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Just Fine: Unmasking Concealed Chronic Illness And Pain Paperback – September 1, 2004


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Frequently Bought Together

Just Fine: Unmasking Concealed Chronic Illness And Pain + How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers + Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired: Living with Invisible Chronic Illness (New Edition)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Avid Reader Pr (September 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970015046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970015044
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #651,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sveilich, a counselor for more than 20 years, has conducted large community seminars and support services for people living with health challenges. Recipient of the ABC News Leadership Award, she has also been featured in numerous newspaper articles and television reports.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most of the time, I'm happy to at least look but I do so with optimistic skepticism.
Margy Squires
Just Fine is how most of us look on the outside, and this unique book shows the world visually the truth of our experiences with concealed illnesses.
YSS
Highly recommended to anyone dealing with chronic illness and/or pain AND family members, friends and coworkers.
Denney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

121 of 123 people found the following review helpful By Margy Squires on April 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
Everybody has a story. As editor of a newsletter, it's not unusual for me to receive an e-mail or letter requesting that I review a book for possible inclusion in our publication. After all, we target a market specifically for those with chronic pain. Most of the time, I'm happy to at least look but I do so with optimistic skepticism. Our readers have a lot to deal with already. If I can't endorse a book, in my editorial opinion, I opt out of giving it published space. My first criteria is that a book should "do no harm" in its effort to do good. I also prefer to give the space to books, which warrant attention. Just Fine deserves both space and attention.

In her own words, the author states the uniqueness of her book: "There is an absence of resources that examines an individual's outward appearance and how it runs contrary to their pain, symptoms, and inner world." While the 336 page book is divided approximately in half, the theme of dealing with appearing "normal" despite how you feel runs consistently from beginning to end. In the first half, the author's revelation of what it is like to uncover and ultimately accept a diagnosis and the limitations, changes and medical challenges that come with that diagnosis - despite looking fine - is unlike any other book I've read. The author's own black and white photographs of people she's interviewed and whose stories are included will greet you in the second half. Stop and look at the faces. The fact that you cannot "see" what disorder they have is what Just Fine is all about.

In Chapter One, "why seeing is not always believing", the author explains, "Human nature, for the most part, is visually oriented. We believe what we see and often make character judgments based solely on visual perceptions.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By K. James on January 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a well-written, well-researched book that exposes many of the difficulties experienced by people who have illnesses with no readily visible symptoms. The book is light on descriptions of specific conditions, which works to its advantage since it is less about any particular illness than about the experiences people have in common when their illnesses are masked by an outward appearance of health. This book is not only a resource for individuals with concealed chronic illnesses or pain, but also for their loved ones, for health professionals, and for mental health professionals. What Sveilich unmasks in this book is not only the hidden face of chronic illness, but also the harm caused by our appearance-obsessed culture.
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Format: Paperback
Like others have written, JUST FINE is a gift to all those impacted by chronic, invisible illnesses and pain.

Chronic Fatigue (CFIDS) has been my challenge and teacher since my symptoms began more than 30 years ago. JUST FINE, written beautifully by a therapist surviving her own chronic illnesses, says everything I needed to know THEN when little was known and we were told it was a "psychological problem". The book reassures me - even NOW when we recently found out there are at least 5 genetic markers (see the CDC website) - that I am and have been doing MORE than "Just Fine" with the "luck of the draw" biologically & with the life circumstances that may have contributed to triggering my illness.

The photos and narratives of "people with..." function like a "support group in a book" and I KNOW that many readers may not have a group available or be able to reach one because of the limits often imposed by the illnesses themselves. I appreciate the participants' courage in speaking about often stigmatized experiences, while also knowing many of us are longing to be asked by someone who is truly willing to hear us. We continually search for language that can describe our often fluctuating experience: Carol Sveilich and her interviewees have done just that!

I have given this book to clients, friends and family. I look forward to any more writing Sveilich will do in the future, as she clearly has more to say that would be worthwhile to read - to "listen with your eyes".
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Migraine Chick on November 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
Having chronic migraines, I have noticed how I can look one way, but I feel quite another way. For example, I ask myself how I can be in such horrible pain at work and no one around me even notices. Truly frustrated with this dilemma, I picked up a copy of Just Fine: Unmasking Concealed Chronic Illness and Pain by Carol Sveilich to see if I could find some answers.

The book discusses hidden health disorders in a unique way because the author not only offers insights and coping tips offered from physicians and psychologists, including traditional medicine and mind-body medicine. She also has included profiles of people living with a hidden health disorder and she lets them tell their story in their own words, along with their photographs.

What I really liked about the book was being educated about other types of concealed illnesses, and at the same time, how I saw myself in many of the stories. There were common threads of emotions from these people living double lives.

Some of the topics from the book included how to deal with canceling plans, learning how to answer people when they ask how you are, being envious of other people in good health, sacrificing personal goals, making adjustments, and how to respond to people when they question the severity of your symptoms.

I was surprised and relieved to see the author even dealt with the subject of sex with a chronic illness, which I never saw explored before in a book.

This book definitely made me feel not so alone with my double life. It was very comforting and it taught me how to look at people differently, because someone who is smiling in the office might be living with a hidden health disorder like me.
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