You Don’t Look Sick! Book Review
In August I told you about the book You Don’t Look Sick: Living Well With Invisible Chronic Illness after attending an Arthritis Foundation conference. It was a finalist for USABook News Best Health Book 2005 and I have just recently read it. The book shares various experiences that Joy Selak, who has fibromyalgia, went through. Some of the experiences have to do with social interactions, work experiences, emotions and spirituality, heath care and insurance company hassles and relationships. After each anecdote, Dr. Steve Overman shares his reflection of what happened, from a medical standpoint. He was her rheumatologist and he has the added insight of personally dealing with a coronary atherosclerosis diagnosis and living with a brother who was terminally ill with cancer. The accounts are in told in order of the four stages of chronic, invisible illness, as I explained in my previous post.
I believe that the people who would benefit most from this book are those who’re newly diagnosed with fibromyalgia or other invisible, chronic illness and their family and close friends. Reading the book as someone who received their main diagnosis over a decade ago it was more of a reminder of what the earlier phases felt like. Of course, I also felt like I could completely relate to most of Selak’s experiences. I believe to someone newly diagnosed it would help them feel as if they’re not alone. It is easy to read, in fact I read 3/4 of the book during a domestic flight! Support group leaders will love the discussion questions in the appendix.
There is an updated version of the book that in the works now and it will hopefully be out in 2012. The update includes more on the fourth stage of chronic, invisible illness, grief and acceptance, as well as deeper comments from Dr. Overman. Selak has a website where you can learn more about the book and her speaking appearances. Some of her go-to resources are patient support group publications, The Fibromyalgia Network e-newsletter and The American Pain Foundation.
What are you favorite fibromyalgia books?