- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Southern Methodist University Press; 1 edition (2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0870745042
- ISBN-13: 978-0870745041
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,353,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Encounters with the Invisible: Unseen Illness, Controversy, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (MEDICAL HUMANITIES SERIES) Hardcover – 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Some disbelieving doctors like to attribute CFS to "secondary gain" or enablers who allow the patient to "enjoy the sick role". Unfortunately, for many CFS patients, there's no enabler and the only thing you gain is the stress of trying to make ends meet with no income.
Wall tells of having someone run her bath, gently wash her, dress her, and help her back to bed. That's a luxury most of us don't enjoy. If I'm not well enough to cook, I don't get dinner; if I cannot safely get in and out of the tub by myself, I don't bathe (on a cold winter day when I needed a bath to warm up, I got stuck in the tub for over an hour because I lacked the strength to boost myself up and out, and there was no one to call for help).
Wall's live-in support structure allowed her to do what those of us who live alone can't: use all her energy to write a book to explain to the rest of the world what it's like to be trapped in a body and brain that don't function.
I recommend this not only to patients, but to their friends and family as one of the best patient-written books I've read.
Wall grapples with many of the questions and issues I've thought about or have been forced to deal with, and which I'm sure many people with CFIDS will relate to. The role reversal of being better informed about CFIDS than the doctors you consult. The effect on your identity when your professional life is interrupted. Dealing with the expectations and advise of well-meaning friends and family. The way CFIDS forces you to reexamine the ethic of pushing yourself to exceed your boundaries and limitations. The desire to "pass" as a healthy person, if only briefly. The difference between accepting the realities of CFIDS and capitulating to them. The strain it puts on your closest relationships with spouse and family members when they are forced to become caregivers. The unexpected small joys and benefits that a constricted, slowed-down life can bring, like an appreciation of the beauty of a flower unfolding. The questions about what CFIDS and related illnesses may portend for our society.
Dorothy Wall's background as an editor and writer show through, in the way the writing is at once spare and lyrical. She can be poetic without being flowery. The simplicity of the writing allowed her meaning to penetrate my CFIDS brain fog, so that I didn't have to read the book in five minute increments.
Let me mention what this book ISN'T.Read more ›
Here is someone living the other side of the world, describing how i feel, year in, year out. She writes a wonderfully detailed account of her own experience with CFS/ME, woven together with a well researched description of the history, science, and politics of the illness.
Whether you have CFS/ME, someone you know has it , or you just want to know more about this hidden epidemic, i urge you to read this beautifully written book, a classic no less.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
i have no idea who ordered this or why what the heck is iy amyway this better be the last one!!!!Published on March 14, 2014 by A. Niles
I read this book when I needed information to help myself with my chronic illness. Good read, I would recommend it.Published on April 2, 2013 by Marian Cavalieri
Not only does this author have a gift for literary writing, which shows clearly in this book, but she lives a life that I have lived. Read morePublished on January 4, 2012 by MS
This book reads like a novel it is so well written. The author has included every aspect of a life effected by CFS. Read morePublished on September 4, 2011 by Diana L.
I have had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since 2001 and have read many books on the subject. This is the only one I have read five times. When I am going through a flare, Ms. Read morePublished on August 27, 2011 by CMK
This book is amazing. As the spouse of a CFS/ME sufferer, the book opened doors and shined the light on things that I knew but couldn't put into words. Read morePublished on March 15, 2009 by Ben