Most books about chronic pain are so dull and annoying that they leave me with a throbbing headache on top of all my other symptoms. A handful of books, however, stand out from the crowd. Here is my opinion on the top 3 books for people living with chronic pain (in no particular order):
This book is a must-read not only for people who suffer from chronic pain, but for all of our friends, family, and foes. Paula Kamen, who suffers from Chronic Daily Headache, brilliantly captures the minute details of how chronic pain impacts our physical well-being, emotional health, social interactions, economic survival, and every other dimension of our lives.
While reading the book, you will feel as if Paula has followed you around with a video camera for years, documenting the essence of your life. The book is incredibly validating. In addition, because the history and politics of the medical system are well-researched and -documented, All in My Head is also highly informative about why things are so screwed up in our health care system today.
James Dillard shows so much compassion, empathy, and understanding, you’ll be surprised he’s a doctor! He truly speaks like one of us. What’s more, the guy is hilarious — pointing out the absurdities of chronic pain “care” in a way that will cause you to madly bob your head up and down in agreement, while laughing with tears of recognition.
One of the most powerful things about this book is that James lays out a comprehensive map of our health care options: You will get a detailed description of numerous conventional and complementary treatments out there for chronic pain — replete with an outline of the hows & whys, pros & cons, and success rates.
I’m only at the beginning of this book, but I’m in love with it already. And I’m not alone: The Boston Globe has given this book a rave review. Laurie Edwards speaks with a smart, sassy, and humorous tone that makes this book an easy read. From the experience of one who’s been-there, done-that, Laurie talks about how to be an empowered young woman living with chronic pain. I plan on writing a full review as soon as I’m finished.