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The Lady's Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  20 reviews
The darkly funny memoir of Sarah Ramey's years-long battle with a mysterious illness that doctors thought was all in her head--but wasn't. A revelation and an inspiration for millions of women whose legitimate health complaints are ignored.

In her harrowing, defiant, and unforgettable memoir, Sarah Ramey recounts the decade-long saga of how a seemingly minor illness in her
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Doubleday Books
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  • The Lady's Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness by Sarah Ramey
    The Lady's Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness
    Release date: Mar 17, 2020
    In her harrowing, defiant, and unforgettable memoir, Sarah Ramey recounts the decade-long saga of how a seemingly minor illness in her senior year of ...more

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    Availability: 10 copies available, 4643 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Mar 19 - Apr 18, 2020

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I don't want to get too hyperbolic here but this is life-changing. As a woman with a "mysterious" illness it'll make you feel seen and heard but also I hope it'll be eye-opening for others regardless. It's sometimes hard to read when it feels like parts of it are telling your own life and experience back to you, but it is reaffirming and she frames those experiences so beautifully and meaningfully. I kind of feel grateful that she even put some of this into words. And it'll make you frustrated, ...more
    As someone who lives with chronic pain that has a specific reason, I can only imagine what chronic pain without a diagnosis is like. Sarah Ramey tells the whole truth here, without flinching, and calls every person to really listen to her story. It isn't for the faint of heart but, then again, I suppose that is the point: that not a one of us is faint of heart and we would do well to pay attention to each other. An important, essential book.

    *I received a digital ARC from the publisher via
    Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    5 stars

    "We are women with mysterious illnesses, and we are everywhere".

    As a person that has multiple chronic illnesses, I knew I had to read this book. When I was 17, I went to my GP and gave her a list of my symptoms and asked her if I could have endometriosis. She said I was too young but sent me for more testing. Over the next 7 years I was passed round many different specialists and doctors, at one point being told I had a brain tumour...only for a month later being told that I actually
    Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell
    Woman: I have chronic pain

    Sexist doctor: *kingly flourish* I diagnose you with... HYSTERIA






    S.D.: I'll refer you to a proctologist to have that uterus checked out.

    Woman: What--

    S.D.: Try not to cry your womanly tears all over the floor on the way out.
    Feb 28, 2020 marked it as to-read
    YES!! This book sounds like it could have been written about me, which is just a reminder that way too many women experience gas lighting and blatant dismissal from doctors. I cant wait to read this. ...more
    Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    This book. Phew. Reading it was an experience.

    Ramey has suffered for many years from a mysterious illness, and she identifies her crowd of women with mysterious illnesses as WOMIs, a term that pops up frequently in the book. Along with Ramey's recollections of the pain she's been through, she also describes the epidemic of WOMIdom that is rampant in society, complete with levels 1-5. Ramey's strong grasp of medicine and research underlies her writing, and her exploration of the techniques that
    Kelly Long
    Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
    As a WOMI, this book was intriguing to me. The author's experience of trying to find the correct diagnosis and answers must have been incredibly frustrating. The fact that doctors and specialists don't know or understand what is going on is very relatable.
    Ashlee Bree
    Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: memoirs, arcs, nonfiction
    "BuT. YoU. LoOk. FiNe."

    How many different ways have you thought, spoken, or applied these words to someone else? How often have they assaulted your own ears? Tormented you in private? Cropped up again and again throughout your life to spiral you into frustration then into disappointment in seconds?

    How many times have you heard them launch from the mouths of the people you love, the strangers you've only just met, the doctors who have no definitive answers, no diagnoses as of yet, or the
    Heather Fineisen
    Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
    A highly readable account of the Author's journey through the wastelands of mysterious medical diagnosis. Especially relevant to those with said illness. This gives a personal face to chronic illness that is easy to relate to. Diagnosis and treatments are outlined with the Author's colorful commentary and wit.

