Skip to main content

Book Review: As My Body Attacks Itself

In December , I was approached via e-mail  by a woman, Kelly Morgan Dempewolf, PhD, with Sjögren's syndrome, who asked if she could send me a free copy of her book (that is my disclaimer by the way) As My Body Attacks Itself, in order for me to do a book review on this blog.

This self-published work, which is 192 pages, is a memoir describing her experience with Sjögren's syndrome. As a patient who published her own book on the illness, of course I was instantly intrigued as to what she had to say in this book. Here is the  book description taken from the back cover of the paperback:

"50 million Americans suffer with an autoimmune disease and countless more deal with chronic pain, fatigue, and illness. These diseases are often invisible, yet they touch every part of a person's life and of the lives of the people they love.

This book is an honest, raw look at the thoughts, concerns, fears, and struggles as Kelly deals with Sjögren's syndrome (the second most common autoimmune disease). The story isn't just about Sjögren's, or even just autoimmune disease. It's for everyone impacted by chronic disease of any kind.

Kelly's hope is that patients will find solace and validation; friends and family will gain understanding and the abilities to empathize, communicate and support loved ones; and medical professionals will gain understanding and ability."

The book is divided into 41 plus chapters and reads similar to a person's journal or even an online blog. Each chapter is divided into different topics and these range from topics like disease envy and pain medication to others like brain fog and parenting. Each chapter is written from her perspective and details, quite elaborately, her journey and experiences with each of these issues or events. If you are someone who has Sjögren's syndrome, I am certain that you will read parts of yourself, and your experiences, while traveling through this book.

Because this book is a story about a personal journey, I don't think it is possible to fairly review the book beyond that because in doing so, a reviewer would be judging another person's very real and very painful experience battling an often misunderstood and little-known illness. And I feel that nobody has the right to really do that.

Rather, I think it is important for you to read the book yourself and see what comfort you may be able to find in reading a story about a brave woman going through a struggle similar to the one you, or your loved one, may be going through right now. You can find Kelly's book on Amazon by clicking HERE.

Happy reading!


  1. Its really cool information you shared here and I love it a lot.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse

After careful consideration and a lot of research, I made a decision after the holidays to embark on a cleanse/detox. I will start by saying that I have never done anything like this before, mostly because I don't believe in fad diets, or any diet for that matter, and also because I'm not sure, with all my health issues, how good it would be for my body.

However, I had been having some new digestive issues and some of my other autoimmune symptoms were acting up sporadically here and there. I also really overdid it and made some consistently bad food choices over the holidays and I was trying to get my food cravings under control. The digestive issues were not anything severe that impaired my daily living, but I am slightly paranoid about my family history of ovarian cancer and I am at the age my mom was when she was diagnosed. The most overlooked and under recognized symptoms of ovarian cancer are the digestive issues I was having such as bloating, gas, and constipation. Sinc…

Low Dose Naltrexone

In my last blog entry I discussed my current experiences with an integrative medicine doctor. (Going Down the Road of Integrative Medicine). In that entry, I mentioned a new medication I was prescribed by this doctor called low dose naltrexone (LDN) and I think that it is worthy of its very own blog entry so here we go. Be forewarned, it's a bit complicated...

Since we have the modern day miracle of Google, I am not going to spend a lot of time describing LDN and exactly how it works, but I think there are some basics that are important. Naltrexone is a medication that was created in the late 1970's as a treatment for heroin overdose and subsequently used in larger doses (50-300 mg) to treat heroin addicts. It blocks the opiate receptors in our body, which are also found on immune system cells. The next discovery, in the 1980's, was that naltrexone at lower doses (hence why it is called low dose naltrexone), blocks these opioid receptors and increases the endorphin level…

Sjogren's and Disability

I have been reading a lot of posts of the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation Facebook page lately about disability for this disorder. People seem to have a lot of questions and comments not only about the process itself of obtaining disability, but also about the journey which is at best, extremely stressful. Having gone through the arduous process myself, I thought it might be helpful to blog about my experience in the hope that someone may find the information useful or at the very least, know that they are not alone in their struggles and frustration with getting through this system.

My journey with disability began in 2008 when I was put on short term disability through my former employer. After a period of time (I believe it was ninety days), it converted to long term disability which was a benefit I had elected through my employer, thank god. What that meant was that a private disability company, contracted through my employer, paid me sixty percent of my previous year's gro…