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Living with disease and sickness is a difficult reality for many people. Whether it’s a chronic condition or an acute illness, the physical and emotional toll can be overwhelming. Fortunately, some books provide comfort, advice, and support to those dealing with health issues.
Reading certain books can help people cope with their illness and make the best of their situation. Here are some must-read books about living with disease and sickness:
1. How to Be Sick by Toni Bernhard
“How to Be Sick” covers topics such as acceptance, mindfulness, and self-care. Written by Toni Bernhard, a long-time sufferer of chronic illness, this book provides practical advice on how to live with an illness and still find joy in life. She uses Buddhist principles to teach different skills needed to cope with a life-changing illness.
Bernhard has been a long-time meditator. She participated in various retreats and spent many hours rigorously practicing. However, it was challenging for her to overcome her physical and energetic limitations when she became ill. As such, Bernhard had to learn ways to make “being sick” the heart of her spiritual practice. Through her book, she shares her journey of learning how to be sick and still live a meaningful life.
2. Illness as Metaphor by Susan Sontag
In “Illness as Metaphor,” Susan Sontag examines the language used to describe diseases and how it affects the way people perceive them. She argues that certain illnesses are associated with negative connotations. Sontag also looks at how these metaphors can be damaging. It can lead to discrimination and stigma against those who suffer from chronic illness.
In her book, Sontag provides an insightful look at how language shapes our understanding of diseases. She talks about how language can be used to both empower and oppress people. People living with disease and sickness can benefit from Sontag’s work, as it provides a way to challenge the stigma and discrimination they may face.
3. The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementias, and Memory Loss by Nancy L. Mace MA and Peter V. Rabins MD MPH
“The 36-Hour Day” is a comprehensive guide for families caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Written by Nancy Mace and Peter Rabins, two experts in the field of dementia care, this book provides practical advice on managing the daily challenges of caring for someone with memory loss.
The authors provide information on creating a safe environment, managing difficult behaviors, and providing emotional support. They also discuss how to plan for the future and make decisions about long-term care. This book is an invaluable resource for families caring for someone with dementia.
4. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
In “When Breath Becomes Air,” Paul Kalanithi recounts his journey of living with terminal cancer. He writes about his experience of being diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and how it changed his life. Kalanithi shares his struggles, hopes, and fears as he comes to terms with the fact that he will not survive.
Kalanithi’s story is both heartbreaking and inspiring. He writes about his experience with grace and courage, providing insight into the human experience of living with a terminal illness. His book is an important reminder that life can be beautiful even in the face of death.
5. The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
Another book that can help inspire people living with disease and illness is “The Courage to Be Disliked” by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga. This book explores the concept of self-acceptance, which can be especially helpful for those living with chronic illnesses.
Kishimi and Koga discuss how people can learn to accept themselves despite their physical limitations or perceived flaws. They provide practical advice on how to overcome fear and self-doubt, as well as how to develop a more positive outlook on life. This book is a great resource for anyone looking to find strength in the face of adversity.
6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
John Green’s novel “The Fault in Our Stars” is a powerful story about two teenagers living with cancer. The main characters, Hazel and Augustus, form an unlikely bond as they navigate the challenges of living with a terminal illness.
Green’s novel is an honest and touching exploration of life, death, and love. It provides insight into the struggles of living with a chronic illness, as well as the beauty of finding joy and meaning in life. If you want to stray away from self-help books and memoirs, this is a great option.
7. Chronic Relief: A Guide to Cannabis for the Terminally and Chronically Ill by Nishi Whiteley
This book explores cannabis use for those living with chronic and terminal illnesses. Over 12 cannabis experts have shared their expertise for this book, and they offer information on how to use cannabis safely and effectively.
The book also covers topics such as how cannabis works for your condition, recommended intake methods, and ways to mitigate risks associated with cannabis use. This is a great resource for anyone looking to learn more about cannabis and its potential benefits.
The Bottom Line
Disease and sickness can be difficult to cope with, but there are books out there that can help. From memoirs to self-help guides, these books provide insight into the experience of living with a chronic illness and offer practical advice on managing it. Whether you’re looking for inspiration or want to better understand the struggles of those living with disease, these books are worth checking out.