Counting Backwards by Henry Jay Przybylo

Counting Backwards

For many of the 40 million Americans who undergo anesthesia each year, it is the source of great fear and fascination. From the famous first demonstration of anesthesia in the Ether Dome at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1846 to today’s routine procedure that controls anxiety, memory formation, pain relief, and more, anesthesia has come a long way. But it remains one of the most extraordinary, unexplored corners of the medical world.In Count...

Details Counting Backwards

TitleCounting Backwards
Release DateNov 14th, 2017
PublisherW. W. Norton Company
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Health, Medicine, Science

Reviews Counting Backwards

  • Petra Eggs
    My late father had a triple bypass where the anaesthetic didn't work. As his muscles were completely paralysed as they have to be, he was unable to let anyone know that he was in excrutiating pain. Afterwards he repeated to the surgeon things he had said and the surgeon was very apologetic but that was all. (If he'd been American he could have sued!) I thought maybe this was a one-off but then last year I had surgery in the Bumrungrad in Bangkok,...
  • Dorie
    I would rate this book a 3.5 rounded up to a 4!I am always interested in any books related to the medical field and this sounded like a great one. I’ve had several surgeries and I’ve always wondered what it must be like to be the anesthesiologist, the one who really holds your life in his or her hand!What I loved about this book were his descriptions of interactions with his pediatric patients. He seems to have figured out a way to calm his p...
  • Lynn
    This is a simple but fascinating memoir about the life of one particular anesthesiologist. The book provides pertinent history, medical knowledge, case studies and musings about the job and it's art. There is much more to the job than I thought. The anesthesiologist must examine the patient, decide on an anesthesia plan, put them out, keep them out, avoid mishaps, deal with emergencies, bring them back, and manage their postoperative pain. What I...
  • Katie/Doing Dewey
    Summary: The sections on history and philosophy of anesthesiology weren't my favorite, but the fascinating, moving patient stories were fantastic.In his career of more thirty years, anesthesiologist Dr. Henry Jay Przybylo has administered anesthesia more than 30,000 times. His patients have included everyone from "newborn babies, screaming toddlers, sullen teenagers, even a gorilla." (source). As he shares his experiences with these patients, he...
  • SibylM
    I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and an honest review was requested. Thank you to W.W. Norton for providing me this engrossing memoir! I absolutely love a good medical memoir, and this one delivered all of what I love: a smart, committed person with a real passion for medicine to narrate, a window into a new medical field I know little about, many interesting stories about patients (Tabibu was my favorite!) and excellent writing. I would ...
  • Marika
    Anesthesiologist/author Przybylo takes readers beyond the forbidden operating room doors into the O.R. itself. In a calm, warm tone, the author details how patients are given anesthesia prior to medical procedures and the myriad of ways in which they differ. He deftly includes the history of anesthesia, from the discovery of ether to more modern ways of blocking pain and alleviating pre-surgery anxiety. Wonderful book for those skittish about und...
  • Jen
    I'm always interested in medical history and autobiography, so I was very excited to read about an anesthesiologist's history and views on his profession. Too many of us take anesthesia for granted without a real understanding of what the practice entails. I found the historical background very interesting, especially how little really changes in the field. And I do admire his commitment to his patients. There were a few off-putting things for me...
  • Stephen Yoder
    This was a fun and fast read. Dr Przybylo is clearly a guy who is conversant in a very technical, high-stakes field of medicine but his writing isn't a thicket. It was darn clear. Anesthesia isn't a forgiving area, I suppose, and Dr Jay (as he calls himself) wasn't able to forgive himself for some earlier goofs in his career until those patients themselves showed some grace. High expectations are important, and yet they also can lead to painful m...
  • Cynthia
    3.5 rounded up.
  • Gloria
    An interesting account about the history and use of anesthesia written by an anesthesiologist. I was interested in reading the book because of my fascination with the effects on the mind of anesthesia and drugs that induce amnesia. While the books did not go as deeply into this subject as I would have liked, there was a lot of interesting information. It was not particularly readable unfortunately.Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC...
  • John
    Personal memoir of the professional life of an academic anesthesiologist. I think it provides good insights from my standpoint as a non-anesthesiologist physician. It is truly your anesthesiologist hold your life in his hands during surgery, but in fact it is the surgeon who gets the recognition and credit for a successful procedure. In addition to the general reading public, I think this book would be particularly useful for someone considering ...
  • Nanci
    When I received in the mail because of a goodreads giveaway, I was hesitant to start reading. I'm glad I did. Having had surgery this past April coming out of anesthesia was a vivid memory. Dr Jay's passion for his profession is evident. I wish I had had more interaction with my anesthesiologist even just to say thank you. If any of my local friends would like to read this book, I'll be happy to get my copy to you.
  • Anne
    A wonderful thought provoking read, about what happens with Anesthesia. This was a gifted free book from the author.