Jacksonville, FL (PRWEB) April 5, 2005
When Kay Day began to take her 12-year-old daughter Rebecca to doctors in South Carolina for a mystery illness, both mother and daughter became very frustrated.
Different doctors offered a variety of diagnoses for the girl's recurrent abdominal pain. Some doctors suggested radical treatment options. At least one doctor believed her daughter suffered from depression and needed anti-depressants. Her pain was all "in her head."
The family was about to make an unexpected move to Jacksonville, Fla., and even some family members wondered if the middle-school student wasn't just upset about the move. The result of what became a year of turmoil is Day's first nonfiction book, ÂKilling Earl.Â
After six months of unsuccessful treatment, Rebecca was on home-bound instruction from her school and had lost 15 pounds. The family couldn't complete their move to Florida until Rebecca was well. Complicating matters was the fact that Rebecca named her pain ÂEarl.Â
Fortunately, Day had edited an award-winning medical journal. She decided to research the illness herself, using reputable sites on the Internet. She also contacted a number of doctors in other states, none of whom had seen her daughter.
"I wanted an objective opinion about my daughter's symptoms in general," she explains. "I didn't ask doctors who hadn't treated her for a diagnosis. I asked them for general information about symptoms like my daughter's and where to find resources for research."
In addition, she began to request her daughter's records after each visit, test, or treatment. The results were astounding. "It was a revelation, sort of like a mental tsunami," the author remarks. "Because it became evident that some doctors don't communicate thoroughly with their patients.
"I learned that my daughter's illness was caused by a physical condition, and that the only real treatment option was surgery," says the author. Three years later, her daughter is pain-free, enjoying excellent health, and is once again thriving.
Others may not be so lucky.
"I believe one of the main reasons that Rebecca's illness had a happy outcome involves empowerment," says Day. "Rebecca and I both decided we had to be proactive, because we were getting nowhere. And we had no idea, despite the best medical imaging and lab work, about what was causing her pain. We had to become active participants in the treatment process.
"Prior to her daughter's medical challenges, Day describes herself as an award-winning author who wrote literary essays and poetry books. "But Rebecca begged me to write a book about her experiences. She believes this book may help other girls. And I've come to agree with her. In addition, it's the only book where a non-medical person will find information on this specific condition.
"The author interviewed top surgeons and investigated developments in treatments. She learned that one of Rebecca's problems can lead to an infection that causes 86,000 American children each year to be hospitalized. Day and her daughter both felt that some of the doctors dismissed the pain because they believed it was related to what is commonly called "female trouble."
"But I also learned there are many fine, compassionate physicians out there," says the author. "I learned enough to know that if I ever experience anything like this again, I'll be sure that we depend on a doctor who will listen to us and take our complaints seriously." Day believes this is especially important for women.
"Our bodies are more complicated than men's," she notes. "I also think some doctors have a mindset that women are supposed to just endure pain and be stoic. And like one of the great doctors I interviewed said, a doctor needs to listen to the patient." Day says the keys to any successful medical outcome are empowerment and information.
"Be informed and be determined," she advises. "It's rare that a patient has to just learn to live with pain without finding some sort of relief."
The book's introduction is written by Dr. John V. Campo, one of America's top doctors, who is co-editor of The Handbook of Pediatric Psychology and Psychiatry.
ÂKilling EarlÂ is being released by Ocean Publishing, the publisher of record for all Day's books. Founded by Frank Gromling, OP does no subsidy, cooperative, or vanity publishing, and the press is known for old-school attentiveness to its authors. OP maintains an in-depth site with news and guidelines on the Internet at http://ocean-publishing.com.
Barnes and Noble has scheduled a national launch for 5:30 p.m. April 22 in Jacksonville, Fla., at the store located at 11112 San Jose Boulevard. Books-A-Million has scheduled the Florida launch for 11 a.m. May 7 at the Orange Park store located at 25A, 1910 Wells Road.
The Georgia launch is scheduled to take place at an independent bookstore, Hattie's Books, 1527 Newcastle Street, in Brunswick, Ga., starting at 2 p.m. April 30. Day plans to sign the book in ten cities and at a number of festivals and book-related events. Information on events is posted regularly at Day's Internet site, http://kayday.com.
"My publisher says there's an incredible outpouring of interest in this book," says Day. "And I truly believe women both young and old will find its message inspiring."
Flagler Beach, FL 32136-1080
# # #