LIVING WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS: Days of Patience and Passion by Cheri Register
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LIVING WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS: Days of Patience and Passion

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Practical, sympathetic advice and comfort from one who knows about the daily concerns of those with chronic disease. Register herself suffers from a rare chronic congenital liver disorder, which is life-threatening during periods of infection and liver failure. She was unable to find real support in existing literature: ""Posthumously published cancer narratives did not pick up my spirits, nor did the self-help guides which seemed to want me to feel responsible for somehow bringing the fever upon myself."" Her intent here--and she certainly reaches her goal--is, by organizing her experiences and those of others she spoke with, ""to help others who are chronically ill to strengthen their resolve to live richly and fully,"" as well as acquainting family, friends, and health professionals with the concerns and thoughts of those chronically ill. Register begins by recounting the initial phase of chronic illness, when one wonders if this is just the usual aches and pains, or something more serious: ""diffuse symptoms that come and go over a period of time, attempts to find psychological or circumstantial causes for these symptoms, false or partial diagnosis, determination to make symptoms disappear by changing habits or behavior. . ."" and, finally, with diagnosis, ""relief at having an answer that seems definitive."" Register continues on to consider how she and others eventually come to grips with illness, and along the way considers such specific issues as creating or continuing a useful way of life, marriage issues, ""parenthood with limitations,"" and what place faith seems to play for some with chronic illness. A fundamental truth to always keep in mind: ""Who gets sick is a random, arbitrary matter with no moral implications."" Enlightenment for many here; strong comfort and support for those similarly coping.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Free Press/Macmillan