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Book Review: Women Living with Multiple Sclerosis
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Women Living with Multiple Sclerosis
Judith Lynn Nichols

Book Details:
Published: 1999
ISBN: 0-89793-218-8
Format: Softcover
Pages: 288
Publisher: Demos Medical Publishing
Regular Price: $13.95
Web Discount Price: $11.86

Editorial Peer Review by Roberta Winter, MSW, LCSW, MSCS:
Women Living with Multiple Sclerosis is an easy to read narrative of day to day life with MS, collected from the cyber-space conversations of a group of women who coalesced into an on-line support group calling themselves the Sisterhood of Flutterbuds, or The Froup. As the author Judith Lynn Nichols states, her cyber-association with her group boosted her emotionally, spiritually and at least indirectly physically through the encouragement, inspiration and humor received through difficult days with MS, which she then wanted to share with a larger audience. Her group members supported her and each of these more than 20 women of diverse ages and backgrounds have contributed their experiences and insights into living with a disease they call the MonSter, Multiple Sclerosis.

With frank openness and affection for each other, the women bring you into the immediacy of their lives as they compare notes and share their first hand experiences in managing such sensitive issues as bladder incontinency, sexuality, and riding out depression. This reads as a novel, as you want to find out how members got their diagnosis and manage doctor/patient relationships, made work and family accommodations, and how they have learned to find ways of making their lives with MS more livable by making necessary accommodations through the support and helpful hints of daily living they glean from each other.

This compassionate conversation opens with a brief but accurate introduction to MS, ends with a short resource list and glossary and a comprehensive index useful in finding information on specific topics. This is a valuable book for those living with MS, for their family and friends, and for professionals seeking insight into daily life with MS from this intimate portrait.

Meet the MonSter; Cast of Characters; The Froup; If It Looks Like a Duck; Sally's Fridge and Other Flutters; Family Matters; But You Look Too Good to Have MS!; Yes, It Hurts; Thank You, Mr. Fleet...and Other Bathroom Stuff; And Then There's Sex...!; Sick of Being Sick; Tired of Being Tired; Working Solutions; Earrings and Old Man's Cave; The Spiritual Side; Purple Legs and Dancing Faces; October 20; Parting Thoughts; Resources; Glossary; Index.

About the Reviewer:
Roberta Winter, MSW, LCSW, MSCSMs. Winter is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Social Work, and has been working with Multiple Sclerosis patients at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago since 1991. She has developed support and therapy groups for patients and family members, provides clinical intervention to the Institute’s MS patients, and is active on advisory committees with the Greater Illinois Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She recently co-guest edited an upcoming special issue of the International Journal of MS Care on Wheeled Mobility.

About the Author:
Judy Lynn Nichols
A former reporter and freelance writer, Judy Nichols has had MS for almost 30 years. She lives with her husband in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has two grown daughters. The group of online MS sisters-or The Froup, as they call themselves-live all over the U.S., and their voices and lives appear throughout the book.

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