    Copy provided by the Publisher and NetGalley
    Petra Kirstein
    Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: petra-read
    Everyone should read this!
    Mar 05, 2020 rated it liked it
    This memoir occasionally had me wishing it would soon be over, not only for me, but for the author herself, so that she would finally be free from pain. But this is not a happy ending kind of book, and you know that going in. This is a "here is a large dose of reality" kind of book. It is not lost on me that I found it difficult to endure over the course of several days, but the author lived these infuriating hardships for over a decade.
    The structure, while paging through the book, may look
    Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    This book really resonated with me. Two years ago I developed a mysterious illness that caused me to be in pain whenever I would eat. I've been given a couple of diagnoses that are mentioned in the book (IBS, SIBO), but no one has ever been able to tell my why I got sick or how I can get better. I've seen a lot of doctors, tried a lot medications, and cut out a lot of foods I loved, and all I can say is that two years
    Elise Musicant
    Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: owned
    When every step forward pushes you back two, how do you continue? When every doctor thinks youre hysterical and every medication makes you sick, when the pain keeps you in bed, how do you carry on?

    Through the authors journey, we learn about many new topics in medical conversations, such as the gut microbiome and cortisol levels. We also learn more about humanity, sexism, and womanhood.

    This story is not for the faint of heart. There are painful medical conditions and procedures described, and
    As someone who suffers from fibromyalgia (and suffers from shame of having to admit it) this book spoke to me on a deep level. Her story is horrifying. The pain and abuse she lived with at the hands of her health providers is appalling. The first 50% of the book is a memoir about her life with debilitating pain. Honestly when I got to the halfway point of the book, I was about to abandon it bc I just couldnt handle reading one more near death setback, but then she changed course and started ...more
    Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    When I saw that this book was coming out on 3/17, I couldn't get it fast enough. (Thanks again, Doubleday!) My daughter & I have both been struggling with a lot of the same "invisible" & "mysterious" illnesses that many Dr's straight up refuse to properly diagnose (I gained 30 lbs in a matter of 2 yrs with no dietary changes or lack of activity, & it took 3 Dr's for one to finally do the right blood work only to find out that I have Hashimoto's autoimmune thyroid, on top of my ...more
    DK Simoneau
    Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
    There were parts of this book that were an absolute 5 and other parts that were more like a 2. I settled on 4 because the message is powerful though the method to get there meanders and I suspect some may give up before getting there. I am a #WOMItoo. And the message of how women are treated by the medical profession, both by men and women in it, is disgusting. To this day I know men, even close to me, who squirm at the talk of a menstrual cycle let alone pelvic pain or migraine headaches, peri ...more
    Mar 06, 2020 rated it liked it
    This fascinating play-by-play of one woman's decade-long health struggles reads more like a mystery novel than a nonfiction memoir. I was touched by the richness of detail and experience shared in the book. My only frustration was that I felt it took the author a long time to get where she was going, which was to explain the specific (and controversial) medical field that worked for her. I loved hearing her story and learned a lot from her experience, but I do wish I'd known a bit more about how ...more
    Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I eagerly anticipated this book, having read some advance hype and found it right up my alley. Turns out I'm something of a WOMI 2 (others who read the book will know what this is). I'm in the unfortunate sisterhood, but blessedly low-level so that for the most part, I live a "normal" life with certain caveats and restrictions that just look like typical American middle-aged issues, when really, I've known since my late 30s that they are not. Without starting a tome of my own on my various ...more
    Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I initially wanted to read this book because I am a daughter of a WOMI (woman with a mysterious illness). I was intrigued to hear Sarah's experience, and also see what I could learn from her that may be able to help my mother. I became even more interested as she also discussed the connection with Highly Sensitive People (HSP), as I am an HSP myself, and am mothering one as well.

    While it is devastating to read about Sarah's experience - I cannot even imagine the pain she has experienced in her
    The Lady's Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early February.

    Ramey recalls her painful personal story in a kindly and precautionary way before going into what had been done to resolve it, as well as similar stories from other women. She's an awesome, witty woman whose mysterious, loosely autoimmune case has been sifted through the hands of a doctor to a specialists, back and forth, over and over again. However, the frequent blippets of monologue
    rated it really liked it
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