In a series of essays, Palardy explores timeless educational issues from her experienced perspective. She asks pertinent questions from varying perspectives. In Pendulum, we get a subtle, yet painfully accurate warning that the educational trends swing to extremes. (The current top-down business model of education may have been avoided if those who create education policy were forced to teach elementary school for one year.) Her intelligent writing explores various methods, addresses the intricacies involved in grading and grade inflation, and ends with a discussion with the principal demonstrating educators concerns for more than just academics. I was reading Diane Ravitch's "The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education" concurrent with "Teaching: Education and Academics at the turn of the century," alternating between the two and on a couple occasions, I forgot which I was reading. That puts Palardy in very good company. Palardy is now retired and she is reflecting on her career in education. Let's hope she continues to shed light on an often misunderstood profession.
I am always a bit apprehensive when a fellow writer has favorably reviewed my fiction and then later I review their own work. The task was made easier because "Teaching: Education and Academics at the turn of the century" is nonfiction, and I write mostly fiction. Still, in this case, it's even more satisfying to enthusiastically give five stars.
Jeffrey Penn May, author of "No Teacher Left Standing"
At this moment, I'm sitting here stunned.
Stunned because I've finally received answers I've needed for the longest time.
Stunned because I've connected to another soul with many of the strange, uncommon symptoms I've experienced, some since childhood.
I no longer feel alone with the monster known as MS...
This lady's story could be mine, or one of many others. She has successfully put into words, the things we wish we could say about the struggles associated with MS, but oftentimes, cannot express through mere words.
Mrs. Palardy has written an honest, painful, at times heartbreaking account of her journey through life, MS, and the assortment of medical testing and treatments. She has faced the issues in her life head on with courage, strength and personal fortitude. Terry is by no means a victim, but a slayer of this dragon. Her husband, a true knight in shining armor, stands strong by her side, supporting her, facing everything this ugly disease can throw at them.
This is an honest, important, inspiring, empowering book, which will help anyone with MS, and will bring knowledge and a deeper understanding to the loved ones and friends of those with the disease.
Thank you Terry for this gift you have given. Your story and courage has made a difference in my life.
She was brave enough to put in the Almighty's hands and release herself from Western medication and look for a better approach to deal with the symptoms of loss muscle and cognitive capabilities. She explains how it affects her and her husband and the adjustments they made to learn how to dance and not be furious with the personal storm some of us experience every day. Kudos for sharing your experiences and trials with others who might have just received the news "You have MS". This is a good book to start to come to terms with the diagnosis of any autoimmune condition.
Fluid dialogue and vivid descriptions reveal the author's protracted, diagnostic odyssey. Readers share alongside Terry the physical and emotional toll of getting to and through physician consultations, diagnostic procedures, tests, and treatments. The escalating frustration, confusion, and fear she feels when she interacts with certain medical, pharmaceutical, and insurance company staffers may be familiar to others who have a chronic illness or their caregivers.
Finally, Terry connects with doctors she trusts. A once elusive MS diagnosis becomes definitive. Throughout her ordeal, Terry resolves to preserve her dignity. She is bolstered both by her religious faith and by her husband's consistently calm, reassuring presence. His devotion to her is the embodiment of unconditional love. Despite losses and lingering unanswered questions, Terry remains true to her conviction to decide treatment options for herself.
When I finished the last chapter, I applauded Terry's determination to deal with multiple sclerosis on her own terms. It was a rousing ovation I hoped somehow she could hear.
Anyone going through their own journey with MS will find an immediate connection with Terry. Her story can only serve to help others going through similar experiences who may be lost and anxious and frustrated at the lack of empathy displayed by the medical fraternity. Those who have loved ones with MS will find this book a valuable resource in helping them towards a closer understanding of those they live with and look after.
As I was reading the story and I could feel Terry's frustration I have known it so many times during the terrible years of diagnosis then follow ups and appointments, relentless arguing with Insurance companies and then finding out not to be covered for a particular treatment or medication. There is a moment in the book when the author is going through all of this and she hands the phone to her husband Rick and he takes over from there and you just think; he most definitely is her knight in shining armor.
