TO TABLE OF CONTENTS
Your guide to published
2003, GMA Publishing. $16.00, 269 pp.
Review by Kerry
With openness and humor, Frannie Rose shares her journey with
chronic illness and offers her insights and experiences as a guide for others on
a similar journey.
"I have written this book as my gift to you. My purpose was to
tell you what I learned about the medical system in the most creative way I
could, by sharing my feelings."
In her simple and humorous style, she takes readers with her
into places seldom discussed: the exam room, conversations with her
doctor, parenting with chronic illness, abandonment by loved ones. In doing
so, she shines light on the whole picture of the chronic illness experience.
In this second edition, Rose adds a chapter about her triumphs
and challenges over the past six years since her diagnosis of a rare disease,
subsequent treatment and return to health. Again, Rose confidently steps into a
difficult topic, the aftermath of living with chronic illness.
Frannie Rose inspires her readers to never give up on
themselves or finding the medical care they deserve.
I’d Rather Be Working:
A Step-by-Step Guide to
Financial Self-Support for People with Chronic Illnesses
$14.95. 252 pp.
Gayle Backstrom has had fibromyalgia since childhood, so she
brings a tremendous amount of personal experience, combined with research and
realistic guidance, to the topic of earning money when you have a chronic,
unpredictable illness, such as CFIDS.
There are few topics more emotion-laden to Americans than
employment and financial security. Many people primarily identify themselves by
their function in the workplace (it’s more common to hear, "I’m an accountant"
rather than "I’m a wife" when asking a person to describe herself). When chronic
illness tears away at their ability to work, many people find that their
self-worth declines too. This book tries to help individuals fill that void.
Backstrom opens the book with a series of self-evaluation
exercises designed to help readers clarify their individual abilities and
limitations, resources and liabilities. Part II covers government employment
resources, including a thorough discussion of the Americans with Disabilities
Act and its pros and cons. Part III helps readers find information about
education, training and financial aid and gives advice on the job search process
specifically relevant to people with chronic illness.
The wealth of data is supplemented by real-life stories of
people with a variety of chronic illnesses, describing their individual pathways
to seeking employment. Some are success stories — either in finding employment
or starting small businesses — while others are not. This section, like the core
of I’d Rather Be Working, is a realistic, informative and, above all,
personal look at a difficult problem facing millions of Americans.
Interested in writing book reviews for the Chronicle?
Contact the editor at The CFIDS Association of America, P.O. Box 220398,
Charlotte, NC 28222-0398, or online at