You Bet Your Life! by Trisha Torrey

Here’s a book I wish I could have written. Or barring that, I wish I had discovered it years ago. Its title says a lot about it: “You Bet Your Life! The 10 Mistakes Every Patient Makes” by Trisha Torrey. (Revised 2013)

In June 2004 Torrey was misdiagnosed with a rare lymphoma and urged to have immediate surgery and undergo chemotherapy. Leery of the evidence and handling of her care, she questioned her treatment and diagnosis, and discovered it was a dreadful mistake.

From her experience and research of the experience of others, she wrote her book to create what she designated as the “e-patient.” E-patient stands for the empowered patient, a patient who takes charge of his or her healthcare through knowledge and participation.

The book is further subtitled: “How to Fix Them (Mistakes) to Get the Health Care You Deserve.” It is organized around pairs of chapters, the first a chapter that states one of the 10 mistakes and a subsequent chapter that states how to fix it.

Torrey’s style, pace and scope evoke a roller coaster ride around and across the American healthcare system. It is highly anecdotal, which makes compelling reading and easy reader identification with patients’ predicaments.

Torrey’s book is the opposite of my book, “Waking Up Dying.” I wrote about one patient’s and one caregiver’s highly personal journey through a single healthcare system. Trisha Torrey wrote about her own and many other patients’ journeys through a nationwide healthcare system. She emphasized how to be a better patient at all levels and I focused on being a competent and capable caregiver attempting to shield the patient from the system.

I see “You Bet Your Life!” and “Waking Up Dying” as books on the same subject, but told from opposite poles of experience with the contemporary healthcare system. If you want a pole-to-pole view of the American world of healthcare, read both.

Available from YourBetYourLifeBooks.com, Amazon and Barnes & Noble, $16.95 USD +S&H. ISBN 978-0-9828014-2-0 Or contact: inquiry@YouBetYourLifeBooks.com

Waking Up Dying is available from Amazon or robertaduke.com, $17.95 +S&H ISBN 978-0-9753286-1-3