I would highly recommend this book to any one facing possible MS diagnosis or a family member or caretaker. It is also a great guide, spiritual awakening and support for those facing tough decisions about elderly care and real hard questions and answers to different care options that this family has to go through with both sets of parents.
Overall and more so than any of the things I mentioned above it is a love story. It is a story of commitment made between two people when they were young, vibrant and full of life to their resolve to any obstacle that crossed their path and they triumphed over. Not a triumph of a finish line but a resolute triumph of life, real life not the white picket fence with sugarplum cookies but the real life and burdens that we tackle everyday some try to sweep that "real life" under the bed, others turn around and sprint the other way, others like Terry and Rick sing a melody that only two heart as synched as theirs could dance to; it is in my opinion a true love story.
I recommend to all with MS and friends/family of someone suffering from MS!
It's important for anyone who is newly-diagnosed or for family members, caregivers, friends to read this novel and get a good understanding of how MS can shake up a person's life.
Kudos to Terry for writing and sharing her innermost thoughts on her disability.
While I have read many stories recounting the doubts of diagnosis when it comes to MS, I think this book could justifiably be thought required reading for spouses of patients dealing with uncertain chronic medical conditions. While the book doesn't overly dwell on this aspect, that makes it strike exactly the right balance. He is always there supporting when needed in words, deed, and some times just silent support. This book would be a very good book for a couple to read as they come to grips with what MS may mean.
From the first chapter of the book, Terry is completely transparent with her readers, inviting them to share the emotion and frustration of the moment. She also shares the support she receives from her husband, Rick. The author does not separate descriptions of the illness and treatment from her daily life, and instead tells a story.
In this book, it's clear that a diagnosis is not an event with a date that can be marked on the calendar, but rather a series of moments that begin early in life. Terry begins with moments in her childhood, and her writing is engaging as she creates in herself and her family complete characters for us to follow. Rather than simply list medical tests she was subjected to, she tells the story of how the test impacted her work day and how the constant interruptions affected her emotions. A careful description of her MRI experience will encourage anyone about to go through the same test.
Terry ends her story with a treatment experiment, and I hope she revises the book at some point to include her results. As the author is about the same age as my own mom, I was also looking for her experiences telling grown-up kids about her diagnosis and their reactions--but perhaps that is a story for them to write.
True to her academic roots, Terry ends the book with a section of reliable resources readers can turn to for information about multiple sclerosis, along with a list of online forums readers can go to for a community of encouragement.
As a former teacher herself, Author Palardy did not ask the reader to overlook typos, or disregard poor sentence structure. Instead, the book is a well-formatted, fluid glimpse into the sometimes challenging, always endearing family she so eloquently introduces to us.
We learn who the self-described author and her family are, not by what she says, but by what they do. She doesn't tell us within quotes, that she and her spouse love their parents instead she tells us that they visited them daily, sacrificed their own finances, yet continue to smile when visited by a memory of their now dearly departed parents. Her wonderful husband doesn't spout I love you's either, rather the author tells us that he carries her purse without hesitation. In addition, she doesn't 'tell' us that she's a dedicated teacher, but she tells the willful doctor that she's happy to see him...anytime outside of school hours. We experience the compassion and commitment that exists within this family from the deeds so proficiently, yet humbly described.
Yes, there is talk of doctors, diseases, diets and medications, but it's framed so very well in a magnificent family photo.
Multiple Sclerosis, an Enigma, is a story of unconditional love shared over decades between generations of two families joined by a marriage strengthened from reverence to their marital vows.
It's a worthy investment for the serious reader who will immediately share this title when asked, "Have you read any good books lately?"
The author of this fine book has looked beyond her windows into the small New England town of Georgetown where she grew up. Through her eyes, those of us who do not live in Georgetown get a glimpse of idyllic small town life.
Terry describes a scenic town full of nature's attractive seasonal gifts. But more importantly, she describes a town that has a deep commitment to the people who live there. It is a town made up of volunteers who run the fire stations, coach children's sports, and conduct Town Governance. It is a town that values the wisdom of its elders and has great hope and faith in its children who will grow up and offer new, creative, and vibrant changes that will make Georgetown even stronger.
As an accomplished writer, Terry Palardy encourages us to consider the "gifts" within our own communities.