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Enemy Within: A memoir of strength, determination & acceptance Hardcover – June 20, 2010


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Hardcover, June 20, 2010
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: New Holland Publishing Australia Pty Ltd; 1 edition (June 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741108500
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741108507
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,743,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karen Ager, 45, is a tenured teacher at the United Nations International School in New York. Born and raised in Australia, Karen has taught at public and private schools in Melbourne, Sydney and Toronto before arriving in New York in 2000. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 17, Karen has been featured in the New York Daily News (February 2005) Shape magazine (February 2006) and the Today Show (October 2007). She is a board member of the Arthritis Foundation in New York, and often speaks at fundraisers and advocacy events.

More About the Author

Karen Ager is a tenured teacher at the United Nations International School in New York. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at age 17, Karen has had a long and inspirational journey with RA. She has worked relentlessly to raise public awareness about the disease. Karen has been featured on WPIX-TV Channel 11 'Unsung Hero' story (May 2003), the New York Daily News (February 2005), Shape magazine (February 2006), the U.S. Today Show (October 2007), Remedy MD (Spring 2008) and Healthy Living magazines (Spring 2008).

Karen serves on the Board of Governors for the New York chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, is a consultant on the Arthritis Foundation's Women of Distinction Committee in New York and often speaks at fundraisers and advocacy events. She is also the founder of the Karen and Arthritis Support group in Manhattan and is a proud board member of the Jeffrey Gottfurcht Children's Arthritis Foundation which helps to fulfill wishes and dreams for children with arthritis.

Born and reared in Australia, Karen received her Diploma of Teaching in 1986 and her Bachelor of Education from Deakin University in Australia in 1994. She has taught elementary children of all ages at public and private schools in Melbourne, Sydney and Toronto before moving to New York in 2000. Karen pursues her hopes and dreams in spite of her rheumatoid arthritis and wants to help others do the same. For interviews, or contact details go to www.karenandarthritis.com

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 51 customer reviews
This book is a must read for anyone suffering with auto-immune arthritis.
Shannon
I got this book in hopes of feeling connected to someone who knew what I was going through and this book did exactly that for me.
Steff.Becca
Karens story "Enemy Within" is a moving and inspirational story of Karens life (living with RA) so far.
np

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Susan on June 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I started to browse through Enemy Within on Saturday morning thinking I would add it onto my stack of summer reading books. Well, once I got started I just couldn't put it down and finished it before the end of the weekend. What a treat, a story of courage and determination that is neither sweet nor preachy. Ms. Ager's characters sweep you into her story and while she certainly celebrates her female friends, it is the men in her life that I found most interesting. I was mesmerized reading about her early boyfriends, the strength and support of her loving brother, and the charm of the famous men in her life but I was most moved by her love for her father and the pride she expressed when writing about the realization that she really was daddy's princess. Like many men, Max Ager was at first at a loss about how to deal with the emotional side of life, from finding himself suddenly without a wife to anchor him, to coming to terms with his daughter's illness. I was moved by the tender description of how he finally came to accept Karen's RA and I reached for my tissues at the description of him lovingly sitting at his daughter's bedside as she recuperated in hospital and envied Karen his support as he helped her to settle in and renovate her New York apartment. I think it is no coincidence that as Karen's relationship with her dad became stronger she was finally able to find the true love of her life, her handsome husband Matt. I look forward to reading more about this strong, courageous woman and her loving family.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Megan Braunberger on March 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book was recommended to me, with perfect timing for a broken body and soul. I had already tried to find strength on my own, and at times I had been successful but never for long. I needed more from the people around me and I didn't know how to reach out. Karen's book helped me find more inner strength, by helping me accept that this journey had only just begun and that it wouldn't be easy. By giving this book to friends and family, I could help them understand what was happening in my life. So that they could understand what they were seeing in me, but what I could not translate into words. Karen shares very personal and touching stories in her book, and it's hard to put down. When it was over I just wanted to read it again. This book made me cry, for Karen and for myself, and for everyone suffering from arthritis. Karen the arthritis community is lucky to have you as an advocate, you have made something wonderful from something so horrible.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jules on June 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I started reading this book when it arrived and I could not put it down. A battle with your body is one you cannot escape from, yet the author's determination and eventual acceptance is inspirational. I feel this book is not only a must have read for any sufferer of RA, but for anyone who wants to gain the feeling that 'anything is possible'! In my opinion, a must-have-read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I can totally relate with all that Karen has been through as I have been through many of the very same things with my RA.. Her experiences are so close to my own. I am sure she is continuing to struggle as I am as I get older and find my body having to deal with the destruction over the many years of RA to our bodies and some of the medications stop working or causing too many side effects to continue taking. But we keep smiling and continue to go on and deal with the battles ahead, Thanks for the book. You can read mine too entitled "My Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis: 27 Years of RA." Hang in there, everyone!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa P. on March 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone dealing with RA and their family members should read this book. I bought this book because I have RA and had heard Karen speak on a radio talk-show. I was inspired to demand from my doctor a more aggressive treatment after reading this book. It will also help family members get an understanding that RA is not just a physical condition but can also be an emotional withdrawal from society. I've gained a new perspective after reading this book!! Kudos to Karen Ager for her book, her courage and her willingness to share her story. Buy this book. You will be glad you did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jane M. Abrams on February 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book that tells the story of a woman's battle against the debilitating and cruel disease of RA. The reader really gets a sense for what the disease is like and what it does to you.

The author's search for a way to manage her disease while living a normal life is one I identify with as an RA patient myself. I've read many many books on RA and this one was the one I could relate to the most.

There's a lot to learn from this book. The author doesn't sugarcoat any of it and shares from her heart. Her struggle to find the right doctor, the right medications, the right balance of work and life is all detailed within. You wil learn and you will root for her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Martina A. Nicolls on August 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Enemy Within is the memoir of Karen Ager, diagnosed with debilitating rheumatoid arthritis. Mostly known as an older person’s auto-immune disease, Ager was diagnosed at the age of 17. Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful and chronic inflammation of the joints, mainly knuckles, knees, and hips, causing severe swelling and loss of movement. At its worst, it can inflame the lungs and membrane around the heart, resulting in death. It affects more women than men. Treatments such as physical therapy, nutrition, painkillers, steroids and anti-inflammatories can bring some relief to sufferers but they rarely stop the destruction of the joints.

In her 40s, Ager starts her memoir on the day at the beach when the pain gripped her body. This is her story of growing up in Australia, with her older brother and parents, continuously looking for a cure, or at the least, some relief for the pain. Fighting to mask the pain, she tells how it affects her relationships with her parents, with boyfriends, and at work.

It’s not until she travels to New York that she finds love, reconnects with her parents, settles into a job teaching at the United Nations International School, and comes to terms with the deformity of her limbs, operation scars, and her pain. Her memoir details how she reaches that point, after many setbacks.

Part autobiography, part diary, Ager kept notes along her journey of the days and weeks – that stretch to years – of being stricken, unable to stand, move, or grip anything, to days when she had the energy to take her next step. It also tells a little of other people’s reactions to her disease, some understanding and some not – with most not knowing her secret suffering. Sometimes too sentimental, but nevertheless it chronicles her determination to have a life, and how she reached personal acceptance after thirty years.
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