9781936303427_pReviewed by Lindsay Satmary

In their book, You Don’t Look Sick! (second edition), Joy and Dr. Overman tell the story of the four different phases of living with a chronic illness from the unique and experienced perspectives of patient and physician. The four phases are: Getting Sick, Being Sick, Grief and Acceptance, and Living Well. Living with a chronic (and invisible) illness, for many patients, often means that in addition to living with their illness, patients also have to go through the daunting task of convincing people that their experiences are, in fact, real. Sometimes this process involves seeking advice from many different doctors. Dr. Overman explains that it is necessary for the health care team to work together with a Team Captain or a Coach to facilitate treatment and care plans for the best interest of the patient. It is also important for the patient to play an active role in their own care plan through honesty, trust, and willingness to participate in documentation, testing, and a variety of treatments until the best methods are found.

This book takes the reader through each stage of life with chronic illness with stories of physical and emotional struggles, physician’s perspectives, and careful and detailed instructions to help those currently coping with a chronic illness learn how to navigate through each of the phases in order to ultimately reach the final goal of learning to live well with an illness. We share along in Joy’s personal journey, her strengths and weaknesses, her fears, and her personal realizations that all together have contributed to the wonderful collaboration of this book that will become a tool to many facing similar struggles. Joy explains what has worked for her in order to both manage her illness and find ways to enjoy life and participate in her community.

Through his caring and professional insight, Dr. Overman sounds like the chronic illness patient’s dream doctor! He offers valuable professional advice that readers of this book can use and implement in their personal lives to help maintain control of their medical situation. What I noticed most about Dr. Overman’s stories were the way that each of his patients stories seemed to personally affect him and influence his quality of care as a doctor for patients with chronic illness. In such a delicate and fragile state as many of them are when they come to him, I am sure that they are able to take comfort in knowing that they not only have found a doctor who understands them, but also one who cares about them as a person and not as an illness. He truly cared about the quality of life his patients were able to achieve through his care. The stories he shared of helping his patients accomplish goals they had almost given up on were very inspiring!

At the end of the book, there are additional resources including answered questions about the changes resulting from the Affordable Care Act, a list of helpful medical resource websites and disease-specific associations, and finally discussion questions for patient support groups that walk through each section of the book.

My Rating:

I thought You Don’t Look Sick! was great! It was a great combination of both perspectives. This book was a very easy and quick read. I would rate their book 5 stars and recommend it for anyone who is personally suffering from chronic illness, or knows someone who is.

Lindsay is a young, Christian entrepreneur, owner of Spectra Marketing Solutions and Co-Founder of ChairWear Fashion, creator of the Chirt (a patent-pending custom office chair cover). In her spare time, she works as a promotional model for various talent agencies and enjoys reading, blogging, home improvement, Pinterest, and especially enjoying life as a new mom with her amazing husband and business partner.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Library Thing. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.