Healing: A Life with Chronic Illness

Overview

In the late 1980s Marguerite Guzman Bouvard began experiencing the puzzling symptoms of an illness that affects millions of women yet often takes years to diagnose, interstitial cystitis: an inflammation and deterioration of the bladder lining. It is often accompanied by related immune disorders such as fibromyalgia and vulvodynia that cause crushing fatigue and a host of allergies, conditions Bouvard developed. As her illnesses progressed, Bouvard, an active globe trotting scholar and writer, was forced to slow ...

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Overview

In the late 1980s Marguerite Guzman Bouvard began experiencing the puzzling symptoms of an illness that affects millions of women yet often takes years to diagnose, interstitial cystitis: an inflammation and deterioration of the bladder lining. It is often accompanied by related immune disorders such as fibromyalgia and vulvodynia that cause crushing fatigue and a host of allergies, conditions Bouvard developed. As her illnesses progressed, Bouvard, an active globe trotting scholar and writer, was forced to slow down and to reassess her priorities. This memoir tells the story of how she came to create a life that was rich and full despite debilitating physical conditions.

Bouvard addresses key issues such as the importance of speaking clearly to the broader society about illness, learning to deal with pain, and how to manage relations with physicians. She reveals how she learned to continue to be of use to the world by opening up a new area of working toward human rights and reorienting her life as a writer. The book has a strong spiritual dimension in revealing how the meditation and reflection she turned to because of her curtailed activities actually opened her up to a wider life. From these practices she learned to cultivate inner strength, flexibility, and adaptability. Thankful for small pleasures and grateful for what she has, Bouvard shows how true healing means not waiting for a cure, but maintaining a sense of possibility.

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What People Are Saying

Dr. Isaac Schiff
"In a society so uncomfortable with physical vulnerability that it seeks to make the ill invisible, this book reveals the many dimensions of suffering. It creates a social discourse for the dignity, hard work, grief and illumination of illness. It is done with exquisite sensitivity, rich prose and riveting thoughts. Extremely informative for the reader who suffers from chronic illness; but must reading for the friends and relatives of the sufferer; and truly compulsory reading for the healthcare provider."
Dr. Isaac Schiff, Head of Vincent Memorial Obstetrics and Gynecology Service, Massachusetts General Hospital
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584656234
  • Publisher: University Press of New England
  • Publication date: 6/29/2007
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

MARGUERITE GUZMAN BOUVARD received her Ph.D. from Harvard and was for many years a professor of political science and creative writing at Regis College. She has authored books in the fields of politics, psychology, women's studies and poetry, among them the important The Path Through Grief: A Compassionate Guide and Revolutionizing Motherhood: The Mothers of the Plaza de mayo (1998).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments A Journey of True Healing Crossing the Border Argentina A World without Markers Map Making Human Rights Revisited A Question of Travel Yet Another Territory Honoring the Body Finding the Light in Darkness Blessings

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