In July 1998, when Maxine Kumin's horse bolted at a carriage-driving clinic, she was not expected to live. Yet, less than a year later, her progress pronounced a miracle by her doctors, she was at work on this journal of her astonishing recovery. She tells of her time "inside the halo," the near-medieval device that kept her head immobile during weeks of intensive care andIn July 1998, when Maxine Kumin's horse bolted at a carriage-driving clinic, she was not expected to live. Yet, less than a year later, her progress pronounced a miracle by her doctors, she was at work on this journal of her astonishing recovery. She tells of her time "inside the halo," the near-medieval device that kept her head immobile during weeks of intensive care and rehabilitation, of the lasting "rehab" friendships, and of the loving family who always believed she would heal. "[S]he resonates wisdom while announcing a triumph of body and soul."—Anne Roiphe, New York Times Book Review "Maxine Kumin brings the sensitivity and imagination of a poet to her extraordinary ordeal."—Richard Selzer, author of Mortal Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery "From a singular experience she has created a lesson that is universal, which, it seems to me, is the essence of being a poet."—Abraham Verghese, author of The Tennis Partner...
|Title||:||Inside the Halo and Beyond: The Anatomy of a Recovery|
|Number of Pages||:||208 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Inside the Halo and Beyond: The Anatomy of a Recovery Reviews
A blow by blow account of Kumin’s rehabilitation from a broken neck caused by a fall from a horse-drawn carriage. Kumin was fortunate to survive without being paralyzed, but it was touch and go for some time. The halo which is a stabilizer for the head and neck was endured for a period of months. Anyone who has undergone rehab for a serious injury will recognize the process: the putty, pegs and clothespins designed to improve dexterity, the weights to gain strength, the squat machines, bikes and treadmills, the various torturous exercises. Kumin details these matter-of-factly, while revealing her frequent bouts of despair, but this book in no way measures up to her poetry nor her essays on country life. Nonetheless, it’s an important read for anyone undergoing the long journey of rehab.
I enjoyed this even though the poet and I have little in common as regards lifestyle - she the rural pet lover and I the allergic urbanite. Her language is precise, her attitudes firm and her discretion impeccable. We learn about the injury, the pain, the horses, the farm and the seedlings. We get big juicy morsels about her relationship with one daughter, less about the other 2 grown children. There is little about her husband, beyond the tasks she could not do that he performed; their relationship, and the effects on their emotional and physical closeness is elided. In fact, she writes more about her horse's physical characteristics than his.I did like what she chose to share: she was clear, if concise, about the emotional costs. I admired her dedication to rehab fully, despite her age. I longed to know more about the financial impact of her tribulations, but this was another area where discretion triumphed.
This is a well-written, detailed account of the aftermath of a terrible accident when the author was seventy-three. What emerges is the story of a strong, determined and, yes, fortunate person. She packs a lot of information about the accident, her recovery and many other areas of her life in 205 pages, including some of her poetry. Reading this made me want to read more of her writing. [She died this year (2014) at the age of 88.] I highly recommend this to someone who has or knows someone who has had a spinal cord injury, because it is so inspirational and informative.
This book was well written and interesting to me as someone who works with people who have had fractures of the spine. I am thinking of making a list of books I'd like my students to read, and I'd put this on that list because it tells you so much about the patient's experience. I was familiar with some of her poetry, and the poems (few) in this book were good.
I just couldn't get into this book, although I enjoy Ms. Kumin's poetry very much.
The poet Maxine Kumin recovers from a devastating accident that almost killed her--powerful.