N fact it is so bad that I have written my first review on Goodreads since it was acuired by just in case any of my friends were thinking of reading itI love sickness memoirs At their best they help me put what is happening to my body in a political philosophical and spiritual context that moves me beyond self pity or solipsism At worst they are self indulgent tripeThis is worse than the worst Ramey has been through some horrific stuff But she is also the incredibly privileged and wealthy daughter of two doctors I lost track of how many times she moved across the country on a whim or how many times her family flew across the country to move in with her and serve her needs She completely fails to recognize her own privilege though and subjects the read to pages and pages about her budding music career did she mention the name of her band no here it is one timedid she mention she is on youtube and instagram no here you go She has no concept of the fact that as bad as her medical experience has been she has also been able to spend tens of thousands of dollars on treatments and tests and that not everyone has that ind of access Not once does she advocate for Medicare for All or an affordable healthcare system though she doesn t hesitate to recommend lobbying for other issues she considers importantShe is also completely unaware of her racial privilege In what is meant to be the emotional climax of the book or one of themthere are a lot she describes a horrific procedure in which a doctor biopsies her vagina without general anesthesia The SHEER CAUCASITY of this woman in failing to acknowledge that a people of color are treated far far worse by the medical system every day and b what she described was literally common practice on nonconsenting Black woman and the foundation of modern gynecologyDid I mention her internalized ableism Or the part where she describes how she basically called together a care circle without ever acknowledging disability activismDJ Or how she never ever describes herself as having a disabilityThere s also the transphobia This is probably what takes the book from awful to justbizarre There s about a hundred pages where she takes this weird detour into bad 70s white feminism theories of the Divine Feminine and how men and women are biologically and emotionally different and the problem with modern medicine is that it dismisses the Feminine in all of us Oh and by the way she says all other forms of oppression like racism and classism and whatever else you want to throw in there stem from the misogyny of dismissing the Feminine SHE ACTUALLY SAYS THAT RACISM IS REALLY JUST MISOGYNYI don t understand how something like this gets published I doubt anyone will read this random review but I needed to get it out My god it s bad I ve been MIA on goodreads for a while not only is the world in mayhem but my own illnesses have been ravaging my body as of late I haven t read as much recently but I desperately need this book right now Finding people who understand you is sometimes the best medicine YES This book sounds like it could have been written about me which is just a reminder that way too many women experience gas lighting and blatant dismissal from doctors I can t wait to read this 5 starsWe are women with mysterious illnesses and we are everywhereAs a person that has multiple chronic illnesses I new I had to read this book When I was 17 I went to my GP and gave her a list of my symptoms and asked her if I could have endometriosis She said I was too young but sent me for testing Over the next 7 years I was passed round many different specialists and doctors at one point being told I had a brain tumouronly for a month later being told that I actually didn t I was told my illness was all in my head That I was making up the pain That I was an attention seeker or depressed After 7 years I moved for work and saw a new GP who sent me straight away to see a new gynaecologist who after a laparoscopy diagnosed me with endometriosis A whole 7 years after I asked if I could have that exact disease but got shot down told I was crazy and left utterly demoralised and upsetI am not the odd one out The majority of women with invisible or mysterious illnesses will go through the exact same treatmentThis book is an incredible story about how Sarah Ramey was treated by the medical community in the USA and how her very real illnesses were ignored or that they were psychological This book made me cry feel utterly shocked and yet also didnt surprise me Sarah s illnesses and her medical journey is shocking She writes so incredibly well about her experiences but also about the medical community ways to help yourself and why women receive such poor medical treatment This book looks into mysterious invisible illnesses such as lyme fibromyalgia lupus candida and CFSME If you suffer from any of these illnesses or any other invisible illnesses I urge you to read this book I wish I could put this book into the hands of every healthcare professional Every woman that has been made to feel crazy due to her illness I now it will make women with illness feel less alone and I hope it will make them stand up and fight for their health when those that should be helping them let them downThis is a brilliant book and I cannot recommend it enough Thank you Sarah for supporting us with your writing Please note that I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review I don t want to get too hyperbolic here but this is life changing As a woman with a mysterious illness it ll make you feel seen and heard but also I hope it ll be eye opening for others regardless It s sometimes hard to read when it feels like parts of it are telling your own life and experience back to you but it is reaffirming and she frames those experiences so beautifully and meaningfully I feel grateful that she even put so much of this experience into words And it ll make you frustrated and really really angry but also hopeful Realistic I think but hopeful. Llness is a medical mystery that she says reveals a new understanding of today's chronic illnesses as ecological in nature driven by modern changes to the basic foundations of health from the uality of our sleep diet and social connection to the state of our microbiomes.
