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GUTS Audiobook Clip Video

Listen to an excert from Kristen Johnson's memoir, "Guts: the Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster."

© 2011 Copyright Notice


Gosh, she was a strong little thing. She carried my almost 200 pounds, and we inched our way to the bathroom and she helped me get into the tub chair. By now I was so exhausted I couldn't even reach the tiny bottle of shampoo next to me, let alone lift my hands to my head. A spurt of shame reddened my face. I'm, I'm sorry. I need help, I can't. Oh, it's nothing. I do it. As she washed me. With the exception of my privates. I'll handle that area, thank you kindly. And shampooed my hair three times, I realized. This might be the very first time in my entire life I actually asked someone for help and then let them. She'd done this before. She was painfully quite business like, but also surprisingly gentle. I began to relax and I can still remember the simple joy I felt at just being cared for. And the amazing, unbelievable difference I felt being clean. For days I had felt like some revolting, non-human, half-dead creature like the swamp thing or the elephant man. But as that water rinsed the days of horror away, I was just, I felt baptized. I felt so powerfully alive.

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