In an entirely different vein Susan takes on an unexpected health issue in her 70’s as she is diagnosed with a rare incurable and as yet “untreatable” chronic disease.
Diagnosis Diaries is a bravely honest and brilliantly comic account of how one aging woman handles the situation she never thought she would be in.
Susan Kelley, a writer, is a mother of two middle aged children, daughter and caretaker of a 97 year old mother and wife to a gregarious artist. Together they travel the world and practice their crafts. Seemingly out of nowhere, she starts to have unexplained falls. It takes two years, two misdiagnoses, numerous physicians and the death of her mother before she gets the correct diagnosis. She then starts Googling 'how long before I’m going to die?'
This book is the narrative of 3 years in Susan’s life. A year that starts with muscle weakness and no answers. It sees her trying to turn the situation around on her own, then getting the diagnosis but not accepting the prognosis. By the end of the book she is still vertical and with a life that is so much richer, healthier and more rewarding than ever before. Diagnosis Diary is an upbeat, funny and positive look at how to live life to the full even in the midst of a health challenge.
Interwoven within Susan’s own very personal and frank story is research and advice, and answers to questions like: How do I know my physical limitations and what can I expect? How will I cope socially? What do I say to friends and family? What to say to people who think they should offer stupid unsolicited advice? What if my partner has to be my caretaker? Can I hit him with my cane? Do I have to wear sneakers for the rest of my life? And many more.