Day: September 22, 2013

Review of ‘Allergic to Life’ by Kathryn Chastain Treat

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Imagine waking up one day and learning that you’re becoming allergic to everything around you. Foods you formerly ate can now make you deathly ill, and your work environment is not just uncomfortable, but potentially fatal.

This is the situation that Kathryn Chastain Treat found herself in, and about which she has written in Allergic to Life. A journal of her battle with a debilitating condition that threatened to break her family apart, and caused her to have to physically separate herself from the things that she had grown up with, it is also a story of courage and persistence. Treat’s battles with an uncomprehending and often uncaring bureaucracy, dealings with doctors who didn’t understand her condition, and with her own frustrations and anxieties, are related almost matter-of-factly. She takes us almost day-by-day through her ordeal, in amazing detail.

What really shines through in this book, though, is the power of human will; the ability to keep going when there is nothing left but the will to ‘go on.’

There are a lot of medical terms, but Treat provides a glossary at the end that explains them. A highly recommended read for those who feel that all hope is gone. Treat shows us well that, as long as there is hope there is life.

I give this book three and a half stars. It’s not a literary masterpiece; but it is well-written, and worth the effort to read.


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