Leche Grooms Tum-Tum

Tum-Tum's Book Club for Adults

Tum-Tum Recommends the Following Books for the Parents of Dr. T's Patients:

Losing Jonathan

"Losing Jonathan" by Robert and Linda Waxler. When Bob and Linda Waxler received a phone call warning them their beloved and accomplished son Jonathan was taking heroin, they began a journey that took them through the detox hospitals and halfway houses of America. But the second call a year later, from the medical examiner in San Francisco, informing them that Jonathan had died, plunged them into the deep darkness-a long, lonely journey into the center of themselves. Their task was to survive in a world that would never again be the same, and they did survive and even triumph, incorporating Jonathan into their lives not as a lost son, but as a living spirit who is with them in a new way.

Everything Changes

"Everything Changes: Help for Families of Newly Recovering Addicts" by Beverly Conyers. Like the people who care about them, addicted individuals in early recovery are filled with hopes and fears. They want to be free of the pain and chaos their addictions have brought them. They hope to build a productive life. But they also fear that they may not be able to live without their drug of choice.

During uncertain times of early recovery, families face new and difficult challenges in their relationship with their loved one: How involved should we be? How can we be supportive without setting ourselves up for disappointment? How can we help without enabling? What kinds of boundaries should we maintain? And what kind of relationship will we ultimately have?

Everything Changes is a guide to help families navigate the first year of recovery. It explores the addicted individual's many challenges, examines ways that families can be supportive without sacrificing their own peace of mind, and suggests ways to build a new, more rewarding relationship with their recovering loved one.


"Chiva: A Village Takes on the Global Heroin Trade" by Chellis Glendinning. Its use as a narcotic is on a precipitous rise. Worldwide heroin production has doubled in the last decade, and the United Nations estimates more than 15 million users are addicted—up to 3 million in the United States. It’s big business, too, with yearly global sales of $500 billion—up to $22 billion in the U.S. Enmeshed with terrorism, crime, government collaboration, corporate globalization, and the spread of HIV, the opiate trade is inextricably entangled with the functioning of global society. Finally, heroin is controversial because of the on-going debates about solutions to the health, social and economic havoc it creates.

Chiva uses creative nonfiction to merge the global epic of heroin trafficking with the human-scale story of its presence in the small desert town that boasts the most per-capita overdose deaths in the U.S. The book interweaves three themes:

The true tale of Chimayó, New Mexico, terrorized by its heroin dealers since the 1970s until, in the late ‘90s, its citizens rose up to challenge the epidemic in their midst. The story of the author’s relationship with a local dealer, and his involvement with addiction, crime, love, recovery and the judicial system. The political context behind these stories: the global workings of the heroin production business.

Compelling, disturbing, yet hopeful, Chiva is both personal and political, revealing the relationship between colonization and drug abuse, and the importance of reclaiming sustainable culture as a key to recovery.

To: Parents of My Patients:

Leche’s Book Club usually suggests selections full of humor, and that are appropriate for children. This time, due to the deaths of numerous adolescents and young adults in San Diego County, due to opiate overdose, I feel that it is appropriate to honor the memories of these young people who succumbed to a most terrible epidemic illness. Accidental overdose via heroin is especially common. Cheaper and easier for people to obtain than oxycontin, it is estimated that 80% of the adolescents and young adults who use heroine have WITNESSED a friend or acquaintance overdose on the drug. There is much secrecy about having witnessed such deaths, and young people are often afraid to call 911 to get their friend the emergency medical attention needed to save he or she from the overdose (via emergency administration of Naloxone, an opiate antagonist), because they fear legal repercussions for themselves. Not surprisingly, high school and college aged people assume that , if a friend has died unexpectedly, that it was due to not just any drug overdose, but specifically a heroin overdose. “We just know.” Many die after repeated attempts at treatment, via AA and NA meetings, chemical dependency counseling and groups, detox and in patient hospitalizations, and prolonged residential treatments, and “Tough Love” by their parents, and prescriptions of either Suboxone, Subutex or Methadone by their physicians. The heroin and opiate industry is global, and easily accessible by most teenagers and young adults, and not adequately deterred by our nation’s and our world’s governments. In this physician’s opinion, this lethal epidemic will not cease until the supply of these drugs ceases.


Jane Tanaka MD

"The Courage to Speak Foundation was formed by Ginger and Larry Katz, after the death of their son Ian from a drug overdose, and the Courage to Speak Foundation Support Group was formed to further help ther families that have suffered the loss of a loved one to the disease of addiction."

Saving Graces

"Saving Graces" by Elizabeth Edwards. The breast cancer diagnosis Edwards received on November 3, 2004, is dismayingly common. Uncommon, however, is the timing and the circumstances surrounding it. Wife of the vice presidential candidate John Edwards, Edwards's discovery of the lump on her breast came the day after the election and subsequent defeat of the Kerry-Edwards ticket. This mixture of the common and the uncommon, of the everyday and the extraordinary, defines Edwards and her life. A lawyer, mother of a grown daughter and two young children, and the wife of a politician, Edwards is both an optimist and a realist with the ability to laugh at herself. Yet she has had to endure a parent's worst nightmare—the death of her teenage son, Wade, in a car accident. In the end, however, Edwards's memoir is not about cancer, politics or even unbearable loss (though the description of her grief is heart-wrenching). It's about the value of people coming together to support each other. You'll find no celebrity gossip here. But like the kiss on the forehead her husband gave her at the end of their first date, this memoir is disarmingly moving. First serial to People, second serial to Ladies' Home Journal; feature in Good Housekeeping; national author tour; October 2 appearances on The Today Show and NBC Nightly News. (Sept. 26) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved

*All descriptions of books and photos are from Amazon.com.

