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I Knew a Woman: Four Women Patients and Their Female Caregiver by Cortney Davis
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345438744, Paperback)"It's not easy to be a female patient," writes nurse practitioner and poet Cortney Davis. "Because most of our reproductive organs are internal, even routine examinations and procedures in the field of women's health are uncommonly invasive, reminding us of our vulnerability." I Knew a Woman is a compelling and unusual book. Sometimes it's like a novel, with Davis unraveling the stories of four women (composites of actual patients) whom she sees at a clinic. At other times, it's Davis's own health memoir, including the invasive and inappropriately sexual exams her first doctor performed when she was a teenager, and details of her breast biopsy. We learn about women's health (Pap tests, ultrasound, and biopsies, for example) and women's bodies from the perspective of a compassionate, intuitive woman whose work is examining women all day.
Davis is a poet, able to convey details with nuance and surprise. "The practitioners work their hands so fast, they blur like running water... Baby X looks as fragile and evanescent as spun sugar," she writes of an attempt to save a premature, heroin-addicted baby. And of her own profession, she writes about what nurses do best: "touching, listening, observing, interpreting, teaching, guiding, comforting, waiting, remembering." I Knew a Woman is a fascinating book by a talented writer and a skilled, intuitive nurse. --Joan Price
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:23 -0400)
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