The Painful Truth

Do you ever meet someone and suddenly discover you've so much in common that you can't quite believe you've never met before? Or read something that seems so perfectly on your wavelength, you can't believe you've not  read it before... or even written it yourself?

That's what it's been like reading Monty Lyman's book The Painful Truth. It's a remarkable book in its own right, but it's uncanny how similar it is in many ways to my own memoir. It's almost as though I've unwittingly written Dr Lyman's book from a patient perspective, or he's written mine from the clinicians point-of-view. 

It's not just that we both draw on the same research, either. It'd be hard not to, after all. But Lyman's clinical validation and scientific verification of so many of my intuitive conclusions comes as an epiphany: I was right about this all along! But I was groping along in the dark; I was also suffering from chronic pain. 

Lyman's book is so much better for being clear-sighted. I'm not saying a patient perspective is invalidated. It's just that, as a patient, this is the book I've been waiting for, the book I'd have liked to have written or the book that would have altered the way my own book was written. 

I realise that, in reviewing The Painful Truth, I'm inadvertently saying more about my own book than Dr Lyman's. You'd have to be a writer to know how much of a genuine compliment that is. Most of us only write books because we want to read what isn't already on the shelves. And The Painful Truth was - just - before Where Does it Hurt? was published. But (thankfully) I hadn't yet seen it (or, to be more precise, heard it: I've actually listened to the audio book). 

If I had, who knows what might have happened?


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