We are living in wonderful times, medically speaking. The use of vaccinations, antibiotics, high-tech testing, and advanced surgery options have spared many from the early deaths that people in the early 1900s experienced. But now we have moved on to the age of chronic illness. It seems that everywhere you turn, people are struggling with both common and unusual diseases and syndromes.
The battle is on to try to conquer these illnesses and diseases. Often, there is not a total cure, but rather treatments that attempt to keep the symptoms under control so the individual can have a normal life. The author herself battles several chronic illnesses and requires much medical intervention to be able to work and function normally.
The book covers changing attitudes over the years in regards to sickness and disease, different causes of chronic illness, the development of patients’ rights, disability laws, the AIDS epidemic, raising money to research cures/treatments, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, and other topics. This book demonstrates how widespread chronic illness is in our society.
Excerpt from page 11:
“Chronic illness affects nearly 50 percent of the population. By the year 2025, it is estimated that chronic illness will affect some 164 million Americans. Some of the most common are heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and asthma, but that list is by no means exhaustive. Arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, and thousands of other diseases cause ongoing symptoms and are treatable but not curable. Chronic illness is the leading cause of death and disability in this country, with seven out of every ten deaths attributed to chronic diseases. Eighty-one percent of hospital admissions are a result of chronic illness, as are 76 percent of all physician visits. These statistics come with a hefty price tag, too; 75 percent of a staggering $2 trillion in health care costs in 2005 came from chronic diseases. “