Synopsis: (Goodreads) One day, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room, strapped to her bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records—from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory—showed psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four year old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter.
Susannah’s astonishing memoir chronicles the swift path of her illness and the lucky, last-minute intervention led by one of the few doctors capable of saving her life.
Review: This was an astonishing and remarkable book and even better becase the person who is ill is the one who wrote it. You can tell she is a reporter as this shines through the pages as she has to figure out what she doesn’t remember from being sick, which is a lot.
She is a bright, happy 24-year-old women and the only thing that has ever happened to her was melanoma which was caught and treated very early. So to go from someone who is healthy and just started out in life to seizures, manic episodes, paranoia, insomnia and no sleep is very scary. This can happen to anyone and as the book says has probably been happening to women throughout the ages.
The book starts when she first starts to notice symptoms. It would have been nice for a little context of her before, but you can’t win them all. Than you move with Susannah throughout the illness to the point where she is so sick she can’t talk and is having daily seizures. FInally the doctor that saves her life comes in to the picture and after many tests finds out what is wrong with her and helps treat her. She is very very lucky! Not only that she was able to be treated but that she could afford to be treated.
I like the fact that she also got accounts from other people who were there during this time because she doesn’t remember anything from the hospital. She also includes things she wrote and did herself while in certain states. It shows the mind of someone who is not really in the world, but in her own due to her psychosis.
I read this book in about three days. I couldn’t put it down and couldn’t wait to come home and finish it. It is scary and real all at the same time. To know that we are all so vulnerable and at any moment things can change.
Anyone who loves a good mystery would like this book, as well as anyone who likes a good bio. It’s an easy read in the sense of writing and a smaller book so it shouldn’t take you long. It’s one I can see myself picking up to read again, that is how much of a good book this is.