Giving this book to your caregivers and associates - family, friends, colleagues - can be a lifesaver, not only helping to increase your quality of life as a sufferer but that of those around you. It is downright insane to expect people who have not experienced Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME to understand what you go through. I've had people comment on things I've written about chronic fatigue and when I've tried to explain how I felt. They said, "Yes, we all get downright tired, don't we?" Uh-uh. They don't have a clue. How can they unless we have enough energy to give them a blow-by-blow account of what our day is like or give them an oral dissertation on the research we've read? I doubt we'd hold their audience for that long, anyway. If they don't understand, we can't expect them to be truly compassionate nor can we receive the assistance and support that we veritably need. This book is our saving grace.
Turp is an integrative counsellor who works in NHS primary care and private practice in the UK. She became ill with CFS/ME in 2005 (the same year as I), and lost her ability to work, walk, read and drive when her illness was at its worst. She was able to use her knowledge and skills to explore what other CFS/ME sufferers experience, as there are many different manifestations and levels of severity of the symptoms. The resulting book, written specifically for friends and family of the sufferer, includes her own experiences and case studies of others, and most importantly, wonderfully descriptive word pictures of how CFS/ME can affect an individual, along with excellent advice on how others can be the support you need. Chapters of the book assist the reader in understanding how having a friend or family member with CFS/ME will change their own life, what kind of support and caring the sufferer may require, how to help the individual cope with the illness, and practical advice on helping with the requirements of daily living.
A most difficult task for the CFS/ME sufferer is placing the responsibility of learning about the disease in the hands of others. This is where you discover who your true friends are and the depth of their compassion. If you purchase the book to be passed around to those close to you, you can only hope that they will read it. Thankfully, for those who aren't big on reading or just don't have much time, or for those on the periphery of your care circle, the last chapter of this book summarizes the top ten tips on how you can be helped by others.
Turp's excellent book is easy to read, comprehensive, full of compassion and packed with practical advice. I found it to be a treasure trove of knowledge, and if (or when) I become more severely fatigued again, I will definitely start passing it around to those who need the education. I highly recommend that you buy at least one copy if you have CFS/ME, or if you are a caregiver for someone who does. It will make the lives of both of you so much better.
This book is available at Amazon in both paperback and Kindle format.