“I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. “
“The Memory of Health” by Edie Summers is a very interesting book. I think she had me from the start of the forward with “Dear Friend”. Why? Because I instantly felt this person wants to meet me where I am.
The 470-page book takes on many forms:
- It contains excerpts from the author’s journal citing how her health is from day to day, etc.
- The author has included some of her own poetry which gives a glimpse into how her illness comes out in her creativity.
- There is some medical terminology to give substance and credibility.
- And there is “the story”. All through the book, Edie talks about how we need to find and tell our story to truly heal ourselves. Her own story weaves in and out through each page, section, and chapter.
At the beginning of the Introduction, the author lists the main topics of the book. The next paragraph was poetry to my eyes. (Ref “The Memory of Health” p. 5)
“To you, dear reader, who have picked up this book and are looking for answers, but may be too tired to know where to read or look first, I’m going to give you a brief overview. Here is a highlight of some of the most relevant topics, as well as what has contributed to my positive recovery along the way.”
One thing that I really like about Edie’s style of writing is that she will be on a subject and then will reference something else, such as diet. Then she will note in brackets that the new subject is talked about in more detail later in the book, referencing the chapter and section. This allows the reader to go there now or continue on the original train of thought. A few times I wrote down the reference and went back after I finished where I was. Other times I left it until I got there.
I think what sets this aside from other books I have read about chronic illness is the way the author mixes the forms mentioned above. Chapter Two is on toxins – environmental and otherwise. It talks about 9/11 and agent orange, which are heavy and depressing topics, to say the least. However, she shows how it affects chronic illness and generations to follow. Plus she includes a note from her journal, “In My Shoes” relating her own experiences.
I have to admit that I had to skim over much of the technical information, ironically because of my fibro fog. My ability to absorb too much of this has decreased considerably over the years. However, when I come to a journal entry, a poem, or a quote my mind has a chance to reset itself.
The Table of Contents also proved very useful as it is very detailed. This makes finding what you are looking for much easier.
I also learned so much more about conditions I have been diagnosed with such as Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), etc. I was diagnosed with all of these before there was much information on them so the more I learn the easier it is for me to understand what is going on with my body.
And I believe that this is Edie’s whole point. We need to be in tune with how our body does or doesn’t function and what can/can’t be done about it.
The tagline for the book is “My Journey to Mindful Living & Conscious Consumerism.” Chapters four and five deal with this very thoroughly. Edie talks about her own journey back to health in Chapter four, dealing with diet, exercise and self-care. Chapter five focuses on “Mind, Body, Spirit”, self-love, yoga, and more.
There were several quotes I found in the book that caught my eye; however, if I was to pick one which embodied what the author was trying to get across, it would have to be this one, short, sweet and to the point. (Ref “The Memory of Health” p. 16).
“I am my own cure.”
I would highly recommend “The Memory of Health” to anyone who is dealing with chronic illness – whether personally or with someone close to them. You can find the book on Amazon to see reviews or Lulu (40% discount). Edie’s website is portlandwellnesscoach.com.