GUTS Audiobook Clip Video
Listen to an excert from Kristen Johnson's memoir, "Guts: the Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster."
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. Right now, I was so exhausted. I couldn't even reach the tiny bottle of shampoo next to me let alone with my hands to my head. A spurt of shame reddened my face. I'm sorry. I need help. I can't-- I was nothing. I'll do it. Then 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 thankfully quite business-like but also surprisingly gentle. I began to relax and I can still remember this 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.