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Check Your Pride at the Door: Learning to Live With inflammatory Bowel Disease

Dr. Darryl D. Helems (Author)

ISBN: 0-7414-3503-9 ©2006
Price: $11.95
Book Size: 5.5'' x 8.5'' , 98 pages
Category/Subject: HEALTH & FITNESS / Diseases / Abdominal

Check Your Pride at the Door and learn how to live with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The illness is real. The story is personal. The strategies work.

Check Your Pride at the Door and learn how to live with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). After you have read the research, experienced the medical procedures, changed your diet, or started taking the medication, the reality is that you still have to live each day with a chronic illness. In Check Your Pride at the Door, the author describes how he has lived with IBD for twenty years and provides recommendations for the development of life-management strategies that can assist in learning how to successfully live with IBD. The illness is real. The story is personal. The strategies work.

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Customer Reviews

  A Book That Is Long Overdue , 10/20/2006
Reviewer: Bettie Corbin Tucker
As a long-time publisher, author, and book-reviewer, I found Check Your Pride at the Door to be particularly interesting and a valuable resource. Why? Because in addition to my above titles, I need to add, for the purpose of this review, “a person who suffers from inflammatory bowel disease.” I have a rather rare form of this disease—it is called eosinophilic colitis, a type of colitis that has given me problems all of my life. I can relate to much of what the author discusses in this book as will the other 1.4 million Americans who are estimated to be suffering from IBD. According to Dr. Helems’ research, approximately 30,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, with adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 35 being the most susceptible. I have done a large amount of research and purchased many books on IBD, trying to learn as much as possible so that I could be knowledgeable when talking with my physician. However, not long ago I was communicating online with another sufferer of IBD via instant messenger and stated that I wished someone would write a book that covered the emotional aspects of this disease—what it does to the person battling it as well as to family members. This is exactly what Darryl Helems has done in writing Check Your Pride at the Door because he recognized that even though there are extensive writings on the various medical descriptions, definitions, and treatment options in regard to IBD, the personal impact that this disease has upon individuals—both physically and emotionally—has not been properly addressed. This book is the story of his experiences with ulcerative colitis and, undoubtedly, will help those who are trying to cope with various forms of IBD; it is also a resource that the newly diagnosed will find to be invaluable. One reason I can truly endorse this book is because it is written for the everyday person—in simplistic language that readers don’t have to work at just to understand. When the author describes the intensity of his pain, his hospital stays, his surgeries, his flare-ups, and his times of remission, fellow sufferers will be able to relate…sometimes crying and other times applauding. But, in my opinion, it is the pride issue that will help others the most—especially those who are just starting on this journey. For twenty years the author had to deal with his pride as he went from high school to college, from college into the world of the employed, and from being single to becoming a husband and the father of two sons. Readers are able to see him mature as he goes from denying the severity of the disease to being more open and honest with others about his condition. He is blessed to have a Christian wife who supports him totally…putting to the test those marriage vows in which she said, “in sickness and in health.” Sadly, I know of many individuals with IBD whose spouses have been unable to do this, and the marriage did not survive. Admittedly, I found myself upset with the author—especially in his younger days—when he would be so insistent on living a normal life that he would not take care of himself as far as diet, medication, taking sitz baths, and trying to reduce his stress level. However, when you are young, athletic, and determined to keep up with your peers, it is understandable. Many times he learned the hard way that neglecting to do these things cost him dearly in terms of pain and hospitalizations. But I know from personal experience that when you are in remission, it is so great to feel normal that you want to act normal and, somehow, you often succeed in convincing yourself that you are cured—that there won’t be any more flare-ups. But, as yet, there is no cure for IBD. Individuals with this disease quickly learn to check their pride at the door after spending a short time in the hospital and having an untold number of nurses and doctors look at the private areas of their anatomy. The tests become routine; however, the fear of being out somewhere and not making it to the bathroom in time is always in the back of their minds. Dr. Helems—a psychologist—describes how dating was a problem for him, especially during a flare-up. He was afraid of intimacy and all of the unpleasant things that go with this disease such as nausea, horrible cramps, gurgling intestinal sounds, and uncontrollable bowel movements. The first thing I do when my husband and I go anywhere is find out where the bathroom is located. Only then can I be somewhat comfortable in my surroundings. But, in all honesty, I prefer staying home, especially when in the middle of a bad flare-up. The author discusses the importance of having proper support. He mentions spouses, parents, siblings, the church, friends, physicians, and support groups. He also talks about how people with this disease can now connect via the Internet—one of my greatest resources for support. Dr. Helems also presents interesting advice on techniques and strategies that help sufferers cope with the increased stress during flare-ups of this chronic disease. This is one of my favorite chapters, and I plan to put the information to good use. This book, though small, is very powerful and is a MUST READ, not only for those who have IBD, but also for the families and friends of these individuals. Remember that it isn’t a book written by a professional for professionals; it is a book written by a fellow sufferer who knows the emotional and physical devastation of this disease and wants to reach out to others who are hurting.

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