Jamison is a very athletic, fit and healthy college student. He certainly isn’t a typical young adult though – working out is his life! And no, that is not an exaggeration. He enters body building competitions and works out for hours every day.
One day he gets sick, he tries to push through his symptoms again and again, but he is forced to take it easy and rest in bed.
He waits to get better, but even after two weeks it just doesn’t happen. This obviously becomes very concerning, so he goes to the doctor, who doesn’t believe him. Anyone with a chronic and/or difficult to diagnose illness knows that frustration all too well.
Unfortunately, after searching for answers as to what this illness could be Jamison discovers that he has what is known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). This means that activities Jamison not only normally would find easy to do, but also loves to do, leave him feeling incredibly fatigued, nauseous (and causing other symptoms) for days afterward.
Even a short walk or bike ride becomes a huge set back.
So what happens when an incredibly fit and healthy young man develops an illness that leaves him bed ridden?
He deals with continuing his education, ending relationships, striving for independence, searching for love, exorbitant drug prices, finding and keeping a job, sex and more.
You know, the typical “adulting” struggle.
I loved Jamison’s writing in this book. It truly felt like we were going on this journey with him from the short glimpses he allows us to have of his life through this book.
The chapters are pretty short and Jamison mentions that this is because he wrote them down as they happened and it’s all he had the effort and energy to write at the time. I believe these short chapters actually make the book better.
You learn so much from these brief encounters because every word counts.
Jamison is brutally honest with what he allows us to see. He talks about topics that aren’t pretty, he doesn’t romanticize having an illness like some young adult fiction and movies do – you know the ones.
It’s refreshing and makes it feel like you’re just reading a message from that friend of yours that has absolutely no filter.
Overall, I definitely recommend this book. I don’t usually read memoirs, but I’m so glad I tried this, it’s given me a new perspective and is definitely a book to take notice of.