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My review of Recovering fom Multiple Sclerosis by Dr. George Jelenik
on 4 July 2013
Well I have now read the book "Recovering from Multiple Sclerosis" - it has left me with very mixed feelings. First all 12 stories in the book are of people with RRMS. The outcomes after a change of lifestyle, diet etc have them all back at work, or running lots of kilometres etc. there is one sentence at the back of the book in a chapter called Recovery sub headed "Ride on Fearlessly", which refers to progressive MS and that simply says "Ordinary people can recover, and this is possible even after many years with the illness, even with progressive MS." All of which is quite believable, and I believe we all have our own individual journeys and stages of the disease and any sort of recovery will be different for each of us. But I would have liked to see some stories of people with progressive MS and how they see recovery and how it can be attained. I actually believe I am doing all I can for me, and this has only happened after joining this group. My recovery will never be like the examples in the book but then I am not them, I am me.
At one point while reading the book, my daughter said I was taking it all too personally and started defending myself when I couldn't relate. I think she is right.
My conclusion is that the book hasn't really helped me and its just a good job I read it on a good day. The chapter at the back called "Recovery" makes a lot of sense but doesn't tell me anything new or tell me to embrace anything I am not already doing, which, in a way is good. It means I am on the right track with my own recovery process. I will keep doing what I am doing, as each story focuses very much on diet and lifestyle, which is what I am concentrating on.
The stories for me, and maybe I was reading them with a "Lazarus,take up thy bed and walk" literal attitude didn't help me at all. In fact I was left feeling a little disheartened, a little bit of "Im failing" , but the sensible part of me knows that recovery takes a long time and will be subtle and different for everyone.
I just wish I had known years ago that i had MS instead of being fobbed off with "you're just anxious and stressed". 30 years later I get a dx and I feel as though I have been thrown in at the deep end and have desperately to learn how to swim.