Who has difficult andor unexplained health issues Believe me when I say that even and perhaps especially when they hit on sections where tears will run down their face sections that let them feel a rage that has been suppressed it will be such a Dogs Behaving Badly: An A-Z Guide to Understanding and Curing Behavorial Problems in Dogs kindind KIND thing for you to share PS I should also offer I shared my own story here because I view it as germane to the review but I don t share it for advice or pity or anything like that Just because after reading this book I don t feel a need to NOT talk about it to avoid causing discomfort That s another thing I owe to this text My feelings about this book swung wildly from incredible to wtf real uick As a memoir of someone with chronic illness Part I of this book is a great impactful read I empathise with Sarah Ramey as her health worsens and she deals with a terrible capitalist healthcare system The medical trauma in her account is horrifying and yet believable I can picture several people I ve worked with who would fit right in as the awful unprofessional biased doctors she had the misery of dealing with I was cautiously optimistic about this book till about the 30% markHowever It should be noted that Sarah Ramey does not have a background in medicine or science writing and that becomes very clear soon enough She writes airily about the thousands of research papers into one treatment techniue or decades of research into another without citing a single source I tried looking these up myself and got no credible papers whose results I could trust Research and academia can be a maze for anyone untrained in deciphering it Just because a study is conducted and a paper is published does not automatically make its findings reliable A data set can be manipulated in any number of ways to produce pretty much any result you want I won t even get started on predatory journals that will publish just about anything Science writers and communicators are highly ualified people who sift through research verify the reliability and translate the results correctly into lay language for the public to read It is a highly specialised full time job Sarah Ramey is not a science writerI don t doubt she did a lot of reading but her claims about functional medicine generally thought of as a pseudoscientific scam in the medical community don t seem to be backed up by anything substantial The basic principles of what america calls Functional Medicine treating the body as a whole long term behavioural interventions etc the rest of the world callsMedicine The parts of functional medicine where they advocate ridding yourself of toxins by buying their products and services is called medical fraud Psychological well being gut microbiome and neurology are very much a part of traditional medicineAre there gaps in modern allopathic medicine given its founding on misogyny racism imperialism and bigotry Yes absolutely Is the answer badly researched pseudoscience No I say this as a brown non western woman with a rare autoimmune disease and a degree in neuroscienceFurther a good 200 300 pages in the middle where she drifts off into a strange gender essentialist spiel about the female brain and the feminine mystiue and the descent into Hades is frankly nonsense and borders on TERF territory It also fails to address transgender intersex and gender non conforming people and thus is a complete waste of time I cannot imagine why this wasn t edited out This book could have been half the size and twice as readable It s also really irritating that for all her research she has yet to stumble onto disability justice communities who have long been advocating for patient rights mutual aid and community support and funding for research into chronic diseases Many of us having been doing this work long before she took it upon herself to reinvent the wheel It s worth noting that Sarah Ramey comes from a very wealthy sheltered upper class white family in america considering the ease with which she repeatedly moves across the country from one doctor to another alternative healer to another doctor and retreats to her family cabin here and other home there and has no concept of working class non white disabled peopleShe also emphasises the impacts of stress on health constantly but does not examine systemic disparities like race class caste region and sexuality among others which are important influential factors She waxes elouent on the misogyny in gynaecology without once mentioning how it was founded on the illtreatment of black women There are multiple repetitive chapters about how the modern american lifestyle and diet greatly precipitate the development of autoimmune disease while never considering that a significant population in the global south get the same diseases too She constantly makes grand sweeping statements without contextualising them which is honestly dangerous and irresponsible because I can already tell many people with no medical background are going to be using this personal account of one individual s experiences as a scientific text This may be one reason you don t see WOMIs virtually at all in the developing world This is completely false And I m now really fucking pissed People in the global south especially those marginalised because of gender caste class etc already face immense difficulty even accessing medical care and having their illnesses recognised diagnosed and treated So thanks for erasing us completely If this is the ind of research she did for this book I m not surprised it s full of nonsense Also I don t understand how she advocates Just Eating Real Food and in the same breath says never eat grains and beans What does a meal of Real Food even look like without grains and beans What do words meanI almost abandoned this several times I will not be recommending it to anyone I just read all 411 pages of this excruciating book and my only motivation for finishing it was to tell people how awful it is with authority Here s my rant I can t imagine how this got published honestly Her devastating symptoms were psychologicalThe Lady's Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness is a memoir with a mission to help the millions of mostly women who suffer from unnamed or misunderstood conditionsRamey's pursuit of a diagnosis and cure for her own mysterious
