Book Review & Giveaway: Crash: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg

Crash: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg

Publisher:  She Writes Press, (April 27, 2021)
Category: Memoir, Divorce, Parenting, Moral Conflict, Caring for Disabled, Caregiver
ISBN: 978-1647420321
Available in Print and ebook, 224 pages

Description

Rachel likes to think of herself as a nice Jewish girl, dedicated to doing what’s honorable, just as her parents raised her to do. But when her husband, David, survives a plane crash and is left with severe brain damage, she faces a choice: will she dedicate her life to caring for a man she no longer loves, or walk away?

Their marriage had been rocky at the time of the accident, and though she wants to do the right thing, Rachel doesn’t know how she is supposed to care for two kids in addition to a now irrational, incontinent, and seizure-prone grown man. And how will she manage to see her lover? But then again, what kind of selfish monster would refuse to care for her disabled husband, no matter how unhappy her marriage had been? Rachel wants to believe that she can dedicate her life to David’s needs, but knows in her heart it is impossible.

Crash tackles a pervasive dilemma in our culture: the moral conflicts individuals face when caregiving for a disabled or cognitively impaired family member.

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Guest Review by Sage Nor

A heart wrenching look at the underappreciated caregivers in our lives.

Rachel Michelberg was a young mother of two when her husband, a pilot, was in a terrible accident. His plane crashed into a vineyard in California, and David Michelberg was left with severe brain damage as well as spinal damage. This kind of catastrophe would be enough to destroy almost anyone’s life, but Rachel had an added problem.

Before the crash, she and David’s marriage was already in trouble, and Rachel had begun seeing another man. Now, Rachel must care for a husband that she is not sure she feels anything for beyond duty. And, of course, caring for someone with such severe injuries is a full time job.

David is capable of speech and some memory, but he doesn’t remember his children and he is prone to fits of irrationality. Between caring for her children and health issues of her own, Rachel struggles to take care of a husband who has mentally regressed back to the state of a small child and take care of herself at the same time.

Michelberg’s writing was fantastic and she held nothing back from scrutiny. Reading this book felt like an intimate look at the life of someone suffering through a time that most of us hope we’ll never have to face and getting through it in a realistic way. Despite putting all of her flaws out for everyone in the world to see, Michelberg was so sympathetic and so easy to understand.

I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to deal with someone that you love going through something so terrible and irreversible. ‘Crash: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver’ changed my mind and my opinions in a lot of ways, and it’s one memoir that I know I will be thinking about for a long time to come.

About the Author

Rachel Michelberg grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and still enjoys living there with her husband, Richard, and their two dogs, Nala and Beenie. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from San Jose State University and has performed leading roles in musicals and opera from Carmen to My Fair Lady as well as the part of the Mother Abbess (three times!) in The Sound of Music.

When Rachel isn’t working with one of her twenty voice and piano students, she loves gardening, hiking, and making her own bone broth. CRASH: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver is her first book.

Website: https://www.rachelmauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelMAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RMichelberg
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelmichelbergauthor/

Giveaway

This giveaway is open to the U.S. only for the choice of print or eBook for each winner. It ends on May 18, 2021,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Review: Who Cares? by Chanda Minor-Brigance

“Who Cares?” is part of the Chan is a Caregiver collection. This children’s book inspires compassion and generosity in a simple and imaginative manner for the youngest of girls and boys. Brimming with colorful illustrations, the book gently introduces children to the disease of ALS and gives specific attention to the role played by caregivers. In an age appropriate manner, children will be taught about the crucial role friends and caregivers play.

Lou Gehrig’s disease affects people of all ages, races, and backgrounds. This disease is serious, and being there for those diagnosed with ALS is critical. Introducing children to this sort of thing can be difficult, but with the help of “Who Cares?” you can teach your children about this sensitive issue and inspire them to play a pivotal role in its solution.

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from Smith Publicity. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Who Cares? is about Chan who is a CALS which is a caregiver to someone living with ALS. Ren is a PALS which is a person living with ALS. The book explains everything that Chan does for Ren every day. It also explains that people with ALS need a lot of help so having a caregiver is extremely important.

Children will learn that PALS are regular people who like to do regular things, but they need help to do them. Who Cares? explains this so that children can understand it. It is written well and is beautifully illustrated.