Frank Gregg is a talented singer-song writer and guitar player. I could listen for hours, and have, to his music. When he’s in front of an audience, there’s peace in the world. He married a beautiful woman and between them they raised four great kids and have a slew of grandkids. But along the way, that beautiful woman developed a chronic illness that led them to more than enough experience with our screwy health care system. Because Peg’s illness left her, at times, sedated, on pain medications, or hospitalized, Frank naturally stepped in and became a strong advocate for excellence, despite the variety of specialists and generalists and fools they have met over many years of medical interventions.
A former AF medic, Frank understands Peg’s every medication, every symptom and diagnosis. Mostly, he carries that knowledge in his head. But on the rare occasion when he can’t recall a detail, he wishes he had written it all down. So, he’s created a book that every household should own: The Other Patient: A Guide to Patient Advocacy. The book is clear, free of jargon, witty, and essential. In it, he defines the roles of various providers and suggests approaches to speaking up for the patient in the bed without becoming a lunatic in the process. There are model forms to keep, records of doctor visits, medications, etc. There’s a section called “Safe at Home,” for recognizing the various risks involved in that long-awaited home coming after an illness.
And yes, Frank and Peg are my friends, but that does not keep me from telling everyone to click on over to Amazon and buy this book. It could save your sanity in the face of illness and you could save the life of someone who depends on you. Now, go, buy the book.
2 responses to “No Laughing Matter”
My hope is that this publication helps cut through the murk that is our medical system for those helping a loved one through a crisis. This becomes more important as we grow older and dependent upon others for help and guidance.
Kate, you never disappoint me. This subject is exactly the one I am thinking about this morning. Mr. Gregg: as soon as I have a few bucks I will purchase your book. From Kate’s description of your experiences and your perspective this sounds like an important guide. For me this is a very personal subject because I live in Louisiana where the Governor has taken a bizarre delight in energetically refusing to participate in the Medicaid extension part of Obamacare. My sister lives in Florida and my brother lives in Texas. The governors of those two states are just as delighted as Louisiana’s governor to refuse the extension to their citizens. With the arrival of austerity on our shores this book sounds like an important contribution to the struggles average citizens face when attempting to cope with chronic illness without the aid of whacking amounts of money. Many thanks!