Ann Pietrangelo has written a poignant, intelligent and very readable book about her struggles with relapsing/remitting Multiple Sclerosis. As she says , "MS puts me in a category of people who live a double life. One foot in the world of disability, one foot in the world of the able-bodied". With this form of MS she deals with remissions and relapses over and over, never knowing when one or the other will occur.
Ms. Pietrangelo discusses her life, her work, her family and her marriage. She focuses on the fact that she is much more than the sum of her symptoms or the name of her disease. She is a whole person, in love and loved, productive and successful. She has a history of writing for health blogs and she and her husband run a web design company.
Ann's Diagnosis occurred when she was 45 years old, beginning with tingling in her leg and arm. She is lucky to have health care insurance but it is running out as she is on the COBRA plan - the plan that is mandatory for companies to offer employees who leave employment. It is a plan they must pay for themselves and it only lasts for eighteen months. Ann discusses the frustrations of working with insurance companies and physicians along with her fear of what will happen when she is left uninsured.
She discusses the emotions that go along with her illness, especially "the mind games it plays with you. Guilt and self-doubt plague its unwilling hosts, and I'm no exception." Even though she is debilitated by her disease, she continues to feel she should do more, work more hours and be more productive. She finds it hard to accept her limitations with MS. "The thing about relapsing/remitting MS is that your disabilities are ever-changing. You have to learn to adapt to new situations very quickly. Change is the name of the game." She is faced with myriad symptoms, never the same and always in flux and change.
I am very glad that I had a chance to read this e-book that was provided by the author. Ann is an excellent writer. The book is never whiny or martyr-like. It is a day to day account of a brave woman and the world she lives in. This book gave me a way to open a door and get to know her a bit. For that I am grateful.