The Lady's Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness

Author(s): Sarah Ramey


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 senior year of college turned into a prolonged and elusive condition that destroyed her health but that doctors couldn't diagnose or treat. Worse, as they failed to cure her, they hinted that her devastating symptoms were psychological.

The Lady's Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness is a memoir with a mission, to help the millions of (mostly) women who suffer from unnamed or misunderstood conditions: autoimmune illnesses like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic Lyme disease, chronic pain, and many more. Ramey's pursuit of a diagnosis and cure for her own mysterious illness becomes a page-turning medical mystery that reveals a new understanding of today's chronic illnesses as ecological in nature, driven by modern changes to the basic foundations of health, from the quality of our sleep, diet, and social connection to the state of our microbiomes. Her book will open eyes, change lives, and ultimately change medicine.


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Sarah's candor in discussing more than a decade of pain, confusion and dismissal by countless doctors isn't matched by self-pity but by compassion, for herself and every woman who has been told that her symptoms are only in her head, even when she knows her body is screaming. This is a book for anyone who has ever asked a question that didn't have an immediate or easy answer, anyone who has worried about themselves or a loved one who isn't getting better - despite following all the experts' advice - and anyone interested in their own health, public health or medicine; in other words, it's a book with something resonant and useful for all of us. It's also, not incidentally, a terrific read. --Chelsea Clinton, co-author of The Book of Gutsy Women

A memoir that explores the idea that women with chronic illnesses need to rally for appropriate medical care. Making her book debut, Ramey, a writer and musician, recounts, with captivating zest, a sorry tale of suffering from a cluster of symptoms that defied diagnosis . . . Impassioned testimony of a fight for health -- Kirkus Reviews

Ramey offers an account of a mysterious illness that plagued her for more than a decade . . . Though this medical saga is disturbing in the many miscalculations her doctors made, Ramey's hilarious and upbeat sense of humor lightens even the direst of circumstances (a surgeon who performed the wrong surgery on her is dubbed Dr. Oops, and others merit such glib monikers as Dr. Vulva, Dr. Paxil and Dr. Bowels) . . . Ramey's uncanny grit and fortitude will deeply inspire the multitudes facing similar issues -- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

A visceral, scathing, erudite read that digs deep into how modern medicine continues to fail women and what can be done about it -- Booklist (starred review)

Sarah Ramey is a person of uncommon wit, bravery, compassion, honesty and intellect. Every one of those qualities is on full display in this unflinching, important and stunningly written memoir, which gives voice to millions of women whose experiences and pain have been ignored and minimized -- 


Sarah Ramey is a musician and a writer who worked as the chief blogger for Obama's website during his campaign and edited his speeches. She is a ferociously good writer.

General Fields

  • : 9781844087242
  • : Little, Brown Book Group Limited
  • : Virago Press
  • : 0.3
  • : April 2020
  • : ---length:- '23.4'width:- '15.3'units:- Centimeters
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Sarah Ramey
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : 613.04244
  • : 288