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Brain on Fire

[my Month of Madness]

Cahalan, Susannah

(Audiobook CD - 2012)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Brain on Fire
Print
Her medical record, 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-old. 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.
Publisher: [Minneapolis, Mn] : Highbridge Audio, p2012
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 1611749786
9781611749786
Branch Call Number: CD- 616.8320092 C1321b
Characteristics: 7 sound discs (7 hr., 45 min.) :,digital ;,4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Henderson, Heather

Opinion

From Library Staff

An award-winning memoir that goes far beyond being a riveting medical mystery. It's the account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity after an autoimmune reaction to an unknown pathogen that jump-started a brain inflammation. It could happen to anyone.

Her medical record, 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-old.


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Aug 28, 2014
  • DanglingConversations rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A fascinating medical case study and for that reason this story is a significant contribution to patients and their families who may need to rule out this rare disease when autism or schizophrenia is diagnosed. But as literature, she is no "Proust". Perhaps this is still residual thinking from her terrible disease but there was an air of self absorption and repetition that as off-putting.

Jun 24, 2014
  • HarrietH rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This book discusses a barely known disease and how it affects the author's life. The medical story is interesting, but the book could have been edited way down. It's much too much repetition and when it came to discussing how the family and friends felt and responded, it was shallow.

My suggestion is to not try to include the personal reactions, or delve into the people so that there is some depth of understanding. Without that this could have been improved as a much shorter article on the ingenious work of a couple of doctors.

Aug 27, 2013
  • mmg2681 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Wow. What an incredible story about a young woman with a rare disorder. I can relate (but not for an entire month) when I was in a medically induced coma for 7 days with an extreme case of H1N1 in 2009. Your mind does crazy things and what seems like a dream and what is reality are distorted. I'm glad the author's doctors found a cure and she is almost back to her "old self", but this is still an interesting story to read about.

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