Friday, January 9, 2015
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.