I wrote a review of Elizabeth's book for EmpowHER, a women's health and wellness website. Here is a link to the original review.
Elizabeth Turp has written a book called "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME" for sufferers of CFS/ME and the people who care about them. The ME stands for myalgic encephalomyelitis, another name used for this condition.
A book on CFS/ME is a challenge for any writer because CFS/ME is a complex illness for which little conclusive research has been done to this point. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME is a life-stopping illness that can steal decades of the sufferer's life, affecting their ability to think, to breathe, to stand on their feet. It steals jobs and beloved pastimes, and separates parents from their children, distances friends and families.
A person with CFS/ME can easily find themselves without support, often with the realization that people around them don't believe they are really ill, convinced that it's all in their heads (whatever that means) or that they're just taking the easy way out.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME is not the easy way out of anything. It is a harrowing illness causing damage that can last a lifetime. It's a condition that is not well understood by the world at large, or the average reader. I've lived with CFS/ME myself for 18 years and I don't even pretend to understand it.
Turp has also had CFS/ME, and says she has recovered. This statement may be challenged by many who believe it's impossible to recover from this condition. Speaking as a person with CFS/ME who is well on the road to recovery myself, there is often a shadow in the background, an unanswerable question as to whether or not it can last, or whether one more crash will steal back all the ground that had been regained.
But this question can only be answered with the passage of time. And recovery, with or without a guarantee, is very sweet.
Writing a book about CFS/ME after having gone through the wringer of this illness is an enormous task. Turp has met this challenge with success.
Her book should be read by those with CFS/ME who are trying to find a way out. It should be read by people who care for sufferers of CFS/ME, who want to better understand the illness, and who want to help the people they care about.
Turp seems to have tried to think of every possible eventuality and addressed each in detail. It shines through in every page that she has likely borne the brunt of most or all of these scenarios herself, and is bent on doing what she can to protect others from the experience.
If you've come up against the brick wall that is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME, having the disease yourself or loving someone who does, Turp's book is worth the read. Turp is practical above all else. In dealing with an illness that leaves the victim stymied, often unable to move, perhaps unable to sit up in bed, and often unable to think clearly for any length of time, coping with even the simple basics of life can be beyond them.
Turp is clear. The person living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME is in a dire position. If you know someone with CFS/ME, don't leave them to try to deal with it alone. And if you know someone with CFS/ME, read Elizabeth Turp's book, roll up your sleeves, and find a way to make their life more bearable.