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Popular culture would have us believe that there are only two options when one gets really sick–miraculously recover or die. Unfortunately, there is a third option. One remains sick. No tragic death, no inspiring recovery, just chronic illness.
Adrea Ragnason is a frustrated young woman who has been going to doctors for several years. Yes, she’s still sick. No, she doesn’t look sick. Doubting her doctors’ diagnoses, she researches her symptoms while coping with her chronic illness, trying to find a doctor who will look at the whole picture. Disappointed by her lack of success, she uses positive thinking as an outlook for her frustrations, harboring the hope that it will provide her with answers.
Helene Gundersen is a psychologist with a new practice. The daughter of a doctor, she is not surprised that many of her clients are doctors, yet is surprised they share similar symptoms. Her comments and suggestions nudge them toward research. Meanwhile, she attempts to remain detached as she helps a chronically ill client. But Helene is hopeful when learning about POTS, a condition caused by a malfunctioning autonomic nervous system and one of many conditions listed under the broad term of Dysautonomia.
Julie Jacobsen Deck, a reading teacher and mother of two, has been taking her chronically ill daughter to doctors for fourteen years now. She wrote “You’re Still Sick?” to vent her frustrations and hopes the fictional book will provide comfort in a relatable character and perhaps possibilities of research for other chronically ill young women.
“I am an elementary school reading teacher who is the sole caregiver for my chronically ill daughter. Over fourteen years of frustration with doctors’ misdiagnoses, lack of knowledge, and lack of empathy led to my writing a fiction book with a chronically ill main character. This is not a self-help book, but it is a book that chronically ill women could relate to and learn from. The book portrays the character’s long journey for help as she deals with doctor’s misconceptions and misdiagnoses. It is a chronically ill book, so there isn’t a perfect ending in which all the loose ends are neatly tied up for the main character; however, another ill character in the book does get much needed answers.” -Julie Jacobsen Deck