Jamie Weisman - As I Live and Breathe

from the publisher:
Jamie Weisman was a patient long before she was a doctor. She was born with a rare defect in her immune system that leaves her prey to a range of ailments and crises and that, because it is treatable but not curable, will keep her a patient for life. So she has lived the mysteries of the flesh even while she has plumbed them, first as a medical student and then as a physician. Her history has graced her with a deeper perspective on the body itself, in all its frailty and glory.

In this probing and inspiring book, Weisman brings her sojourns on both sides of the doctor-patient divide to bear on the issues of mortality that concern us all. She considers the randomness of illness, and the fears and fortitude it calls forth in those it strikes. She weighs the economic and moral value of sustaining any life. She explores the vulnerabilities of the body and of those who care for it, including their capacity for error. And she conveys, by eloquent example, that the only cure for the fear of death is living.

As I Live and Breathe is a view of medicine from both sides of the trenches, embracing both the patient's fervent desire for health and the doctor's fervent desire to grant it. It is a worthy addition to the best that has been written about our physical selves, a meditation on our extraordinary powers of healing and the limitations that leave intact the miracle and tragedy of human life.

"Weisman is both patient and physician. Her rare and longstanding illness allows her unique insights into the people she cares for, as well as the professionals who care for her. As I Live and Breathe is a remarkable memoir, a lesson on the nature of suffering, and a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit'." --Abraham Verghese author of The Tennis Partner and My Own Country

"What a wonderful book this is! It's wise and sad and funny and beautifully written. Jamie Weisman has been able to use what she learned in her medical education to make both sense and poetry of what she learned in her much harder education as a child and a young woman with a serious chronic disease. Her stories of taking care of patients, of dealing with doctors, and of her own life and her own family are woven through with hard and complex truths, with unexpected insights, and always with honesty and humor. She looks at suffering, and at death -- but also at life and joy -- with clear and wise eyes, and she tells her stories very well indeed." --Perri Klass, author of Love and Modern Medicine and A Not Entirely Benign Procedure

Jamie Weisman is a resident at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, where she lives with her husband and their daughter.