• What Doesn't Kill You

  • A Life with Chronic Illness - Lessons from a Body in Revolt
  • By: Tessa Miller
  • Narrated by: Tessa Miller
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (94 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $28.00

Buy for $28.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A riveting and candid account of a young journalist's awakening to a life of chronic illness, weaving together her personal story with reporting to shed light on how Americans live with long-term diagnoses today.

Tessa Miller was an ambitious 20-something writer in New York City when, on a random fall day, her stomach began to seize up. At first, she tried to push through the searing pain, taking time off work and staying home, glued to the toilet. But when it became glaringly apparent something was wrong, Miller gave in to her family's requests and went to the hospital - and thus started a years-long personal nightmare that included procedures, misdiagnoses, and life-threatening infections. Once Miller was finally correctly diagnosed with Crohn's disease, she had yet another new battle to face: accepting that she will, in truth, never get better. 

Today, three in five adults in the United States suffer from a chronic ailment, whether the illness is endometriosis, IBD, IBS, Crohn's, ulcerative colitis, asthma, depression, anxiety, diabetes, or any other chronic ailment. However, despite the prevalence of these illnesses and the impact they have on just about everyone - whether the sufferer is a colleague, a loved one, or you personally - there remains an air of shame and isolation around the topic. Millions endure these diseases alone, not only physically but also emotionally, balancing the stress of relationships and work amidst the ever-looming threat of health complications. 

Moving from Miller's maddening yet all too relatable experience into a deeper look at how the medical community handles chronic illness, What Doesn't Kill You exposes the realities of what it means to accept a lifetime diagnosis, pushing past the good, the bad, and the ugly to offer wisdom and solidarity for those trying to make sense of it all. 

This audiobook includes a PDF of resources from the appendix of the book.   

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Tessa Miller (P)2021 Random House Audio

What listeners say about What Doesn't Kill You

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    69
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    65
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    63
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • LZ
  • 02-14-21

Excellent book

I can't recommend this book enough for people facing chronic illness and their caregivers. It contains a lot of helpful information while also giving voice to feelings that have been hard to put into words for many of us. I walked away with lots of notes, a new perspective, and feeling part of a community. Thank you for sharing your story Tessa Miller.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

eyeopening

This was such an eye opener into not only life being forever sick but also the American Healthcare system. I appreciate that the author also supplied extra resources for the reader.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enlightening, funny, emotional. Like listening to a friend.

This book contains enough personal context to read like a novel, but as much information as a self help book. She reminds us of the absolute grit living with chronic illness involves, while making you laugh and learn to be better. I couldn’t put it down. I appreciated her inclusive language and recognition of systemic racism, classism, and sexism as well. Thank you for this book Tessa Miller!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

living with crohn’s disease

Great job, Tessa! Tessa provides a touching, intimate, and at time bold accounting of her experience with crohn’s disease. I enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to learn what living with crohn’s is like. as a care taker of loved ones wrestling with a different form of chronic disease (tick-borne diseases), i identified with many of the themes Tessa described, but felt at times Tessa might have tried to generalize too much based on her personal experience. Tessa suffers from a disease that conventional medicine acknowledges — at least enough to put a name on the group of symptoms. The fact that there are ‘medicines’ that hold some promise for managing crohn’s results in Tessa dismissing non conventional therapies — including whole foods based nutrient-dense diet (e.g. paleo) supported by the functional medicine community to optimally support the immune system when no other magic pill/medication is available. Such chronic illnesses (e.g., Lyme) are not acknowledged or offered effective conventional treatment to manage conditions. Tessa alluded appropriately to gaslighting — when doctors (and others) dismiss your reality and infer that it’s all in your head. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand how hard it is to live with crohn’s disease — an important segment of the chronic community. Everyone is similar but different. Every person with the same disease is similar but different. Every person with a different chronic illness is similar but even more different. Thank-you for the book Tessa.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

READ THE BOOK

I have never felt more heard, seen, not alone valued, and understood in my entire life. Living with chronic illness is hard living with a family who is not chronically ill doesn’t make it easier. Tessa outlines everything that I feel every day and have felt throughout my whole life anymore. She makes me feel as though I am not alone and as though she’s reading this book, we’re chatting over coffee, and like she thoroughly gets it because she does. She lives what I live every day. It’s so nice to know that I can give this book to my friends and my family, and they can listen to it and understand more than I’d be able to put into words myself. Well, she was saying it in a much more excellent way than I probably would. It was beautifully written, beautifully spoken, and beautifully read. I wish I could give this more stars.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So Raw and Honest

This was such an amazing book! I suffer from chronic illness and this book said it all...so truthful and validating. I’m so thankful for the author to have the courage to speak her truth and tell her story in the most raw and vulnerable way that she did.
It’s easy to feel misunderstood as a chronically ill person and she validates these feelings amongst many others.
She has a condition called IBD and she tells her experience with dealing with this very difficult and scary illness. But no matter what condition you have, this book relates to all. It’s also a great book for friends and family to read to better understand their suffering loved one.
I felt like I was listening to a friend (I listened to the audiobook which the author narrates) who gave me lots of courage and validation.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Grateful for this book

This book has been very helpful for a family member of someone with IBD. Thank you so much for telling your story and dispensing much invaluable advice. Could have done without the political overlay in some parts, but I understand why most were included, given the author's personal experiences with the system.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Of Universal Benefit

I am hard pressed to think of a single person who wouldn't benefit from reading this book