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"One chilly blue morning in May, a surgeon angled a six-inch cut along my side, then reached in and removed my healthy right kidney. Four hours later, he spliced that kidney into my partner Ana's thigh, and her 'death in reverse' began." A medical drama, a memoir, and a love story all in one, Death in Reverse chronicles Ruth Schwartz's life with Ana during the tumultuous twelve months following transplant surgery. Four days after surgery came a terrifying rejection episode--and the high-tech medicine and guided visualization that turned it around. In the months that followed, Ruth and Ana coped with ongoing medical complications that crippled Ana and strained their relationship; they followed complex, phenomenally expensive treatment regimens, came face-to-face with the very real limits of Western medicine, and discovered simple remedies for some of the problems doctors could not solve. Anyone who has ever dealt with a major health problem--or cared for a sick partner-will identify with this portrait of a couple struggling to maintain emotional and sexual intimacy while confronting the myriad challenges of chronic illness and disability. From Death in Reverse: From the beginning, this process has forced us to confront such paradoxes, such seeming contradictions. The transplant that transformed Ana's life left her dependent on high-tech, expensive, toxic medications. Each of them provides a part of what she needs to stay alive. And yet, while we know that she could not have survived without that surgery, these medications, we also know it was not medicine alone that saved her life. And we know, as well, that a life that has been saved is not the same life afterward; Ana has been alteredby this process, forced to adapt in ways she never could have fathomed--as have I.
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