Thursday 26 February 2015

Left Neglected

Finished February 23
Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

Sarah Nickerman is vice-president of HR for a global consulting company, juggling three kids, a husband with a busy job as well, a commute into Boston from the suburbs and all the things that come with such a busy life. Then one day on her commute in, she is distracted by her cell phone and crashes her car.
She is lucky to have as little injuries as she does. Her main injury is one to her brain. The result is condition known as left neglect, unilateral neglect, or hemispatial neglect. People with this condition have brains that ignore the left side of the world. So they only see the left side of they are looking at, they don't recognize their own left side, such as left arm, left leg of left side of the face. If they look at themselves they only see the right half and their brain makes up the rest. It might fill in an image of their face with a mirror of what they see on the right. It might just miss it entirely. There is nothing wrong with their vision, it is all in the brain.
Therapy can improve the condition in some patients, but not all, and science still has a lot to learn about this condition.
Sarah has a hard time adjusting, and then a hard time facing what others expect of her. The forced downtime of her recovery lets her look at her life and lifestyle closely and think about what is important to her. She connects with new people and reconnects with others. This is a moving, and well written story about a recovery that leads to a new start.

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