Wisecracking memoirs of a young woman who suffered a stroke and is still working to recover from it.
Garrison was only 37 when the stroke occurred in the right hemisphere of her brain, leaving her with impaired vision and balance and paralysis on the left side of her body. The author writes disconcertingly in the third person in the two first chapters, switches to the second person for the following chapters, then changes to the first person for the final two chapters. Possibly her intention is to reflect changes in her perception of herself as she experiences a devastating life-altering injury and slowly comes to terms with what has happened to her. Garrison, however, is not subtle; she yells, curses, cries (in private), jokes, belittles, rages and demands. Doctors she does not like she dubs Dr. Jerk and Dr. Panic, and she uses quick sarcasm on unnamed nurses, aides, therapists and others who don’t measure up. Her humor may sometimes be forced and a bit heavy-handed, but it is most often directed at herself. She firmly believes that attitude is the secret to success, and her determination to survive and to get better sees her through some exceedingly rough times. Her early excursions outside the hospital are nearly disastrous yet truly funny, as are her adventures at home with a three-year-old. While chemotherapy is forced upon her, she explores other avenues on her own: acupuncture, Botox, a faith healer at a friend’s church and even a teenager in a coma who is believed by some to be in direct contact with Jesus. In the end, there is no magic cure, and her recovery can only ever be partial. If there is a message here, it’s for anyone who’s had a bruising encounter with the health-care system.
The inspiring story of a feisty woman who stands up, literally and figuratively, and fights for her rights as a human being.