Jul 11

Where is the Mango Princess? A Journey Back from Brain Injury

Posted by Soliloquy in Adults with disabilities | Intellectual Disabilities

Humorist Cathy Crimmins has written a deeply personal, wrenching, and often hilarious account of the effects of traumatic brain injury, not only on the victim, in this case her husband, but on the family.

When her husband Alan is injured in a speedboat accident, Cathy Crimmins reluctantly assumes the role of caregiver and learns to cope with the person he has become. No longer the man who loved obscure Japanese cinema and wry humor, Crimmins’ husband has emer… More >>

Where is the Mango Princess? A Journey Back from Brain Injury

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5 Responses

  • Cathy Crimmins has taught us all a lesson in this book…..that life isn’t always as we had thought it would be and that we must be proactive in order to change it.

    When her husband, Alan, a successful bank attorney in Philadelphia, suffers a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in an accident, his life and his family’s lives change forever. Crimmins takes us through the extensive rehab process which she handles with both tears and laughter. As a reader, I found myself experiencing feelings of anger, hope, sadness, and joy at the smallest improvement in her husband’s condition and at the smallest victory over the system.

    I could not believe how much I learned from this book. It should be “must reading” for everyone who works with brain-injured patients and also for all of those insurance company “voices on the phone” who make life and death decisions based on very little information, and with very little empathy. I learned about something called “perseveration” which is when a brain-injured person repeats an action or phrase over and over and over again. I also learned that with brain injuries such as this, inhibitions disappear, which means that socially inappropriate behaviors are often displayed. Crimmins also made the reader understand why these patients and their families become so frustrated. I could fill pages with what I learned…….

    I read this book in one day and a friend who was visiting me read it the next. I then passed it on to my daughter who also read it in one day and then recommended it to her neurobiology professor who thought it was outstanding. If I had the power to make this book a bestseller, I would!

  • Having never read a book that talked about a personal experience with Traumatic Brain Injury, I found myself unable to put the book down. My god-daughter recently sustained a head injury from being thrown from an All Terraine Vehicle (ATV) and I found so much of Cathy Crimmins’ story right on the mark. This book can be a difficult book to read because of the deeply emotional subject, but is a touching memoir told with a great deal of humor, and most of all… honesty.

    Reading this book will touch anyone who has ever known someone who has sustained a TBI. It’s also a book that should be shared after reading it. I congratulate the author for sharing her story; one that shares the heartache and explores the mystery of dealing with a loved one who survives a serious head injury. It’s a world that I hope my family is spared from ever knowing firsthand.

    I guess we never know how we will respond to a life changing event, and Cathy Crimmins shows the human side – the ups and downs with a rare openess. This is not anything like the Harrison Ford movie, Regarding Henry, where he wakes up a sweet guy afer a serious accident. This is what really happens! This is a must read.

  • Cathy Crimmins is an eloquent and amazing person. Her description of life after a loved one’s Traumatic Brain Injury is riveting. My father sustained a serious TBI a year after Cathy’s husband did – I found that she was able to put into words all the feelings that I’ve had. This is a must read for anyone who’s life has been touched by TBI, as well as a must read for anyone who knows nothing about it. TBI is not the Hollywood scene where the person wakes up and life goes on like normal….Cathy puts a real face on the nightmare of life after TBI.

  • Cathy Crimmins says that WHERE IS THE MANGO PRINCESS? is the book she never hoped to write. But we should be glad she did!

    It is a book that is sure to bring tears to anyone’s eyes, but tears that alternate from tears of sadness to tears of joy to tears of laughter. It is Oliver Sacks meets Robin Cook! However, Robin Cook never took the Insurance Companies & HMO’s to task with the biting humor that Cathy Crimmins does in this book. And Oliver Sacks never described the strengths & frailities, the inner workings of the human mind, and the human psyche, in such a personal way and with such candor & grace as does Cathy Crimmins. Cathy can truly say “Been There, Done That.”

    A short moment in time. A family vacation. Suddenly, a life is in jeopardy, a family is forever changed. Cathy takes us through that harrowing first year AFTER. We see Kelly, 7 years old, suddenly lose her childhood innocence. And we see Alan, a successful 40something lawyer, replace Kelly as Cathy’s child.

    Head Injury is all around us. It is a great hidden “disease” in which the victims are often unaware of their own changes, and the public is unaware – period. This book not only helps raise awareness of this particular tragedy, but it makes us aware that there are so many people out there who are facing tragedies that we see as impossible to cope with, yet somewhere, find the strength. Cathy found the strength.

    As the spouse of a head injury victim, I could not have written this book. Congratualtions to Cathy for writing the book that had to be written. As a member of the human race, I would not want to have missed reading this book. It should be read by anyone who is in, has been in, or contemplates ever being in, a relationship. It defines Love.

    As I finsihed this book, I posed this question to myself: Does this book have a happy ending? Well, does it? Decide for yourself.

  • An excellent book about the life of a TBI survivor and how brain injury not only changes the life of the survivor, but also the life of his/her family. Crimmins writes with clarity about her husband’s accident, rehab, and subsequent deficits. She pulls no punches when she describes HMOs and their lack of caring and understanding. Being the mother of a TBI survivor I can certainly relate to much of what Crimmins has to say about Alan’s cognitive problems. This book should be read by anyone who works with TBI survivors and their families. Unless one walks in the shoes of a TBI caregiver it is very difficult to understand what we experience. Where is the Mango Princess? gives a firsthand account of what many of us go through on a daily basis.

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