How often have you wished for a doctor who understood what you were going through? I doubt we’d wish chronic pain on anyone, but at the same time, we’d all love to find a doctor who really understood. Dr. Bill Rawls is that doctor, and while we probably can’t visit him, he has shared his experience and advice in book form. The book is Suffered Long Enough: A physician’s journey of overcoming Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, & Lyme. He begins by sharing his story of going from a very busy doctor to dealing with chronic pain and fatigue and being unable to keep up with a busy practice. He shares that he began researching supplements, herbs, and other alternative options for healing. He provides the analogy of recovering from chronic fatigue and pain to climbing out of a deep well. It’s straight up and rarely anything to hold onto, and just as you finally get a good grip, you often slip back down.
Dr. Rawls suggests that there are six major issues that need to be addressed poor nutrition, emotional stress, oxidative stress, toxic stress, physical stress, and energy. He addresses these from the standpoint of things that need to be removed, as well as things that need to be added to improve your health and symptoms. His focus is on diet changes, supplementation, movement, improving sleep, and changing the way you think. Sounds familiar if you read my blog at all. Overall, I’d say his advice is sound. Much of it is advice I’ve given myself to many, we do differ on a few things, but overall his diet advice mimics my own – get rid of gluten and processed foods. Eat clean and healthy. He addresses a number of supplements, explaining what they help with, as well as specifically how to take them. This last part is important since often the suggested dosage for dealing with chronic illness is different from what is on the bottle. He provides suggestions for getting moving (exercising), as well as improving sleep.
Dr. Rawls provides a lot of great info on supplements and he focused most of the book on that topic. A lot of the advice beyond diet and supplements is very surface level advice that we have all likely heard again and again. If I had to grade this book I’d give it an A+ for information, but a C- for layout and readability. Much of the info is repetitive (or feels that way) about supplements, because of the way the book is laid out. I felt like the book could be about half as long and give all the same advice without needing to repeat. As someone who has researched a lot of this info already, I did find a few new supplements I will look into further. I would say that for someone who is just beginning their chronic illness journey, this would be a good read to get you started, and give you an overview of a direction that will likely help you greatly.
*I was provided a free copy of this book for review purposes.