With the internet now being an online encyclopaedia, road map, message board, special event keeper and personal assistant, it can be hard sometimes to remember that we once used to read books instead of typing search terms in Google or Bing when looking for information about MS.
Fear not though, as I am still quite the bibliophile after having worked in a library, World Book Day and Copyright Day on April 23rd feels like Christmas to me, and I would love to share some recent books about MS with you. Organised yearly by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), World Book Day’s aim is to promote reading, publishing and copyright, so each book is an endless present that just keeps on giving.
Now, what were Some of the outstanding books about MS in 2019??
Resilience in the Face of Multiple Sclerosis by Dr Brandon Beaber.
Who sometimes thinks, “I wished I could talk with a neurologist who also has MS?”
As a narrative non-fiction book about how resilient people with MS often can be, this book will not only inspire you, but you will pick it up again and again. Beaber sought stories of people who, “despite MS,” created a rewarding life filled with achievement and triumph. Some of the people are a political activist, a psychiatrist, a blind young man as well as a woman with advanced MS. It is a book filled with heart: it is heart-warming and at the same time heart-wrenching, but one that will leave you asking for more.
- Paperback: 344 pages
- Publisher: MS health; Resilience ed. edition (22 Aug. 2019)
- ISBN-10: 1733242619
- ISBN-13: 978-1733242615
Sincerely, Harriet by Sarah Winifred Searle
This is a book with a difference, a graphic novel for teens about getting through life with MS as a teenage girl in a life full of change.
Harriet is biracial, moved to a new city in America and above all, her imagination has a life of its own, so she begins to spin stories. This book is a keeper, as Sarah Winifred Searle found a touching, recognisable way to tell the story of a teenage girl’s anxiety about her MS and how it’ll impact her friendships, schoolwork and family life.
After becoming friends with an elderly neighbour, she is encouraged to read and write stories to help her tame her imagination, and eventually finds answers to the loneliness, fear and uncertainty in life that she might face.
This graphic novel highlights how reading and writing helps with the ability to share problems and fears and is intended for readers aged 10+ but can easily be read by anyone with multiple sclerosis.
- Paperback: 176 pages
- Age Range: 9 - 14 years
- Publisher: Graphic Universe (Tm); Reprint edition (1 May 2019)
- ISBN-10: 154154529X
- ISBN-13: 978-1541545298
MS Made Simple: The Essential Guide to Understanding Your Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis by Dr. Mitzi Williams
Nobody happily thinks back to the moment a neurologist said, “You have MS.”
Neurologist and MS Specialist Mitzi Williams put her knowledge of MS in easy to understand concepts on Audible and other platforms on how MS affects the body and what can happen over the course of the disease process.
After all, we often hear medical terms that sound foreign to us, and it might leave people without access to information in need for easier to understand terminology. And after all, this is a neurodegenerative illness with a scattered disease pattern at best. But, these 80 minutes of your time can give you enough insight into how MS works and what your treatment options are, and you can begin to find a way into advocating for yourself while working together with your medical team.
- Listening Length: 1 hour and 19 minutes
- Author & Narrator: Mitzi Williams
- Audible.com Release Date: March 11, 2019
- Publisher: Purposely Created Publishing Group
Enduring the Cure: My MS Journey to the Brink of Death and Back by Rachel Carter
The days when neurologists said that MS patients do not have physical pain are over. Nevertheless, pain is still not quite understood, so how do you go through life when all you can feel is pain?
Author Rachel Carter used to be fearless, riding a motorcycle to school, working in Alaska in her 20s and trekking through Europe by herself and once back in the US, she worked as a deckhand on a ship. Nothing could stop her from living a life full of possibilities. But it didn’t go as expected as balance issues and vision problems began taking over, which eventually led to Rachel’s MS diagnosis. Still, life went on, and after marrying and having three children, she studied for a degree in Communications.
What followed was three years of rapid decline, lying on the floor writhing in agony, hoping to die. That was until experimental stem cell treatment began.
If you need some determination and inspiration in our current coronavirus climate, this book must end up on your phone or bookcase. Carter’s memoir is a story of perseverance and hope.
- Paperback: 210 pages
- Publisher: Illumify Media Global (October 1, 2019)
- ISBN-10: 1949021548
- ISBN-13: 978-1949021547
Diving into Glass by Caro Llewellyn
Because we love reading how other people with MS cope in their own little bubble, there’s another memoir that will leave you wanting more. Caro Lewellyn was living and working in New York as director of an international literary festival. During a run in Central Park, however, she suddenly lost all sensation in her legs. Two days later, Caro was diagnosed with MS.
Anger and embarrassment set in as she lacked the dignity and purpose her father had after being confined to a wheelchair from the age of twenty with polio. This is where the extraordinary story of Caro’s father begins to make an impact on her mindset as she found a way to handle life with MS, rebuilding life bit by bit.
Diving into Glass is the perfect title for a deeply moving journey across family, loss, art, literature and being vulnerable while trying to rebuild a shattered future. It often shows what life with disabilities can be like, sometimes in a funny manner.
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Viking Australia
- ISBN-10: 0143793780
- ISBN-13: 978-0143793786
Happy World Book Day