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Awkward Bitch: My Life with MS

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  471 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
Book by Parmelee, Marlo Donato
Paperback, 316 pages
Published July 2nd 2009 by Authorhouse
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Kristina Hoagland
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-of-2013
This was an interesting, educational, and slightly depressing book for me. I was diagnosed with MS on April Fool's Day this year. Unlike the author I'm very much alone, my Mom died in December and I live by myself. My adventures with MS are just starting and what I loved about this book was the authors honesty, attitude, her learned compassion, and her desire to educate. I also love her use of humor and the journey she takes the reader on. Well worth the read.
Oct 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and found it to be a very real account of MS flares, the torturous route to diagnosis, and coming to terms with an incurable disease. While not extraordinarily well-written, I certainly thought it was informative and a compelling story. In addition, it was sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and other times very moving. I will be sharing this book with family and friends to help them get a better understanding of the physical and emotional toll of MS on us MSers.
Enjoyed this a lot. Used to watch Marlo Donato's YouTube videos when I was going through diagnosis in 2009, so when she put out the book I made a note to read it. Particularly related to the part where she was describing navigating the NHS as a non-UK native. I had my first MS attack (also double vision!) a couple of months after moving to the UK, just like her - parallel to the point of creepy! Especially the experience of going back and forth between opthalmologists and neuro-opthalmologists, ...more
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I can't praise this book enough. It evoked every emotion on the spectrum. It was super hard to read at times because it hit so close to home, but even during those moments I loved it. Thank you, Marlo for sharing your story with the world. I hope you're doing well and I hope you realize what a profound difference you've made in the lives of so many of us by sharing your story.
kimberly merry
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading this book. I was newly diagnosed with MS and Maron Donato Parmelee capture all the emotions I was going through. While reading her book I felt that I could relate to her struggles with MS. I would highly recomend this book for anyone with MS or who is close to someone with MS. I loved this book.
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this book more than a year ago. Being diagnosed in 2008 I had a lot of similar things happen to me so I could relate well. Even not having any good days at the time of reading it..she made me laugh & find the humor of each situation. Even though its super scary to go through something like MS. It's an educational read for people that don't have MS too. She really shines light on what it's like to live with it. I'm looking forward to her next book!
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Parmelee struggles mightily to establish an "MS and the City" vibe. Her constant references to herself as "awkward bitch" are so strained, I wanted to stop her and tell her that "awkward bitch," like "fetch," is simply not going to happen. I wanted to read a witty memoir about someone's early days with MS, but this wasn't it.
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, laugh out loud funny, about one woman's MS diagnosis and how she refused to let it define her. It reminds me of my fabulous, gorgeous friend Katie, who meets each day ready to face what life has thrown at her head on, with grace, laughter, and love💗
Dawn Barron
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The author and I are very similar in so many ways and I often felt like I was reading a story about my own life. Young, career oriented, complete inappropriate sense of humor, living (and loving) the big city and far from family. The struggles of the diagnosis process, in an unfamiliar territory also kicked my ass. I remember being so hell bent on never quitting my fancy, Michigan Ave job, even though there were days the pain was so severe I wanted to die.

We both took the sam
Bert Edens
This is a wonderful and brutally honest book about Parmelee's life before, during and after her diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It manages to come across as a book from the heart without being depressing, primarily due to her humor. Who else can combine discussions of her bowel functions and numbness that could affect her sex life and mix it with fashionista desires and struggles.

I definitely recommend this to anyone who has MS or knows someone with MS, as it could give you an insight i
Awkward Bitch was incredibly helpful to me as a disabled person/person with chronic illnesses, including those of the neurological variety. If you are chronically ill or know someone who is, please read this book!!! I wish I had picked it up sooner.

I absolutely adored the author's spirit, confidence, and brutal honesty. I feel like this is a "must re-read in times of crisis" book, a really rallying point.

Note: The language is quite coarse, which some people might find bothersome, but I appreciat
Eddie Slain
I was really interested in this book as my wife has MS, and I was hoping to get an inside view on what she is going through, through the eyes of another woman.

Whilst some of the book was insightful, I found it difficult to stay focused on the author's tale, as they seemed to jump around a lot, and leave out the deep emotional gristle that would allow me to understand what it might be like to live with MS.

I have a ton of respect for her having written this book.

