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Five Books to Read for the Summer

Posted by Natasha Graves on

Five Books to Read for the Summer

Whether you're spending time traveling, on the beach, or inside with the air conditioning blasting, it is always great to spend some time reading!  Books can distract us from our symptoms, transport us to a fictional word, or serve as a guide to help manage your chronic illness.  

Here are some books that we recommend you take a look at this summer!

  1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot $11 
    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.
  2. Surviving and Thriving with an Invisible Chronic Illness: How to Stay Sane and Live One Step Ahead of Your Symptoms by Ilana Jacqueline $15
    Do you live with a chronic, debilitating, yet invisible condition? You may feel isolated, out of step, judged, lonely, or misunderstood—and that’s on top of dealing with the symptoms of your actual illness. Take heart. You are not alone, although sometimes it can feel that way.
    Written by a blogger who suffers from an invisible chronic illness, Surviving and Thriving with an Invisible Chronic Illness offers peer-to-peer support to help you stay sane, be your own advocate, and get back to living your life. This compelling guide is written for anyone suffering with an illness no one can see—such as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), Lyme disease, lupus, dysautonomia, or even multiple sclerosis (MP).
    This book will tell you everything you need to know about living with a complicated, invisible condition—from how to balance sex, dating, and relationships to handling work and school with unavoidable absences. You’ll also learn to navigate judg-y or skeptical relatives and strangers and—most importantly—manage your medical care. Suffering from a chronic illness doesn’t mean you can’t live an active, engaged life. This book will show you how.
  3. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper $7
    The classic children's story about motivation and resilience. The story of a train filled with toys and gifts for little boys and girls that breaks down before reaching the children. After asking several passing trains for help over the hill, a little blue train agrees to help the stranded toys. Even though she is small, the blue train tries her best to bring the toys to the children on the other side of the hill. 
  4. My Hidden Truths by Natasha N. Graves $12
    Natasha Graves is a twenty-something young professional, trying to balance navigating life, a full-time job in the public health field, and dealing with her chronic illnesses. Although Natasha does not look sick, she battles daily with issues associated with these conditions and has overcome many obstacles that have only contributed to her success. These conditions are essentially her hidden truths: they are “invisible illnesses” and conditions that many in her daily life are unaware of, but are a major aspect of her life and the lives of others with similar illnesses. "My Hidden Truths" is a compelling mix of memoir and self-help. It provides insight into how Natasha deals with the hand she was dealt, and how she has coped and continues to cope with everything else life throws at her, providing a real life introduction into dealing with chronic illness from the perspective of a young twenty-something.
  5. Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick by Maya Dusenbery $18
    In Doing Harm, Dusenbery explores the deep, systemic problems that underlie women’s experiences of feeling dismissed by the medical system. Women have been discharged from the emergency room mid-heart attack with a prescription for anti-anxiety meds, while others with autoimmune diseases have been labeled “chronic complainers” for years before being properly diagnosed. Women with endometriosis have been told they are just overreacting to “normal” menstrual cramps, while still others have “contested” illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia that, dogged by psychosomatic suspicions, have yet to be fully accepted as “real” diseases by the whole of the profession.
    An eye-opening read for patients and health care providers alike, Doing Harmshows how women suffer because the medical community knows relatively less about their diseases and bodies and too often doesn’t trust their reports of their symptoms. The research community has neglected conditions that disproportionately affect women and paid little attention to biological differences between the sexes in everything from drug metabolism to the disease factors—even the symptoms of a heart attack. Meanwhile, a long history of viewing women as especially prone to “hysteria” reverberates to the present day, leaving women battling against a stereotype that they’re hypochondriacs whose ailments are likely to be “all in their heads.”
    Offering a clear-eyed explanation of the root causes of this insidious and entrenched bias and laying out its sometimes catastrophic consequences, Doing Harm is a rallying wake-up call that will change the way we look at health care for women.

      Have a favorite book you would like to add to the list?  Let us know by emailing us at contact@sickandsexybrand.com and maybe you'll see it on our Fall list!

      *All descriptions are from amazon.com and prices are for paperback


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