No matter how far we travel on our journey from patient to person, there will always be a need for new information and fresh ways of looking at things. The books in this list can provide insight, information, perspective, enjoyment, and challenges.
Compiled by Blair Hurst
Coping With Illness by Helen Garvy, Shire Press, 1995. ISBN 091882818. Available in paperback.
Chronic illness creates new problems, accentuates already existing problems and upsets the balance in our lives and relationships, this author tells us. Her book gives both practical advice for day-to-day coping and suggestions for tackling what lies ahead.
Endometriosis Sourcebook: the Definitive Guide to Current
The title of the book says it all. Written by women for women, this book combats misinformation with fact, isolation with support, and fear with hope. The format of the book combines real-life stories with clinical information.
Fibromyalgia: a Comprehensive Approach by Miryam Williamson,
This is a good source for information and practical advice about fibromyalgia. Each chapter includes a case history that helps the reader understand the topic being discussed. Of special interest are the chapters that cover related illnesses, pain medicines, sleep deprivation, and fibromyalgia in children.
Living Creatively with Chronic Illness: Developing Skills for Transcending the Loss, Pain and Frustration by Eugenic E. Wheeler and Joyce Doce-Lombard, Pathfinder Publishing, 1989. ISBN 0934793174.
Available in paperback. This book reinforces many of the concepts in ACPA literature. The quotations sprinkled add a personal touch to the book.
Living Well with a Hidden Disability: Transcending Doubt and Shame and reclaiming Your Life, by Stacy Taylor and Robert Epstein
This is an interactive book with plenty of self-assessment tools, quotations, and sample dialogues. It is an affirming book; the author challenges beliefs that blame an ill person for their condition. Readers will relate to the insights into the anguish and frustration of being undiagnosed or having a diagnosis that is disparaged.
Lost Voices, Women, Chronic Pain and Abuse by Nellie
In the process of treating women for chronic pain, the author realized that their personal lives effected their level of suffering. The stories of suffering women are followed by Radomsky’s reflections on how women have been silenced by the medical culture and how they can learn to speak out and begin to heal.
Mastering Pain: A Twelve Step Program for Coping With Chronic
This is not a 12-step “recovery” program but a book about twelve specific behaviors and attitudes a person needs to cultivate in order to manage chronic pain and live well despite the pain.
Meeting the Challenge: Living With Chronic Illness by Audrey Kron, 1996. ISBN 0963387715. Available in paperback.
In this question and answer book, the author’s own chronic illness gives her the perspective for making suggestions about balancing a normal life style with chronic illness.
Migraine by Oliver Sacks, M.D., Vintage Books, 1999. ISBN
This is an expanded and updated version of the author’s classic book about migraines. Oliver Sacks’ insight, compassion and interpretations of the migraine experience make the book interesting to lay people as well as medical professionals. Case studies are followed by analysis by Dr. Sacks.
No More Aching Back: Dr. Root’s 15 Minutes a Day Program for a
“Welcome to my office,” begins this conversational and informative book. If you’ve wondered about the techniques orthopedists use to examine and diagnose your pain, you can find out here. The author covers the essentials of back problems and back care in a reassuring personal manner.
Numb Toes and Aching Soles: Coping with Peripheral
The author, a peripheral neuropathy (PN) patient, explains the causes, symptoms, tests, and treatments- both conventional and alternative-for PN. Over 200 patients reveal which treatments work for them and which didn’t. Experimental drugs are covered and there are special sections dealing with diabetic and HIV-related neuropathies.
Pain In Children: Nature, Assessment and Treatment by Patricia A.
This book, used as a textbook for health care professionals, is based on clinical research and the professional experience of the author. If you had pain as a child, or know a child who has pain, this book will be enlightening and helpful. Among other things, the author dispels the myth that infants and children do not perceive pain.
Relief From Back Pain: The Tollison Program by C. David Tollison,
The book provides information about the anatomy of pain, theories of back pain, and psychological factors related to pain. The author presents a clear explanation of conservative treatments and provides a guide for reconditioning the body.
Shingles and PHN by Thomas Carl Thomsen, Cross River Press,
Mr. Thomsen shares coping strategies that helped him during his years of living with PHN. He believes that positive coping begins with an individual being involved in their own recovery. He details the disease process, treatment, and current research.
The Arthritis Helpbook by Kate Loring, R.N., Ph.D., and James F.
Available in paperback. Because no one arthritis treatment is right for everyone, this book explains a variety of techniques that may help relieve pain, maintain or increase mobility, and prevent deformity. The book has an excellent chapter on relaxation.
The Culture of Pain by David B. Morris, University of California Press, 1991. ISBN 0520082761. Available in paperback.
This book is a scholarly exploration of the history of pain in Western culture, literature, and fine arts. If you want to deeply explore the meaning of pain throughout the centuries and in today’s culture, this is a good resource.
We Are Not Alone: Living With Chronic Illness by Sefra Kobrin Pitzels, Workman Publications, 1986. ISBN 0894801392. Available in paperback.
The book begins with a description of the author’s life when chronic illness, Lupus, overwhelmed her and concludes when her illness is manageable. Especially noteworthy are the chapters that discuss the impact of chronic illness on the family, talking to children about illness, keeping friendships, and dealing with health care providers.
Young People and Chronic Illness: True Stories, Help, and Hope
In this book, written for ages 9-12, the young author shares the strategies that have helped her to cope and regain control of her life. Her five tips for dealing with a diagnosis: educate yourself, stay positive, express your feelings, be a team player, give people a chance to support you.