Chronically Happy:
Joyful Living in Spite of Chronic Illness

Lori Hartwell
2002, Poetic Media Press
Paperback, 250 pages, $12.95
Kindle Edition, $5.95

Glendale resident Lori Hartwell has struggled with chronic kidney disease since the age of 2, enduring three kidney transplant attempts (the third successful). She founded the Renal Support Network for those suffering with or treating chronic kidney disease, and wrote Chronically Happy to encourage them.

Hartwell’s advice covers dating, relationships, work/life balance, pain management, and effective communication with health care providers. She encourages people struggling with physical limitations to set and achieve positive goals. For her advice on improving the patient-caregiver relationship, she received the 2003 Quality of Life award from Nephrology News & Issues. She has also received the California State Legislature’s 2005 Women in Business Award, and was named 2005 Woman of the Year by State Senator Jack Scott. She’s a frequent speaker at events, and a public policy advocate for the chronically ill.

I met Hartwell at the Glendale Public Library’s Independent Publishing Panel in April (she was not a panelist). She was cheerful, focused, and persuasive. While Chronically Happy has a niche audience, those readers are fortunate to have a such a cheerleader.

From Lori Hartwell’s Chronically Happy website: “There are millions of other Americans riding the same physical and emotional roller coaster of chronic illness. We all share common threads of emotion: anger, guilt, fear of the unknown, depression, and the mind-boggling question, ‘Why me?’ I wrote Chronically Happy to help people face these feelings and abandon the crippling mental barriers that go hand-in-hand with chronic disease.”

Editor’s Note: This is the eighth addition to the virtual Glendale Bookshelf. Thanks to the Glendale Public Library, which hosted the panel discussion that attracted so many interesting hopeful or already self-published authors, including Lori Hartwell.