Tuesday 25 September 2018

This Is Going To Hurt By Adam Kay Book Review

Not too long ago I posted a little book haul and over the last few weeks I've been working my way through each of the books I shared. I started with Pictures of Lily by Paige Toon as I'm such a huge fan of her writing and after finishing that, I decided to go for something a little different to my usual read, This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay.
This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay book. Flatlay with candles
Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97 hour weeks, life and death decisions, and a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you. Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay's This Is Going To Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know - and more than a few things you didn't - about life on and off the hospital ward.

My review

I was really intrigued by this book and had been for quite a while. It was (and still is) a book that everyone had been speaking about on social media so when I saw it was on offer for just over £3, I thought why not give it a go? I instantly wasn't sure how I would feel about it though. Whilst I had only heard positive things, I have really extreme health anxiety so usually anything to do with hospitals is a no go and I just thought, this isn't going to be for me and it's going to set my anxiety off at a time where it's already so up and down. Well after I finished Pictures of Lily, I just had an urge to read it. I thought if I open it and I don't want to carry on, I don't have to, but I ended up getting through it in about 3 hours.

First of all this was so different to anything I've read before. I really like how Adam has written this book and how it's split into sections. Whilst a lot of it is diary entries, at the start of each chapter, there's a bit of a summary about where he is at the time and it's not just an account of what happened day to day on the job. He would summarise his feelings around the role he was then in and give us a bit more background into his life. I think the diary entries were brilliant - some incredibly sad and left me on the verge of tears, to others that were so funny and totally unimaginable on a hospital ward. You could also really tell from the start just how hard life is as a junior doctor and how you are quite literally thrown in at the deep end with very little help or guidance. Also it's a shocking insight into what life is really like working for the NHS and you feel just how much they struggle each day. I found Adam wrote the book in a way which makes you feel as if you're living this journey with him. At times I felt stressed or tense and like I was going through it aswell, and it really makes you question how you would cope in that role. In short, I don't think I could. My previous experience with nursing showed me how hard and demanding that particular role can be but I couldn't imagine being under the pressure that Adam was in his role.

Something that really pleased me with this book is that you get told lots of medical facts along the way so you do kind of feel like you're leaning but also whenever a medical word or procedure comes up that you might not have heard of before, Adam will give a little explanation. I found this really useful throughout and I think this really helped the book flow as you weren't just reading it thinking, I don't have a clue what he's on about.

I think the last thing I have to mention about this book is that whilst I did enjoy it and I'm glad I read it, I don't think it had quite the impact on me that it seems to have had on others. Amongst the positive reviews I've read, people have said it made them sob or laugh hysterically, or it just really made them feel something and whilst I did laugh and feel emotional sometimes, I don't think I quite got that wow factor from it, that others have. I do think a lot of that probably comes down to me and my anxiety as I was always a little on edge whenever certain things would come up, and also because of my past negative experience with working on a hospital ward, I just think maybe I was a little guarded. I love reading and I love that feeling of just letting yourself get totally immersed into the story and really feeling all the emotions but I almost don't think I allowed myself to get too caught up in it. #deep I know but that's the only way I can really describe it. In a way, I almost just wanted to get it finished and out of the way but again that's down to me, not really a reflection of the book. I definitely think it's a book anyone could read and even though I had quite a lot of mixed emotions around it and maybe didn't quite get from it what other people might have, generally it's brilliant and a great insight into life working for the NHS.

Have you read This Is Going To Hurt? If so, I'd love to know what you thought?

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