Publisher – Brown Dog
Release date: 19 07 2017
Price*: Kindle £3.33 (GBP)/ Paperback £8.99 (GBP)
Kindle $5.03 (USD)/ Paperback $11.41 (USD)
Pages: ~ 197
You can get this book here:
Description of the book: I would like to introduce myself, I feel it’s only fair. Only I know you so well now, you might get a scare. I know you know I’m in there, though I crept with the greatest stealth: I am the hidden monster buried within yourself. Joyce is only sixteen when she’s torn from the life she loves. Two years pass, but Joyce, her family, and her best friend Logan, are no closer to learning what’s causing her dizzying array of symptoms. As Joyce tried to come to terms with her increasing limitations those around her struggle to understand what she is going through. Baffled and unsure, the doctors eventually diagnose Joyce with ME and CFS. But when Joyce and her family refuse to accept this diagnosis, her mental stability is called into question. Desperate for the truth and scared for Joyce’s life, their only hope lies in a private hospital where she is finally diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Can Joyce survive a treatment as brutal as her illness? Can she find her way in a world she no longer recognises?
Today I would like to share a Guest post, written by Morven-May MacCallum. She wrote a book called Finding Joy which is about Lyme disease and the fight against it. So, without further due, here is Morven-May’s post.
I remember the moment when the need to write Finding Joy became overpowering. I had been speaking to a fellow writing enthusiast who voiced an idea that I’d been repressing…that I should write a fictional story about Lyme disease. I can’t recall if I encouraged the conversation but I remember my companion speaking with me for a long time about it. By the time we parted, I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer, the first chapter was already in my mind and the main character had formed before my eyes. I tried to suppress her but she simply grew within me until there was no space left inside me and in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, I wrote and I wrote and I wrote until my hands ached and my back tremored with the effort of keeping myself upright.
I was sixteen when I was rendered housebound by a disease that devouring my body and mind. I had an overwhelming list of symptoms which baffled every doctor that I saw. I was in constant and overwhelming pain. My mental faculties had reduced so spectacularly that I could barely form sentences and the simplest of instruction became impossible to follow. For years, I lived with one erroneous diagnosis after the other and eventually I was diagnosed with ME/CFS. My family and I were sure that I had Lyme disease (an illness which you can get from a tick bite) but my blood tests on the NHS had all come back as being negative. I was assured by many Doctors that I could not have Lyme disease because of this. I was even told that I didn’t live in an area where I could get Lyme disease despite living in the countryside and despite the fact that I went running, cycling, hill walking, horse riding and did voluntary work with animals – apparently these activities did not count as a risk factor for getting tick bites. Thankfully, I was very lucky to have a mother who followed her instincts and instead of listening to the doctors she researched everything that she could about Lyme disease and many other diseases she suspected may be the cause of my deteriorating health but Lyme disease was the only illness where all the complex pieces of the jagged jigsaw fitted into one complete, albeit terrifying, picture. My mum brought this research to the numerous doctors and specialists that I saw but it was dismissed and I was left, still, a teenager, to fend for myself against a disease which was leaving me increasing bedbound. Those stubborn instincts took us to a private clinic where I was clinically diagnosed with Lyme disease and where I got positive blood tests to back this diagnosis up. I’ve been on around six years of treatment now for a disease which should have been easily and quickly treated had it been diagnosed early.
Finding Joy came at a time in my recovery where I wasn’t well enough to do very much but where I was well enough to want to do something. My story is common but I’d like it to become rare. Writing…well, writing is what keeps me grounded. It was the only thing the Lyme disease could not infiltrate because while I write I’m utterly absorbed in the tale I’m telling. To give that sanctuary up was something I was reluctant to do but what an adventure it’s been! Since publishing Finding Joy I’ve been giving talks at schools, bookshops, literary and charity events. I’m very lucky to have had Finding Joy recognised by Lyme disease UK, Ally Hilfiger and MSP Maree Todd – who held up my novel before the Scottish Parliament. I still have a huge way to go with my treatment but just being well enough to leave my home, to speak with people and hopefully raise awareness for Lyme disease in the process is incredible. I wrote Finding Joy with the desire to help people to understand the magnitude of this vastly misunderstood and extremely complicated disease, to hopefully prevent other people from being infected and I hope, that in some way, that Finding Joy can reassure those with Lyme that they are not alone. Books have always been my friend and I adore the idea that Finding Joy can be a friend to anyone who needs one.
Thank You very much for this post, and if anyone would like to contact the author or just help spread some awareness, her socials are:
Website – www.morven-may.co.uk / Facebook – @morvenmay (author) / Twitter – @MorvenMay
*-the price was taken from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com at the current date. The price might change at your time of purchase. The links used in this post for book purchases are affiliates.