Don't Leave Me This Way
Or When I Get Back on My Feet You'll Be Sorry
By Julia Fox Garrison
(HarperCollins, Hardcover, 9780061120619, 352pp.)
Publication Date: June 2006
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Just an ordinary day . . .
You get up, fix breakfast for your three-year-old son, drive yourself to work -- a day like any other. You're running late for a meeting, and as you hurry down the hall, the light is getting brighter and brighter, and suddenly your vision explodes and . . . you're gone.
When you wake up, you're in a hospital bed. You can't talk, move your left side, or get out of bed. You can't comb your own hair, much less walk to the bathroom. You've had a massive brain hemorrhage. Your doctors tell you you're lucky to be alive. Even though they don't know the cause of your hemorrhage, they tell you whatever it is, it's incurable and you'll most likely die. But then they tell you the good news: If you do live and manage to get into a wheelchair, at least you can always find parking.
Julia Fox Garrison refused to listen to the professionals she called Dr. Jerk, Dr. Panic, and Nurse Doom. She clung to the advice of the kind and gifted Dr. Neuro, who told her "I have to treat your mind as well as your body." After many months in the hospital and then rehab, after coping with the shock of learning what had caused her stroke, and with the help of family and friends and her own indomitable spirit, Julia not only got into a wheelchair, she got back out and learned to walk again.
Funny, touching, and profoundly moving, Don't Leave Me This Way is the true story of a woman's fight for her life -- and for her dignity -- as she struggles to overcome the debilitating effects of her stroke. She battles an entrenched medical community with wit and grit, challenging her doctors to always remember that she's a human being and to think beyond the pages of their textbooks and show her the encouragement and optimism that she knows is going to make the difference between life and death.
“Wickedly humorous, brutally honest.”
“Readers can bring this book to the beach and laugh out loud...There are also moments showing Garrison’s incredible sensitivity.”
“Her humorous, tear-jerking, struggle-to-recover-against-all-odds story is a lesson in finding silver linings.”
“ Garrison can write. She is sharp, terse, tough and wry, especially wry.”
-Detroit Free Press
“Fierce optimism and even fiercer wit…(A) unique tone and utterly un-maudlin appeal.”
“Worth reading, every page of it.”
“The inspiring story of a feisty woman who stands up, literally and figuratively, and fights for her rights.”
“This book changed the way I practice medicine.”
-Gary Sobelson, MD, President, New Hampshire Medical Society
“A stroke (literally) of luck helped define the essence of her life. Her inspirational story can help us find ours.”
-Mehmet Oz MD, author of YOU, THE OWNER'S MANUAL Mehmet Oz, MD, author of YOU, THE OWNER'S MANUAL
“Garrison is exceptional because of her response to her experiences, not because of them.”
“Inspiring...A moving story that pulls readers through her most humbling and most triumphant moments.”
“Inspirational is too weak a word to describe Garrison’s memoir.”
“She has raised the bar on honesty and irreverence… to the level of sacred.”
-Brenda Michaels and Rob Spears, hosts of Conscious Talk Radio
“Julia Fox Garrison’s story isn’t just about her own recovery, it’s about the best in all of us.”
-Carol Kauffman, Ph.D. Professor, Harvard Medical School