Heart Rending - Heart Mending: Saved by Modern Surgery - Healed by Ancient Wisdom
by Marylou Kelly Streznewski, M.Ed
J.G. Witthorne Press

"You will have noticed by now that I received world-class care from a host of caring peoplefor my body. But no one warned me about dealing with my emotions, mind, and spirit."

Coronary heart disease is the number one killer of women over the age of 25, yet not many women know the symptoms. If a woman survives her encounter with heart disease, her doctors are likely to cure her body but overlook the equally important emotional healing. In this informative book, Marylou Kelly Streznewski brings these discrepancies to light through an exploration of her personal struggle with heart disease and its subsequent consequences. Streznewski shares her experience and everything she's learned after 18 months of misdiagnosis, seven hours of open-heart surgery, and the lengthy process of recovery. Using this physical and emotional journey, the author extols the idea of an integrative, proactive health care, and the value of healing (over simply curing) the body—and the mind.

Heart Rending - Heart Mending begins by placing readers into the operating room using the jarring juxtaposition of the surgeon's notes against the patient's poetry. Powerful imagery and a dark sense of humor describe the surgery through poems such as "Ode to Percocet." Following this poignant account, Streznewski goes into the process of recovering from such a "controlled trauma."

Writing in a clear-headed voice, the author shares her personal experiences alongside quotes and information from research papers and scientists in the field. She offers suggestions for alternative medicine without preaching. Her view is not one of either/or; instead, she asks "how else can we help ourselves heal?" It's a refreshing stance which doesn't seek to idolize one form of medicine while condemning the other. Streznewski urges everyone to be proactive with their health, always ask questions, and gain control over their body using every resource available. If you are a woman over the age of 25, if you have undergone (or are about to undergo) heart surgery, or if you know anyone who fits this description, you need to read this book.

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