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
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.
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.
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.
Heather Henderson did a fine job narrating. I would listen to another of her narrations. I'm not sure about Susannah Cahalan. It might depend on the topic.
I'm currently listening to My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor.
I have not listened to anything else by Heather.
I was interested to read this book due to the fact that it deals with a medical mystery - and a psychiatric one at that. While the author's story is certainly scary and it really is a miracle that she was able to get a proper diagnosis and recover fully, the book was not as compelling as I had hoped. I can't really put my finger on why, but I did find my mind wandering quite often as I was listening to it. At times I felt that the story droned on and on a bit too much. Not a bad read, but don't expect to be on the edge of your seat. 2.5 stars - It was more than OK, but not quite GOOD.
This story was interesting but after awhile there is a great deal of medical terminology. By the end I skipped forward several times and still seemed to be listening to the same thing.