Posts Tagged ‘book’

Words of Wisdom

July 15, 2010

Question: What’s black and white and read all over?

Answer: Paul Cardall’s new book! 

Paul Cardall, the award winning musician and Heart Warrior who received a heart transplant in September of 2009 has added “Published Author” to his list of accomplishments! His new book Before my Heart Stops: A Memoir is now available for Pre-Order! Clicking the photo will take you to the order form!

Paul is an inspiration – not only a great musician, but a good writer (Check out his blog, Living for Eden). I had the chance to interview him late last year (Click the “Heart Warrior” link to read the interview) and I learned that Paul is both a Gentleman and a gentle man. Even though I have not read his book – Hey, I had to Pre-Order it just like everyone else – I highly recommend it.

Paul has an amazing story to tell. Pull up a chair, have a seat,  and get ready to hear it.


December 14, 2009

First, a huge THANK YOU to my Nurse Practitioner, Teresa Lyle, who sent me an autographed copy of her new book, Balancing your life with Congenital Heart Disease. It’s not very long but it is a great resource and guide – my father commented “I wish there had been something like this when you were younger.” Once again Teresa, thank you so very much!

Tomorrow, Adventures of a Funky Heart! will feature an interview with Paul Cardall – Award Winning Musician, Husband, Father, and Heart Warrior. Paul is recovering from heart transplant surgery and writes his own blog, Living for Eden. Be sure to stop by and read the interview with this keyboardist who is an inspiration to us all!

A helpful book!

December 8, 2009

Every now and again I will mention this book, because I think it is so useful and important. I own a copy, but I am not affiliated with the publisher. I’m not earning anything if you choose to purchase this book.

A book that I highly recommend for any heart family is The Illustrated Field Guide to Congenital Heart Disease and Repair. This book is a great guide to Congenital Heart Defects – the book lists 35 seperate defects – and the operations used to correct them. There are also chapters on Echocardiograms, Electrophysiology, common cardiac drugs, and catherizations.

There is a little bit of Doctor-Talk in the text – an experienced patient or heart parent won’t have any difficulty with the terminology, but someone entering the CHD world for the first time may have a little bit of trouble understanding it. This really isn’t a problem, since there are many diagrams – you can see what you may not be able to read!

There are two versions: The pocket sized version is 4 inches by 7.5 inches, small enough to slip into a purse. It’s a little big for your pocket, but a man could carry it between their belt and the small of their back. A wire binding allows the book to lay flat on a table.

The larger version (7 inches by 10.5 inches) has a little bit different content that the smaller version. The Large format contains a section of “abandoned” heart surgeries – the Classic Glenn Shunt and the Waterston Shunt are two examples. Other than that, the two books have the same content.It also has a wire binding.

You can purchase the Guide here. Both versions are available, but do not let the need for a purchase order scare you (or the $200 minimum order for a purchase order, either!) This company sells a lot of items to doctors offices and hospitals, situations where a purchase order is needed. But they also sell retail, and have no problem sending you one copy of anything. Apparently they recognize the fact that there are a lot of non medical people who need information about Heart Defects. (Good for them!)

They also sell The Illustrated Guide to Adult Congenital Heart Disease. A friend tells me this book is very informative, but I have never seen a copy, so I can’t recommend it.

But I have used the CHD Guide, and I highly recommend that book!

Reading a good book!

January 13, 2009

A new book landed on the doorstep last week! Usually I don’t mess with hardbacks – they are too hard to read in bed – but this one was a must have book for me. Titled Pioneers of Cardiac Surgery, this was written by Dr. William Stoney, himself a heart surgeon at Vanderbilt. I’ve only read 50 pages but I can already recommend the book highly!

Since Cardiac Surgery is such a new specialty, most of the book consists of interviews with some of the heroes of the field. This book grew out of an Oral History of Heart Surgery project at Vanderbilt, and Stoney edited out the “question and answer” format originally used, making each chapter flow smoothly. It’s almost as if you are sharing a cup of coffee with the surgeon, and asking him about his job! The first chapter is a pretty detailed overview of the history of heart operations, meant to include those doctors who have already passed on. I’ve been pleased to see photos of Dr. Vincent Gott and Dr. Alex Haller, both surgeons during my stay at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Frequent readers may remember that Haller was supposed to perform my first heart operation but was not available due to the weather; Gott stepped in for him.

Another interesting book for anyone interested in surgical history is King of Hearts: The True Story of the Maverick who Pioneered Open Heart Surgery. For a while there were only three places in the world performing heart surgery, and two of them were in the state of Minnesota. This book tells the story of Dr. Walter Lillehei and his work at the University of Minnesota. Lillehei developed the idea of using another living person as a “heart lung machine” for a patient – a situation that could have led to the deaths of two people if something had gone wrong!

Yet another good look inside the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery field is Walk on Water: Inside an Elite Pediatric Surgical Unit which features Dr. Roger Mee and his staff at the Cleveland Clinic. Alas, this team no longer exists; Mee has retired to his native Australia and other members have gone their own ways.

Stanford University, New York City, and the country of South Africa are our destinations for the book Every Second Counts: The Race to Transplant the First Human Heart as Dr. Christiaan Barnard pulls off the impossible. His patient dies 18 days later, but time has proven that his effort was worth it.

Advanced Cardiology: Knowing the Enemy

December 15, 2008

So after yesterday’s review, we have a good idea how a healthy heart works. But you or your child has a heart defect… what do we do? There are thirty five different, distinct Heart Defects. And if that isn’t bad enough, some of us have a “blend” – a defect that has traits or two (or more!) single defects.

That’s why I’m going to recommend a book to you. Before I do, I’ll state this: I don’t work for this company, nor do I have any type of commission deal with them. What I do have is a copy of their book, and I use it a LOT.

The name of this book is the Illustrated Field Guide to Congenital Heart Disease and Repair.

There are two versions. Both have a spiral binding, so it can lie flat on a desk. The large format version is 7 inches by 10.5 inches, about the side of a larger paperback book. The pocket sized version is 4 inches by 7.5 inches, small enough to slip into a purse or even tuck into your pants at the small of your back comfortably. Even in the smaller size, the print is very readable.

The book features an explanation and a diagram of all the identified heart defects. If that isn’t enough, most of the recognized Congenital Heart Operations are described and diagrammed, along with the major variations. For example, you can find descriptions of the Blalock-Taussig Shunt, the Mustard repair (which is rarely used today), two versions of the Fontan, and five different ways to complete the Norwoord Procedure.

And if that isn’t enough, there is also a section concerning Cardiac ICU units, Electrophysiology, and information on some of the drugs that are available for Congenital Heart patients. This is probably the most useful book I have ever seen. I have the Second Edition, but I recently ordered the Revised 2nd Edition, which has been expanded to over 400 pages! The only thing that I don’t like about the book is that it has a few more “doctor words” than a newcomer to CHD’s may understand. Usually if you don’t understand the words, the diagrams will show you.

You can buy one using this form. Don’t let the form scare you – this company sells the majority of its items to doctors offices and hospitals, that’s why you see the words “Purchase Order” and fairly high prices. The Field Guides cost $50 for the smaller version and $125 for the larger edition, and they can be worth every penny.

No one can make a heart defect any less scary, but this book can make it easier to understand. And as a 1980’s public service announcement stated, “Knowing is half the battle.”