From Library Journal
The author, herself a victim of multiple sclerosis (MS) for over 30 years, uses a compilation of E-mail chats to relate 23 women's experiences with MS. The use of various electronic media has provided these women, who sometimes suffer isolation as a result of their disability, "a way to `leave' [their] everyday surroundings and seek out a safe place where [they] can talk about [their] ups and downs with others who are going through the same experiences." The author states that very little medical information is given and that "all the experiences are shared in a conversational context, and are not intended to be medical advice." Although trite at times, this approach to a discussion of life with MS is more open and appealing and less frightening than Ellen MacFarlane's Legwork: An Inspiring Journey Through Chronic Illness (LJ 9/15/94). Recommended for all general collections and caregivers and physicians involved with MS patients.AMary J. Nickum, Bozeman, MT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Twenty-three women with multiple sclerosis share their e-mail discussions; the result is a ready-made support group for others with the disease that offers plenty of practical tips for day-to-day coping. Nichols (a former reporter and freelance writer) has had MS for over 30 years; she introduces the other women in the group by age and circumstances (medical and otherwise): the range is wide enough so that readers will easily find experiences here that speak to their own conditions. Chapters are loosely organized around guiding themes, but among the big questions covered here are mobility, work, family issues, sex, pain, depression, bowel and bladder control, and spirituality. Medical information is reliable as far as it goes, but much more valuable are pointers on getting good medical care, coupled with advice on all the subjects that either won't come up or wont be adequately covered in a physician's office. Nichols and company are particularly helpful in dealing with the uncertainty surrounding diagnosis (MS is notoriously hard to pin down) and the resulting emotional roller coaster. At the time of Nichols's own diagnosis, her priest visited her in the hospital to tell her he was sorry she had MS, but ``it's your own fault for assuming that you know more than God about what's best for you''. Nichols and her friends have stood up under that kind of assault, as well as the trials MS has hurled their way. Their strength and their practical outlook can help others cope. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.