I am now in the midst of “getting the word out” about My Imaginary Illness. I’m doing lots of radio interviews and a few print and TV media as well. (Current media technology is such a blessing given the -22c degrees and the snow outside!)
But what is more exciting is that I am beginning to get word back from readers!
I’ve had some very interesting emails and phone calls from readers. The feedback is incredibly gratifying for a first time book author. More importantly, it seems that some of the things I experienced and analyze have resonance with other people. While my story is my own, it is not unique. . . many patients encounter similar frustrations in their illness journeys. There are lots and lots of undiagnosed ailments lurking in our midst. The essential question is whether what we should do with these un-categorized illnesses? What is the most effective and most compassionate way to handle symptoms (and patients) we don’t understand or don’t make sense within typical disease paradigms?
Given the kind and enthusiastic responses that I’ve received so far, I hope that we all can make a difference in the way that we see medicine and the way in which we interact with its practitioners. . .I also hope that clinicians also find MII to be of benefit. My aim is not to vilify but to engage . . . to encourage contemplation about the best clinical practices and to consider the influence of our liberal and technocratic culture on the way we conduct ourselves both as lay persons and as health care professionals.
Chloë G. K. Atkins
Your book gave me the inspiration to fight for a diagnosis for my multitude of symptoms post C5-C6 ACDF surgery on April 9, 2013. I am a practicing Veterinarian for over 20 years and I had severe complications after this surgery. I was finally diagnosed with a severe Autonomic Storm immediately post op that has disrupted my life for the last 18 months. I too have had very dismissive clinicians tell me it was just anxiety and sent me home with Xanax. Only to return to the emergency room multiple times with tachycardia, hypertension and gastroparesis. It has been a journey to keep my solo veterinary practice open and research this syndrome to get my life back. I kept fighting and I have a wonderful Pharmacist husband who never doubted my symptoms. Your book was an inspiration.