ROANOKE, Va. — The illness is real. The story is personal. The strategies work. There is life after receiving a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). That’s the message of “Check Your Pride at the Door” (ISBN 0-7414-3503-9), a newly published book by Virginia psychologist, Dr. Darryl D. Helems, who has lived with IBD for more than twenty years since his diagnosis at age 17. Statistics on IBD are sobering.
The cause of IBD is unknown and there is no medical cure for it. It is estimated that some 1.4 million Americans suffer from IBD, with approximately thirty thousand new cases diagnosed each year. Anyone can get IBD, but adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 35 are most susceptible.
IBD can be defined basically as a medical condition that manifests itself in various forms of inflammation throughout the gastrointestinal tract. Depending on the severity and location of this inflammation, the specific diagnosis can be either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
In trying to explain their condition, IBD patients often receive blank stares or hear a response something like this: “Oh, is that where you have to watch what you eat and have to go to the bathroom a lot?” As Helems writes, that understanding is correct but inadequate, as people who do not have the disease have difficulty understanding how physically and emotionally devastating it can be.
But “Check Your Pride at the Door” is not a clinical recital of medical facts and statistics. Dr. Helems believes that the practical and emotional aspects associated with this illness are often overlooked. Therefore, he focuses on his story of coping with IBD, showing how he “checked his pride at the door” – that is, accepted that he had a disease – and then developed life-management strategies to maintain his physical and emotional equilibrium through the disease’s ups and downs.
“If you, or someone you love is suffering with IBD this book will be a jewel for you; and for those of you who are fortunate enough to never have had this touch your lives you would do well to read this work to understand just how fortunate you are. Hats off to Darryl D. Helems, who had the courage to discuss some hard phases of this disease and also offers some great tips to help you along the way,” says Shirley Johnson, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Reviews.
“One reason I can truly endorse this book is because it is written for the everyday person-in simplistic language that readers don’t have to work at just to understand. When the author describes the intensity of his pain, his hospital stays, his surgeries, his flare-ups, and his times of remission, fellow sufferers will be able to relate…sometimes crying and other times applauding,” says Bettie Corbin, Independent Professional Reviewers (www.bookreviewers.org).
More information about “Check Your Pride at the Door” (ISBN 0-7414-3503-9) and Dr. Helems, can be found at the book’s companion website .
[tags]Darryl D Helems, inflammatory bowel disease, Check Your Pride at the Door, IBD book, Midwest Book Reviews, Independent Professional Reviewers[/tags]