Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fellow Anchorage Blogger's Book Get's Notice From Top Medical Journal

I've been a strong fan of Peter Dunlap-Shoal's book, My Degeneration: A Parkinson's Journey since
before it was even a book.  He was blogging cartoons - he was the Anchorage Daily News political cartoonist before his Parkinson's diagnosis - about his adventures with the evil Parkinson's.  I coined the term cross-cultural translation to describe the kind of research I was doing, and Peter's work fits perfectly into the field.  He's helping able bodied (at least people without Parkinson's, since no one is 100% able bodied) folks understand what his world looks like and feels like, with great detail and even greater sly humor.  He's also helping people with Parkinson's understand their own journeys.

So I was delighted when he first started blogging, then when his blog got awards, found a publisher, and ecstatic when I was able to get a copy. (Disclosure: I'm humbled and honored that he even mentions me in the book as someone who encouraged him to publish.  It was obvious to me how sensational the book was going to be, but I realize we can't always assess our own work objectively.) And his blog is linked to the column on the right under Alaska Bloggers.

And now, The Journal of the American Medical Association has highlighted Peter's book with effusive praise.  This is wonderful, because doctors should be reading it and recommending it to their patients.  I'm always delighted when good, decent people like Peter get recognized for their work.  Way to go Peter!!!!

Here's the start of the JAMA review:
My Degeneration: A Journey Through Parkinson’s 
My Degeneration by Peter Dunlap-Shohl is the true account of the author’s life with Parkinson disease (PD), and it is terrific, a read-in-one-sitting book that engages, teaches, and challenges readers from the first page until its conclusion. It’s one of the best graphic medicine books of 2016.
It starts with a punch to the gut when Dunlap-Shohl receives the unwanted diagnosis, contemplates a future of drooling and dependency, and seriously considers suicide. He’s brutally honest about his fears and struggles, and the beautifully rendered drawings show both the external reality of this chronic and debilitating disease and his internal struggles to cope.
I went through the University of Alaska Anchorage library to get to this, but you can see the whole review at the link here.

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