'Sick Lit': 6 Captivating Novels Starring Chronically Ill Characters | The Health Sessions

‘Sick Lit’: 6 Captivating Novels Starring Chronically Ill Characters

Great stories remind us that we are not alone. Despite our differences, we all have similar struggles, fears, dreams and hopes. By identifying with a book’s character, we can see our own situation from another point of view and discover new ways to deal with our problems.

But what if you have a hard time finding fictional figures you can relate with?

‘Sick lit’ is the somewhat questionable name for a new genre of novels, featuring characters who are faced with illness. Following John Green’s blockbuster book The Fault in Our Stars, lots of gripping stories about terminally ill teenagers and their tragic romances have hit the book shops and movie theaters.

However, there haven’t been many novels written that put living with chronic illness in the spotlight. Maybe that shouldn’t be surprising, because let’s face it, being chronically ill is kinda boring. Instead of going on ‘before-I-die’ adventures, life with MS, chronic migraine or Lyme disease feels more like an endless repetition of doctor’s visits, therapy and sick days in bed.

Fortunately, the sick lit below shows a glimpse of what it’s like to be diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, HIV and osteogenesis imperfecta. And although they’re mostly young adult novels, the older ones among us can still relate to the medical dilemmas, everyday problems and existential questions that the protagonists struggle with.

So if you’re looking for a relatable read, check out these 6 captivating novels that star chronically ill characters. 

Read more >‘Sick Lit’: 6 Captivating Novels Starring Chronically Ill Characters



Milk Alternatives: 8 Popular Plant-Based Milks Compared | The Health Sessions

Milk Alternatives: 8 Popular Plant-Based Milks Compared

This article is written by Sarah Hollenbeck. 

It seems like every day there is a new nut, seed or veggie getting turned into a milk. And with each version touting its own unique benefits, milk alternatives are a great addition to any well-rounded diet and a fun way add in some variety to your beverages and baked goods. But how do you know which version is right for you? No matter if you are avoiding diary or simply looking to branch out and try new things, there is a milk alternative option perfectly suited to your taste, texture and dietary preferences.

The folks over at Snap Kitchen put together the ultimate guide to the most popular milk alternative options, breaking down everything you need to know about each option including the nutritional content, taste, texture  and expert tips for how to best use each plant-based option in your favorite meals and baked goods!

Check out the infographic below for more information and get started experimenting with all that milk alternatives have to offer.

Read more >Milk Alternatives: 8 Popular Plant-Based Milks Compared



What to Do After Receiving a Cancer Diagnosis | The Health Sessions

What to Do after Receiving a Cancer Diagnosis

This article has been written by dr. Garvita Arora for CancerBro.

Being diagnosed with cancer has a major impact on the person’s life rigorously affecting their everyday routine, lifestyle, work and emotions. More than 24 million people have received a diagnosis of cancer over the past 5 years worldwide with more than 40% reporting of challenges in accomplishing some of their daily activities. While there is not a definite answer to what you must certainly do after receiving a diagnosis, this article will show you ways to cope with your physical and emotional health after receiving a cancer diagnosis.

Having cancer puts you at the edge of asking questions about the prognosis of cancer, how serious your cancer is, in how long will you be cured and will you be treated at all. It is normal to ask all these sorts of questions from your physician and oncologist in order to gain clarity about your diagnosis. Feel free to ask as many questions from your cancer group and understand what kind of treatment is the best suited for you.

Enquire about your treatment options and also about the side effects, because they are very likely to occur. Being aware of the side effects of your treatment at the earliest stage will help you in taking protective measures at the earliest. Ask your doctor how severe your side effects could be and how you should manage them. Also ask how your diagnosis is expected to affect your daily lifestyle: can you regularly go to work and have a routine social life? It’s important to seek your doctor’s advice for the management of your condition.

Read more >What to Do after Receiving a Cancer Diagnosis



How to Sleep Well with a Chronic Illness | The Health Sessions

How to Sleep Well with a Chronic Illness

This article is written by Danielle B Roberts. 

According to the National Health Council, 157 million Americans will be living with at least one chronic illness. An illness is considered to be chronic if the duration is three months or longer. Some examples of common chronic illnesses are diabetes, heart disease, endometriosis, lupus, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

Due to the pain and restlessness caused by chronic illnesses, many people who have a chronic illness also suffer from insomnia. About 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia. Insomnia too can be a chronic condition.

You are considered to have insomnia if you have or do any of the following:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Coming in and out of sleep in the middle of the night
  • Waking up earlier than expected
  • Fatigue during the day
  • The feeling of being unrefreshed when you wake up
  • Difficulty focusing and remembering

These are just a few of the symptoms one can experience from insomnia. Insomnia can bring on its own battles as well. Insomnia can cause you to have anxiety, depression, mood swings, and more. If you have a chronic illness, here are some things to try to help your insomnia.

Read more >How to Sleep Well with a Chronic Illness



12 Simple Ways To Make Your Home More Accessible | The Health Sessions

12 Simple Ways To Make Your Home More Accessible

This article is written by Jacklyn Donalds. 

We’ve all experienced days when accomplishing even the simplest of everyday tasks can prove to be a struggle. Chronic illness is commonly associated with discomfort, pain and fatigue. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can present these in addition to mobility and coordination challenges, which can make daily tasks difficult on a regular basis.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), six out of ten adults in the US have a chronic disease, one out of four live with some type of disability, and only .73% of housing units with a resident wheelchair user is actually fully wheelchair accessible. When faced with mobility challenges, the accessibility of a given environment is a major determining factor in how engaged and active you’re able to be. This is especially important in the home, where you should have the most peace of mind.

Luckily, there are some relatively simple steps that can be taken around the house that can help you conserve energy and accomplish tasks more efficiently.

Read more >12 Simple Ways To Make Your Home More Accessible