A Delicate Balance: Living Successfully With Chronic Illness

ISBN 10: 0738203238 / ISBN 13: 9780738203232
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Synopsis: Chronic physical illnesses-such as lupus, Sjogren's syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, inflammatory bowel disorders, Lyme disease, interstitial cystitis, multiple sclerosis-take their toll on every aspect of a person's life. Though millions of people manage to cook, care for children, or work despite their disability, they do so with fatigue, pain, and the grinding uncertainty of living with chronic illness.A thoughtful exploration of this experience, A Delicate Balance provides both up-to-date practical advice and inspiration for the millions of Americans who struggle daily against chronic illness. From locating a suitable health-care provider and making sense of the powerful emotions that accompany chronic illness, to seeking accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, A Delicate Balance is informed by in-depth, personal interviews with patients, care providers, and family members. The result is a compassionate and immensely hopeful book for anyone touched by a chronic disease.

Review: "Chronic illness doesn't come with an instruction manual," says Susan Milstrey Wells--so she wrote one. Afflicted with Sjögren's syndrome (an autoimmune disease that dries the eyes and mouth), fibromyalgia (a painful muscle disorder), and interstitial cystitis (a chronic inflammation of the bladder), she knows the ins and outs of coping with chronic illness. In A Delicate Balance, she provides a compelling mix of useful information and real-life stories (including an appendix of resource numbers for various medical and self-help organizations) to help others find the will and the way to survive and thrive.

Wells characterizes the onset of a chronic illness as the beginning of a journey toward understanding, accepting, and healing, and she organizes her book to help lead the reader on that journey. The first few chapters deal with the psychological stages of illness and the perseverance that's often needed to get an accurate diagnosis and find a suitable health care partner. Middle chapters detail the search for treatment and the effects of chronic illness on personal relationships and the ability to work. The final chapter offers the optimistic view that chronic illness is a gift--albeit one that you don't want and can't give back, but that will ultimately teach you many important life lessons. Yes, chronic illness changes your life, she writes, but such change is not necessarily bad--and having a guide like this can help you through it. --Nancy Monson

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Title: A Delicate Balance: Living Successfully With...
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