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My Leaky Body: Tales from the Gurney

4.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  90 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
"Part memoir, part manifesto, Julie Devaney’s profoundly honest new book should be required reading for anyone who may ever have to visit a hospital – which means, in effect, everyone." Quill & Quire

Her weakest moment spawned a crusade for change. Julie Devaney takes us on a journey through the health care system as she is diagnosed and treated for ulcerative colitis.
Paperback, 344 pages
Published September 21st 2012 by Goose Lane Editions
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Feb 15, 2013 Cynara rated it it was amazing
My Leaky Body is at once a medical memoir and revolutionary call to action. It is a harrowing, brave, and detailed account of political and medical activist Julie Devaney's diagnosis and attempts to seek treatment for a very severe case of ulcerated colitis from various medical professionals across the country. More than that it is a fiery proclamation for how we might achieve a healthcare system (and on a more specific level working patient/doctor relationships) that does not leave sick human b ...more
Mar 10, 2013 Aimee rated it liked it
This is a beautiful memoir. It made me quite angry and asked me to take a close look at my own issues around illness and productivity.

There is no question that the health care system as it stands is often patriarchal and abusive. It needs a major overhaul, and it seems like Devaney is doing the important work of working towards a better system with her activism and role as an educator.

I can't stop myself from adding, though, that Devaney has bought into the false dichotomy of reason=male emotion
Bev Walkling
Sep 22, 2012 Bev Walkling rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, health
I was visiting my daughter who was lucky enough to win this book via First Reads and she let me read it first. I was interested from two perspectives - that of a registered nurse and that of a person with a chronic illness, Rheumatoid Arthritis. I could identify from both sides of the coin and it brought back many memories for me from my own experiences. So many things rang true for me. When Devaney describes telling staff where to place the iv and having them ignore her, I knew just what she wa ...more
Nov 04, 2012 Ariane rated it it was amazing
Amazing, amazing, amazing. I can't say enough about this book.

Everyone should read it, sick or not, health professional or not. It's so familiar as someone with chronic health problems, and yet makes me really grateful mine have never gotten this severe. If you've never been really sick, this might help you get a glimpse into what it's like to be totally helpless and desperate at a level you can't even imagine.

I'm so glad she's doing all this advocacy and awareness work in Canada, hopefully it
Susan Kennedy
Mar 08, 2013 Susan Kennedy rated it liked it
I felt she complained a little too much.
Jun 04, 2013 Alex rated it it was amazing
My Leaky Body: Tales from the Gurney is Julie Devaney's courageous and frank memoir of living with gastrointestinal disease, following up on her very successful performances on the same subject.

While My Leaky Body is very explicit about the challenges of living with chronic illness, which include extreme pain, frustration, depression, inability to work or study, Devaney is never self-pitying. She tells her story with humour and honesty.

Devaney skilfully uses her personal experience to build a mo
Apr 11, 2016 Kbeckermann rated it really liked it
I can't believe I've owned this book for a few years and didn't read it sooner. It is funny, sad, infuriating, inspiring all at the same time. This is a call to action about how patients are treated, how medical professionals are trained, about a broken system and about how I treat myself. Recommended reading, not just for health care professionals.
Oct 15, 2012 Katherine rated it it was amazing
I received this book from the GoodReads, First Read Giveaway and I am thrilled that I did!!! At first I thought this might be a neat book to read as I have some relatives with Crohn's, but my curiosity was soon erased. This book was amazing and appalling all in one page! I haven't had to deal with the health care system in Canada much, but I sure hope that when I do someone who has seen a conference with Julie will be there. Her passion and commitment to her own, an consequently Canada's, health ...more
Chris Thomas
Dec 31, 2015 Chris Thomas rated it really liked it
The author has ulcerative colitis and it is about her journey through the medical system. I completely related to everything she addressed especially the ‘imposter’ syndrome. I honestly felt like she wrote the book for me.
Feb 02, 2015 Karen rated it it was amazing
My Leaky Body was exactly what I needed to read in the midst of my own struggle with ulcerative colitis. I was able to relate on so many levels, almost to the point where I felt a little creeped out that Ms. Devaney had found a way to get into my head and steal words right out of my brain (and, in so doing, make them sound far more eloquent than I ever could).

I want to recommend this book to, well, everyone. Whether you are a health care professional, a person who wants to become a health care
Jan 19, 2016 Loretta rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone!
Shelves: favourites
Fabulous!! A painfully honest, sad, yucky, funny, maddening, encouraging, enlightening, no holds barred story of the author’s personal experience of living with a chronic illness, her journey through our healthcare system and some of the bone head medical professionals we encounter while seeking relief and treatment.

This book should be read by all medical professionals, patients, family/friends of patients, caregivers, advocates………oh hell EVERYONE read this book! Kudos to Julie from a fellow “l
Sep 20, 2013 Hermione rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I really felt for Julie but even though she's telling all these stories about the horrible things that happen to her, it never comes across that she's feeling sorry for herself, at least not often. I was so surprised at how positive she stays throughout the whole ordeal and how she took that experience and developed a mission out of it. She didn't just lie there and take it, she went out and tried to change the system. I'd love to see her perform her show live.
Jun 10, 2014 Maggie rated it liked it
Provocative and interesting.
May 30, 2013 Melissa rated it really liked it
Raw and honest, beautiful, amazing book. It was really painful to read a lot of the time, but her honesty and strength was so inspiring. I feel generally awful she was treated so badly - some of the doctor contact was downright abusive. I have been in and out of the Canadian health care system, and doctors have been rude to me, but reading this book, I felt so lucky. Poor Julie. Her story is true resilience.
Feb 07, 2013 Dana rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book for anyone living with a chronic illness. Julie retraces her steps in being diagnosed with either Crohn's or Colitis (two specialist differ). She relives her nights in the ER, the shoddy and wonderful treatment by doctors, specialists and nurses. She traces her path to Health care activism. Wonderful read, I really related to it and could hardly put it down.
Dec 24, 2012 Marc rated it it was amazing
A very fine book, filled with hard emotions and harder reflections on the state of health care, the savior/survivor trope of nurses today, and the resiliency of the human body. Must read for physicians, nurses, or anyone that has a job healing the ill or injured.
Aug 30, 2013 Elaine rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Engaging, funny, horrifying, all rolled into one book. Anyone who has spent anytime navigating the health care system themselves or with a loved one will identify with this book. Treat yourself, pick up a copy!
Joanna Karaplis
Apr 23, 2013 Joanna Karaplis rated it it was amazing
Great memoir about coping not just with colitis, but with the health care system. Presents a strong argument for prioritizing rather than privatizing Canadian health care!
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Julie Devaney is a patient-expert based in Toronto. She is the author and performer of the critically acclaimed show, educational workshop series, and book, My Leaky Body. According to the National Post, “While this memoir is an uncompromisingly detailed account of one woman’s medical experiences, it acts as a sort of Everyman tome, a handbook on the rights of the patient to dictate their own path ...more
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