This book sounded so fascinating but I got so distracted byThe writing style Which was there for a reason I m sureBut I found it so oddAs I did the repetition And repetition And repetition Are women routinely ignored by doctors Absolutely Should doctors be given education and training to listen To empathize To think about the body as a whole Yes Absolutely yesThis bookMeans wellBut is not as engaging as it thinks it is As someone who lives with chronic pain that has a specific reason I can only imagine what chronic pain without a diagnosis is like Sarah Ramey tells the whole truth here without flinching and calls every person to really listen to her story It isn t for the faint of heart but then again I suppose that is the point that not a one of us is faint of heart and we would do well to pay attention to each other An important essential bookI received a digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Woman I have chronic painSexist doctor ingly flourish I diagnose you with HYSTERIAWoman SDWomanSDWomanSD I ll refer you to a proctologist to have that uterus checked outWoman What SD Try not to cry your womanly tears all over the floor on the way out I have so many mixed feelings about this one On the one hand this is an incredibly powerful memoir about a woman who struggled for a decade to get doctors to take her illness seriously She recounts the unbelievable trauma doctors caused her over and over as they treated her as if she was simply making up the severe symptoms of her chronic illness It s horrifying and harrowing and a scathing and necessary critiue of our broken medical system and especially the way it fails womenBut her analysis of the ways that race and class complicate how women receive or don t receive medical care is severely lacking She pays lip service to it but she doesn t really go into who gets sick who gets treatment who has the ability to seek out treatment even if it s shitty etc And there s some biological essentialism going on that I found troubling There s a whole section where she goes on and on about masculine and feminine energy and how men and women are different Which okay fine But she excludes trans and nonbinary identities from the conversation She continually euates women s bodies with bodies that are viewed as biologically female by society Biologically female ugh She does mention trans people but she never expands her analysis to recognize the fact that many women have bodies that are nothing like hers and that this impacts their relationships with illness medical care and treatmentI honestly would not have faulted her for this if this was just a memoir She s writing from her own experience and her story is powerful The book is engaging and eye opening and it s a story that we all need to hear But she doesn t stick to her own experience She s writing broadly about people with mysterious illnesses She s writing about the state of health care in this country and about how gender intersects with illness and health and treatment This book is not just her own story it s also full of analysis And because of that the things she leaves out her refusal to engage critically with race class and trans identities is a glaring hole In February before the COVID 19 pandemic really hit the United States I had a idney infection I had never had one before For four days I suffered through intense often stabbing pains I did all my usual things extra tea extra sleep curling into the fetal position and breathing when I could Until I realized I had a fever it didn t occur to me that I might need to seek medical attention You see for me this type of pain is normal Wrapping around myself maybe a few Advils and trying to get through it while still going about my business work etc is something that I have seemingly had to accept because I m told that I have painful periods and functional dyspepia and there isn t much you can do for either So when I was directed by an advice line to go to the Emergency Room immediately I was pretty surprised Once there the nurses and doctors swirled around me and put in an IV and looked VERY confused when I said I didn t need morphine and I ept saying well the IV ibuprofen seems nice it all seems less painful Half out of it it was only later that I could look back on those exchanges with slight bemusement at the time I didn t understand their concernI don t now that any of my friends who read this would now that I experience a level of pain regularly that rivals the clinically recognized one of the most painful things to present with idney infection so much so that I would be surprised and shrug it off when someone offers high grade morphine Maybe a few people I think Overall I allude to my health struggles sometimes but I have historically generally downplayed it When you have those strange or amorphous diagnoses most people secretly think you re insane or dismiss you as out of control or overdramatic and you yourself can start to think you re crazy But throughout the years of my experiencing this I haven t been able to shake this feeling that what s going on is something deeper something that our culture doesn t understand about healing something that our culture has a problem with because women are involved some sort of canary in the coal mine thing that s happening with all of us who have weird things going on that aren t really recognized It s part of the reason why I m a yoga teacher a yoga therapist someone who has a certificate in positive psychology and someone pursuing a certificate in health and well being coaching I eep lookingSo here is the point Sarah Ramey wrote the book She wrote the thing that explains the past 15 years of my life She wrote the thing that explains all the years of so many of our lives And she has a section in here that goes deep into the Root Reasons the need for the feminine She is never simple in her analysis She is nuanced which is my favorite thingRead it And be sure to give it to anyone. Sarah Ramey recounts the decade long saga of how a seemingly minor illness in her senior year of college turned into a prolonged and elusive condition that destroyed her health but that doctors couldn't diagnose or treat Worse as they failed to cure her they hinted that.