This story is great. I have an auto immune disease that attacks skin and muscle, it came on suddenly when I was 31. I was ill for 2 1/2 years before I found a drug that put me into remission. I've received the IVIG therapy that this lady did. It was interesting for me because I could relate with that aspect of her story but also because I am a nurse and I love learning about illnesses that I have never heard of. I would recommend to a friend.
A great book that was a cross between House MD and Mystery Diagnosis. It is definitely a real-life medial mystery thriller that will keep you reading until you find out the mystery diagnosis. The narrative also sheds light on the easy potential for misdiagnosis even with highly trained providers. Additionally, it makes the reader really think about their own health, and how we should not take our physical and mental health and well-being for granted. While the author does personally narrate her own saga, Heather Henderson does a terrific job conveying the various emotions and unnatural, difficult mental situations. The emotion and subtle inflections helps make this book believable as if you are standing right by Susannah experiencing what she is experiencing, or in the case of this book, experiencing "what she thinks she is experiencing." Additionally, the first person narrative is what really transcends the reader into the illness, the healthcare system and the various caregivers' lives. I applauded the author's research and access to medical records--something missing many other first-hand narratives of disease. This would be a great supplemental text for many college classes. The book sheds light on both the progression of disease and recovery. I gave this four stars because I thought the recovery section was the weakest part of the book and could have been shortened quite a bit, but before that, the book will grab you within the first few pages trying to understand how a disease could quickly can alter your reality and overall health. . . you are likely not to put it down until finished!
This book tells the compelling story of a young woman's mysterious illness that manifests as psychosis but turns out to be something else. What is eerily intriguing about the story is that the author remembers very little of it and she had to discover what happened during this period and try to piece it back together so that you feel as if you are going on the journey with her. Narration was excellent. Highly recommend this very human journey through a medical mystery.
So engrossing to follow the health issues of Susannah and her ability to get her life back. She had incredible family support and her auto immune disease was so complex and rare that it was almost a fluke that she was diagnosed.
First time, but reader has a great voice
To hell and back
The revelations about how much of our consciousness is contained in our brains. Surprising for someone who has always been "superstitious" and spiritual.
Waiting for the breakdown that you new was coming for the author.
The author's boyfriend Stephen.
Highly recommend it for anyone who isn't usually fond on non-fiction. This story is fascinating.
I don't agree with the reviewer who said the narration was too fast. The story is a compelling medical mystery that held my attention, I'm amazed that Susannah Cahalan was correctly diagnosed and glad she is doing well. Heather Henderson gives life to the story and makes you feel as if the author is there speaking to you. Clear and crisp. I highly recommend this audiobook.
This was a very good memoir. It is chilling to think that you can be at work one day and then have your brain attack you so that you are no longer yourself. How scary for her and her family. Wow! I'm familiar with autoimmune diseases through first-hand experience, and its amazing at the wide range of ways the body can turn against itself.
I thought that there was a good mix of her struggle with the disease and scientific data about the disease. Some of the books I read are way too heavy on the research, but I found that all of the information provided in this book was useful to get a better understanding of the illness. I also enjoyed the part of memories being manufactured and how you can spread incorrect information so that others also believe they remember the same thing.
The narrator was very good; at times, I forgot it wasn't the author herself speaking. I imagine this would be hard to do, given the fact that some of the author's terror and moods have to be portrayed. In this case, the narrator was an asset to the story.
I am glad that she took the time to write about this disease so that others can be educated and can learn the signs of this disease. Like the author, I cringe to think of how many people have received a psychiatric diagnosis, when in reality, there is a physical cause for their behavior.
Outstanding book made so much more intense because it is real. I generally read scifi and dystopian novels but felt compelled to try this book and I was not disappointed. It is well written and the author does an amazing job of helping the reader feel like they are witnessing everything play out.
I cried in frustration and happiness. I am rarely moved so strongly. I highly recommend this book. I felt compelled to complete the book in one sitting and struggled to set it aside to go to bed and stayed up way too late before forcing myself to sleep.
There are lots of dashed hopes, ups and downs, and a general roller coaster ride to hell and back. I was on that roller coaster in spite of the knowledge that I knew the eventual outcome.
I found myself looking everyone and everything up online. Susannah Cahalan was brutally honest and utilized all the data available to make sense of this period of her life. Again, it is an amazing book. Highly recommended!!
What an amazing story. This would be a great fiction story, but the fact that it’s true makes it all the more incredible.
Susannah takes us on the journey she took as she fell ill to the mysterious illness. The book starts at the first sign that something is wrong and takes us through her time in the hospital, her diagnosis, treatment and the follow-up care and research. Even though she can’t remember anything from that time, she has pulled together doctor’s notes, videos and interviews to create a thorough timeline that makes the reader fell like they’re living through it with her.
And it was scary. One minute she was an outgoing, confident young woman and the next she was a paranoid, delusional mess. It came on so suddenly and there were only a few signs that something was wrong before she ended up in the hospital. The tests and incorrect diagnoses she went through before they ever discovered her problem were immense and I’m impressed that her family didn’t give up on her. Their persistence is a testament of their love. Also? I think she might have the best real-life boyfriend ever.
You know it’s going to end well (she did write the book, after all) but the writing is so immersive and intense, that you wonder how it will all work out. This could have had a very different outcome, and Susannah is very lucky that the right doctor found the right test at the right time.
The last section of the book deals with the aftermath – how Susannah continues to be affected and the research and development that have gone into the disease since her diagnosis. That section wasn’t as intense as the earlier parts, but it was interesting. In fact, there are interesting facts and tidbits throughout the book, which were especially useful so we would know exactly how Susannah’s brain was misfiring.
The narrator did a great job, she had the moods and affectations down perfectly. When combined with the fabulous writing, I really felt like I was there in Susannah’s head while she was going through this.
An intriguing story made even better by the tight writing. Susannah is a gifted writer and I’m amazed this is her first book. Don’t miss it.
As soon as it became clear the story would be anecdotal, I hoped for a more engaging story (a la Terri Cheney's "Manic"). I am a junkie for brain-gone-haywire books, and this rates average.