Tag Archives: lupus

The Lupus Encyclopedia by Donald E. Thomas, M.D.

Lupus Book Review

The Lupus Encyclopedia

The Lupus Encyclopedia

The Lupus Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Guide for Patients and Families (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book) by Donald E. Thomas, Jr., M.D., FACP, FACR, was recently released.  Within the astounding 43 chapters is an in-depth and exhaustive discussion of the many facets of lupus.  This book is for lupus patients, but is not a quick read, but between two covers holds a broad library of balanced lupus topics that are worthy of investing some time and study.

There is so much in this book, but where should you start?  Begin in the Preface, where Dr. Thomas sets forth seven specific steps a lupus patient may use right away to get the greatest benefits from his book:

  1. Go to the 3 page Lupus Secrets Checklist in Chapter 44
  2. Read the listed specific chapters Dr. Thomas recommends reading next
  3. Get a copy of your medical records, notes, labs, x-rays, etc.
  4. Skim interesting chapters to find and go back to spend more time on ones that apply most to you
  5. Consult the Patient Resources at the end of the book
  6. Visit Dr. Thomas’ Facebook page and follow him on Twitter for current lupus news
  7. Consider sending an email to Dr. Thomas with suggestions for future editions

After ferreting out reliable lupus information for more than twenty years since my diagnosis in the early 1990s, it really seemed there were few sources of fresh information about Lupus, without going to books and references written for the medical community.  This book provides an understandable reference resource appropriate for patients. Happily, there is great depth and much to learn from reading and referring to this important book!

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Check out this new Lupus book!

Dr. Thomas clearly demonstrates his broad understanding of Lupus, and this book should stand the test of time as one of the great books about this complex auto-immune disease.  The first printing of this exhaustive patient reference initially sold out in both hard and soft cover edition at a reduced price through Amazon.com but a few more copies are now available, and more are on the way.  It is also sold at BarnesandNoble.com in both cover styles and as a Nook e-book at the lowest price I have seen online so far.  If other sources are out of stock and you don’t mind paying full list price, purchase it direct from the publisher’s website at John Hopkin’s University Press.

I heartily recommend The Lupus Encyclopedia, and urge you to check it out, too.

Final Rating:

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It’s Your Health: Navigating American Health Care

I am thrilled to welcome LupusAdventurer as a guest blogger on The Obsessive Bookworm. LupusAdventurer approached me with the possibility of guest blogging, especially in the area of nonfiction. She tends to read genres that typically do not appeal to me and so I am thrilled to have someone to help fill some of the gaps on here. Thank you so much for sharing!
~ Jenn (The Book Worm)

Book: It’s Your Health: Navigating American Health Care

Author: Robert D’Antonio, Ph.D.

Recommend:  For most proactive patients with a reasonable working knowledge of the health care system, this book will not add anything and is not worth the price.  For some people who might need a push to take charge of their own medical destiny, this is somewhat useful to suggest how to move from passivity to self-management of personal health care.

This is a short, somewhat useful book, written to encourage patients to become proactive advocates of their own medical care needs, and advises the reader about how to effectively deal with the medical community. Written in easy to read conversational style, is a an understandable highly opinionated discussion of some major health care quality issues for an average patient.

The author gives his perspectives as a Ph.D. with many years of undisclosed type experience in the health care field.  He includes topics about choosing and communicating with physicians, selecting among health insurance options, and navigating diagnosis, second opinions and treatment plans.  He takes a somewhat adversarial stance in his advice about how find and get the best treatment from surgeons, specialists and hospitals, and at times presents very unrealistic expectations about patient communication and access to decision-makers within the health care industry.

The first 50 pages of this 86 page book is narrative, and the remaining half has exhaustive lists of appendices including web page references, state medical licensing boards, and Medicare Part A & B coverage. The author also includes some sample forms for tracking patient prescriptions and a lengthy list of medical conditions to consider in preparing a personal health history.

Written in 2011, between the passage of the Health Care Reform Act (HCRA) of 2010 and the recent 2012 Supreme Court decision on the HCRA, it anticipates the effect of the new regulations, without addressing the role future federal and state health insurance exchanges intended by the HCRA may have in patient health insurance purchasing decisions.

All in all, a nominally useful book for a narrow audience.  I recommend picking it up at a library, borrowing it, or purchasing it from the $1 table at a used book store.  If someone gives it to you free, skim it quickly for any benefit you can derive from it.  Pass it on selectively to someone who has no clue how to get the treatment they need, or toss it, but don’t waste shelf space keeping this small print-only volume.

For further information about lupus and healthcare, please visit her blog, ‘Lupus, the Adventure between the Lines.’

Final Rating:

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Filed under Healthcare, non fiction, Review