Thursday, July 29, 2010

Against Medical Advice

"As the agitation gets worse, I plead with my mother to make it go away. She tells me to try to wait it out, and I curse at her because she won't help me. I curse at my mother? There's another person inside of me, taking over."

Against Medical Advice is written by James Patterson and Hal Friedman. Hal's son, Cory was diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome at age 5. For that point, life drastically changed for the entire Friedman family. I have never know anyone with Tourette's, and I've actually only seen it portrayed on TV. This book reveals the depth of pain and frustration of this disorder from a first hand account. It the diary of a mind that cannot control the body. It is a fight for Cory. It is a fight for his family. Between doctor's visits, numerous prescriptions, psychiatrist's visits, school meetings and advice, the family's fight to overcome the disease is a battle that forges through Cory's high school graduation.

I believe in the importance of reading non-fiction for many reasons. It challenges me to learn about something I do not know much about. Usually, I choose to read nonfiction memoirs or biographies because I find firsthand accounts more engaging and personal. To know someone's story is to learn about humanity in a new light- the pain, the love, the struggle that we all go through.

I highly recommend Against Medical Advice for any reader. I cannot fathom a mother's role in her child's struggle with Tourette's. I respect any mother, father, sister or brother who live with their family through the terrors described in this book. More than anything else, this book is hope.

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