Cover image for Learning sickness : a year with Crohns disease
Learning sickness : a year with Crohns disease
Lang, James M.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Sterling, Va. : Capital Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
xvi, 187 pages ; 23 cm.
Learning to be ill -- A life of illness: learning about disease -- Living with uncertainty: learning about doctors and medicine -- Diseases routines: learning about daily life -- Small miracles: learning about god -- The hospital: learning to hit the bottom of the well -- The imagination of disease: learning to be a father -- Carrying our secret pains: learning to tell my story -- Time passes: learning to be healthy -- Learning hope, caution, and balance: a return to daily life.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RC862.E52 L36 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



earning Sickness is the compelling narrative of Jim's battle with Crohn's Disease. Diagnosed at the age of 26, Jim spent the next five years coming to terms with how to live with a chronic illness. During that time he fathered two children, earned a Ph.D., accepted his first teaching position, and launched a writing career. Jim Lang provides an absolutely unflinching look at the way the disease can penetrate into every aspect of a person's life: physical, emotional, and spiritual.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

When English professor Lang was first diagnosed with the inflammatory bowel ailment Crohn's disease, he was at an age--26--when most people feel immortal. He had had a history of good health despite poor dietary habits; now he was told there was little he could do to alter the course of the illness. In the first few years after diagnosis, he behaved as before, and flare-ups were mild and quickly responsive to prescribed medications. The honeymoon ended when he was 33, and the disease almost completely disabled him. Forced to learn what it means to be sick, he grappled with issues of diet, alcohol, the limitations of pharmaceutical intervention, and communicating with doctors. And he came to grips with God, family, truth, and personal responsibility. His frank, intimate chronicle of the worst year of his life details suffering the pain and the ignominy of a severe bout of Crohn's, and it shares invaluable, hard-earned wisdom about how anyone with a debilitating disorder may learn to accept the cards he or she has been dealt and get on with living. --Donna Chavez Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Lang (English, Assumption Coll.) spent five years ignoring the impact of Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel condition that results in extreme diarrhea to the point of dehydration, disabling fatigue, and significant weight loss. A severe flare-up in 2000 forced him to pay attention. The "lessons" that Lang learned about his body, chronic illness, and coping style make up this personal account; he precisely relates his pain, anxiety, and humiliation in the hopes that others who suffer in silence will find support. While he does describe some frustrating experiences with the medical community, this is not a clinical self-help book full of factual details about the disease. Reflecting upon the meaning of life, connectedness, and the wonders of the natural universe, Lang's memoir is as much about a young man grappling with life's big questions as it is about being a Crohn's patient. A discretionary purchase for general consumer health collections to indulge those readers with a highly philosophical bent.-Lisa McCormick, Jewish Hosp. Lib., Cincinnati (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

I Learning To Be Ill
II A Life of Illness: Learning About Disease
III Living with Uncertainty: Learning About Doctors and Medicine
IV Disease's Routines: Learning About Daily Life
V Small Miracles: Learning About God
VI The Hospital: Learning to Hit the Bottom of the Well
VII The Imagination of Disease: Learning to Be a Father
VIII Carrying Our Secret Pains: Learning to Tell My Story
IX Time Passes: Learning to Be Healthy
X Learning Hope, Caution, and Balance
A Return to Daily Life Epilogue
The Cardinal Rules for Crohn's Disease
Appendix A Resources for Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis