Take a Look, it’s in a Book: Make Some “Rheum” for Reading – by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Sometimes conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, lupus, sjogren’s, spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, and more, can require us to have more rest than we would like.

However, “couch days” due to flares or fatigue or post-surgery bed-rest are the perfect times to catch up on your favorite books. Reading is a nice way to keep your mind active while resting your body — and now, if traditional books are too heavy or hard your hands, light-weight, no-fuss, touch-screen e-readers can make it even easier on your aching hands, allowing you to enjoy a good book.

Check out some recommended titles for living with arthritis or a related disease!

1) Take Me Home from the Oscars: Arthritis, Television, Fashion and Me – by Christine Schwab

Christine is an arthritis advocate, television personality, stylist, fashionista, and author. In this compelling and inspiring book, she tells her tale of living with chronic pain and illness in an industry that thrives on youth and beauty. Her candor, honesty, and fighting spirit make this a must-read if you live with rheumatoid arthritis, or are a fan of fashion or the entertainment industry. It is well-written and is a nice look at turning your life around after being diagnosed with RA….even if there are some struggles along the way. Kudos to Christine, to, for her activism which involves writing for Arthritis Today Magazine and appearing on national television shows to discuss RA and Juvenile Arthritis.

2) A Complete Illustrated Guide to Cooking with Arthritis – by Melinda Winner

Melinda Winner is a renowned chef and author who has lived with 5 forms of arthritis. She is now a well-known public speaker and her latest book, “Cooking with Arthritis” not only contains yummy recipes but also helps the physically challenged regain their independence in the kitchen.” After 26 years of ups and downs while living with arthritis, Melinda has transformed her life and wants others with arthritis to know that you, too, can do the same. This book is a great way to get started — regain some normalcy by using arthritis-friendly cooking techniques and whipping up some delicious anti-inflammatory and arthritis-healthy recipes!

3)  Junk Foods and Junk Moods – by Lindsey Smith

Lindsey Smith is an author, motivational speaker, and holistic health counselor who has learned, through both experience and education, that what we consume can have an effect on our mental, emotional and physical health. Lindsey, a former binge-eater, noticed that what she was eating was having a derogatory effect on her quality of life, and with this book she shares with you how you can make positive changes by eating real food & thinking good thoughts. A lot of inflammation and disease in the body can be triggered by or exacerbated by what we eat. Learn more by checking out this amazing book by an inspirational young woman who has turned her life around by making simple lifestyle changes that we all can learn from, no matter our level of health.

4) My Enemy, My Friend – by Lauren Vaknine

Lauren Vaknine is a young woman who is, among other things, a host and public speaker. She lives with rheumatoid arthritis and penned this heartfelt  book, “My Enemy, My Friend” about her journey. According to her website,  “My Enemy, My Friend is the harrowing and touching story of a broken girl in a wheelchair who found strength and comfort despite her life changing disability. Diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 2, Lauren’s anger towards her disability drove her into a rapid downward spiral of self-destruction. Adolescence filled with broken promises and a suddenly deteriorating disease led her to borderline anorexia, depression, drugs and other tremendously traumatic experiences; Lauren recalls these experiences for the first time within this book. My Enemy, My Friend describes this tragic time in her life and how she found the strength and determination to live life on her terms. In this most honest and poignant account of a lifetime of illness spanning twenty-five years, the author explores unspoken subjects, such as the deep, underlying emotional issues that ensue through a physical illness and affect everyone close to the person with the illness, not just the person suffering physically.” She is an inspirational young lady, with a truly intriguing story to tell.

5) Diary of a Sick Chick: A Year in the Life of the Chronically Ill Woman – by Sonya Dickerson

Sonya Dickerson was struck with chronic illness when she least expected it. She decided not to give up on her dreams, and the e-book, “Diary of a Sick Chick: A Year in the Life of the Chronically Ill Woman” was the result of her hard work and excellent writing skills. Truthful, honest, and captivating, this is her individual story – but a story that so many of us could easily relate to.

6) The Arthritis Help Book – Dr. Kate Long & Dr. James Fries via the Arthritis Foundation

This is less personal than the other books mentioned but is a great resource for the newly diagnosed. According to the Arthritis Foundation website, “If you have been recently diagnosed with a form of arthritis, then this book is for you. The Arthritis Helpbook, now in its sixth edition, has been used by more than 600,000 readers for 20-plus years. The world’s leading guide to coping with joint pain, this is the same text used in the popular Arthritis Self-Help Course. It includes clear explanations of arthritis and fibromyalgia, up-to-date information, practical tips and recommended gadgets, techniques for reducing pain, and much more. The Arthritis Helpbook will help you find freedom from pain and take control of your life.”

7) Celebrate Life: New Attitudes for Living with Chronic Illness – by Kathleen Lewis

In this book, Kathleen Lewis shares with readers how not to let your chronic illness overtake your life. It advises you to make changes to shift your attitude to one of happiness and positivity, even while living with chronic illness. Chronic illness can force you to make some painful and dramatic changes. According to the Arthritis Foundation website, “Celebrate Life: New Attitudes for Living with Chronic Illness teaches you to grieve your losses that come with chronic illness and embrace the joys of your new beginning. You’ll learn how to control your illness instead of your illness controlling you, give honest answers when asked ‘how are you?’ and move toward acceptance of your new life.”

8) Beyond Chaos: One Man’s Journey Alongside His Chronically Ill Wife – by Gregg Piburn

Author Gregg Piburn knows what it is like to see a loved one suffer from chronic illness. As many of us know, these types of conditions affect not only us but our loved ones, too. According to the Arthritis Foundation website, “When chronic illness strikes, the diagnosis affects the entire family, as Gregg Piburn knows all too well. More than 20 years ago, his wife Sherrie was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. In Beyond Chaos, Piburn courageously shares his experience of living with his wife’s chronic illness. By delving into the “emotional realm” of dealing with his wife’s illness, Piburn offers insight and hope to anyone who has a loved one with long-term condition, plus guidelines for overcoming challenges. This book is an inspiration to anyone living with chronic illness who is interested in personal marriage issues.”

Other great health books include, “The End of Illness” by Dr. David Agus, “Crazy Sexy Diet” by Kris Carr, and “YOU! The Owner’s Manual” by Dr. Mehmet Oz. The Arthritis Foundation also has a lot of literature ranging from pamphlets to magazines to books on their website, in the AF Store.

So, get those bookmarks ready and indulge in a good read. If you have any further reading suggestions, please leave a comment, below!

Stay Well,

Ashley Boynes-Shuck

What’s YOUR weapon against arthritis?

Follow the Arthritis Foundation, Mid Atlantic Region on Twitter @MidAtlanticAF!

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Arthritis is Unacceptable.

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