Over email last week I was contacted by a publicist about a new book by someone with RA, asking if I would like to receive a copy. Sure, why not? I received it today, and...well, read it today. Take Me Home from the Oscars is by Christine Schwab. Apparently she's well known, if you're into TV and fashion. Of course, I'd never heard of her. The book was, obviously, a quick read at just over 200 pages. Not that that's a bad thing. It chronicles her story of RA, from the onset of her symptoms in 1990, through countless failed medications, deformities in her hands, being in the original clinical trials for Enbrel, and finally being basically in remission ever since.
In the beginning, I was a little put off by the fashion/TV/celebrity talk. That was/is her lifestyle and job, but it's pretty foreign to me and just not particularly interesting. She attempted to hide some pretty severe symptoms from everyone, fearing that the image of having RA would cost her contacts and jobs. I think just that whole attitude turned me off a bit to the book, not to the author so much but just that she would even WANT to work with people like that. Still, in the end, it was a good story. Her symptoms were definitely worse than mine, and reading about how she managed to go on (and how she didn't always want to) was a bit vindicating for me and all the times I've worked really hard to not let RA win (moreso in the days before this blog). One line particularly stood out to me, in the "I can relate" way: "Walking distances that I never thought twice about before now seemed painfully long." It's little things like that, things a healthy person would never think about, that make RA such a bitch of a disease.
Some of the typos and grammatical errors (apostrophes where they didn't belong, using "I" where it should have been "me") irked me, I don't understand how people in the BOOK business can't proofread (or know the English language). I could have a second career as an editor, I think...years of reading really crappy 9th grade lab reports...
Overall, I do think people with RA should read the book. There's not much else out there like this, so not much competition, and I respect that Schwab put her story out there. I hope more do.