’This book should be considered by all health care professionals who come into contact with indictable patients or clients.’
Title: The Invisible Prison
Author: Evelyn Todd
Publisher: Troubador Publishing Ltd
Reviewer: Anne Duell, sister, Birmingham Community NHS Trust
What was it like?
This book provides its readers with a genuine, down to earth insight to the complexities of living with multi-chemical sensitivities. As readers we are provided with clarity surrounding when symptoms may occur, what they are (or may be), treatment options that may help alleviate symptoms. Section B provides the reader with a broad range of past and current chemicals, which can trigger multi-chemical sensitivity. Todd then proceeds to provide experiences from sufferers and their perceived impact on their daily lives from something as simple as being provided with a diagnosis to having to retire early from employment.
The readers are provided with a four step management approach to aid them in beginning to develop a management programme:
1. Identify and manage the cause.
2. Reduce exposure to chemicals as much as possible.
3. Try to live a normal life.
4. Employ techniques to remain healthy.
Consideration is given to using everyday items such as toothpastes soap and cosmetics and then how to address the complexity of visitors. Activities involved in daily living, which we undertake without a second thought are raised by the author - how do those with a multi chemical sensitivity deal with laundry, cleaning the house, handling letters, card and books; as well as dietary intake - foods that should be cooked in a certain manner or avoided altogether. In conclusion the author holds hope for the future that countries and states will come to have a deeper understanding of chemical sensitivity and the impact it has on individuals and their ability to fully live and participate in the society where they live.
What were the highlights?
The highlight of this book is the honest approach to teaching and educating people about the broad impact of multi chemical sensitivity. This was done in a way that encourages the reader to develop a greater empathy for people they may encounter who live with this condition on a daily basis. The other highlights were hearing about the impact from individual sufferers and just how much can have an impact on their daily lives, which gaining an appreciation for the importance of having something as simple as a diagnosis. In conjunction with this insight was given in that we as professionals should consider our use of things such as fragrances prior to patient contact due to the potential impact and unintended harm this may cause to them.
Strengths & Weaknesses?
The strength of this book is that it is a quick read yet the structure and content of the book remains active in the mind of the reader. It is insightful that the author employs insight from suffered, which takes this book beyond being just another text book to read but an important handbook to aid learning and understanding.
The weakness of this book comes only in as much as the limitations of the reader. We are not really encouraged to take this learning into the workplace to challenge our employers and peers around products we may use and how we protect patients and individuals in our care, especially ,within an in patient setting. Perhaps this is deliberate to encourage us to be active learners.
Who should read it?
This book should be considered by all health care professionals who come into contact with indictable patients or clients. It is book that should be given important consideration due to the clear teaching that it is not just what the indivisible we meet may have to avoid or change but what was health care professionals (qualified or students) may have to change in our own daily practice to keep our patients safe and reduce the potential risk of exposure to chemicals introduced by ourselves.
the invisible prison