3 out of 4 stars
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How I Survived is a nonfiction book by Anne Elizabeth Nixon.
How I Survived is divided into three sections that deal with three illnesses that have had a profound effect on the author's life. The first section covers her experience with her husband's Alzheimer's. She discusses his diagnosis, the progression of his disease, and what being a caregiver entailed. The second section focuses on her battle against colon cancer and the aftereffects thereof. The third section is about polio and living with post-polio syndrome.
I loved how the author tackled her discussion of these three illnesses. She has a broad approach of narrating her experiences. What do I mean by this? Well, she not only relates her experiences, but she also mentions how it made her feel, what she learned from it, and offers practical, implementable tips for those going through similar situations. Along with this, she gives facts relating to what these illnesses are, going to the extent of citing definitions from Mayo Clinic articles.
My favourite section was the third. Here, the author opens by giving a brief history of Polio, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I appreciated the pictures she included. One picture I found to be especially interesting was a picture of a little girl in an iron lung smiling sweetly. Her narration of events coupled with the pictures brought home how devastating this illness was.
I found all three sections to be helpful. If you or a loved one are going through Alzheimer's, cancer, or post-polio syndrome you might appreciate this book. It might help you to feel less alone, and it could help you to identify areas you might have overlooked or forgotten. For example, you may not know of organisations that are set up to help you or your loved one. The author discusses quite a few of these organisations and how they came to her aid.
The only thing I disliked was how the author moved from one experience to the next and at times without giving giving sufficient background or details on events. However, this vagueness did not hinder her in getting her points across.
I believe an older audience and those in their retirement years seeing a decline in health will appreciate this book. To be fair, even caregivers might find it helpful. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is quite helpful and informative. I would give it a 4 if the narration of events and experiences did not have an element of vagueness to them.
How I Survived
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