I did talk to my wife about this bo
Lizzie Harwood
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Marlo Donato's voice and candor in telling of her horrific journey with MS. I won't be able to take the tube around London without thinking of her struggles just to exit stations or get on a train while in the middle of a MS relapse. This is such a hard illness and the more stories out there like this one, the better, it really gives tremendous insight into how different people cope and I loved her humor and sassiness -- don't ever lose that!!! I hope she is managing well and no ...more
Laura Fazio
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Personal for MS patients

As an MS patient, I enjoyed this book. It described symptoms as well as the mental responses that are very personal to me. It was an informative and entertaining book - nothing like the many books published on this subject. All MS patients will relate... non MS readers may not find it as entertaining because the author is writing about something very personal to the many MS patients in the world.
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Having a first hand account of someone else living with MS and navigating through the diagnosis and daily struggles is not only empowering but it brings joy to my heart to read in such a way to KNOW someone else gets it... I'm not as crazy as I thought I was or maybe even as crazy as others thought I was... Great read for those who do not live with MS but know someone who does or just curious to understand it a little better and a must read for those living through it.
Linda Pierson
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Picked up this book...and was surprised at how close her life resembles mine. Symptoms, experiences, and situations are very real and true to most everyone experiencing the awkward relapses that appear out of nowhere and subside or remiss temporarily. Reality with a twist of humor makes this a great read, not only for MS victims, but for caregivers, family and friends who may not quite understand what it is like living with this tricky disease.
Laura Semanisin
Sep 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a MUST READ for everyone - not just for those of us with this ugly disease! Marlo has not only been able to describe the uncertainty, fear, & anger we all felt at one time or another during our journey into discovering what this disease is & how it affects our everyday life, but has been able to discover that there is also some humor that can be found. Laughter really is the best medicine sometimes.
Marlo - you are indeed a hero to many - THANK YOU SO MUCH for writing this book...
Jun 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Being struck down by a chronic disease is no laughing matter, but the author had me laughing more than a few times as she recounted her life before and with MS.

It is also a fascinating look into MS diagnosis and treatment in England, home of the National Health Service. The author is an American citizen living and working in GB when mysterious symptoms force her to seek answers and ultimately, treatment.

I am amazed at her tenacity! And how on earth could she continue to wear heels?
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
There were times that this book was painful to read. As the author waited for a diagnosis, I relived my own experience. I had to stop reading several times because rhe emotions of fear and isolation become too real once again. Yet, it was comforting to know someone else lived though it also. I enjoyed reading this book. The emotions are true to the uncertainty one must feel after receiving the diagnosis, but this is also a very positive memoir.
patricia  A Flynn
My MS life

In different ways I have not suffered this badly. I do not have nerve pain. Pain from the result of terrible falls, though. It's been a long time for me since the diagnosis and so many of our struggles are the same. I'm doing pretty well do to my positive attitude. I have a great sense of humor about my problems. Different from yours.
Denice Regino
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a female architect living with MS since 2014 I must say this book touched me. It not only gave me support in reading about someone going through the same situations, but it also made me laugh a lot . She writes in such a candid and humorous way. after reading her story I can gladly say I am more open to think share and laugh about things I used to avoid even thinking about .
Theresa Butler
May 31, 2015 rated it liked it
So glad I read this book. My friend was diagnosed with MS recently and I really had no idea what MS was. This gave me information on dealing with MS daily and more understanding of the daily obstacles people with this disease face. The author was funny and endearing and I loved how she discovered who she was in the end.
Justė Knygu_gurmane
Labai patiko. Lengvai skaitoma, su nuostabiu humoro prieskoniu ir tuo pačiu labai išsamiai atskleidžianti tikrąją situaciją žmonių susiduriančių su IS - nepagydoma liga.
Patiko pagrindinė herojė ir jos valia nepasiduoti, tvirtai siekti savo tikslų ir gyventi normalų gyvenimą, kurį mes visi turime, tačiau dažniausiai patys jį neįvertiname.
Apr 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
The four stars are not for the quality of the writing- although it is very funny and engaging- I recognize how difficult the experiences were for the author. I am very grateful for the insight into MS. This was the first book I read after my diagnosis and it really made me feel like we were friends going through this together.
Karri Wright
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, non-fiction
I don't know why I decided to read this, but I'm glad that I did. It was interesting and a little inspiring to read how strong this woman was as she played out the hand she was dealt. I didn't know much about MS before reading this, so learning about the symptoms was really interesting. It is a great reminder of all the things we take for granted in our lives every day.
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
As a newly diagnosed person with MS I loved this book! Funny, educational, inspiring and well written this book made me laugh and glad I purchased this as my first Kindle book. Thank you for writing this book.
Tasha Olsen
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to read a book for PT school that illustrated what life was like with a neuro disease and I feel like this was a good informative read. The author did a great job of describing her symptoms and making it personal without being boring.
Lauren Adams
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book perfectly describes the awkward bitch that MS has turned me into. I wish my family, friends, loved ones, coworkers, bosses --anyone that knows me, would read this book so that they could get a better understanding of what my life has become. Thank you Marlo, hope you're doing well!
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
usually I read books written by doctors, but I decided to read this one by a person with MS. A quick read that explains Marlo's journey in a way that any reader can understand. It's realistic but has a humorous and positive tone to it.
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
I enjoyed this, but it's not that well written. But it was an interesting story and seemed like a good insight into MS. I have an in-law with MS and wanted a book to help me understand it better and I think this really did. Very quick read!
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“I would not change my life for anything. I have been through too much. I have learned too much. Now I know what I am made of.” 1 likes
“sometimes you just know what you know. Instinct tells us a lot, and you should always trust it.” 1 likes
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