Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic

Nora Gallagher

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Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic

Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic By Nora Gallagher Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic This taut yet lyrical memoir tells of the author s experience with a baffling illness poised to take her sight and gives a deeply felt meditation on vulnerability and on what it means to lose the fai

  • Title: Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic
  • Author: Nora Gallagher
  • ISBN: 9780307592989
  • Page: 392
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic By Nora Gallagher This taut yet lyrical memoir tells of the author s experience with a baffling illness poised to take her sight, and gives a deeply felt meditation on vulnerability and on what it means to lose the faith you had and find something better One day at the end of 2009, during a routine eye exam that Nora Gallagher nearly skipped, her doctor said, Darn Her right optic nerveThis taut yet lyrical memoir tells of the author s experience with a baffling illness poised to take her sight, and gives a deeply felt meditation on vulnerability and on what it means to lose the faith you had and find something better One day at the end of 2009, during a routine eye exam that Nora Gallagher nearly skipped, her doctor said, Darn Her right optic nerve was inflamed, the cause unknown, a condition that if left untreated would cause her to lose her sight And so began her departure from ordinary life and her travels in what she calls Oz, the land of the sick It looks like the world most of us inhabit, she tells us, except that the furniture is slightly rearranged her friends can t help her, her trusted doctors don t know what s wrong, and what faith she has left just won t cover it After a year of searching for a diagnosis and treatment, she arrives at the Mayo Clinic and finds a whole town built around Oz.In the course of her journey, Gallagher encounters inhuman doctors, the modern medical system in which knowledge takes fifteen years to trickle down and the strange world that is the famous Mayo Clinic, complete with its grand piano With unerring candor, and no sentimentality whatsoever, Gallagher describes the unexpected twists and turns of the path she took through a medical mystery and an unfathomably changing life In doing so, she gives us a singular, luminous map of vulnerability and dark landscapes It s the nature of things to be vulnerable, Gallagher says The disorder is imagining we are not.
    Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic By Nora Gallagher

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      Published :2019-09-03T03:04:24+00:00

    One thought on “Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic

    1. Moira Russell on said:

      If I try to talk about this book I m just going to sound like a goddamn sap, and so I ll just say it was really absolutely just what I needed to hear right now It s pretty damn good until somewhere past the halfway mark, and then a lot of threads illness, religion, good old Uncle Jesus as Anne Lamott calls him , being present, meditation, c c are drawn together and then it s pretty fucking amazing.

    2. Pam Kirst on said:

      In Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic, Nora Gallagher is healthy, successful, bizzy, then she turns a corner, opens a door, and is in a hallway she hardly recognizes There was something on the periphery I couldn t make out, she writes A door closes and another one opens, said a friend, but it s hell in the hallway She calls the hallway Oz It s the land of illness It s the land of the unknown Will she go blind Does she have cancer What s causing this mess Gallagher writes about the good bad, war [...]

    3. Cynthia on said:

      Gallagher writes openly about the disorienting reality of her personal experience of serious illness, and particularly about her spiritual struggles during this time of weakness, uncertainty and fear I particularly recommend this book to pastors, chaplains, all who work in the medical field and those with family members experiencing this other world centered on medical appointments and seemingly endless waiting for diagnosis and healing.

    4. Fred on said:

      This is a beautiful and interesting book about the author s transformative journey into illness and vulnerability, and the strange new landscape she finds herself in after experiencing some weird vision problems suddenly she s at a remove, behind a glass wall, from her previous successful and and busy life as a writer It s thoughtful and lyrical for someone who started as a journalist, it s really poetic than expository I loved how deeply and unreservedly Nora gave herself over to the emotions [...]

    5. Karen on said:

      I was expecting a straightforward memoir about vision impairment and the medical wrangling that resulted However, the first one third of the book wandered a bit, touching on aspects of the health and vision issues but frequently veering off into various asides All of it was interesting and well written but not the linear narrative that I anticipated At that point I would have rated it a 4 star book.The midsection became focused, delving intensively into the medical aspects of the stories the [...]

