Ask Me Why I Hurt: The Kids Nobody Wants and the Doctor Who Heals Them

Ask Me Why I Hurt: The Kids Nobody Wants and the Doctor Who Heals Them - Randy Christensen, Rene Denfeld I've become a great fan of memoirs over time, particularly those about people who go about making a difference in the world around them. First-person accounts of the struggles that often come with doing the proverbial right thing are strengthening to me.Randy Christensen, MD, has written just such a memoir. "Ask Me Why I Hurt" is the story of how he and a couple of colleagues start a mobile clinic to help the homeless youth of Phoenix, most of whom live in dire situations. Some of them are runaways, some of them are thrown out of their homes, some are victims of sexual and physical abuse. The range of illnesses runs from cockroaches embedded in ears to STDs to MRSA.Christensen is, at first, determined not to become personally involved in his patients' cases, but he fails -- sometimes to the detriment of his own family life (miscarriages and family issues are discussed in the book, too). As he details the Catch-22 of trying to get long-term care for kids in need (e.g., they can't get Medic-Aid or similar assistance without ID, but can't get ID without a copy of an unobtainable birth certificate), Christensen ably demonstrated to me the need for true and comprehensive health care reform in this country.Christensen's book was almost impossible to put down. He sheds light on the problems of youth homelessness in this country, and shares the story of some real heroes (for example, a pastor who takes in one of the homeless kids who has been so abused that he has brain damage, and the nurse practitioner whom many of the kids come to view as a mother figure).Highly recommended for memoir fans and others with an interest in the subject matter.(Review based on uncorrected advance proof.)