A normal, healthy woman becomes host to a pork tapeworm that is burrowing into her brain and disabling her motor abilities.
A handsome man contracts Chicken Pox and ends up looking like the victim of a third degree burn.
A vigorous young athlete is bitten by an insect and becomes a target for flesh-eating strep.
Even the most innocuous everyday activities such as eating a salad for lunch, getting bitten by an insect, and swimming in the sea bring human beings into contact with dangerous, often deadly microorganisms. In The Woman with a Worm in Her Head, Dr. Pamela Nagami reveals-through real-life cases-the sobering facts about some of the world's most horrific diseases: the warning signs, the consequences, treatments, and most compellingly, what it feels like to make medical and ethical decisions that can mean the difference between life and death.
Unfailingly precise, calmly instructive, and absolutely engrossing, The Woman with the Worm in Her Head offers both useful information and enjoyable reading.
""Nagami zooms in like a microscope on infections. She presents them, with all their drama, in the context of how they alter patients' and doctors' lives. Along the way, she conveys an amazing amount of medical information that's easy to absorb. Using her sharp storytelling skills, she illustrates for us how vulnerable we all are to microscopic intruders and how having the right doctor on our side can mean the difference between living and becoming another statistic in the morbidity reports.""—Jane E. Allen, Los Angeles Times
""In the tradition of Microbe Hunters, The Woman with a Worm in Her Head is a fascinating account of a physician's struggles on behalf of her patients against the terrifying underworld of infectious diseases. Dr. Nagami is a compelling writer whose insatiable curiosity about bacteria and viruses never comes at the expense of those who suffer from them.""—Frank Huyler, M.D., author of The Blood of Strangers
""The Woman with a Worm in Her Head brings us the excitement of the fight against infections, the human drama that surrounds their impact, and helps us understand how to avoid them. The reader will be swept up in the detective story behind finding the culprits and the human story that surrounds each case. This book successfully explores the interface between the sick patient and the all-too-human physician who comes with implacable weapons of modern medical technology, but more important, her own feelings, strengths, and weaknesses.""—C.J. Peters, M.D., author of Virus Hunter
""A physician of great medical skills and writing talent . . . Nagami, in her fine book, conveys her humanness, warmth, and caring concern as a physician, and as a person. She helps reestablish our faith in medical practice. After reading The Woman with a Worm in Her Head, at the first sign of microbial invasion you would want to call her to take care of you. I know I would.""—Robert S. Desowitz, Ph.D., author of The Malaria Capers
""[In The Woman with a Worm in Her Head] the vigor of hope is preserved, even in the face of the final incapacity. The depth of a humane vision is maintained to the end. The physician's own failings and shortcomings (for there is a limit to medical skills, despite the much-vaunted progress) are made into a route of escape from a ruinous sense of superiority . . . We all enjoy the physician's chronicle of the mighty struggle. It is a war that concerns us all, whose episodes are always fascinating. All the more so when told, as in these pages directly, truthfully, and clearly, by a front-line veteran.""—F. Gonzalez-Crussi, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Pathology (from the foreword to Maneater)
""Gripping . . . clear and engaging . . . if you can stand excursions into the gut-wrenching, high-risk precincts of medical science, you will read and enjoy this from beginning to end.""—Arno Karlen, The Washington Post