My Journey Out of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
By Gerry Radano
Contaminated is the story of a woman, Gerry Radano, completely devastated by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD is a neurological brain disease that affects 1 in 40 people, or 7 million Americans. The book traces the quirky OCD behavior of the writer from its earliest manifestations at the age of four-years-old through mid-life where she was totally crippled by it.
Through the writer's firsthand narration, the reader is given a fly-on-the-wall view from inside the mind of a person afflicted with this debilitating illness. Gerry describes the myriad of obstacles she is force to confront and her attempts to navigate through them in an effort to find some semblance of peace in her tormented existence. Contaminated not only details the unrelenting grip OCD has on the individual, but the pain and suffering their family and friends must endure as well.
After losing connection to career, family and friends, and trying every avenue of treatment available, Gerry becomes a veritable recluse behind closed doors. This disease takes her on a roller coaster ride into the deepest, darkest existence she has ever known. This spiral into hell would last the next ten years and in its wake destroy every good thing in her life.
Despite the life sentence "incurable" diagnosis she is given by her doctors, Gerry's steadfast faith gives her the determination to keep searching for a cure. After 10 years, through the combination of sheer luck and Divine Intervention, she learns about an experimental brain surgery known as Gamma Knife. Although this procedure is almost impossible to get, she channels all her obsession into this one goal.
While her quest of getting this operation is eventually successful, it comes too late to save her marriage. Because there are no immediate results from the surgery, her husband gives up and walks out to start a new life without her. She knows that it is only a matter of time before her children will be taken from her as well.
This ultimate last-straw becomes her defining moment. Knowing that she would rather lose her life than her children, she finds the motivation to begin to reassemble the pieces of the puzzle that is her ravaged existence. Her obsession now is to completely reinvent herself. Like a general preparing for battle, the writer strategically puts together a plan to take back her life and methodically proceeds to execute it.