Catching My Breath: An Asthmatic Explores His Illness

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Times Books, 1994 - Health & Fitness - 291 pages
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"One night in November 1991, National Public Radio essayist Tim Brookes, who had suffered from mild asthma for thirty years, suddenly found his throat and chest starting to close up in a terrifying internal claustrophobia. He was suffering a near-fatal asthma attack. Jolted out of his state of steady denial, Brookes began a passionate and fascinating quest into the mysteries of asthma. Catching My Breath: An Asthmatic Explores His Illness is the entertaining and eloquent result of that quest." "Brookes surveys the dubious history of asthma treatments (which include decayed flesh, "parentectomy," and tea made of cockroach intestines). He consults five doctors, who offer five conflicting explanations for his attack. In the name of alternative medicine, he suffers injections of silver and tobacco leaf in his back and neck. He navigates the treacherous waters of insurance companies - who agree to cover him only if he doesn't get sick - and even sees a psychic to ask otherworldly spirits about the causes of asthma. He also visits a New York City welfare hotel and finds that the politics of health are intertwined with the politics of rich and poor." "Written with grace and wit, Catching My Breath is an engrossing, informative, and thoroughly unconventional exploration of illness from a patient's point of view. It is also the first book to give serious attention to the social roots of asthma and raises profound questions about our attitudes toward illness in general."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Catching my breath: an asthmatic explores his illness

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Brookes (creative writing and media criticism, Univ. of Vermont) provides a personal account of how he deals with a chronic condition that robs him of his ability to breathe. As he chronicles his ... Read full review


Prolog ue
Meat in a Box
Mythology Barrier

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About the author (1994)

Tim Brookes, a regular commentator on National Public Radio's Sunday Weekend Edition, has also had his work appear in National Geographic, Outside, American History, and Vintage Guitar.

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