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Young, Sick, and Invisible: A Skeptic’s Journey with Chronic Illness

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Description

Drawing on her own deeply personal experiences, Ania Bula explores what it is like to live with unseen chronic disabilities. She paints a vibrant picture of what it is like to be diagnosed with two life-long debilitating conditions as a young adult and relates the challenges and frustrations of dealing with predatory alternative medicine practitioners, arrogant doctors, indifferent bureaucracies, and well-meaning friends and family who always seem to say either the wrong thing—or nothing at all. As she discovered, suddenly everyone’s aunt is a health expert and everyone’s fad diet a cure. Making matters worse, her physical torment quickly translated into mental stresses. Relationships became strained, while others, including all-important romantic ones, never had a chance to start at all. Wading through a constant stream of ignorance and lies, in a desperate attempt to find peace, to stop the pain, and to return to a more normal life, she submits to being stuffed with powders and magic potions, poked and prodded, and even “faith healed.” With honesty and humor, she shares her journey of pain, suffering, and, ultimately, coping, both to help others gain some understanding about what it is like to live with chronic illness—and to help those who might similarly suffer feel less alone, so that they too might start living again.

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