#IWSG – Looking Back

Hello all! It’s the first Wednesday of the month and we know what that means:

IWSG-badgeIt’s time for another meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group – #IWSG.

My hero, the amazing Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh founded this group and it has become a safe haven if you are an insecure writer.

Click the image if you would like to be a part of the #IWSG family. You won’t regret it.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak.

 

 

The awesome co-hosts of the December 6 posting of the IWSG are Julie Flanders, Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!

 

December 6 question – As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?
 
Where would I even begin? 2017 had a mix of everything for me although little had to do with writing. That makes me sad. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve come up with a lot of new ideas that I’d like to put to paper, but it never seemed to happen. If it wasn’t my health, it was something else.
 
If I could backtrack, I suppose I’d have done more to push myself in all areas of my life. I would’ve gotten more involved in taking care of my own health, rather than assuming the doctors had it all right. I would’ve gotten my depression under control a lot sooner and thereby giving my writing more of a shot. Unfortunately, that’s the woulda, shoulda, and couldas, and I’m not going there.
 
I’m going to try really hard to make next year better in all aspects.
 
What would you have done differently if you could backtrack?

 

 

 

Book Review – CREATING A FIT LIFE

Welcome to Book Review Monday. Today I’ll be reviewing Creating a Fit Life by Devin Berglund.

FitLife-DB

 

TITLE:  CREATING A FIT LIFE

AUTHOR:  DEVIN BERGLUND

GENRE:  NON-FICTION/SELF-HELP

RATING:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥/♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

3.5 HEARTS

 

BOOK BLURB:

Do you want to create your best work? Whether that be writing a book or making some of the best art out there? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

If you are a creative woman, you will enjoy this book filled with girl chat on becoming a fit creative who will change the world with her art. You will be a happier and healthier woman. You’ll be able to walk into a room confidently knowing you love who you are.

By following this journey you will be able to create beautiful art, while showing the best you, inspiring others to be better by being better.

Make the choice now, to become a better and healthier version of yourself so you can live a longer happier life. Time will pass no matter what you choose to do. If you wait, it will only take you longer to get to the life you’ll love living. You don’t want to deal with any of the possible risks that may enter your life if you don’t take action to live the fit life now.

You matter. Your health matters. Your mind matters. And your soul matters. Cherish yourself and show your body you want to create a healthy version of it.

In this guide, to being a fit creative in an unfit world, you will:
Find ways to use your creativity to inspire a fit life.
Get creative activities to get you thinking about your dreams and goals.
Hear an encouraging sisterly voice who has been there before and believes that you can make it too.
Get tips and the steps to live the life you want to live.
The story and life lessons you are about to read will make you laugh and at other times cry, but they will walk you through the steps you need to take to love your own fit creative journey called life. Are you in? Want to be a fit creative?

MY REVIEW:

There’s a lot of information packed into this little 88-page book. Ms. Berglund takes us on a journey towards a healthier, more productive life by showing us how the deadly sins: Anger, Greed, Sloth, Lust, Envy,  and Gluttony hamper our progress by disguising themselves as our inner critic. Each of the sins write their own journal entry on how they are going to break down their ‘host’ at various chapters. How true the statements they make reflect how so many creative women feel.

Interviews are conducted with women who have overcome eating disorders. Issues about overeating, extreme dieting, health, fitness, and self-esteem are highlighted. Tips and advice are given to help overcome the negative impact that the inner critic has on women’s lives.

Ideas for visual aids, writing, and journaling prompts are given to help get started. There are also tips for how to start an exercise program. Sadly, it even mentions how much exercise I’d have to do to burn off my latte. **Sighs** Ms. Berglund is motivated and sincere in her efforts to bring positive change to the health and well-being of the reader.

I did notice that there was some repetition as far as the advice given, but not enough that it pulled me out of the reading. Overall, it was a quick and easy read and left me with some valuable advice that I’ll be sure to use.

NOTE: I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥/♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

3.5 HEARTS

DBerglundABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I am a writer, dreamer, wanderer & all-time enjoyer of life. I love crafting stories that change lives. I recently finished my first book The Mason of Hearts. It is the first in a Fantasy Adventure trilogy. I am also working toward agent representation.

Find her at:  www.devinberglund.com

 

 

 

 

 

Coming Clean About My Stroke-Part6

So, I’m finally back after taking a brief two-week hiatus. I apologize for that. I’ve done most of my catching-up, but not all. I will catch up by the end of the week. It is now time for me to continue to the last few parts of my Series posts. There should be no more than three or four after this that will bring you to up to speed about how I’m doing physically, medically, emotionally and psychologically in my life today.

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The days after Christmas flew by. I was doing extremely well and, as I mentioned in Part 5, I graduated from the ‘Buzz-master’, as it affectionately came to be called. I was walking around more confidently with my walker, maneuvering the corridors like a pro. I did well on shower days and was able to wash myself with little to no assistance (of course, sitting on the shower chair). The only problem with shower days was the excruciating pain when the water hit any part of my left side. It was like fire. I was on Neurontin at the time because the doctor said it would help my ‘nerve pain’. I would take it at night before bed. At first it knocked me out. That’s about it. More on that another time.

I continued to kick butt in all my therapies. The therapists even went so far as to order my home supplies (port-o-potty-for those “I don’t think I can make it moments” (yeah, I know), shower chair, my very own walker). This development, of course, gave me hope that I would be going home in time for New Year’s, which was only a few days away. The doctor had a meeting with my case worker, my nurses, and all my therapists, and they all felt that even though I was progressing extremely quickly and doing very well, they were not comfortable enough with me going home in time for New Year’s. They all felt I needed a little more inpatient rehab time. I was upset, but not hysterically so. While I wanted to go home, I knew I still had work to do, so I didn’t fight it. I kept doing what I had to do; since the house I live in has a few stairs, that’s one thing I always did in PT, up and down the stairs.

