Merrick’s Literature Review Post About Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House

Misdiagnosed is, to say the least, the most comprehensive medical memoir I have read. However, it isn’t as dry as all that. Imagine having a mystery disease that not even doctors seem to be able to pin down. This is a fraction of the trouble Nika Beamon had to endure (and managed to keep a career!) over many years.

Miss Beamon recounts her story from the moment her symptoms began to plague her, even in detail from the time she almost bled to death on a first date. From there the memoir takes us through hospital visits and diagnoses such as PCOS (among many other various chronic illnesses). Understandably not satisfied with the explanation that everything was happening to her all at once for no reason, Miss Beamon took one last drastic leap after a cancer diagnosis and sought out one of the top doctors she could find.

Within minutes her newly found personal Dr. House, a woman named Dr. Reed, had come to the correct solution. Miss Beamon had a rare autoimmune disorder called Ig-4. You know it’s rare when it still has no recognizable name. This memoir gave me some respite in knowing more that doctors can screw it up, but it takes the right doctor and the right treatment to find a solution. Having lost my best friend to cancer in 2008 my faith in the doctors who treated her was shaken and left me embittered with the medical community in general.

Reading Miss Beamon’s story confirmed for me that most doctors are capable of misdiagnoses but there are a redeemable few who save lives. This memoir was compelling in both heart and story. The writing of such a harrowing, nearly lifelong struggle with enough illnesses to make anyone want to give up. It is a credit to Nika Beamon’s strength that she managed to endure all the medical issues she has had to manage and maintain.

This memoir is one I’m glad to have read. It’s certainly a must read for anyone who has a chronic illness or knows someone who does. Beamon gives insight into so many things, I cannot list all of them for fear of missing one; this is simply a memoir that needs to be read.

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