I don't normally do book reviews. The truth is, I'm a book slut -- I read constantly, and I'm not all that discriminating in what I read. If it's well-written and entertains me -- and especially if it helps me forget how lousy I feel -- I'm happy with a book.
I also don't buy books very often. I love the Multnomah County Library system, which has a great collection and even has an outreach program for people with disabilities or chronic illnesses (like me!) who have trouble getting to the library.
But I bought Life Disrupted: Getting Real About Chronic Illness In Your 20s and 30s primarily because I wanted to support its author, Laurie Edwards, who has been incredibly supportive both of me personally and my blog. Her blog, A Chronic Dose, was the first I found when I started looking for inspiration last fall on how people with chronic illnesses cope and manage to have a life outside being sick.
Honestly, I expected that I was beyond the audience Laurie was writing for -- I'm in my early 40s, college and the early years of starting a career were long ago, and I'm thankful every day that I'm married and, G-d willing, will never have to worry about dating again. But I knew, based on regularly reading Laurie's blog, that the book would be well written and interesting, and it definitely met those expectations.
But Laurie did surprise me, and even though I'm older than her target audience, in some ways I felt like the book was written just for me. I identified so much with Laurie's anecdotes about her own life, and those from a handful of others.
I might be in a different place in my life -- married (Laurie is married too, but the book describes the trials and tribulations of dating and relationships when you never know when you're going to end up back in the hospital again), mom to a preschooler, unemployed -- but everybody with a chronic illness is trying to balance their illness and their life and relationships.
And Life Disrupted really is an inspiration on how you can have a life, have close friendships, fall in love, advance in your career, and follow your dreams even when you've got a rare (or not so rare) and debilitating disease.
And I'm not the only one who thinks Life Disrupted is a wonderful book that fills a niche that was empty until Laurie had her book published. The book has received rave reviews from Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal, newspapers (The Boston Globe called Laurie the Carrie Bradshaw of chronic illness :), and many, many blogs across the Internet.
So, seriously, if you have a chronic illness, or are close to someone who does, this book is for you, regardless of your age.
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