The Amazing Technicolour Pyjama Therapy

Pages: 224
ISBN: 978-1-910012-12-3
Publication Date: 22/08/2014
Format: Paperback | eBook

Price: £9.99


‘A beautifully written book that reflects both a tender heart and a lucid mind … like water in the desert, it will provide you with a refreshing perspective on illness and suffering.’ Pablo Martinez
Pablo Martinez

“When I fell ill and stayed ill, I felt like God had chopped me off at the ankles. I yelped in pain and indignation, I felt painfully abandoned, diminished and finished. It took me a long time to learn that God was not out to kill me.”

Some illnesses begin with a bang, whipped off to hospital or flattened into bed. Other conditions creep in until normal life is no longer normal. Life skills are suddenly out of date. Work, socialising and hobbies are out of reach. It’s a new and scary world.

Emily Ackerman knows this world only too well. She knows what it feels like to cry out to God to relieve her suffering, to allow her to fulfil her life plans. She knows what it feels like to wait, year after year, while God works through her suffering, to fulfil his plans for her life.

Listen to an interview with Emily on Premier Radio here…

This book is about fighting back. It’s about reclaiming your life now you’re ill, and finding new ways to live well and serve effectively. You’ll find survival strategies, encouragement, practical advice and fresh ways to view your situation. God hasn’t given up on you: there’s good news from the Bible about living abundantly and usefully with illness.

What People are Saying

Emily writes with the empathy and camaraderie that comes from being a fellow sufferer; the wisdom and practical insight of a doctor, and the sensitivity and gentle humour of a real friend. This book is a rare gem, a lifeline for anyone who is suffering.

Pam Rhodes, TV Presenter, Writer, Patron of Livability

 

A breath of fresh air for anyone who needs encouragement through pain.  This book will lift your spirits – a goldmine of wisdom about the practical, emotional and spiritual aspects of long term illness.

Celia Bowring, Operations Director, CARE

 

Emily’s story is one of Christian resilience and resistance, of refusing to be crushed by adversity. Her faith in God, her biblically-inspired wisdom and her quirky sense of humour shine through. This is a book for everybody facing chronic illness, and for those who care for them.

John Wyatt, Emeritus Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics, University College London

 

God has more to teach us, more to reveal of himself, even through illness. With Emily, we can learn in a deeper way. How to keep ourselves well, how to overcome setbacks and even relapses. Her story resonates with the biblical story of Joseph, there is much for us to listen to and learn from.

Dr Rob Waller, Consultant Psychiatrist; Director of Premier Mind and Soul

A Note from Muddy Pearl

When I had decided to accept this manuscript for publication, I took Emily out to the Edinburgh Book Festival to see Maggie O’Farrell. We were well looked after, with seats in the front row, but Emily was a little on edge, concerned about her wheelchair, parked off to the side.  I said, ‘Surely Emily, no-one will steal a wheelchair?’  ‘You’d be surprised!’ she replied, and proceeded to tell me of the time her wheelchair was commandeered, painted red and raced along a third floor balcony by the local youth. I said, ‘Emily, that story has to go in the book!’  You will find it on page 97.

Emily knows well what it is to go through difficult times.  Yet she has managed to produce a pearl out of suffering. And she writes so well. She can make you smile, re-read a sentence, and laugh out loud. Which is so often the very best medicine.

David McNeill’s cover design, fantastic cartoons and little flourishes throughout brilliantly capture both the situations and experiences Emily recalls, as well as her hugely positive and cheery approach to these often intensely difficult issues.

Reviews

Joseph, his coat, and a doctor with ME – Church Times

Jenny Francis reads an encouraging story of help from the Bible.

THIS book is an eye-opener. The author explains at the outset that it is “all about fighting back. It’s about reclaiming your life now you’re ill. . . You’ll find survival strategies, encouragement, practical advice and fresh ways to view your situation.”

Emily Ackerman was a busy hospital doctor and mother of two young children when she was suddenly felled by illness. Eventually ME was diagnosed. Emily’s illness proved to be severe, disabling, and protracted, forcing her to relinquish her career in medicine and to rely on her husband and mother to look after her growing children.

The losses were profound: for months she lay in bed, shocked and without the certainties of the past. “I cried out for God’s power to relieve my suffering and allow me to fulfil my life plans. What I got was God’s power changing me slowly through my struggles . . . to fulfil his plans for my life.”

Over many years, Emily experienced the long painful path of patienthood, simultaneously growing in wisdom and stature as a Christian. Recognising from the Old Testament that Joseph’s personal battles and strategies for dealing with issues of trust, hope, pain, rejection, and disempowerment mirrored her own, she used his life as a template.

This practical book is perceptively written in an accessible and contemporary style with humour, directness, and empathy. From the start, Emily grasps many nettles that severe illness throws up. She does not hesitate to write about her weaknesses and temptations.

The bite-sized chapters are carefully structured and laced with copious encouraging biblical quotations. Every aspect of daily life with illness and disability is examined, while she accepts the pain of loss and adjusting to a new and unsought lifestyle.

