My Adventure: An Encounter with Life
Archway Publishing (2020)
Reviewed by Jen Oliver-Rigsby for Reader Views (05/2021)
“My Adventure” takes an inside look at how one individual fought with a debilitating illness and won after several years. William Millard was, how he describes himself, a privileged individual whose life turned upside down. He was a successful lawyer with the wife and kids until his health decided to make him face a different type of reality. A reality that he never thought he would have to face or even knew of anyone else facing the same thing. He was diagnosed with ALS, a progressive nervous system disease that usually proves to be fatal. Millard takes readers on his journey through hospitals, long-term health care facilities, rehab facilities and senior living communities.
Millard makes it clear that this is his interpretation of his life and his observations of an over seven-year health struggle. He admits that throughout a good part of the beginning of the struggle, he used his mother’s journals and other family member and friends’ information to fill in the blanks that he did not remember. His struggle was one that is hard to believe, especially since he was diagnosed with ALS.
He barely mentions his wife (now divorced wife) or his children, which I found odd. As a reader, I wanted more. More about his feelings about how his wife wanted a divorce when he first became ill. More about his relationship with his children. He describes at length about his relationships with friends that have stood by his side and some of the workers that he encountered at the many different residences he was a patient of which is fantastic. He seemed to be very supported by his mom, sister, several friends, and staff members.
Other than the initial ALS diagnoses, there is barely any mention of other possible diagnoses. I would like to have seen more about the different treatments and the possible other diagnoses. Millard does mention near the end why he chose not to discuss it in more detail but I think that it would have been a great line of support for other people who might have or have family members going through similar situations.
“My Adventure” truly is just that – William Millard’s adventure with a horrible illness and his recovery. I applaud Millard in telling his story, his way.