A new (to me) resource: an oldie but goodie

As you may know, plans are in the works for me to open up my own indie bookstore some time next year. This is a frightening prospect but--for the most part--gives me a sense of excitement and purpose unlike anything I've felt in the last few years, at least as far as work goes. Yeehaw!

Part of my self-assigned duties involves my going to established independent bookstores and taking a look around; if a manager or owner is on duty, I introduce myself and have a little chat. It's been fun as the information people are willing to provide me is, in short, priceless.

While in Pittsburgh in July, my dad led me to a cozy, well-staffed radical bookstore in Bloomfield where I browsed the aisles in the hopes of finding something inexpensive and interesting to buy. (Even the smallest purchase helps the independent bookstores of the world, so consider shopping at these places if you want to keep .... okay. I'll get down from the soapbox. You can guess how I feel about this.) I purchased Illness as Metaphor by Susan Sontag, a piece I read--at least in part--in college. I also discovered a little book called Headache Survival while browsing the health section; it was only a few bucks and I made the investment.

Let me just tell you how much I already love this book. The author, Ivker, has been at the helm for a few books of this type (another one in his collection is Arthritis Survival; still another talks about sinusitis), which initially made me skeptical. I started reading the book a few weeks after buying it and am consistently surprised at how UN-annoyed I am with his tone. Many books that proclaim themselves to be potential cures for Migraine & other headache take this obnoxious tone, a sort of holier-than-thou feel that patronizes the reader and often makes him/her feel as if he/she would be just plain stupid to ignore the author's advice. This book does not fit in that category. Ivker is personable, friendly, and seems to genuinely want to help. He assures us that there is probably a way out there to make headaches better, but that no one method works for everyone and that it's extraordinarily difficult to figure out what pattern of treatment works for you. Unlike some who believe in so-called "alternative medicine," Ivker does not eschew the possibility that pharmaceutical treatments can help Migraine. In fact, he wants you to keep your traditional doctor informed all the way and include your prescription drugs as part of the treatment plan if they help you.

I haven't finished the book yet--I may never complete it, as in order to do what he recommends I'll need to use it as resource for many years to come. But I am enjoying reading it. For the first time in years, I feel a sense of optimism as I'm reading about recommended diets, treatments, exercises, etc. that have been known to help other migraineurs. Of course I carry along that die-hard Geddis skepticism, but that is tempered with a not so small part of me that thinks there's weight to what is being said, that I could be on the brink of major improvement.

I'll keep you posted.

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