In The Kingdom Of The Sick: A Review
In The Kingdom Of The Sick: Laurie Edwards
A comprehensive and detailed journey throughout the ages of Chronic Illness that opened up my eyes to what it is. Chronic illness entails a lot of diseases: Diabetes, Heart disease, Kidney disease, Autoimmune disorders, Aides, Chronic fatigue syndrome, and so many others. I never realized how encompassing the history of medicine was until I read this book about the history of chronic illness.
“People living with disabilities and obvious physical problems are acutely aware of how the able-bodied world encounters them. Just as people who are morbidly obese know when people are staring at them, whispering, or making callous remarks.”
The changes in how medical professionals are allowed to treat, diagnosis, and tell the patient what is wrong have changed drastically. I learned that many of the patients who had cancer or an illness never knew they had it. The doctors would tell their families, but the patient never knew it, never had a choice about what treatments they were to receive. I am blessed that I am allowed to know and be a partner in my treatment. Yes, there are some rude doctors, but I have learned to interview them and decide if they will be a good fit for me. Collaborative decision making is one of my greatest tools and I am glad to see that many of the people that Edwards interviewed feel and are experiencing the same thing. I felt a kinship with several of the patients mentioned in her amazing research. When I first got sick it took me switching doctors to get the care that I need. I had to find me a nurse practitioner to help me facilitate my healing. I will be internally grateful for her.
Discrimination is a part of the human condition. Love and respect is not something we are born with, we either learn it from those in our family or God changes us. I do experience many of the things illustrated in this marvelous book, but I would not call myself an activist. I can’t imagine myself laying out on a lawn or something in protest of bad behavior or changing laws like they did in the 1990’s and the 1970’s.
I think every patient or family member of a person suffering from a chronic illness should read this and learn the history and the appreciation of what we have now because a few suffered. Thank you to them all.