A doctor who is also a long-term patient examines the body, in sickness and in health. Jamie Weisman was a patient long before she was a doctor. She was born with a rare defect in her immune system that leaves her prey to a range of ailments and crises and that, because it is treatable but not curable, will keep her a patient for life. Her history has graced her with a deeper perspective -- a second sight, in a sense -- on the body itself, in all its frailty, glory, and irreducible mystery. In this probing and inspiring book, Weisman brings her sojourns on both sides of the doctor-patient divide to bear on the issues of the flesh that preoccupy us all. She considers the randomness of illness, and the fears and fortitude it calls forth in those it strikes. She weighs the economic and moral value of sustaining any given life. She explores the vulnerabilities of the body and of those who care for it, including their capacity for error. And she conveys, by eloquent example, that the only cure for the fear of death is living. As I Live and Breathe is a view of medicine from both sides of the trenches, embracing the patient's fervent desire for health and the doctor's fervent desire to grant it. It is a worthy addition to the best that has been written about our physical selves, a meditation on our extraordinary powers of healing and the limitations that leave intact the miracle and tragedy of being.