Challenges of LIVING with Chronic Illness…Beginnings & Endings
by Kathleen Lewis
“To receive the benefit of our captivity to chronic illness, we must accept the situation and turn it into the best possible account to share with others.” This is exactly what Lewis has done with Challenges of LIVING. It is informative, inspirational and uplifting. Lewis’ personal struggle with a chronic disease and her professional background in nursing and rehabilitation counseling allow for a unique insider’s view on chronic illness and how to not just cope, but to live.
As Lewis states in the foreword, 133 million, or 45 percent of the population, have at least one chronic disease. She was among that statistic when she was diagnosed with an autoimmune/connective tissue disease called systematic lupus erythematosus (SEL). The illness turned her life around, but through understanding, optimism, faith, and writing, she learned to adjust her way thinking and discovered things about herself she never knew before. She has dealt with a divorce, disability, multiple surgeries, and being a single mother to very active teenage boys. Despite, all of this, she was able to reinvent herself. For example, she often frightened people or was laughed at when she had to wear a rebreather mask. She learned how to become okay with the situation and how to laugh at herself. With her thinning hair, she learned to rock fashionable hats and revamped her style, even planning and participating in a fashion show.
With her step-by-step “living” process, she covers all the bases including: grieving, sexuality and changes in romantic relationships, family, dependence/independence/interdependence, understanding and acceptance, dealing with fatigue, spirituality, overcoming depression and darkness, anger, social security disability, and physician/patient relationships. “Become a pioneer headed on a quest of the unknown of yourself,” Lewis writes. “Grow to accept and love the totality of ‘you’ that you do find.” This book is a great tool for anyone facing a chronic illness and for loved ones who are part of the journey.
To purchase a copy of the book, click here to find it on Amazon.