Are those with chronic illness, super heroes or just super sick? That is one of the questions that Alison Alexander seeks to answer in her new book, Super Sick: Making Peace with Chronic Illness. The book uses examples from pop culture to explore how culture treats sick people, and how those with chronic illness can find peace with their illness.
When author, Allison Alexander reached out to me about her new book, Super Sick: Making Peace with Chronic Illness, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Her message mentioned that the book was full of stories (her own and those of others) and that it shared how sick characters should be portrayed in fiction. I didn’t understand, what she was going for, but I wanted to. Allison sent me an advance copy of her book to read and as I read, I understood.
The book explores topics ranging from pain management (Dr. House) to chronic fatigue and pacing (Almight). She doesn’t shy away from any topic, openly exploring the topics of dating with chronic illness and sex. She shares her experiences and those of others.
Allison was nice enough to do a short interview with me, so that I could share a bit more about her and her book with you.
Julie: In your book, Super Sick, you discuss IBS quite a bit, do you also have other chronic illnesses?
Allison: Yes, I have chronic nausea and what I’ll call vulvodynia for now because it is undiagnosed, as well as fatigue associated with all these illnesses and iron deficiency. I discuss all these in the book, too. I am in the process of being tested for SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) and cytolytic vaginosis because one of my doctors suspects those are underlying conditions. Most of the sick people I interview in my book also have more than one condition–it’s weird, like once you have one issue, they just start piling on. Your body’s like, “I can’t handle this thing, so I’m also going to break here! And here. And here. And I hope you didn’t need this.”It's weird, like once you have one issue, they just start piling on. Your body's like, I can't handle this thing, so I'm also going to break here! And here. And here. And I hope you didn't need this.
Julie: In what way do you feel your chronic illness(es) have most affected your life?
Julie: What pop culture “hero” do you most identify with?
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