I left what?

I loved Still Alice by Lisa Genova, so when I saw this one out by her, I had to read it too.  Left Neglected is about Sarah Nickerson, a career-driven woman who tries to be everything to everybody.  She is vice-president of Berkley Consulting in Boston, a wife, and a mom to three children—one of which has just been diagnosed with ADD.

I was stunned by this woman’s life.  I know she’s a fictional character, but when I’m reading, these people are REAL.  Don’t burst my bubble!  I know there are women out there who lead a busy, corporate, 80 hour work week type of life, but it makes me TIRED just thinking about it.  Every second of Sarah’s day is micro-scheduled to fit in all she must do.

However, all that Sarah holds dear literally crashes to smithereens as she drives to work one day and is involved in a terrible car wreck that leaves her brain damaged.  The injury Sarah sustains is called Left Neglect.  I’d never heard of it before, but now I know everything there is to know (thanks to Lisa Genova’s amazing writing!).

Sarah’s left side of her world is completely erased.

What is that like?

She can’t feel or see her left side of her body.  She can’t

see the left side of anything.  In Still Alice, Genova gave

great insight into what it is like to have early onset alz-

heimers.  In Left Neglected, she does an amazing job

showing what it’s like to neglect the left side of life (and

this post).  It doesn’t sound like a very big deal…but

read this book, and you will think differently!

What I loved the most about this story is how Sarah learns, through her adversity and handicap, what is most important in life.  Trials and hardships can become our greatest blessings when they help us slow down and take notice of what we’ve taken for granted.

I haven’t gotten to the point in my life where I pray to God for trials.  But, as I have watched others grow and learn through their own, and look back to see how hard times have stretched me, I think I will thank God for my trials as they come my way from now on instead of whining about them…and then I will plead for him to help me learn my lessons fast so we can get on to the good stuff (that’s just the type of person I am…heehee).

.behind LEFT get Don’t  !day great a Have  .neglect forward it call—backward this write I’ll think I ,you with mess to just ,now And


(PS—You have to read that last sentence backward…well, you don’t HAVE to, but to understand it, you might WANT to)

16 thoughts on “I left what?

  1. This book looks great–thanks for highlighting it. I wanted to read “Still Alice” but haven’t got around to it. I might read “Left Neglected” first, though–looks very intriguing.

  2. Sounds like a challenging right…err–write. Sometimes I think that testimonials (even fictitious ones) bring out the inner sadist in all of us–ears pricked for the damage done and the lessons learned, so that in some significant way we might avoid having to learn that life lesson the hard way.

  3. You need to stop doing this! Every book u read seems to be such a good one! Now my list has grown even longer… hhhahhaaa 😉 Thanks for the review & the reminder how God stretches us thru trials…

  4. I learned a lot about brain injury when my husband suffered his traumatic brain injury a couple of months ago. Even if the brain bleeds in one area, it doesn’t mean only that area is affected, especially when the brain is shaken around in the skull (it’s called coup contre-coup, from the French). So you never know how much the person’s brain is affected by just looking at CT scans but also by doing a full evaluation. Honestly, I don’t wish a brain injury to anyone, caused by accident, stroke or anything else. When your brain is affected, your whole body is affected, not just your thoughts.

    • Oh, yikes! Is your husband okay now, or is he still suffering from it? This book did make me wonder how life would be if I or someone else I love suffered a brain injury. Life is so fragile and can change in an instant!

      • He’s mostly recovered after two months of care but it will take 6 to 12 months for a full recovery. I can honestly tell you, there’s nothing fun to have to deal with such an ordeal. He did some jumps while skiing, something very unsafe and irresponsible for a husband and father and he hasn’t learned his lesson since he can’t wait to go back to skiing. You’d think such accident would be life changing, but it only has been for me and the kids, not for him. I don’t wish anything like that happening to anyone.

        • Wow, I feel for you. That has got to be tough. Some people just live for adventure though…it’s in their blood. The lady in this book wanted nothing more than to ski again too after her brain injury (even though it was really dangerous for her to do…but she figured out a way). I’m not like that. Too much chicken in my blood. Good luck with getting through this trial in both of your lives.

      • Any future trauma to a previously traumatized brain can have dramatic consequences, so most doctors recommend to take it easy and find other activities. In my husband’s case, he’s not the adventurous type much but rather the selfish type. He does what makes him feel good without considering how this may affect people around him. This incident is just one example of his self-centered behavior. Should I say we have recently separated and this is one of the reasons? I haven’t mentioned it on my blog yet but the time will come.

        I think any injury or illness is a tremendous test to any relationship and a very stressful experience for the caregiver. If the relationship isn’t strong in the first place, it may not survive.

        • Oh, I’m so sorry. That has to so hard for you and the kids. My thoughts and prayers will be with you as you endure your struggles.

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