Before I jump into this post, I want to take a moment to thank each of you who showed up to my reading events last week. The show of support at Porter Square Books was truly overwhelming—it was a standing room only crowd, and we sold out of all the books and dipped into special orders. Many thanks to everyone who showed up; it was great to see familiar faces, and equally great to see and hear from so many of you I’ve never met before.
One of the questions I am asked often, and one of the things I spoke about last week, is why I wrote Life Disrupted. The short answer is that I saw a real need for it. While there are many more details and nuances to that statement, that one simple sentence really does sum it up. I saw a population of younger adults with chronic illness that was much larger than most realized. Patients with serious childhood diseases are living longer into adulthood, and many otherwise healthy patients first manifest chronic and autoimmune conditions in their twenties and thirties.
Within that diverse patient population, I saw so many important trends that weren’t being written about in a substantive, mainstream way. Two of those trends, and arguably two of the most compelling and complicated ones, include the impact of spousal caregiving on younger marriages and the “can versus should” debate in terms of people with chronic illness having children. I was fortunate to find patients whose experiences speak to these issues, including patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), among many various illnesses covered in the book, and I learned a lot from them.
So why am I telling you all of this right now? Because this week I was also fortunate to stumble across this blog, Confessions of a CF Husband. It’s an engrossing, honest look at one family’ journey through the wife’s double lung transplant and the premature birth of their very-much-hoped-for baby girl, a high-risk pregnancy situation indeed. Their struggles and triumphs are inspiring and sobering, and their realities mirror those of a generation of patients with the power to truly redefine how we perceive people with serious disease.