For those who don’t know what it is, Munchausen’s by Proxy is when an individual — usually a mother — deliberately makes another person (most often his or her own preschool child) sick or convinces others that the person is sick. The parent or caregiver misleads others into thinking that the child has medical problems by lying and reporting fictitious episodes. He or she may exaggerate, fabricate, or induce symptoms. As a result, doctors usually order tests, try different types of medications, and may even hospitalize the child or perform surgery to determine the cause. (http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/sick/munchausen.html)
Anyway, the reason for that little medical summary is because sickened is about Julie Gregory, who spends much of her childhood in doctors’ offices and hospitals, convinced by her mother that she is sick and slow. But don’t worry, her mother will get to the bottom of this, she will find Julie the best medical care possible until they find what is wrong with her, even if it means invasive surgery, open-heart surgery if necessary. And somehow, after all of it, Julie manages to pick herself up again.
Sickened is terrifying because you can almost see, almost be sucked into that crazy. And how can no one see the truth? How can they? There are some slow moments in the book, specifically near the end, where you want more (more action, more story) but the book is compelling and leaves you wanting more.
Gregory is a good enough writer that I’d love to see if she can write other things. (Other than memoirs I mean. I believe she did write another memoir called My Father’s Keeper that I might check out at some point.)
Get the book: Sickened: The True Story of a Lost Childhood