Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Review: Saving Sammy: Curing the Boy Who Caught OCD

by Beth Alison Maloney
Published September 2009

My Synopsis

True story of a mom's struggle to find help for her 12-year-0ld son who has sudden-onset OCD.

My Thoughts

I've read every "Saving somebody" book there is, except Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt. There was Saving Gracie, Saving Cinnamon and now Saving Sammy. How funny is that?

This book was fabulous.

Twelve-year-old Sammy suddenly acquires all sorts of strange compulsions and rituals he must perform, most of them taking hours to complete. It takes him an hour to go in and out of the house, and getting in and out of the car takes another hour. He has to jump and spin and hop before moving forward. Then come the vocal tics. His mother and two brothers deal with his OCD for an entire year before finding out that it was caused by a non-symptomatic strep infection, determined by a simple blood test. A year! A year of daily two-hour crying outbursts and numerous doctor appointments, several which had to be canceled because Sammy could not get in the car. He didn't shower, wore the same clothes for weeks, rarely slept, and went through periods where he refused to eat. He dropped out of school and was tutored at home.

I worked in Psychiatry for 15 years and this is the sickest child I've ever seen or read about. Obviously he couldn't function, nor could his mother, who was a single mom to three boys. She did everything in her power to find help for Sammy. She finally figured out - through her mother's friend and her own research - that Sammy had a condition called PANDAS, caused by strep, and his OCD could be helped. It's amazing what a mother's love and determination can do.

Loved the writing, the emotion, the story, the advocating-for-your-child message...everything.

Do I Recommend?

Absolutely. Don't miss it if you have a child with OCD; but you'll also enjoy this if you have a special needs child or are interested in medicine or psychology/psychiatry.


I won this wonderful book from Sheila at Book Journey. Thank you, Sheila.

My Rating


Other reviews

Red Lady's Reading Room
Book Journey
Bibliophile by the Sea
Book Chatter


Jenners said...

Oh My God .. this sounds like a nightmare. What a wonderful mother. And I had no idea that something like this could be caused by a strep infection.

ibeeeg said...

Sounds like a great book. Yep, that is what most time happens, the parent must be proactive in trying to find help for their child. I can only imagine how frustrating, but yet a huge relief to find out that the OCD was caused by a strep infection. Incredible. I am going to put this book on my tbr list. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

By the way, tonight, I am starting Saving CeeCee Honeycut. :D

Lynne said...

Jenners: I know, that's why I love books, because I learn so much.

Ibeeg: I WILL get to Saving Cee Cee Honecutt at some point soon. I'm jealous you're starting it tonight. I've heard nothing but good things about it. Enjoy. Hey, aren't you supposed to be focusing on your photography? lol just kid din'.

ibeeeg said...

Haha...yes, i am concentrating on my photography. I am still reading though, and blogging...just not as much (that is the plan). :D :D :D

fredamans said...

OCD is not something you "catch".

Lynne said...

fredamans: I didn't think so either, until I read this book about PANDAS and strep. Kind of scary, but what's interesting is that so few pediatricians know about it and do blood tests when sudden-onset OCD symptoms arise. If diagnosed as PANDAS and treated with antibiotics within days of symptoms, it is curable. Of course if the blood test does not show increased bacteria-induced titer levels, it is not the same as regular OCD, which is often hereditary and is treated with psychiatric medications and behavioral therapy.

christa @ mental foodie said...

This sounds really interesting! That's why I love to read to - to learn. Thanks for the review, will add to TBR!


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