I’m not going to bury the lead here. Kicking Sick by Amy Kurtz is a true gem for the chronic illness community and anyone else in the healthcare and healthy-living world. It is fresh, it is honest, and best of all it is catalyzing. Kicking Sick is a step-by-step guide to self-advocacy in the search for, and journey towards, Our New Healthy. It is a kick in the butt, a call to action, and a powerful all-encompassing action plan for navigating what I believe to be a pivotal turning point in every person’s health journey; the point at which they get off the modern healthcare track and gain control of the wheel again to become the captain of their own wellness journey.
Modern medicine has unfortunately become the perfect (pardon my language) shit storm of prescription dependency and bureaucratic paperwork. Most doctors are so busy with their “get in, get medicine, get out” attitudes that they keep their noses in their paperwork and never look up to, as Amy Kurtz so well puts it,
“look at [our] case and all of [our] health issues in a holistic, systemic way.”
And so those of us with one, three, eight different chronic illnesses chase our tails in circles trying to treat symptoms caused by the medications treating our symptoms until we find ourselves on 18 medications 3 times a day, and we can’t even remember why we are taking 17 of them.
This isn’t to say that medication is bad or shouldn’t be used, but rather that in our modern world of racing, racing, racing, we rarely slow down, listen to our bodies as a whole, reassess what our bodies really need, and find the best treatments and doctors possible to get it. I grew up in the shit storm, I lived it, and I paid for it. So did Amy, and so do countless others. Patients, caretakers, and doctors alike are all caught in this cycling tornado, and they feel like they can’t afford to slow down enough to get out safely.
But Amy Kurtz did get out. She decided enough was enough, so she stopped dead center, regrouped and found her way back onto steady ground with her healthcare. She kicked the “sick chick” label and all the negative stigmas, defeated attitudes, and presumptions that came with it. Then she looked for a new way to approach her healthcare as a “Glow Warrior.” What she found in doing so was the incredible world of Functional Medicine, where the body is approached as the full ecosystem that it is, and where modern and Western medicine meet tried and true Eastern methods. (*This being said, Amy does dive in to the spiritual side of wellness, so if that isn’t your thing than this book might not be your go-to. I personally found the rest of the book to be well worth the spiritual pauses, but I completely understand if it isn’t for everyone.)
Now don’t be mistaken. Kicking Sick is not your typical health and wellness tale where the author swears that if you eat like her, talk like her, and walk like her you will magically get healthy. Instead, Amy tells her readers,
“I am still on my own healing journey, but I have kicked being sick and taught myself how to pick myself up, put one foot in front of the other, and glow in the face of adversity.”
What I love so much about Amy is that she isn’t just a health and wellness coach shouting, “You can do it!” from the sidelines of this never ending chronic illness race away from moving targets. She is right there with us, on the track, running every step of the way. She knows the race, she knows the hurdles, and she recognizes that chronic illness cannot just be cured. Instead, it has to be treated and controlled to its greatest potential so that each individual can live his or her personal healthiest, happiest life.
In Kicking Sick, Amy Kurtz doesn’t just shake up the whole attitude towards chronic illness as a positive health journey, but provides a clear direction for starting your journey and battling the hurdles you face along the way to achieving your new healthy life. She teaches you how to build a powerful medical team of doctors and wellness workers around you, how to most effectively self-advocate for what your body needs with those doctors, where to start with finding the best diet and exercise for you, how to surround yourself with the right “Glow Warriors” to support you on your journey, and most importantly how to love and accept yourself and care for yourself physically and spiritually at all phases of “healthy.”
And the book doesn’t stop at step-by-step guides and action plans either. It even includes some workbook pages at the end to help you get started with your journey!
What personally excites me most about Kicking Sick (if I can be so bold) is how well it helps Spoonies prepare for taking control of their own healthcare again. It really is a great jumpstart guide for how to utilize The Spoonie Planner to get the most out of your medical team, medications, and treatments, and how to tackle health and living from a positive approach again. If you just ordered your Spoonie Planner and are looking for some guidance on how to make the most of designing a healthy life you love, I highly recommend reading Kicking Sick!
With great love,