Everyone that lives with a chronic illness has their own war stories. Stories of horrors in hospitals, rude nurses, egotistical doctors, and just plain inefficiencies in the medical system. It happens no matter where in the world you are, just in different ways according to your country's medical system. And there are two ways you can handle it, either you go through life bitching, moaning and complaining to everyone that would listen to your sad, sorry story, or you can see the funny side of everything. That's what Candace Lafluer, a Canadian woman with Sarcoidosis living in the British hospital system did, and she has compiled her stories, as horrible as they are, and wrote a funny and insightful book.
I was recently told about the book “Prescription For Disaster: The Funny Side Of Falling Apart” by Candace Lafluer, and was skeptical of it since the last book I read about someone's life with Sarcoidosis was by a well known model, and to me that book was just pages of that model's name dropping with very little to do about her actual struggle with the disease. To be frank, I hated the model's book.
Then I was given a copy of the new Candace Lafluer book to review, and although I was skeptical, from the get go the stories are all told in a positive and funny way. The book is so well written that the author is able to find the humor in incidents that are horrendous, and I found myself laughing out loudly to moments that were truly very horrifying for the author or anyone that would experience them.
Candace describes a scene called The famous “bedpan Incident”, where she has a whole choreography with a bedpan that had me in stitches. She also describes another scene in a hospital where she is sharing a room with a clearly mentally unstable elderly lady, that is very abusive to the nurses, and I wondered how she got through that one. Those of you that had to endure the use of hospital transport will sympathize with Candace's run ins and being lost by them.
Another favorite was her description of the echocardiogram with the Australian technician that was built like and looked like a model. Her story of waiting in line at the Stroke Clinic and being mistaken for the world's most horrible person had me wanting to go into the book and scream her innocence.
The book is not written in any chronological order, but rather almost in a short story form, with relevant incidents compiled together. And believe me, there are many incidents that happens to Candace. And reading it you might begin to wonder, how could anyone have so much crap happen to them, but the truth is, we all do. Candace just has the gift of taking all of her experiences, a lot of them not so good, and looking at the funny, positive side of it. Her writing is crisp and quick, and her descriptives although not overly done, take you right into the scene with her so that you toes will curl while you cringe and laugh at the same time.
A very well written book, and you don't have to have a chronic illness to read this book. Where else can you read a wonderful concise paragraph that describes the side effects of taking steroids like this: “Side effects can often be worse than the disease itself. In about six months I went from a thin, well adjusted yet near blind and violently arthritic woman, to an obese hyped-up squirrel-like balding and infertile woman who would have mugged a homeless person for their pick of dumpster diving culinary delights.” She also describes herself as looking like Jabba the Hut in Drag.
It's a funny, insightful book into the life of someone with a chronic illness, especially a silent illness like Sarcoidosis, that will have you looking at your life differently in a situation that normally be one to bring on anger. After reading this, I am sure that you too will find the funny side of everything that could “go wrong” with your life.
Prescription For Disaster: The Funny Side Of Falling Apart by Candace Lafluer, Paperback, 338 pages, Published May 21st 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (first published May 18th 2014). Available in Kindle format.
Full Disclosure: The author “Prescription For Disaster: The Funny Side Of Falling Apart”, Candace Lafluer, did approach me via email to read and review her book on my blog, and did provide to me a free electronic version of her book. I am no way affiliated with the author nor have I received any compensation from the author to review this book. The opinions are solely mine, and I was in no way coerced into providing the review that is posted above.