April is National Poetry Month. On my blog, "Warning Signs", I ask if it has become an oxymoron in an era when poets and poetry are largely ignored. Treat yourself to a good poetry anthology. It will provide hours of pleasure.
According to the National Health Council, incurable and ongoing chronic disease affects approximately 133 million Americans, 45% of the nation’s total population. I am inclined to think that figure is high, although it is true that Baby Boomers are joining the ranks of the nation’s elderly at a rate of 10,000 a day. Many have a least one chronic illness and some have more than one. When you consider that today’s healthcare system was designed for the last century, this poses a problem, but for those encountering this challenge it is a personal one. Richard Cheu is the author of Living Well With Chronic Illness: A Practical and Spiritual Guide ($16.95, Dog Ear Publishing, softcover and ebook). He is a neurophysiologist and a pastoral counselor, an ordained deacon and hospital chaplain in the Archdiocese of New York at Bellevue Hospital. He is a believer in taking charge of one’s own well-being as the way to improve the quality and length of one’s life. He has been a care-giver to a chronically-ill wife for nine years. In short, he knows what he is talking about. His advice covers a range of ways one can keep motivated, keeping mind and body active and fit. He discusses the negative emotions unleashed by a chronic illness diagnosis and how to take control of the shock, stress, and grief that accompanies the condition including how to overcome the loneliness that often accompanies it. There is a spiritual component to this and other aspects of chronic illness and I think this is one of the best books on the subject I have read in many years.