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

4.6 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Hardcover, June 20, 2010
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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.
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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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,910,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good book to see how Karen battled Rheumatoid Arthritis and fought her way through the medical community and came out the other end. She lost me every now and then with her name dropping and seemed to become more of an overall autobiography instead of focusing on how the RA affected her in during those times. It was still quite interesting but I am coming from a place of wanting to know how other folks with severe RA are coping with their illness and what paths they took since I am in that situation myself. Still recommend this book highly since it is a story too rarely told.
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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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Format: Hardcover
This book shares the reality of a life with chronic illness, and how it can affect someone in different stages of his/ her life. I would recommend this book to anyone living with a chronic illness as well their family members. As an outsider, you rarely understand what a daily struggles an illness can impose on someone's life. This book gives those outsiders a glimpse of reality. It takes a lot of courage to come out and share details about your personal struggle, and I want to commend Karen for doing that. This is book is a source of hope and strength for those living with chronic illnesses, and a wonderful medium of education about patients' life for their family members.
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