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Showing 1-2 of 2 reviews(1 star). Show all reviews
on March 2, 2010
I found this book extremely difficult to read for a number of reasons. My mother had a stroke about 10 years ago and I live with the effects of her stroke everyday. She is a high functioning stroke victim but the effects do not go away, she still has aphasia and apraxia and some vision disabilities.

First of all, when she describes her experience of being in the hospital and the days post stroke, she hardly mentions that she cannot talk. It is the most apparent disability for family and friends, it is the most distressing, that the victim cannot say names, speak clearly, say any words. She discuss's her communications with Doctors and family and I honestly do not know how that happened. She never express's how difficult and frustrating communication would have been. Either she dosen't remember it, or she has chosen not to mention it. She would have babbled saying random words, calling people by the wrong names, unable to express herself. She portrays her time before the surgery as a capable scientist able to have intellectual discussions about her condition and how to treat it, which is definately not possible. I am not sure if this is her being in denial of how it affected her? I find my mom is often in a similar denial.

Secondly, she does not discuss the crying. Stroke victims cry, alot. It is part of the emotional trauma of what has happened to them. I also believe that something happens to stroke victims, in the makeup of their brains that makes their ability to manage their emotions function differently, hence the crying. I remember mom bursting into tears in a restaurant becuase we had to wait in line. It was too much for her. She does not mention the crying.

Finally, one thing I have learnt about stroke is that it can leave the victim very self involved and self centered. The manner in which she describes her experience is almost delusional, like she was above the experience she was having. Not discussing she couldn't communicate with people or that she was able to speak or read anything, leaves me to think she was in some sort of denial, or she has forgotten, or she wants to portray to the world that she is fully recovered and some of those things did not happen to her. That she isn't brain injured.

I found I could hardly read this book, the new age experiences were not what I was looking for. I wanted to better understand a stroke, instead I read alot about brain function and got very frustrated about how she glossed over the most traumatizing parts of stroke. There are also parts of a stroke I'm not sure the victim is aware of. Stroke victims can use guilt as a tool with their care givers, they experience cognitive changes, their ability to understand directions and conversation changes. THey can also be a bit deluded. I say this from personal experience and having shared stories with others, these are common traits. If Ms. Boyle Taylor is the exception, than it is something to note.
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on December 15, 2008
Jill Taylor is an insult to neurologists everywhere. Her book is pseudoscientific and replete with New Age spirituality, patronizing prose, oversimplification of scientific facts and just plain stupidity. She appears to understand very little about her own field. If you want to read fresh, interesting material on neurology please pick up some Oliver Sacks or Norman Doidge, not this tripe.
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