Publication Date: May 31st 2017
Publisher: Brown Dog Books
Read Date: May 20th 2018
Genre: Fiction / Fictional memoir
I would like to introduce myself, I feel it’s only fair. Only I know you so well now, you might get a scare. I know you know I’m in there, though I crept with greatest stealth: I am the hidden monster buried within yourself. Joyce is only sixteen when she’s torn from the life she loves. Two years pass, but Joyce, her family, and her best friend Logan, are no closer to learning what’s causing her dizzying array of symptoms. As Joyce tried to come to terms with her increasing limitations those around her struggle to understand what she is going through. Baffled and unsure, the doctors eventually diagnose Joyce with ME and CFS. But when Joyce and her family refuse to accept this diagnosis, her mental stability is called into question. Desperate for the truth and scared for Joyce’s life, their only hope lies in a private hospital where she is finally diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Can Joyce survive a treatment as brutal as her illness? Can she find her way in a world she no longer recognises?
That blurb tells all about the book and what’s in it. Finding Joy was fictional memoir about Joyce suffering from Lyme disease written by author who fought this illness herself for almost 10 years and wrote with purpose of raising awareness. This book was raw, direct, honest and poignant account of the disease from perspective of patient, her relative, and friend.
Joy was 18 old teen who already lost 2 years life without any proper diagnosis. Even her sanity was questioned. I just loved to read her true thoughts. She was damn brave and strong. Her thoughts, pain, suffering, and fight was remarkably raw. Her pain was so excruciating that I feared she might give up at certain point. I admired her for the way she kept fighting the disease.
Beth– Aunt of Joy- was as strong as Joy. She was such an amazing lady. It’s not easy task to manage house, work and take care of a chronically ill patient, and putting aside all your need and life. She did all of that so brilliantly. She was more resilient and relentless than Joy when it came to finding about the disease and its treatment. I think if she was not there, Joy might have given up earlier. It was like she was going through her own kind of pain. I just loved this character from all the aspect.
Logan was true friend of Joy who stuck by her side all the time. His perspective was honest and gave the view of how a person around ill patient feel who is perfectly healthy and why they feel uncomfortable.
Dog– I can’t forget him while I talk about characters. A dog was named ‘Dog’. It made me smile when I read how he got his name Dog. When no one was around he was the only one who gave company to Joy. He was really nice dog and I loved the way he understood Joy’s pain.
First of all, I didn’t know anything about Lyme disease before. After I got the review request for this book, I researched about it and also checked if it exist in India as well, which found very rare here and only in particular regions. It perked my curiosity to know more about it and I’m glad I read this book.
In first chapter only I got to see how severe Joy’s condition was and I was utterly shocked that doctors couldn’t give a proper diagnosis. Her mental turmoil was heart touching and I could literally see and feel how terrible it might be for her when she couldn’t perform a day-to-day activities and even worst when any other person couldn’t understand her condition. Most horrible thing was when doctors ignored all those pain and difficulties and just told her that it’s all in her head. That was most shocking of all. I couldn’t believe they could do that to her just so the country can show lower ratio to a disease that is hard to diagnose and even harder to treat.
It was emotionally touching to read Joy’s perspective. She expressed her feeling with blunt truth. It felt so real and raw without any sugary coats that made it little hard to read. A normal person really can’t fathom how terrible it was for her or any Lyme disease patient.
I felt sad for her, angry towards medical system, love for her aunt and family. Her Aunt’s perspective gave great view towards her life as a caretaker, as an only person who could see her real pain, and how it truly affects a relative of patient. The way she listed all Joy’s symptoms, her research in finding out what’s wrong with her, how she managed her treatment and the schedule was utterly mind-blowing. She did better job in researching than doctors until they found right doctor.
Most amazing thing about the book was, all chapters that started with points telling about- how chronically ill patients feel, do’s and don’ts around them, how people should behave around them, what they like and don’t like, what they expects and their preferences for certain things, how their caretakers feel, and how healthy person feels around ill person. I bookmarked all those pages. I wish everyone can read and understand all those points.
This book truly showed how much a disease can take from your life; how people changes, behave and act when they know about your illness; how person come to terms with the condition; and how much support, care, understanding, proper treatment, and strong soul a person need to fight against it.
End was really nice. Even at the end it showed some or maybe most people always behave like they used to. Nothing changes their behavior and how immaturely they act. I definitely tag them as Joy did- IIM- Insensitive, Ignominious Morons.
Overall, it was great book to know all about Lyme disease and truly met its purpose of raising awareness of disease. I highly recommend this book to all readers of all age.
Author: Morven-May MacCallum
To know more about author click⇒ HERE.
*** Many thanks to author for providing me e-copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review. ***
What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book already? Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.