The Autobiographical Investigator & Cookbook plus Cancer
The number of hysterectomies for benign causes of heavy, prolonged bleeding is decreasing. This is because of the availability of other medical interventions and a realisation that 20 per cent of women can take three months or longer to recover from the operation. The latter involves a day-case general anaesthetic and "scraping" of the womb.
The tissue is then sent for analysis. A hysteroscope is a fine telescope introduced through the neck of the womb under local anaesthetic. It allows the gynaecologist to visualise the womb directly and take a tissue sample.
Autobiography of a Face
Hysterectomy requires a four- to five-day hospital stay and six weeks' recovery at home. Northern Ireland: Helen is a year-old hospital worker who had heavy and painful periods since Married with three children, she struggled on until December when she went to her GP. The family doctor knew she had fibroids and tried medical treatment first. By April the symptoms had worsened and she was referred to a gynaecologist in the Ulster Hospital.
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She was seen six weeks later in outpatients and arrangements were made for a hysterectomy on July 18th, Helen had a difficult time after the operation, developing a wound infection as well as depression. She has now recovered fully.
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The Republic: Sarah is a 50year-old married woman in Co Galway who works full time at home. She developed heavy, more frequent periods and became tired and lacking in energy. Her GP found she was anaemic and, as well as starting her on iron replacement therapy, he referred her in March to the gynaecology outpatients in University College Hospital, Galway.
They confirmed a number of large fibroids benign growths in the womb. A hysterectomy, was carried out in October She made a good recovery and was back to herself two months later. Comparison: Because of prevailing medical opinion, which is to try medical treatment for benign cases of heavy vaginal bleeding first, it is more appropriate to look at the time taken to be seen in outpatients rather than the interval to hysterectomy.
The NHS managed a six-week gynaecology outpatient wait compared with the Republic's three months public hospital. The delay for subsequent investigations was one and two months respectively. She is torn between wanting to be loved for who she is and wishing desperately and secretly to have a perfect face. Her search for truth and beauty continues throughout her life -- at college where she finds true friendships and the power of poetry, at graduate school where she discovers her long-awaited sexuality, and later in Britain where she takes advantage of their health system to begin another series of operations.
Throughout it all, Grealy tells her story, the story of her face andher heart, with stunning strength and remarkable wit. On December 18, , Lucy Grealy died at the age of She leaves behind this courageous picture of her life so that the rest of us might learn something about ours: I used to think truth was eternal, that once I knew, once I saw, it would be with me forever, a constant by which everything else could be measured.
I know now that this isn't so, that most truths are inherently unretainable, that we have to work hard all our lives to remember the most basic things. Society is no help.
It tells us again and again that we can most be ourselves by acting and looking like someone else, only to leave our original faces behind to turn into ghosts that will inevitably resent and haunt us Discussion Questions Autobiography of a Face has been widely adopted in high school and college curriculums.
Do you think that this book would be appropriate for younger audiences -- such as junior high, or sixth graders -- to help them understand the feelings of sick and handicapped kids and to teach them the importance of a kind word? As a child, Lucy lives in three worlds: the hospital, her home, and the outside world. How do the people in each of these environments treat her? How does Lucy respond to them?
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You could only look at it from behind a glass partition, but it was too nice to be played with anyway. Sometimes you'd see a child standing there, staring, but for the most part the giant miniature house, despite its prominent position near the door, was ignored" page Do you think Lucy tells her readers about the dollhouse to describe her own loneliness? Or do you think Lucy craves a picture perfect place in which to hide and be left alone?
The author remembers the first time she grasped the severity of her disease: "Someone dated an event as something that had happened 'before Lucy had cancer. Do you remember a time in your life where you were surprised to find out something about yourself that everyone else already knew?
When I was younger, before I'd gotten sick, I'd wanted to be special, to be different. Did this then make me the creator of my own situation? Do you think Lucy, like many children do, blames herself for her sickness and, as a result, her disfigurement? Does she believe that she deserves her fate? Young Lucy is tormented by other kids, mostly male: "'That is the ugliest girl I have ever seen.
Were you surprised at her level of maturity and reasoning? Or do you see this is an example of a defense mechanism -- distancing herself from the situation in order to hide the hurt? In the hospital bathroom, someone scratched "Be Here Now" into the door. This message has a significant meaning to Lucy later on in the book. The struggle between truth and beauty is prevalent throughout Lucy's memoir: "I had put a great deal of effort into accepting that my life would be without love and beauty in order to be comforted by Love and Beauty.
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Did my eager willingness to grasp the idea of "fixing" my face somehow invalidate all those years of toil? How would you answer Lucy's question? Does Lucy's death change your feelings about this book? She moved to Spring Valley, New York, with her family when she was four years old. When she was nine, a surgery to remove a tumor also resulted in the removal of part of her jaw, leaving her disfigured and fated to endless reconstruction operations.
She found comfort in her love for horses and, later, in her passion for poetry. Autobiography of a Face , published in , grew out of an essay that first appeared in Harper's magazine, and which won a National Magazine Award. Her second book, a collection of essays titled As Seen on TV , was published in She has a chapbook of poems, Everyday Alibis.
See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Show More. Reading Group Guide Introduction "So many memoirs make you feel that you've been sealed up inside a wall with a monomaniac. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. Dare Truth or Promise.
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