When someone is diagnosed with a serious illness, he or she is taking the first step on a challenging and confusing journey. Often, even their loved ones can only guess at what they must be experiencing. Dr. Michael Stein uses the stories of his own patients to consider the personal narrative of sickness.
THE LONELY PATIENT is a clear-eyed and deeply affecting examination of the inner life of those grappling with illness. It looks into the chasm between the well and the sick by exploring and giving voice to the often unarticulated aspects of illness, offering people with illness--and their family and friends--a frank and intelligent discussion of how to negotiate the psychological and emotional aspects of what they are going through.
What sets Stein's book apart is his intimate scrutiny of the uniqueness of each patient's experience, which he breaks into four parts--betrayal, terror, loss, and loneliness--and renders each in such a way that he opens a dialogue about our expectations of health and, after its shocking disappearance, of illness.
Praise for THE LONELY PATIENT
“Stein has come to understand the emotions that patients experience when illness descends, the feeling that the body has betrayed them, the terror of the unknown, the loss of a legion of familiar comforts, and the loneliness of being kidnapped into the land of the ill.” -The New York Times
"Beautifully written, this is a look into the hearts and minds of people suffering serious illness: into the terrors that they often don't express directly….Stein's most expressive prose evokes the isolated world of the patient, who is locked into a limited existence, confined in a hospital room or at home…This is a moving and eloquent testimony from a caring practitioner.”
”Stein’s narrative powers and artistic sensibility are obvious in this moving meditation on the emotional aspects of illness.”
“Stein has added a worthy topic to the canon of medical literature, and this book could serve as an inspiring guide to patients and their caregivers. It's at its best when he treads along the true experiences of his own special insights as a human being and clinician.”
-The Post & Courier
“Stein is a gifted writer and novelist whose prose is often poetry….Recommended for anyone who has or will journey on a path as patient or companion. It is a healing book. The greatest gifts of The Lonely Patient are the insights and techniques it provides to the patient who is confronting the isolating emotions of illness.”