Ask your friendly local librarian to direct you toward these books about living with chronic illness. Let us know in the comments if there are other books we should add to the list!
Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired: Living with Invisible Chronic Illness
Unlike a leg in a cast, invisible chronic illness (ICI) has no observable symptoms. Consequently, people who suffer from chronic fatigue, chronic pain, and many other miseries often endure not only the ailment but dismissive and negative reactions from others. Since its first publication, Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired has offered hope and coping strategies to thousands of people who suffer from ICI. Paul Donoghue and Mary Siegel teach their readers how to rethink how they themselves view their illness and how to communicate with loved ones and doctors in a way that meets their needs. The authors’ understanding makes readers feel they have been heard for the first time.
How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers
by Tony Bernhard
This life-affirming, instructive, and thoroughly inspiring book is a must-read for anyone who is – or who might one day be – sick. It can also be the perfect gift of guidance, encouragement, and uplifting inspiration to family, friends, and loved ones struggling with the many terrifying or disheartening life changes that come so close on the heels of a diagnosis of a chronic condition or life-threatening illness. Authentic and graceful, How to be Sick reminds us of our endless inner freedom, even under high degrees of suffering and pain.
I Still Dream Big: Stories of Teens Living with Chronic Illness
by Penny B. Wolf, MSW
Getting sick was never part of the plan. Lupus. Diabetes. Rheumatoid Arthritis. Crohn’s. Multiple Sclerosis. No matter what the diagnosis, teens with chronic illnesses share one thing in common: their lives have been changed forever by illness. Seventeen young adults share their personal stories in I Still Dream Big. Their tenacity and spirit are an inspiration to us all. The voices of the teens profiled in this book are filled with hope and optimism despite the very real challenges they face. While some of their goals may have changed, these kids still have high hopes and big dreams for the future. Above all, they refuse to be defined by illness.
How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This?: Reclaim Your Health with Humor, Creativity, and Grit
by Carla Ulbrich
Having a sense of humor is essential to health, says singer-songwriter Carla Ulbrich, who has found laughter to be a lifesaver during tough times. Under the stress of multiple illnesses and constant health ”care,” Ulbrich one day snapped and became the Singing Patient. She channeled her hard won victories, set about reclaiming her health, and penned How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This?, a collection of short, inspiring, funny essays that help people thrive and celebrate life despite illness.
Fight Like a Mother: How to Be a Mom With a Chronic Illness
by Joslyne C. Decker
Fight Like a Mother is a survival guide, offering personal stories, practical advice, tips, and resources on how to be a mom with a chronic illness. Full of the kind of candid advice you would expect from your BFF, this book gives parents with chronic illness hope, confidence, and a good laugh.
Chronic Resilience: 10 Sanity-Saving Tools for Women Coping with the Stress of Illness
by Danea Horn
Chronic illness comes with stress, and Chronic Resilience provides a complete self-help blueprint for managing the difficulties chronic illness presents. Certified life coach and speaker Danea Horn, who suffers from chronic kidney disease, infertility, and other demanding health challenges due to a birth disorder, offers techniques and ways to rebound from the pressures of having a body that’s doing things you wish you could control.
You Don’t Look Sick!: Living Well With Chronic Invisible Illness
by Joy H. Selak and
You Don’t Look Sick chronicles one person’s true-life story of illness and her physicians compassionate commentary as they journey through the four stages of chronic illness: Getting Sick, Being Sick, Grief and Acceptance and Living Well. The authors address such practical aspects as hiring a doctor, managing chronic pain, coping with grief and loss of function, winning battles with health and disability insurers, countering the social bias against the chronically ill, and recognizing the limitations of chronic illness care and charting a path for change and more. This warmhearted resource helps you focus on building a meaningful life as opposed to a life of frustration and fear.
My Wish: For children with a chronic illness or long-term medical issue
by Becca Brinkmann, PhD
A beautifully illustrated and colorful children’s book about a mom whose young child is sick. Her wish is for her son to smile, laugh, and run again. Do you know a child who is suffering from a chronic illness or is undergoing long-term medical treatment? Create an emotional connection with your child’s struggles. Excellent for children, parents, grandparents, and educators.
A Different Dream for My Child: Meditations for Parents of Critically or Chronically Ill Children
by Jolene Philo
For years, Jolene Philo’s son was hospitalized many times as he battled a life-threatening birth defect. Far from home, without friends and family to support them, Jolene and her husband felt utterly and completely alone. Today, support networks for parents of critically or chronically ill children have improved, but most only provide for urgent physical needs. The devotional meditations in this book address the spiritual needs of these parents as the author shares her own life lessons, as well as those of other parents who have walked this road. No matter how difficult the road, Philo says, you do not have to lose hope.