The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times To Live by Heather B. Armstrong (5 out of 5)

I saw this advertised in an advance catalog and emailed Wendy at S&S for a copy. I also asked for one for Nicole because I thought she would be interested in it. Two nights ago, I finished my other book and decided to head over to this. So glad that I did! Put this on your TBR list now! It’s due out April 23, 2019.

Heather B. Thompson is known for her blog, dooce. She also has a New York Times bestselling book under her belt, titled “It Sucked And Then I Cried”. I’m not going to lie; I am not one of her longtime readers. Likely because it’s considered a “mommy blog”. I am not a mommy, unfortunately, so it’s not one I would follow. I love her self-deprecating style of narrative, and I also love her take-no-prisoners approach to the experimental study in which she participates. Heather has had depression her whole life, but after a particularly bad episode leaves her crying in a closet that she wants to die, she realizes things have gotten to the point of no return. For the sake of herself and her two young daughters, Heather joins an experimental clinical trial involving a chemically induced coma (aka brain death). The procedure itself is ten visits, where the doctors use propofol anaesthesia to quiet all brain activity for FIFTEEN MINUTES before bringing her back from a flatline. Imagine…try to imagine…doing this ten times. Coming back from the dead isn’t something light to tread upon, kids. Having my Dad flatline just a month ago and reading Heather’s narrative on the feelings involved right before she goes under? Not cool. This brought back some of that again, in form of a panic attack. Which involves, in my little world, setting the book down, going outside, taking a walk around the block, and deep breaths before coming back inside, and diving back into the book. And make no mistakes here, my friends, you have to. Because you come to care for Heathr, along with the admiration for the spirit lying under the depressive state. You come to care about her kids, her mom, her stepfather, her team, and her uphill battle. You also come to care about the science and what the results of this and other clinical trials could mean to those battling treatment-resistant depression. Sometimes the hardest thing in getting through this life is going through the experience of that. Heather found this out-TEN TIMES over! What the reader takes away from this is the possibility that death, even medically induced, may mean more for those who want to live. What a story. Definitely a story you should read.

~ by generationgbooks on March 15, 2019.

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