Leche's Book Club for Kids

Leche Recommends the Following Books for Dr. T's Young Patients:

Living With a Black Dog

"Living With a Black Dog" by Matthew Johnstone. This second book from Matthew Johnstone, author of "I Had a Black Dog", is an equally touching and beautifully illustrated book, written for those who care for those suffering from depression - friends, family members, colleagues, and even therapists. Using wonderful illustrations and the image of Churchill's infamous 'black dog', Matthew and his wife Ainsley offer a moving, inspirational and often humorous portrait of life with depression - not only for those suffering from it themselves, but for those close to them."Living with a Black Dog" speaks directly to the carer and offers practical and sometimes tongue-in-cheek tips on helping the depression sufferer, such as: 'Socks have little do with mental health. If people could just 'snap out of it' they would'; and, 'Encourage any form of regular exercise. Fitness robs the Dog of its power'. Based on their own experiences, Matthew and his wife Ainsley treat the subject of depression sympathetically, hopefully and, most importantly, humorously.

Journeys with the Black Dog: Inspirational Stories of Bringing Depression to Heel

"Journeys with the Black Dog: Inspirational Stories of Bringing Depression to Heel" Edited by Tessa Wigney, Kerrie Eyers, and Gordon Parker. Ideal for sufferers, caregivers, and loved ones searching for answers, this collection of empowering personal accounts describes the early symptoms and various forms of depression, the path to diagnosis, and the confusion and frustration that can result from attempting to keep it at bay. Revealing the hardships of grappling with a depressive disorder, it emphasizes unique methods of control through regular diet and exercise. Oscillating between humor and gut-wrenching poignancy, these compelling life stories entrust readers with a key message—while depression may not be curable, it can be managed.

Living with a Black Dog: His Name Is Depression

"Living with a Black Dog: His Name Is Depression" By Matthew Johnstone. One in four women and one in six men will suffer from depression at least once in their life. Few are immune. It was the greatly admired Winston Churchill, a depression sufferer for much of his life, who nicknamed this human condition "Black Dog."
Living with a Black Dog is perhaps the most useful book ever created about depression. In simple text and strongly supportive illustrations, this slim volume examines, explains, and demystifies one of the most widespread and debilitating problems afflicting modern society.
Whether you've struggled with your own Black Dog for years, wondered why you're feeling sort of "ruff" lately, or known someone shadowed by a dark canine, Living with a Black Dog is for you. Artist and writer Matthew Johnstone, a depression sufferer himself, delivers a moving and uplifting insight into life with this unsavory companion. Even better, the book shows the strength and support to be found within and around us to tame this shaggy beast and ultimately bring it to heel.
Johnstone's book doesn't pretend to have all the answers. It doesn't resort to simple "dog tricks" for dealing with depression. But Living with a Black Dog does deliver understanding, hope, and the assurance that Black Dog days are not forever.

Brandon and the Bipolar Bear

Brandon and the Bipolar Bear: A Story for Children with Bipolar Disorder By Tracy Anglada. "This is an absolutely wonderful book that provides parents an opportunity to help their children with bipolar disorder understand the illness in language that is child friendly and truthful. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful, they depict the depth of emotions that are seen in this illness with unbelievable detail. This book is a MUST HAVE for every child with bipolar disorder and a wonderful addition to every home library. Only through education and knowledge can parents and children develop the skills necessary to successfully fight this very serious neurological brain disorder and empower the child to take control of their illness!" -- Dr Donna Gilcher, Executive Director of The STARFISH Advocacy Association

Simon Songjoy

Simon SongJoy Defends His Melody: A Children's Tale of Love, Loss and Heroism By Roby Dean-Blest. Do you know somebody who has a deployed loved one? Perhaps your own family is trying to make sense of life after having a family member return from Iraq or Afghanistan... Roby Dean-Blest, an adult child of Vietnam veteran, Chuck Dean, creates a unique, school-age children's story addressing the complicated issues of wartime PTSD, -Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Often, kids cannot understand the volatile emotions they experience during the long months of waiting and wondering..finally coming to a head with the return of their veteran. -Then the real "adjustment period" begins... Written as a tool for military personnel and their families, "Simon" bridges the gap for readers who may be experiencing their own delayed stress symptoms, confusion or lack of coping skills to deal with the aftermath of their Homecoming.

Bipolar Roller Coaster

My Bipolar, Roller Coaster, Feelings Book By Bryna Hebert. Join Robert as he tells us what it is like to have pediatric bipolar disorder, and how he, his family, and his doctor, manage his feelings and illness.

*All descriptions of books and photos are from Amazon.com.