Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Camera My Mother Gave Me by Susanna Kaysen (2001)

The author of Girl Interrupted takes the reader on a sometimes surreal journey through the health care system, meeting internists, gynecologists, alternative health experts, and many others as she explores the big issues surrounding health care in America. This is the story of a woman with vulvodynia (genital pain syndrome). It is extraordinary and worth reading for anyone interested n pain syndromes. It is short, sad, funny, poignant.
DJE wrote a review which appeared in the Archives of Dermatology Vol. 139 No. 3, p. 395-6, March 2003
"Our textbooks and journals give us second- and third-hand descriptions of the disorders we see and treat. Rarely do they provide glimpses into the souls of those who suffer. We are privy to this in the seclusion of our offices, but are often too harried to sit and listen to the cris de coeur so many, given license, would impart.

To the slim oeuvre of dermatologic pathographies, we can now add Susanna Kaysen's The Camera My Mother Gave Me, a witty, ribald, articulate chronicle of what we dub vulvodynia and our gynecologic colleagues call vulvar vestibulitis.

This slender volume can be perused in a couple or few hours and is a "must read" for all of us (with the exception of those offended by 4-letter words and graphic sexual descriptions). It chronicles the chaotic..." I will try to get a pdf of this review.