Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia are like thieves, stealing from their victims. They take lives and leave people who have the diseases in pain and totally drained. People are affected physically, emotionally, sexually, socially, and financially. The "lucky" ones can function… somewhat. Some people with these illnesses are so weak and debilitated they feel that they couldn’t move to save themselves if their house was on fire.
This book makes it clear that the symptoms are real, not something that is trivial or imagined. It urges the reader to accept the disease, learn to cope with its ups and downs, and search for ways to make life better. There is no cure yet, but this book describes ways to live more fully.
Library Journal says: "Chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) and fibromyalgia (FM) are chronic, incurable illnesses that can dramatically alter a person’s lifestyle. Here, Fowler and Ball, who have struggled personally with these diseases, seek to help readers with these illnesses live productive lives. (The titular F.I.N.E. stands for frustrated, irritated, nauseated, and exhausted.) Their coverage encompasses therapies, medications, daily living such (e.g., nutrition and sleep), coping strategies, survival tips, and social security and disability. Cartoons and stories of CFIDS and FM patients throughout effectively illustrate patients’ experiences. A further information section has suggested readings, along with online and offline information. An appendix contains pages that can be photocopied for daily use such as a daily diary, body map, and the resource, referral, and rating sheet. Verdict This book is both practical and comforting. The authors encourage readers to take charge of their health and not let the diseases control their life." Rebecca Raszewski, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago
Nancy A. Fowler is a retired Registered Nurse who retired from nursing because of limitations related to fibromyalgia. She felt she could no longer practice her profession safely and effectively. Nancy is a "crusader in training." She believes that two years of off and on severe physical and emotional stress is the cause of her fibromyalgia. Together with co-author Lisa Ball, she helped form a support group, which has met every week for 15 years, to help other people in pain. Nancy is committed to "teaching the world" about her illness. Along with co-author, Lisa, she helps conduct seminars and in-services that focus on fibromyalgia/CFIDS. Nancy was born and raised in Beverly, MA, and currently lives in Lebanon, ME. She has been married 48 years, and has one son and one grandchild named Rachel.
Lisa Ball is a youthful, intelligent, motivated, no nonsense crusader. She has a degree in business and psychology and is a certified alcohol and drug counselor. She was five months pregnant when a reckless driver crossed her path and released the "fibro-demon." Years passed, along with seemingly endless tests and procedures before she was able to put a name to her illness, which allowed her to finally begin to accept her limitations. She started a support group, counseling people in pain and teaching at seminars and in-services that focus on fibromyalgia and CFIDS. Devoted to husband, Greg, for 20 years and daughter, Cassandra. Lisa has learned how to adjust to a life with CFIDS. Pain is an almost constant companion. But it has a name now and she is able to cope.
See an interview with Nancy and Lisa on WCSH-TV here.