Since Bud has chronic anxiety and depression and I have had asthma my whole life, I was really looking forward to seeing what advice I could find in When Someone You Love Has a Chronic Illness that could help our family deal with our ever-present health problems. Unfortunately, the book is written more for caregivers of those with cancer or older-adult related chronic illnesses like heart disease and dementia. Still, I have watched and helped Art's parents and my parents as they cared for their own parents with chronic illnesses, so I plunged back into the book with a slightly different mindset.
Each chapter of the book deals with a different aspect of caring for a loved one with a chronic illness and each chapter ends by summarizing the key points and offering references for further reading.
One of the most important themes that Dr. Greenberg repeats in different ways throughout the book is:
"If you don't take care of yourself it will be much harder to care for others."
She offers many helpful tips on talking to doctors, finding emotional support and knowing when to seek professional help. She also has some very practical tips on how to deal with chronic anxiety or PTSD brought on by extended caregiving. Some of these were tips I can use in my own life, especially on days when mine or Bud's anxiety is high.
I did find the book to be a little disjointed with little natural flow between the chapters. I feel this book should probably not be read in chronological order, but one could look through the table of contents, find the chapter headings that are closest to their needs and read those.
When Someone You Love Has a Chronic Illness is a valuable resource for anyone who is aging or has aging loved ones (most of us).