cover image Long Illness: A Practical Guide to Surviving, Healing, and Thriving

Long Illness: A Practical Guide to Surviving, Healing, and Thriving

Meghan Jobson and Juliet Morgan. Hachette Go, $30 (368p) ISBN 978-0-306-82874-4

“Recovery is a process, not always a destination,” contend physicians Jobson and Morgan in their comprehensive program for managing a prolonged illness. The authors detail how to build a care team and manage symptoms for a variety of “rheumatologic, autoimmune, neurologic, and inflammatory” conditions; outline the four types of pain doctors consider when planning treatment (nociceptive pain arises from tissue damage, while complaints of pins and needles imply neuropathic pain, or nerve damage); and cover the gamut of possible remedies, including low-tech (deep breathing and meditation), therapeutic (acupuncture, physical therapy), and pharmacological (methadone and tricyclic antidepressants). Chronic fatigue, they note, can be caused by such factors as hormone imbalance or autoimmune dysfunction, and they recommend cognitive behavioral therapy or getting tested for a common genetic mutation that makes it difficult for the body to draw energy from vitamin B. The authors also offer advice on managing one’s medical team and provide a script for what readers might say to practitioners if they’re not feeling heard. Though the chapters on depression and anxiety feel meager, Jobson and Morgan otherwise succeed in addressing the broad scope of possible conditions while offering specific, useful suggestions. Those dealing with long-term illness will be grateful for the practical advice. (May)