The Chronic Challenge – Foreward by Dr. F. G. Inglis
This remarkable book provides a compassionate, knowledgeable and well-researched source to guide persons with Chronic Disease (PCD). They daily have to summon the will to survive the challenge the disease brings to their lives and well-being. It will further help them to get on with “having a life”.
Madelon suffered a massive colonic hemorrhage at their summer cabin, and her husband, Dennis flew the life-saving flight that brought her to Saskatoon and into my life. Later that August day, following resuscitation, she was taken to the operating room where we performed a bowel resection: and so she embarked on her new life.
I will put this into some perspective. The majority of patients with Crohns Disease will require surgery at some phase of the disease. Of these, about half will require one operation. The others may require two or multiple procedures to deal with the complications of fistulae, bowel obstruction or bleeding associated with this idiopathic recurrent disease. Madelon is one of the latter.
I experienced her anger, frustration, despair and loss of self-esteem, directed at the Ileostomy the disease and me. All of this is clearly described in the book. We worked through this somehow and went on together over the years to deal with the problems of this recalcitrant disease. The bad days were common enough, but Madelon gained inner strength and the day I made rounds and saw her smile with a sparkle in her eyes, I knew she would make it. How she gained this resilience is described in the book.
This is not a book about Crohns disease alone, but rather it is dedicated to those people who have “invisible” chronic disease; many of which she has interviewed. These interviews were collated to illustrate the “Chronic Ripple” effect of persistent illness. I watched these ripples touch Madelon’s husband, children, family, friends, work place, medical staff and other care-givers.
The synthesis of the interviews provides specific guidelines in each chapter for the management of many problems. The readers of this book will experience an understanding of the complexities of their illness, or that of someone close to them, and be stimulated to cope, make positive adjustments and continue on as productive people.
Frederic G. Inglis, MD FRCSC FACS Professor Emeritus of Surgery University of Saskatchewan Belleville, ON April 12, 2002