising jokes. You'll read this book with enjoyment, in a headlong rush.

    ___________________________________

    *Ok, ok. She's my wife. But do we really *know* anyone?

    **Maybe not all the people herein; I myself make a frowning cameo.

  • Eleanor
    May 15, 2017

    How far would a desperate woman go to give herself and her child a chance at a normal life? In "The Other Side of Impossible," Susannah Meadows describes her son, Shepherd, who struggled with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. His joints swelled up, he was in excruciating pain, and the medications prescribed by his doctor did not rid him of all his symptoms. Along with her own son's history, the author tells true stories of children with debilitating food allergies; seizures; severe ADHD; and a phys

    How far would a desperate woman go to give herself and her child a chance at a normal life? In "The Other Side of Impossible," Susannah Meadows describes her son, Shepherd, who struggled with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. His joints swelled up, he was in excruciating pain, and the medications prescribed by his doctor did not rid him of all his symptoms. Along with her own son's history, the author tells true stories of children with debilitating food allergies; seizures; severe ADHD; and a physician with Multiple Sclerosis. In all of these cases, the individuals concerned sought advice, did research on the Internet and, with their physicians' permission, tried alternative healing. They came to believe that factors such as a leaky gut (intestinal permeability), an imbalance in the patient's microbiome, and certain foods (dairy and gluten in particular) may contribute to inflammation that increases the severity of autoimmune disorders.

    Meadows, a reporter who has written for Newsweek and the New York Times, does not make the extreme claim that the methods she discusses are effective for everyone or are FDA approved. On the contrary, visiting naturopaths and integrative medicine specialists is a bit scary. They may suggest supplements, herbal remedies (beware, since not all of these are safe), radical changes in diet, probiotics, acupuncture, and other non-standard treatments. Still, when the usual drugs do not work and a person's quality of life is steadily deteriorating, it is understandable that some individuals will go to great lengths to find answers.

    Meadows is a skilled technical writer and researcher who shares enlightening and provocative comments from her interviews with physicians, scientists, patients, and their families. In addition, she lucidly explains how each patient fared before and after they tried alternative healing. The author humanizes her subjects with details about their personalities and relationships, and shows how chronic illness can bind families or tear them apart. Susannah Meadows and others like her are pioneers who deserve our admiration for their courage, tenacity, and self-sacrifice. Since "anecdotal evidence does not demonstrate cause and effect," further studies are needed to determine whether extreme dietary restrictions, fecal transplants, and other unconventional therapies should be used more widely to help those with autoimmune disorders.

  • Lane
    Jun 02, 2017

    No words for how important this book was to me and how close to home it hits.

  • Evyn
    Jun 11, 2017

    this book is just... amazing. it really hits home, and it's just so touching. so glad i was able to read the stories of these individuals. so glad their stories were able to be told.

  • Greg Z
    Jun 27, 2017

    I absolutely believe there is a strong link between mind/body healing: if you want to heal, you will take better care of yourself, you will eat right, you will research and do the right excercises, etc. I think only the most pill-only oriented doctor would disagree, but there is probably a lot of those types of doctors around who say things like "Take this, and call me next week to let me know how you feel." (By then, you've either passed or decided in your own head you're going to be fine.) I d

    I absolutely believe there is a strong link between mind/body healing: if you want to heal, you will take better care of yourself, you will eat right, you will research and do the right excercises, etc. I think only the most pill-only oriented doctor would disagree, but there is probably a lot of those types of doctors around who say things like "Take this, and call me next week to let me know how you feel." (By then, you've either passed or decided in your own head you're going to be fine.) I do respect doctors, but I have more respect for people who work hard to heal themselves, who focus on methodologies the world over that not every doctor knows about, who maintain a good attitude, who believe the universe will help those who are willing to help themselves. I did enjoy this book, Meadows is right (to me) on a lot of issues, but in a way she was singing to the choir from the opening pages anyway. And to Meadows: thanks for sharing your own personal journey.

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