I have to admit that I’m a bit of a geek at heart. When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I obsessively read anything I could get my hands on to try and better understand this condition I had. I felt as though I was pretty clued up on all things fibro, but when I heard about a book written by a medical doctor who suffered from fibromyalgia and Lyme disease, called “Suffered Long Enough”* I was really intrigued. Furthermore, the basis for the book was the fact Dr. Rawls felt failed by conventional medicine. It sounded like he was singing from the same hymn sheet as many fibro sufferers.
Indeed, the book begins with a preface that I think absolutely everyone with fibromyalgia can relate to. Dr. Rawls envisions his daily battle with chronic illness as like being trapped in an old well. Each day he would claw his way upwards, trying to get out. On good days he would make steady progress, other days little progress was made and on bad days he would lose his grip and fall straight back down again. How many of you feel trapped in that well?
The book is a great resource that helps you to figure out where you are on your journey out of the well and then provides you with the tools you need to help you climb your way up. It is written with a sound knowledge of the processes of disease but at a level that is easy to understand. It not only provides sound science but also applies common sense logic that is often overlooked by medical professionals
I liked Dr. Rawls multi-faceted approach to healing your body. He discusses traditional medicines and states that drugs are sometimes the only solution for pain control. If used properly, Dr. Rawls says, they can positively support the healing process. I like his honesty. And I appreciate that he doesn’t make those of us who are on medication feel like we have made the wrong decision or are somehow failures. However, he also provides some sound advice about taking drugs and then takes it that one step further by discussing natural supplements and therapies that will complement their use. It’s refreshing to read a book that doesn’t claim one approach is better than the other but where the author understands the battle must be taken from all sides.
Being the geek that I am, I liked the fact that Dr. Rawls does not just state that this supplement or that therapy helps, but that he explains the theory behind why they help. He provides a vast knowledge of herbal plants and supplements that all made sense to me and went far beyond my current level of knowledge. The list was very comprehensive.
Diet is another area covered. It’s one that many people are in denial about but, again, Dr. Rawls offers sound advice and provides the science behind good nutrition. He explains why our current relationship with food may not be beneficial to us and then offers the steps to improve it.
I am barely scratching the surface of what is included in this book. It is a truly comprehensive guide to working towards wellness. What I particularly like is that Dr. Rawls talks of no magic cure. He has adapted and changed the pace of his life and made compromises. He continues to take supplements and he appreciates each day for what it is. However, nowadays he is winning! He has achieved a level all of us hope for. One with no fatigue. And this book explains exactly how he got there.
To sum up the book: Dr. Rawls provides sound advice, backed up by personal experience and logic. It describes the basis for disease, how it takes hold in our bodies and the options available to us to restore our health. This includes conventional and herbal medicines, natural supplements, diet and exercise. The last sentence may make it sound similar to other books you may have read but it has far more depth than any other book I have personally read on chronic illness. I believe it is a good investment for not only those who are newly diagnosed, but also those of us who have suffered for years and feel lost. I will certainly be applying the things I have learned from this book.
You can pick up a copy of ‘Suffered Long Enough: A physician’s journey of overcoming Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue & Lyme‘* by Dr. William Rawls from Amazon.co.uk*, Amazon.com*, Vital Plan and select stores.
UPDATE: Since writing this review I have been following the protocol set out by Dr Rawls and have seen some good results. You can read all about it here.
*Disclaimer: I was gifted this book review. However, I have given my honest opinion and the views I have expressed about this book were not in any way influenced.