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Sick Girl Paperback – October 1, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Spectacular ... Heart transplant patients live along the jagged edges of the abyss that most mortals fear. By bravely peeking over the edge, Amy Silverstein shares with us the brutal reality of being a 'survivor.'"
"Silverstein is an inspired storyteller. Her engaging language and sharp insight make Sick Girl both compelling and moving. Few of us undergo a heart transplant at twenty-four, but we can recognize our own stories in this incisive, unflinching look at life, love, and extraordinary courage."
"Amy Silverstein is not an easy patient, with good reason. She has lived nineteen long years with a transplanted heart, much longer than any doctor could have predicted. And she has, arguably, done more with a transplanted heart than anyone else, including the publication of this remarkable book. It documents her fears, frustrations, anger, and perseverance. She recognizes that the world expects a simpering bundle of gratitude. In her compelling memoir, Sick Girl, Amy delivers a searing insight into the battle to stay alive. And yet, there is also love and humor, and a radiant courage."
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Top Customer Reviews
Sadly, the book begins with Amy contemplating stopping her transplant meds as a way of ending "the torture of survival" and leaving behind her saintly husband and beloved son. For her, these 19 years have not been successful, they have been almost unbearable.
It was painful reading this book--I had to put it down often. Amy portrays herself as woman who seems to resent even the idea of looking at the positive side of things. She has locked herself in a mental pattern of self-pity. For example, she lists all of these things she has had to cut out of her life because they are too closely associated with a traumatic medical event. This ranges from certain foods to a certain outfit. To this day, she will not put her hand on her husband's knee when he is driving because it reminds her of a horrible ride to the hospital. This is where I think choice comes into play. In this situation, she has chosen to embrace the trauma instead of embrace the new day. This I find to be extraordinarily tragic.
This is Amy's story and she has a right to tell it as it is. My only fear is for those awaiting transplant and for those who may have been, or will someday be, in the position to donate a loved one's organs and save lives. Please do not think that Amy's story is consistent with what it is for everyone post-transplant. I, for one, am happy to live a shorter life with medical ups and downs--it is worth the trade to be here with those I love.
There are many "sick girls" out there--Amy seems to feel as though she is the only one who knows suffering.Read more ›
Unfortunately, that's all Amy does. This book is one long Middle finger to the medical community and to all her acquaintances and friends who didn't understand how difficult its been for her to live day to day. Its astounding that she has been able to spend the better part of her adult years with as little self understanding as she had at 24.
Amy is a smart girl yes, but not an emotionally smart one. She never feels the need to search out other ways of thinking, or philosophies, or metaphysics, or anything that would help her stop blaming everyone else. at the very least she needed therapy. Amy took responsibility to stay alive when she was first diagnosed, she made that pact with herself and that IS commendable, but the end result was that she expected the world to cheer and applaud her daily effort , and because they were human, and couldn't, and didn't, we were subject to her book length rant. Its amazing that she was able to escape therapy, that no one forced her to get some kind of emotional insight and help. Saving this woman's body but not addressing her mind was not to her benefit.
I can well imagine how little grace of life is left after consistent illness such as hers, i can, and i do have tremendous sympathy for that.Read more ›
For instance, after receiving her grim diagnosis of irreversible heart disease, Amy and her parents embark on a taxi ride during which she is, understandably, wailing and ranting about her fate. Her father explodes in anger, saying he's had enough. He makes the taxi driver stop, whereupon he and her stepmother get out, abandoning her in her despair.
What an astounding betrayal! And yet we never hear how she felt about it. She seems to have a genuine affection for her father and stepmother. But how can that be? The only time she brings the moment up again is when her father weeps at her bedside as the doctors tell her that she needs a heart transplant. "I felt desperate to escape his anguish," she writes, "just the way he had been driven to escape mine when he fled from the taxi in Boston." Odd family dynamics, and yet totally unexamined.
After that omission, the author's lack of insight became glaring. She brushes off her sister's heart troubles so that she can return to her own drama. She portrays her husband as a virtual saint rather than a real person. If they ever had a searingly honest conversation about the hand life dealt them, it's not recorded here. She hints that maybe he's had a hard time of it, too, but we don't hear about his howling moments. Surely he's had them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a wonderful book and I'm so glad I found it.
I have congestive heart failure and my doctor is suggesting getting a heart transplant. Read more
Like many other people I thought a heart transplant was a ticket back to a mostly normal healthy life. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Joan Houser
Hard to read. Hit way too close to home. That being said..amazing and brutally honest book! Would love to have an actual conversation with the author...Published 6 months ago by Andrea Thompson
I would give it 0 stars if I could. Terrible. It was like reading the diary of a very spoiled - and heartless - brat. Read morePublished 8 months ago by A. Mulligan
Sick Girl is a brutally honest account of life after a heart transplant. Amy Silverstein pulls no punches narrating her life story, choosing to lay her soul bare. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Florin Micurescu
I love this book and I love Amy. I do have some common ground with Amy as I've had a kidney and pancreas transplant. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Sharron R Johnson
Interesting for people concerned by the topic of transplant. We'll written.Published 19 months ago by K
THE most inspiring book I ever read. Moreover Ms Silverstein had a second transplant after 25+ years living with the first one. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Stackman