Mainstay: For the Well Spouse of the Chronically Ill
With the kind permission of the author, Maggie Strong, we reproduce here selected chapters from the 1st edition (1988) of her book, Mainstay: for the Well Spouse of the Chronically Ill. "National Well Spouses. We don't exist, but why not? If such a group would interest you, send a postcard (no letters!) to National Well Spouses . . ."
The then-Well-Spouse-Foundation(WSF) was started in response to these words which appeared in the back of Maggie Strong's book, Mainstay, in March, 1988. Our name has changed since then, to the Well Spouse® Association but our mission remains the same. In the last six years up till 2013 The Association has had nearly 2000 members in all 50 states, Canada and abroad! Let others who have "been there and done that" help you face the challenges of long-term caregiving.
Maggie Strong, on tour to promote the book, kept finding people coming up to her during or after book signings, to talk about how what she had written had resonated so much with them. The very first WSF group began in Delaware, led by Elaine Lepkowski and Debbie Hawke. Over the years the WSF grew, but since the name "Foundation" suggested it was a granting body, it was decided in 2005 to change the name to the Well Spouse® Association (WSA) to better reflect the mission of the organization, which is to offer support to spouses or partners of people with chronic illness and/or disability.
The odd-numbered chapters of Mainstay give Maggie's personal story, and they are all available to WSA members. The even-numbered chapters offer information on different diseases, financial matters, common emotions experienced by well spouses, illnesses' effect on marriage and children, and legal questions; and they provide interviews with other well spouses, as well as with medical and psychological professionals. Since a lot of the information in these chapters may now be outdated, we are offering only chapters 8 and 12.
The book itself is out-of-print; you can read it in the Members Only - Members Documents area, if you are a Supporting Member of the WSA.
You can read the Introductory chapter below.