September 15, 2015:

Library Journal wrote:  Social worker Charnas employs her training, the experience of others, and her own affliction with chronic fatigue syndrome to offer guidance to sufferers of chronic illness. She addresses a wide range of daily and long-term emotional, practical, financial/legal, and spiritual issues and encourages readers to take care of themselves, react to others, and build the best life possible. By discovering the lessons learned and suggested in her book, Charnas feels that her experiences are the result of her choices, not of the circumstances imposed upon her by illness.  VERDICT Full of valuable tips and resources that would benefit all afflicted with chronic illness and those who care about them.

September 30, 2015:

The US Review of Books wrote: Like so many people, Charnas struggled to cope with mysterious, debilitating symptoms for years. As she discovered, finally receiving a diagnosis for a chronic illness can sometimes be a relief, yet it won’t necessarily lead to an effective treatment plan. As the author points out, quality of life is partially dependent upon the patient’s own attitude. Charnas has condensed years of life lessons learned the hard way for readers who are having trouble coming to terms with chronic illnesses. The book is organized much like a series of diary entries and these short passages may be particularly ideal for readers whose illnesses prohibit long reading sessions. Throughout the book, Charnas shares memories of her past adversities and the lessons she has learned from them. She discusses the importance of placing one’s health first, even if it may mean bowing out of obligations. She urges the reader to live without regrets, to care for self-image despite illness, and to meditate for inner peace. Readers with chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome may be drawn to this narrative to discover how someone else has dealt with life’s challenges. Though unpolished at times, the book does have an appealing up close and personal tone that gives the reader the sense of having a private conversation with the author. Charnas does dispense some useful advice for patients, including how they can become fully informed patients, where they can go to for help with everyday issues, and how they can care for their overall physical health, although a doctor’s patient-specific advice will always override this.


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