BEING SICK WELL: Joyful Living Despite Chronic Illness

Jeffrey H. Boyd, Author
Jeffrey H. Boyd, Author . Baker $14.99 (254p) ISBN 978-0-8010-1268-6
Reviewed on: 03/14/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
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Christian physician Boyd—whose own late wife suffered from heart and kidney problems, paralysis and strokes—extends an honest and compassionate resource for the chronically ill and their caregivers. Boyd has two goals: to persuade readers that we are facing an "epidemic" of chronic illness, and to help sick people have more joyful lives. In good self-help form, he offers 20 "strategies" for joyful living. Some of his advice is nuts-and-bolts practical, like the suggestion to invest in long-term care insurance. Two chapters are devoted to discussing how spirituality in general and Christianity in particular can help a person cope with pain and illness. Sometimes, Boyd's advice is a bit anodyne—adopt a positive attitude, don't dwell on your illness, etc. Those things are easy to say, but harder to do. A more honest examination of anger in the place of a joyfully sick life might have leavened the loaf. Still, the many case studies keep Boyd's vision from seeming unattainable. Further, even though the topic is heavy, Boyd is a humorous and engaging writer. For instance, in urging the general reader to plow through the one academic and statistical chapter, he says, "In this chapter, you will read about... an adorable 73-year-old grandmother with gold teeth and neon orange hair, [and] about having your friend amputate your leg in her kitchen." (Apr.)

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