In Search of My Husband's Mind
Winnie Hirsch

Synopsis

Winnie suspected her husband suffered from depression after a diagnosis of cancer forced the amputation of one of his legs. Doctors dismissed her concerns and continually refused to treat her husband in the manner she requested. Desperately trying to understand her husband's lack of enthusiasm for her, their family, or his career, and his obscene public outbursts, Winnie felt responsible and helpless. Eventually, she discovered that her husband had suffered permanent brain damage and the hospital was to blame. This is the powerful story of how she challenged the medical bureaucracy and unraveled the mystery of her husband's mind.

From Publisher's Weekly
Hirsch tells a disturbing tale of grievous errors, deception and cover-ups by the very people and institutions she trusted most. Her husband, Monroe, was an optometrist in private practice, as well as Dean of the School of Optometry at U.C.-Berkeley. As a doctor's wife, she assumed that when he was treated for a cancerous tumor on his leg (eventually resulting in its amputation), he received the best possible medical care and that she was told the truth about his condition. But in the two years following Monroe's operations, Hirsch was seemingly deceived time and again. Concerned about her husband's newly distant and sometimes bizarre behavior, she repeatedly asked for help from his doctors, who told her he was merely depressed over the loss of his leg and that it would pass. When it did not pass, and she desperately insisted on having him seen by a psychiatrist, she finally learned the truththat Monroe had suffered severe frontal lobe brain damage from an accidental overdose of Demerol following the amputation surgery. She had never been told of the overdose, and had been told directly that there was no brain damage. This is only part of a frightening story of alleged hospital indifference, ineptitude and collusion in keeping silent. Readers will be surprised to learn that Hirsch did not sue for malpractice, and they will be moved and even enraged by this cautionary tale.

 

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