Friday, May 25, 2012

"Let Me Go When the Banter Stops: A Doctor's Fight for the Love of Her Life" Honors Seattle Nurses

Let Me Go When the Banter Stops: A Doctor's Fight for the Love of Her Life is the story of my husband Steve Williams and his valiant struggle with diabetic kidney failure. The book, released this week, is dedicated to the ICU/CCU nurses at University Hospital and Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, as well as the nurses at the Northwest Kidney Centers.

This photo was taken by Bainbridge Island photographer Cameron Karsten in 7/2009 - just before
Steve and Linda went to pick up the newly born copies of Complications: A Doctor's Love Story.
It was only when the owner of the rickety Bainbridge dock came out to shush us away that
 we all noticed the "No Trespassing" sign at my feet!

Writing this book was an exercise of love: it is the story of Steve and our scrappy little Bainbridge Island family! This book covers the journey from just before Steve's living donor kidney transplant through his many complications - then to his strangling aortic valve stenosis and bypass graft - then to critical illness myopathy,and finally, to his death at 61 - one week after a leg amputation. Throughout the book, we cover the day-to-day exercise of home dialysis - both hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

Always medical, but grounded in Steve's humor, this is a true love story. It's also a quick crash course in kidney disease; Steve had nearly every complication on the menu.

Moreover, our journey took Steve and me back to my medical school alma mater - and to the hospital where I have staff privileges. It's an honest view from the combined perspective of an insider AND a patient advocate and caregiver.

Just like Steve's care, the book became a community effort. One hundred individuals gave their permission to be named in the book - including Steve's nephrologist, Dr. Smiley Thakur; his cardiologist, Dr. Humera Ali; his cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Joseph Teply. I am personally grateful for the foreword, written by UW faculty nephrologist, Dr. Pat Fleet.

The book is currently available in paperback through my website(, and through A Kindle version will be available in a few weeks.

I welcome your opinions about the book, and am actively seeking opportunities to speak about its content and themes.

Take care,
Linda Gromko, MD