Tis’ the season to get reading. While you may not want to discuss chronic illness with your family members at the dinner table, this is the perfect time to take some time to reflect and rethink our perspectives.
- A Light in the Darkness by Lisa Sniderman. Diagnosed with dermatomyositis (DM), a rare chronic autoimmune condition, in 2008, Aoede did not let DM hamper her burgeoning singing career– until she could not get out of bed one morning. In her highly acclaimed novel, A Light in the Darkness, she realizes that she must cope with the friction of an unexpected intersection: career aspirations and chronic illness. Aoede’s story emphasizes the beauty of healing through music. Her passion to create in order to heal will inspire everyone who reads her book!
- When Breath becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. Immediately, the title drew me in–it seemed so original to me! Dr. Kalanithi, a now-deceased neurosurgeon, began to experience a severe decline in his health, including weight loss. When he receives a CT scan revealing a lung tumor, everything changes, including his relationship with his wife, Lucy.
- The Chronic Illness Workbook: Strategies and Solutions for Taking Back Your Life by Patricia Fennell. This is the perfect place to develop New Year’s Resolutions. While this is more of a self-help book, I really enjoyed her emphasis on the psychological self-management of chronic illness. This workbook is definitely a perspective changer!
- Becoming by Michelle Obama. While this book is mainly not about chronic illness, there are interesting snippets here and there of her dad’s severe multiple sclerosis. When asked about his disease, he usually gives a brush-off response: “I’m fine.” Coupled with his refusal to see a doctor, the Former First Lady can only helplessly watch her father’s slow and painful decline. In that moment, her and reader both share a stark disconnect to her dad’s illness. Her father’s story seeks to illuminate the ever widening emotional gap between the chronically ill and their caretakers.
Onto the blogs:
- A Chronic Voice by Sheryl Chan. Having her first stroke at 14, it was never easy for Sheryl. Yet, she continues to be a shining voice in the chronic illness community, featuring other chronic illness bloggers, as well as having monthly linkups for other bloggers to network. If you’re a fellow chronic illness blogger, her blog is definitely worth a visit.
- Chronically Strong. Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues. Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD. I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.