In the tradition of Brain on Fire and Darkness Visible, an honest, beautifully rendered memoir of chronic illness, misdiagnosis, addiction, and the myth of full recovery that details author Porochista Khakpour's struggles with late-stage Lyme disease.For as long as writer Porochista Khakpour can remember, she has been sick. For most of that time, she didn't know why. All of her trips to the ER and her daily anguish, pain, and lethargy only ever resulted in one question: How could any one person be this sick? Several drug addictions, three major hospitalizations, and over $100,000 later, she finally had a diagnosis: late-stage Lyme disease. Sick is Khakpour's arduous, emotional journeyas a woman, a writer, and a lifelong sufferer of undiagnosed health problemsthrough the chronic illness that perpetually left her a victim of anxiety, living a life stymied by an unknown condition.Divided by settings, Khakpour guides the reader through her illness by way of the locations that changed her courseNew York, LA, New Mexico, and Germanyas she meditates on both the physical and psychological impacts of uncertainty, and the eventual challenge of accepting the diagnosis she had searched for over the course of her adult life. With candor and grace, she examines her subsequent struggles with mental illness, her addiction to the benzodiazepines prescribed by her psychiatrists, and her ever-deteriorating physical health. A story about survival, pain, and transformation, Sick is a candid, illuminating narrative of hope and uncertainty, boldly examining the deep impact of illness on one woman's life. ...
|Title||:||Sick: A Memoir|
|Number of Pages||:||272 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Sick » Sick: A Memoir|
Sick: A Memoir Reviews
A hot mess of cluster-b melodrama and pseudoscientific word salad.
(Read Lying: a metaphorical memoir by Lauren Slater instead.)
My review of this book is coming to a major outlet. Will update at that time.
Porochista Khakpour has always been sick. But why?
Her story will be familiar to anyone who knows the standard Lyme narrative: years of mysterious ailments, frequent diagnoses of mental health problems, the treatment of which only made her problems worse, the growing worry that she was either crazy or dying or both, the elation at having a diagnosis of Lyme disease, the struggle to actually find a treatment that would work, the relapses, and so on and so forth.
There are a couple of things that ma ...more
Iranian American novelist Khakpour describes in excruciating detail her fight against an unknown disease, which turned out to be late stage Lyme disease. Much of her battle was in getting the correct diagnoses and disregarding the Dr's who told her that her pain was psychological. For readers who enjoyed "Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved" by Kate Bowler.
I read an advance copy and was not compensated.
Porochista Khakpour felt a little (or even a lot) off in her body for most of her life - there were aching, dizzy spells, and all kinds of diffuse symptoms. Her memoir "Sick" chronicles her life as being a sick person without a diagnosis. Only quite late doctors finally could put their finger onto the problem: Khakpour has got late stage Lyme disease. The book is not about a straightforward quest to health or at least an answer to the question of what is wrong. Instead, the book meanders, jumps ...more
I do not have cohesive thoughts about this book. I cannot, and I may never. I can't decide if I want to give it 4 or 5 stars, or whether I loved it or hated it or thought it was good or bad writing or why I consistently want to treat life in binary or why any of this matters in the end.
I know two things:
1. I could not read this for more than small stretches at a time. Once, it sent me into a hot and prickly panic attack, after which I fell asleep and dreamt half-concocted nightmares of relapse.
It very much feels like a diary, the intimacy of which I can appreciate, but I also felt impatient with much of the book. There's lots of telling instead of showing, especially about anything not related to her illness, and the writing is not particularly literary. (Woe to anyone who has to follow up Edith Wharton, ugh.) And especially because I knew what Khakpour's ultimate diagnosis was, the repeated mentions of just how far the ultimate diagnosis was from her mind through the years ...more
Khakpour writes beautifully about her years of sickness, trying to find a reason for her never ending illness, trying to find doctors who will help her. Her despair at not getting any clear answers, being told it's all in her head, and at one point even sent to a psych ward, are palpable and I could feel it as I read her words.
It was hard, though, to get a grasp on who she is as a person. The non-linear essays made it difficult at times to keep track of where exactly we were at in her life. Her ...more