Don't Leave Me This Way by P-HarpercollinsPubl


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									Don't Leave Me This Way
Author: Julia Fox Garrison

Julia Fox Garrison refused to listen to the professionals she called Dr. Jerk and Dr. Panic, who — after
she suffered a massive, debilitating stroke at age thirty-seven — told her she'd probably die, or to Nurse
Doom, who ignored her emergency call button. Instead she heeded the advice of kind, gifted Dr. Neuro,
who promised her he would "treat your mind as well as your body." Julia figured if she could somehow
manage to get herself into a wheelchair, at least she'd always find parking. But after many, many months
of hospitalization and rehab — with the help of family, friends, and her own indomitable spirit — Julia not
only got into a wheelchair, but she got back out.Don't Leave Me This Way is the funny, inspiring,
profoundly moving true story of a woman's fight for her life and dignity — and her determined quest to
awaken an entrenched, unfeeling medical community to the fact that there's always a human being inside
every patient.

July 17, 1997she was southbound on route 128, driving to work and doing her daily ritual, thanking God
for her son, Rory, and her husband, Jim, and all of her family and her friends and her job and the fact that
she and Jim were talking about having another baby and the fact that she had lost weight thanks to that
stuff she was taking and the fact that she had a good marriage, and she finished thanking God and
quickly glanced in the rearview mirror and changed lanes confidently and safely and started thinking
about precisely how she was going to handle the switchover of the phone system at work while making
everything look SEAMLESS to the customers calling in, customers who didn't know (and didn't much
care) that her company was moving from one building to another, or that BIG, BIG CHANGES were in the
works. And she thought, Bring it on.Southbound on 128. And she thought, Seamless.And as she was
driving it didn't occur to her to thank God for the ability to stand, or to walk, or to drive, or to take a
shower herself, or to dress herself, or to have a functioning circulatory system, or to make her way to the
toilet unescorted, or to change her own tampon rather than watch helplessly as a total stranger did so, or
to wipe her own ass for that matter. And had she thought of these things she would certainly have been
thankful to God for them, but as of the morning of July 17, 1997, it had never occurred to her to even
notice them, much less express gratitude for them.Southbound on 128 and driving and thinking that last
week her boss had sat her down and told her "Big, big changes are in the works," and "I'll be honest with
you, the company is going through a major transition," and "We need you to keep everybody in your
department upbeat, that's what you're so good at," and "Don't get me wrong, this is a question of
survival," and "You're the best team player we've got," and "The transition has to be seamless." Big, big
changes in the works. "Don't let them throw you."Southbound on 128 and remembering the huge cutout
of Babe Ruth she'd put together for the party with the president when he introduced his new management
team and the theme was "The Winning Team." She'd managed to track down a life-size stand-up photo of
the Babe and she'd put a baseball cap with the company logo on it and it got a standing ovation. She'd
decorated her department with a baseball theme, even hiring a hot dog and popcorn vendor. There were
different positions for her coworkers to play -- the batting cage, the pitching mound. Boosting morale
within the company. Big, big changes were in the works and everything was going to be seamless,
goddammit, seamless.Southbound on 128, a little sleepy, time to wake up now, thankful that she knew
the road as well as she did. Thankful she knew exactly what was in front of her. Bring it on.A long time
ago you had a vision."You're going to be in a wheelchair for a while. But it's going to make you a better
person."You saw yourself in a wheelchair in the dream. When you woke up you felt confused.Her normal
routine was that she would take a lunchtime walk with Berkeley, the other customer support manager;
together, they would walk close to four miles in under an hour, and discuss department strategies while
they got in a little exercise. On July 17, they both had to go to separate manager events, so they decided
not to walk at lunchtime. She was feeling congested and tired and was slightly relieved that they were not
going to be...
Author Bio
Julia Fox Garrison
Julia Fox Garrison lives north of Boston with her husband, young son, and dog. Before her stroke, she
had a successful career as a software support manager. Now she is regularly invited as a motivational
speaker to doctors' groups around the country.

'Garrison can write. She is sharp, terse, tough and wry, especially wry.'

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