The Pain Chronicles

The Pain Chronicles

Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, Healing, and the Science of Suffering

By Melanie Thernstrom; Laural Merlington (Read by)

Tantor Media Inc, Compact Disc, 9781400118540

Publication Date: August 2010

Each of us will know physical pain in our lives, but none of us knows when it will come or how long it will stay. Today as much as 10 percent of the population of the United States suffers from chronic pain. It is more widespread, misdiagnosed, and undertreated than any major disease. While recent research has shown that pain produces pathological changes to the brain and spinal cord, many doctors and patients still labor under misguided cultural notions and outdated scientific dogmas that prevent proper treatment, to devastating effect.In The Pain Chronicles, a singular and deeply humane work, Melanie Thernstrom traces conceptions of pain throughout the ages-from ancient Babylonian pain-banishing spells to modern brain imaging-to reveal the elusive, mysterious nature of pain itself. Interweaving first-person reflections on her own battle with chronic pain, incisive reportage from leading-edge pain clinics and medical research, and insights from a wide range of disciplines-science, history, religion, philosophy, anthropology, literature, and art-Thernstrom shows that when dealing with pain we are neither as advanced as we imagine nor as helpless as we may fear.

About the Author
Melanie Thernstrom is a contributing writer to "The New York Times Magazine" and the author of "The Pain Chronicles, The Dead Girl" and "Halfway Heaven: Diary of a Harvard Murder".

Laural Merlington has recorded well over one hundred audiobooks and has received several AudioFile Earphones Awards, including one for Never Say Die by Susan Jacoby.

Praise For The Pain Chronicles

"Rarely has a single book so intelligently illuminated a universal human experience." ---Jerome Groopman, author of the New York Times bestseller How Doctors Think