Lively drawings appear throughout, and Emily ends each chapter with a few pithy quotations. Unhesitatingly, she makes it clear that, even from the desert, our ultimate source of joy, meaning, and happiness is found only in God.

For those with ears to hear, this book is a real gift to all who suffer and those accompanying them. Ackerman is a sensitive and humorous writer whose medical training informs her personal experience.She offers those of us who inhabit a world of unchosen suffering a realistic way to adapt, avoiding the pit of self-centredness, as we continually learn that God never gives up on his children.

 

Reviewed in Church Times, 21 August 2015 by Revd Jenny Francis, a retired psychotherapist and a priest in the diocese of Exeter

 

read the published review here 

Comfort for the Sick – Woman Alive 

When it became clear that her life would never be the same again, Emily Ackerman searched the Scriptures and sought help from others struggling with pain and
disability. Now she has written a book to help others facing a long term illness.

Read the full article here

 

In Sickness and in Health – The War Cry

Emily’s bright writing style, plus pithy cartoons, keep this profound book upbeat. The book is designed to be dipped into by people too ill to concentrate for long. Each chapter includes stimulating questions for the reader and quotes from sources as varied as Dr Martin Luther King and Winnie the Pooh.

Read the full interview here

 

Livability – Book Review

Emily’s bright writing style, plus pithy cartoons, keep this profound book upbeat. The book is designed to be dipped into by people too ill to concentrate for long. Each chapter includes stimulating questions for the reader and quotes from sources as varied as Dr Martin Luther King and Winnie the Pooh.

Read the full review here

 

When a copy of The Amazing Technicolour Pyjama Therapy arrived in our office for a colleague, I was instantly intrigued as I suffered from ME myself for many years and, whilst I am now well, I have a number of friends with ME.

So, I borrowed the book and read it this week. I’m definitely going to be recommending it to my friends.

Emily Ackerman’s struggles are presented with frankness and graciousness. It’s easy to relate to all she talks about, both her own experiences and those of others she refers to; she has articulated what so many think and feel. It’s always shocking how very insensitive some people can be and so it’s particularly helpful that she is able to step away from the hurt and see the emotions underlying the words. And it’s fascinating to hear the perspective of someone who was once a doctor and had to transition to the role of patient.

It’s a very practical book with realistic expectations, yet also deeply reflective and soul searching. The short sections make it an easy read and very accessible and I do believe that even my friends who aren’t able to read much at all can only read in short bursts will be able easily to dip in and out.

I wish that this book had been published when I had ME.

Christine Hughes, LICC

 

5.0 out of 5 stars It would also be helpful for friends and family to gain a better understanding. I found it a book of hope

By Helen V on 24 Nov. 2014 (Amazon.co.uk)

I wish this book had been around during the many years I suffered from ME. Emily writes with understanding and much wisdom, gleaned from her many years living with life-changing illness herself as well as her training as a GP. It’s written from a Christian perspective, but there is so much helpful advice that it could be read by people of all faiths or none. It would also be helpful for friends and family to gain a better understanding. I found it a book of hope.

5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent book for Christians and non- Christians alike
By Helen Banks on 24 Aug. 2015 (Amazon.co.uk)

This is an excellent book for Christians and non- Christians alike. Anyone who has experienced chronic long term illness firsthand will immediately relate to her warmth and honesty. Unlike a lot of books in this genre the focus is not on ‘curing’ the problem with positive thinking ( she talks in depth about grief, anger and bitterness- topics many authors in this genre avoid). The author gives you tools, anecdotes and interesting quotations to help you on your journey of living with illness. There are plenty of useful tips and insights, written with humility and humour- and I loved the cartoons! In summary – if you or a loved one is living with chronic illness then this would be a worthwhile purchase.

5.0 out of 5 stars Coping when life is tough
By brianbm on 8 October 2014 (Amazon.co.uk)

My wife has two long-term medical conditions (LTCs) and this book written by a former doctor and a practising Christian is full of sanity, humour, and wisdom for anyone having to adapt to physical limitations and emotional instability as a result of illness.
It’s also good reading for anyone in the position of caring for someone in this situation and helping together to find positive responses in tough times.
The author is refreshingly honest about her own journey and she doesn’t minimise the challenges but despite the difficulties the message is very life affirming and a confidence in God’s goodness permeates the account.
As a GP I would be very happy to recommend this book to patients facing similar LTCs.

5.0 out of 5 stars This book is awesome. I found it by my bedside the other …
By Julia Bartholomew on 21 September 2014 (Amazon.co.uk)

This book is awesome. I found it by my bedside the other night when I could not sleep because I was stressing about my teenage children. ‘I don’t have a life-changing illness’ I thought. Why would I want to read that? But then as I journeyed with author Emily Ackerman in her experience of a life-restricting condition I realised that so much of what she is talking about applies more generally to existence in the real world, my world where things are not perfect. Ackerman makes sense of her condition by relating it to the wonderful tale of Joseph, you know the one with the ‘Technicolour Dreamcoat’. A great practical tool from publishers Muddy Pearl.

About the Author

Emily lives in Edinburgh with her husband and lots of green things. She is gratefully recovering from a long illness. 

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