Victoria Cairns’ book: ‘Dealing with Disability’

Victoria Cairns worked as a statistician for large pharmaceutical companies, including working in the area of cardiovascular drug development. In 1998 she was bitten by a tick in her garden and caught Lyme disease. She remained ill for 5 years and had to stop working full-time. In 2001 she first started having an irregular heartbeat and these palpitations went on for many years until in January 2017 she decided to have a fairly routine keyhole operation to solve the atrial fibrillation. Unfortunately, she suffered a complication that occurs in 1% of cases, and the prolonged resuscitation led to a T8 incomplete spinal cord injury and some brain damage.

Her book is a well-researched and referenced account of her best advice for dealing with disability and gaining acceptance of what cannot be changed. It focuses on developing the right mental attitude towards handicap in order to maintain a good life. It discusses avoiding negative thoughts, developing perseverance and how to move on from trauma and let go of anger, blame and regret. The book offers a mix of psychological information and practical advice, and provides the scientific background for the information given and the sources of evidence.

I would suggest that this is tremendously useful for anyone with spinal or nerve damage, and indeed a good read for anyone injured and their relatives.  Her calm, stoic and hardworking approach to everything gives real perspective.

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