Same in OT.  I did a great job overall, especially when it came to anything having to do with daily living – hair, teeth, shower, etc. Getting dressed wasn’t too bad as long as I wore big shirts (couldn’t lift left arm, compromise)  and tanks instead of bras (same). I could put on loose-fitting socks and pants, but I’d have to be sitting  in bed for socks and lying down for pants. It was a lot of work. I had the most trouble with the little things, buttoning small buttons, fishing out little items from the putty ball with my left hand, things like that. Although they gave me some trouble, I was able to take some of the items they gave me and work on them in my room and on my bed.

http://lilicasplace.com

I know my precious Lhasa Apso Sophie came to visit me between Christmas and New Year’s. I love that hairy little thing so much! I don’t know what I’d do without her. She came one of the family visits. The rehab hospital allowed it every so often.

ST was giving me the most trouble. It wasn’t that I couldn’t communicate; for the most part, I could be understood clearly. My problem was my inability to find my words, to pull them out of my brain when I needed them. The problem was my inability to have simple conversations where there is a ‘change’ or a ‘conflict’ of some sort. It’s almost like in the books and stories we write. Once the ‘conflict’ came in, I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t focus, would become extremely flustered, would stutter so bad that you couldn’t understand what I was saying and would get to the point of frustration that I would burst into tears and shut down. Yup, I was going to need some work.

New Year’s Eve came and after a couple of morning therapies, the rest of the day was mine. Everyone I knew was working. I spoke to my daughter, my son-in-law and some close friends. I read a little, watched some TV, and practiced make-believe checkbook balancing and math problems. Then I watched some more TV. I think there were even some marathons going. I know I probably watched.  It had already been decided that everyone was going to do their own thing for New Year’s 2012, whether it was work, party, stay home or whatever.  I figured I was just going to watch TV and the countdown like I did when I was a kid. I didn’t even make it to the ball drop.

All of a sudden, it’s morning, it’s a new year, and I made it! Sweet. It’s a holiday and I’ve got the day all to myself and I plan; I plan for all the changes I’m going to make in 2012 and beyond. Why? Because I’m still alive. It’s now 2012 and by the grace of God, I’m still here. So, obviously, I have things to do…right?

I’m sorry Part 6 took me so long to get out to you, so I’ve already started on Part 7. Until next post, love you guys. And yes, I have a couple of between posts due; nothing like playing catchup is there? Hugs.

I Think I’m Ready

A few people have asked me about my stroke and for the longest time, it was something I didn’t speak of freely unless it was to people directly involved; doctors, family, and close friends; and even to them I’ve left out a lot of intimate details of what I’ve FELT during this journey to recovery. I’ve talked about it in pretty clinical terms with everyone. Now is as good a time as any to just get it all out there. A very wise Aloha man told me once that when I was ready, I would be able to share. I’m going to do my best; although this is going to take several blog posts. I’m thinking at least four. But before I get into all of that, I think it’s important for me to discuss some events that occurred a few months before my bleed.  I guess this is my warm-up post.

I worked EMS for over a decade. In August of 2011, I ruptured my right ACL at work. I was out on Comp until I was to have surgery. I mention it so everyone is aware that I was already out of work when everything transpired.

Aviary Photo_130217249972682766

When I used to work doubles and triples. I used a pic where I looked the most tired!!  🙂

THREE MONTHS PRIOR TO HEMORRHAGE (May or may not have been important. I will never know.)

On September 23, 2011, I was driving my roommate’s vehicle to the local convenience store (roughly 1145pm), when I was struck from behind by a speeding drunk driver. He was driving so fast that my roommate’s car wasn’t enough impact to keep him from striking the vehicle in front of me. We both hit it, according to witnesses. It caused a chain reaction; six cars were involved.

My airbags deployed, struck my face. Took out the driver’s side window with my head. Fractured my L2,3 and 4 in my lower back and sprained various muscles and bruised anything and everything in between. The car was a total loss. I was taken to the local hospital. X-rays were taken and I was given a CT scan of my head that came out CLEAN. I was admitted two days for observation and the simple fact that I couldn’t get up off the bed because of the pain in my back.

State Troopers came to the hospital for information from me and advised me that the driver was arrested. He was over twice the legal drinking limit. I was also told that I should consider myself lucky. When my vehicle was struck, the back seat (it was a Tracker, so it’s one long seat) unhinged and popped up, creating a barrier for the front. Had the barrier not been there, the Trooper told me he did not think I would have left the scene. When I saw the car a few days later, I understood exactly what he meant.

After my two-day stint at the hospital, I was given a back brace, some pain medications and told to follow-up with my doctor. That is exactly what I did. I was also referred for more physical therapy. Surgery for my knee was pushed back nearly a month since I wasn’t able to lay on my back and I continued going to physical therapy for both my knee and my back,  and hand (also injured).

It was business as usual for a while. I had my knee surgery performed on October 19th, 2011. Don’t quote me, but I believe that’s the date. It was same day surgery. I was given all the equipment and instructions I would need to help me get through the first week until I started physical therapy the following. It went well considering I was in pain a lot of time. All I knew that I had already been out of work for over two and a half months and I was desperate to go back. Plus, the holidays were coming! 🙂

This was just a brief summary of what went on the last few months before I got sick. I’m going to start my purging with my next post. I think I’m going to call it Coming Clean About My Stroke-Part1. And I suppose the posts after that will be Parts2 through whatever until I get it out of my system.

It’s time. Love you guys!