By Barbara J. Mack

Self Published

98 pages

ISBN: 979835792295

The first chapter title says it all.  “WELCOME, I’M GLAD YOU’RE HERE”.

Reading this book is like stopping in for a cup of coffee with Barbara Mack for some friendly conversation.  You’ll be welcomed into her home, brought into the kitchen, provided with a nice cup of fresh coffee and cookies to go with it.  Barbara Mack will join you with her own cup, sit down at her own table in her own kitchen and start talking with a smile on her face.  You might start with some small talk, but eventually, you ask about her book.

And then, you will be listening to a lady who tells her story from the beginning, as she weaves her way through the years.  She is totally upfront about the bad times filled with multiple seizures, complicated by bouts of depression, and how she and her family face all of this.  You will find yourself listening intently as she describes the disease that has invaded her life. You’ll find out how epilepsy preyed upon our author in ways that you and I might never imagine. Epilepsy could have brought her down completely.  It could have destroyed her.  And if that weren’t enough, life threw other curves at our author – deaths in the family, accidents, financial crises – This could have been a book about tragedy and sorrow. But you’ll find no sour grapes, no pity seeking from Barbara Mack.  This is a story about rising and living and falling and rising again.

In your conversation with Barbara Mack, in words that are more often sunny than not, you learn how Ms. Mack has faced epilepsy over the years, and how she accepted the circumstances, and was the better person for them.  You will hear in her easy voice how the peaks triumphed over the valleys.  Time and again, Ms. Mack got back up on her feet as best she could after each valley.  She relates each episode in the book with a clarity that allows the reader to grasp the reality of epilepsy, even when she delves into the technical aspects of the disorder, into the various forms of epilepsy, and into the numerous treatments she endured.

THE HAND I’VE BEEN DEALT is short, less than 100 pages.  But Ms. Mack’s story is long on the reality of epilepsy, long on the issues she faced, and long on the hope and endurance and grace that helped Barbara Mack along the way.

When you finish your cup of coffee and it comes time to leave, you will know more about epilepsy, and you will know, thanks to Barbara J. Mack, that such issues as epilepsy can be dealt with in positive ways.