    6. Lee Wilkins on said:

      First of all, I know a little bit about the author before reading this book This is a memoir, but it is very much informed by her faith In her previous books, she has explored her search for meaning and faith, which led her to the Episcopal Church and through the discernment process to become a priest spoiler alert she ended up not pursuing the ordained priesthood In this book, she chronicles her experience as a patient with a complex condition, an experience she compares to making her a residen [...]

    7. Nancy on said:

      I thought I knew where this book was going before I started reading it, so I was puzzled by the first third or so of it I didn t relate to the picture she painted of herself or understand why the history of her quest for a religion that fit her was such a focus I still don t know how in the world she ended up considering the Episcopalian priesthood Once she began focusing on her medical mystery I became much engaged She describes her anxiety, her negative experiences with medical practitioners [...]

    8. Andra on said:

      Nora Gallagher delves into the world of illness, into her own land of Oz in a deeply personal meditation that is a no nonsense look at the medical establishment The story reads like a mystery I felt compelled to read on, to discover the culprit Every one of us will visit this vulnerable and frustrating land, whether ourselves or with a loved one, at one time in our lives Nora Gallagher s humor and honesty will make a great companion to take with you on your own journey.

    9. Rev. Deb on said:

      This book, along with The Fault in our Stars by John Green, is a MUST READ for anyone who works in pastroal care or health care Nora s journey through waiting rooms and confusion is, sadly, all too real for those with serious illnesses I encourage my friends who are pastors, chaplains, nurses, doctors, etc to sit with the message of this book and consider how we could change the all too common experience of health care, where one is a medical record and not a person.

    10. Linda Post on said:

      A fascinating exploration of extended illness, priorities and faith Gallagher shared some of this content in her presentation at our 2011 Triennial Gathering.

    11. Peggy Lo on said:

      Beautifully written There is just something about her use of language that helps you see things from a slightly different angle Although it was a quick read, it will stay with me.

    12. Diann on said:

      I am an avid Nora Gallagher fan This is an interesting perspective on illness, being a patient, suffering and faith She writes about her year of unexplained symptoms and her experience with the medical profession good and bad Additionally, a woman of deep faith, finds that she loses her faith and through a long and winding road, finds a way back to a deeper, but different type of faith If you are a person of faith, I believe it will be of interest If you are a person of little or no faith, don t [...]

    13. Wendy on said:

      This memoir deals with becoming a person who is sick and learning to live in that new land where, as the author states, all the furniture has been rearranged.

    14. Pearl on said:

      Nora Gallagher has always found meaning in metaphor or, perhaps, has found metaphor as a way of expressing meaning In her 2004 book, Practicing Resurrection, Gallagher writes of the reassessment she took of many aspects of her life after her beloved brother s death her commitments, her beliefs, her discernment to become a priest in the Episcopal Church, among many others She took the title of her book from lines by farmer poet Wendell Berry, Be like the fox Who makes tracks than neccessary Some [...]

    15. marcus miller on said:

      This is the kind of book I would not normally read but when people know your wife has a chronic illness, sometimes friends pass on a book like this, saying when I read it, I thought of you Gallagher describes her life before her illness, the time spent searching for a diagnosis, and life after her disease is named by the Doctors Along the way Gallgher reflects on the changes in her life, her marriage and what I found most interesting, her faith.When your family deals with a chronic illness you o [...]

    16. Jackie on said:

      When the author described what it is like to find yourself in the land of illness, I nearly cried because I could relate and no one had ever put it so perfectly I have been ill for 6.5 years, disabled for 2.5 I found the author s journey to identify the mystery disease absolutely riveting because I could relate to so many of the hoops she had to jump through She goes through many doctors, being told to stop believing what she reads on the internet, to worry, not to worry, and so on Would I have [...]

    17. Steve on said:

      In addition to crystal clear descriptions of the fear, uncertainty, frustration and many other emotions that accompany serious medical diagnoses, this book captures the waxing and waning of a faith journey Having had enough of illness and the roller coaster of cancer, I likely would never have read this book had it not been gifted to me I m so grateful I recommend it to those of us on the well side of the glass wall It gives insight to what our loved ones are experiencing in ways they may be una [...]

