Tuesday, January 8, 2019

In the Midst of Winter by Danice Hope - #bookreview

In the Midst of Winter shares ways to cope for those suffering from misunderstood chronic illnesses, and a glimpse into our daily lives for those who wish to understand. It also testifies of the Savior’s ability to reach into each heart and bring hope and renewal.

At age fourteen, Danice Hope started having troubles functioning during the winter months. Each year, the fatigue and depression grew worse. During the summers, her health would improve, and she learned to fit as much joy into life as possible before winter returned. After six years, she was finally diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder. Over time, she realized that there was also beauty in winter. She found a poster with flowers growing out of the snow that said, “In the midst of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”

In the mid 1990’s, Danice moved south to Arizona with the hope of improving her health enough to have a better life. While the SAD improved, she found herself developing new health problems. The biggest surprise was that she could be sitting slumped over in a wheelchair in the emergency room, barely able to speak or move, and doctor after doctor told her that she wasn’t ill, or that it was “just anxiety”. After going to twenty-four different doctors in the next year, she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Stunned at the loss of her hopes and dreams, she gradually learned to see in new ways, to balance her health, to reshape her dreams, and to look to Christ. She learned that flowers can grow not only in the snow, but also in the desert sun.

Danice Hope has been married to the same loving, supportive husband for 26 years. They live in the deserts of the American Southwest, where the winters are mild. Their two lovable cats keep them busy.

Danice loved to roam the mountains of Utah in her younger years, and to see the variety of wildflowers each spring. She has enjoyed writing since she was old enough to write. She takes solace in reading the scriptures and other good books. She is grateful for God’s care and guidance through the distresses of life.

~ Website ~

Doctors and therapists; I swear! *shaking my head*  Just as wealthy individuals can think people of a lower economic class are 'beneath' them, some medical professionals seem to think that their patients can't possibly know anything about their own bodies ... especially when the patient's opinion differs from that of said learned doctors.  The stories Danice tells about some of her own experiences and those of others with the medical establishment are downright horrifying!  I'd really like to ask how people can do that to each other, but the wars of the last century, unfortunately, have given a near-endless list of examples.

Having left more than one doctor's office in tears, I can all to well relate to this aspect of "In the Midst of Winter".  One example was when I was working midnight shift doing clerical work at a city PD in Texas, I began to fear that I might be having a miscarriage.  So I drove my own self to the hospital, and was so grateful for the nurse who on her way in to work, made sure this near-hysterical woman (me) was delivered to the ER.  I was alone because I had been unable to get ahold of my husband.  The doctor, refused to believe that the home pregnancy test I had taken the week before, or the confirmation test at the ob, until a blood test was performed.  I wound up being there for nearly seven hours.  (He was wrong, and the result of that genuine pregnancy turns 16 one month from tomorrow!)

Seeking redress from the medical abuse heaped upon her, especially while in a serious health situation, was just added to by the medical review board ruling in the doctors' favor - TWICE!  Danice is very brave, and absolutely within her rights to take her mistreatment to a wider audience, hence this book.

But it goes so much farther than that.  In the Midst of Winter is an acknowledgment of other ME/CFS sufferers that they are not alone.  Sometimes, when a person has a medical issue that does not have overtly visible symptoms or signs (surgical scars or whatever), even people who know that person well will sometimes believe that the patient is lying.  And thinking no one believes you can be a very lonely place to be.

One thing that was of great help to Danice was her faith in God.  She is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and even went on a mission in her younger years.  There are multiple quotes throughout the book from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, but in case anyone is worried, this book is not a proselytising tool.  The references are there as examples of ideas that Danice used to survive her struggles

So, whether you suffer from the same or similar physical ailment, know someone who does, or treat someone who does and you need to learn more about ME/CFS, In the Midst of Winter by Danice Hope should be in your home library.

(Disclosure:  I received an e-copy of this book from the author and publishers, via Loving the Book, in exchange for my honest review.)

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 


This book helps me fulfill the following 2019 Reading Challenges/Readathons:

52 Books in 52 Weeks
#Wintersrespite Read-a-thon
You Read How Many Books?
Alphabet Soup-Author Edition

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