Inspirational memoir about a burn victim’s recovery. The author was a teenager when he accepted what seemed like a mundane job- helping someone move items from a garage into a rental truck. The job kept dragging on as the man who’d hired him changed his mind about where items were going- and it ended with him on someone else’s property, where he accidentally got splashed with sulfuric acid that had been improperly stored. He was severely burned on his face, neck and arms. Luckily didn’t loose his vision, but the healing process took a very long time regardless. He tells about the accident in detail, the pain and confusion. The anger, frustration and shock his family had over the incident. The many treatments to his skin and surgeries over the years- to help it heal, lessen scar tissue and improve his breathing, which was impacted by a scar under his nose and damage where the acid had splashed inside. Aside from all the pain and discomfort, there was the mental toll- insecurities about his appearance, facing the reactions of strangers and other kids at school, worry that he’d never find a romantic partner in the future. Symptoms of stress and depression that turned out to be PTSD, also recurrent panic attacks that happened with no warning, and how he finally sought help, went through therapy. Being a religious person, he struggled with his faith, too (ie: how could God let this happen), and in the end, after many many years of wading through the difficulties of recovery, one of the best parts of the story is reading how he attended a conference for burn victims. Meeting other people who had been through the same kind of experience gave him a feeling of acceptance, and a new outlook. It was a vivid read. Very honest and well-told. Although a bit odd that the chapters are all so incredibly short- most just a page or two each- but I got used to that format after a while. Reading it is like having someone sitting right there telling you their story directly.
Borrowed from the public library.