I was recently reading an article from “Momentum”, the magazine from the M.S. Society, when I had a blast from the past.Debbie Petrina. She had written a book. And when I read the title, it hit me-I knew her from 30+ years ago. We both had sponsored support groups in the Pittsburgh area and continued to volunteer with the M.S. Society for some time. The Momentum article described her as robust – and “taught me, early on, that each and every one of us can help make the world a better place”. Wow, does that sound familiar or what??
Reading Debbie’s book, “Managing MS-Straight Talk from a Thirty-One Year Survivor”, is a common sense conversation that made me feel like she was sitting in my kitchen and saying, “can we talk?” It is a very easy to read, concise and organized breakdown of information, with tips and personal experiences that will empower the reader to “do your homework” and play an active role to “effectively begin to manage MS.”
From chapters dealing with the diagnosis and choosing your medical team, researching and choosing specific treatments, symptom management, pain in M.S., and heat sensitivity, she reiterates that you are in control of the choices that must be made. She relates her life as a young mother and walks the reader through her decisions in a very reassuring manner. And she points out that everyone’s experience is unique, but the commonality of MS makes the reader know that we can and should learn from each other. We are not alone. AND we do have choices.
As the author talks about sensitive subjects like emotions, depression, and cognitive functions, she also empathetically talks about her experiences with grief, guilt, how to deal with people honestly. “There are more good people than schmucks in the world. There’s a way to handle ways to handle both. —- I like people, and I need people.”
Being a thirty-year survivor myself, I sometimes think that I have heard all this before. But reconnecting with Debbie Petrina made me realize how much I need people like her. And it is nice to know I am not alone.
Book Reviewed By Lynn Chambers
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The book review represents the opinions of the writer only. You may have a different opinion when you read this book. Information shared here is not for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. For specific information and advice consult your personal physician.