    18. Ginia on said:

      I don t know what to say about this book It is about the author s serious illness and how it disrupts what had once been a perfectly normal life It s about how you feelings about faith and religion can be impacted by a serious illness I guess the best thing to say is that it made me think, and in different ways It talked a lot about Jesus and his healing of the blind man I think had I been fighting a serious illness, my response to this book might have been entirely different I suspect this is a [...]

    19. Julie on said:

      I usually like memoirs, and since I m no stranger to serious illness and its effects on the sufferer and their families, I thought this would be an interesting book to me Alas, I really didn t like it I found the writer to be whiny The poor me, this is the worst possible thing that could happen and it s happening to me tone was grating and made me less and less sympathetic the I read Yes, potentially losing some or all of one s eyesight is a big blow, but really, there are many people living wi [...]

    20. Quiltgranny on said:

      A quick read about a woman who is struggling with her faith, and her journey through a medical minefield An easy to read book like an overly long essay I would say than 50% faith related I was familiar with her written work with Patagonia, not at all with her books dealing in spirituality The 4 pages of stream of consciousness phrases and words sort of turned me off, and the rambling about her faith in the first half nearly had me stopping reading She finally came back, for the most part, to d [...]

    21. Kathy on said:

      Nora Gallagher spent several years of her life with serious medical symptoms reduced vision hearing and absolutely no medical answers for her problems This is the story of the journey the many doctors, the varying diagnoses most of which were preceded by I THINK you may have , the frustrations, and the spiritual discoveries she made along the way I loved her honesty She eventually was given the correct diagnosis but also admits there are no answers to some of her spiritual questions.

    22. Kathy on said:

      A story of long search for a diagnosis through a minefield of physicians who ranged from incompetent through uncaring, to caring but out of their depth, Finally the Mayo Clinic gave her not only diagnosis but interest in her as a person As a person who has been in similar circumstances and received care at Mayo this book rang true for me I wish every practitioner was as knowledgeable and kind As for the spirituality of the author, I believe she found a much meaningful form as a result of her ex [...]

    23. Ann Hunt on said:

      A non fiction tale of one writer s journey toward a diagnosis of Neuro sarcoidosis The authors struggles with her faith and the diagnostic process are described The efficiency and humanity of health care professionals at Mayo Clinic are outlined very positively The title refers to the fact that there is a baby grand piano in a large atria at Mayo that staff, patients and family members are urged to play Moonlight Sonata was played once when the author was being treated at Mayo.

    24. Susan on said:

      If anyone has everyone had or cared for someone with an illness, than this book resonates It was given to me as a gift and the crisis of faith which one encounters with illness not just religious faith but confidence, with friends, with one s community is aptly described The author s memoir is touching and encapsulates how difficult it is to navigate medical waters Her descriptions of the Mayo Clinic are spot on.

    25. Sharon on said:

      I really enjoyed the story of this woman s journey to find an answer for her health and her experiences along the way After being on the hamster wheel like quest 15 years with medical traditional and alternative to find a reason and treatment for a chronic cough, her experience resonated deeply.

    26. Youngsurvivalcoalition on said:

      A survivor s review who gave us permission to share it here with you A very accurate account of how you feel with a life altering diagnosis, loss of faith, redefinition of faith, the medical maze, on and on Powerful, for me.

    27. Stella Fouts on said:

      If you re interested in reading about someone else s anguish over health issues namely going blind this is your kind of story It s a fast read and quite interesting Enjoy if I can say that given the nature of the story.

    28. Veronica on said:

      This book touched both my faith and the work that I do It reminded me, especially as someone who will be working in the medical field, of how important it is to be open and still when others are vulnerable with you Good read lots of highlights.

    29. Stephanie on said:

      Very moving, and brutally honest book about the author s long too damn long quest to find a diagnosis for her illness Recommended reading for anyone suffering from a chronic illness, and for anyone who works in the medical profession.

    30. Amy Beth Stenson on said:

      Loved the descriptions of the Mayo Clinic Makes me want to figure out how to run a middle school with that much intention Loved the description of being sick and her reconciliation with her illness Loved her take on Jesus too Good, good book

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