Back to Life by Pamela Douglas is a Journey of transformation through back surgery. It tells the story of Pamela’s surgery and recovery. She had a metal pole put in her back in order to correct effects on her spine from scoliosis. The book is broken down into sections – Before, Hospital Days, After & Five Years Later. There are also 2 Appendixes – one where Pamela gives tips on how to prepare yourself for the surgery and one where she interviews her doctor.
This book was of interest to me, because at 4 and a half I had back surgery. It was not for scoliosis, but rather to help improve my walking and cerebral palsy. I do not remember much about this surgery, and what I do remember, I am not sure if it is from people telling me about what happened or if I actually remember it. I do know that I was not supposed to walk for a certain amount of time afterward – but I was determined to walk again and crawled off into a room where no one else was and pulled myself up using the couch. My mom found me and I was quite pleased with myself – however she wasn’t too pleased because it was not yet the time in my recovery to be doing that!
It was nice to see things from Pamela (and sometimes her daughter’s) perspective. Perhaps if this was a surgery I would be having now – I would be going in to it like Pamela went in to hers – optimistic but prepared for the worst. The story is in journal form – with everything dated so you can follow along as she counts down to time for her surgery. It was interesting to me that although we had two different kinds of back surgeries, some of the problems afterward were the same – she had mentioned numbness and that is one of my side effects as well. She doesn’t mention if this ended up going away during her recovery – mine never did.
This book would be great for anyone who will be going through back surgery in the near future – aside from Pamela’s helpful tips on what to do to make everything a bit easier for yourself, it is always nice to hear about someone else who is in your same boat (and there is a section of the book where Pamela talks about all the people she ran in to while wearing her back brace – either they were wearing one too or knew what it was like to have worn one.) It would also be a good read for friends and family for anyone going through this – to kind of find out what the situation will be like during recovery so that you can kind of know a little better what your friend or family member is going through.
Pamela Douglas is an award-winning screenwriter with numerous credits in television drama, and also a fine artist. In May 2005, facing a degenerative spinal disease that threatened to leave her paralyzed, Pamela underwent major surgery. Her decision and the long recovery that followed inspired her to write BACK TO LIFE: A Journey of Transformation through Back Surgery. Written in journal form as she was going through surgery and recovery, the book takes the reader into the immediacy of the moment and through the transformational power of an experience far beyond surgery. Learn more at www.divineartsmedia.com.