Category Archives: pain

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

I hit my writing goal for July . . . LAST NIGHT! It’s been a long time since I’ve even attempted National Novel Writing Month, but I signed up for Camp NaNo this year and set a pretty high goal for myself. I can only write for about fifteen minutes at a time (a bit longer if I’ve just been to the chiropractor) so I’m excited to have hit my goal at all – let alone hit it early.¬† Here’s my prize:

No, I’m not kidding. I’m damn proud to be a validated winner and will be changing my personal FB profile pic momentarily! Also, I get 50% off any Scrivener product – I’ll be buying the Windows version since I’m addicted to the mechanical keyboard my sons gave me. So tell me, Scrivener users, what are your favorite components? Should I download a how-to book before I start using it or just dive in?

I’ve still got a few important scenes to get out of my head and into the MS, and one lingering awkward transition to figure out. Then I get to check the strength and placement of my hooks and do a read-through aloud. I haven’t done that before, but I’ve been told it’s a great way to find mistakes that would be missed otherwise.

And since I write erotica I’ll be reading when I’m the only one home and all windows are shut tight. Any erotica readers willing to be Beta readers when I get this ready?

#CampNaNoWinner2018

Heading to Camp!

Camp NaNoWriMo, that is! November is the traditional National Novel Writing Month, but Camp NaNo is July (as in NOW) and everyone gets to set their own goals (words, lines, hours, whatever) and work on whatever they like! I’m finishing and editing my current WIP, so if you don’t hear much from me that’s why. I’m planning thirty total hours of writing for the month. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but I can only sit upright for fifteen minutes or so without paying for it by lying in bed with ice packs covering my spine for a day or two afterwards. So my timer is my friend.

There are about a dozen fascinating people in my cabin and I’m looking forward to getting to know them! I built in a writing-free day for when my grandson arrives (due VERY soon) so I can read texts, talk on the phone, swoon over pictures, and hopefully see him on FaceTime!

Neck and Back Pain 101

I felt guilty for years after my four-surgeries-within-two-years for having constant pain. I thought I was supposed to be “fixed”. Yes, I was a nurse, but I was clueless about neurosurgery. I was a cardiology nurse. If I’d had a heart attack I’d have been giving my cardiologist suggestions during my stent placement. Seriously, I would have.

But I was nearly as uneducated as a non-medical person since it had been more than twenty years since I’d studied neuro-anything. So I trusted my docs. #mistake¬† Always ask for a second opinion for any surgery unless it’s an emergency. Here’s why:

This is an example of a ball the weight of an adult head held in place with a normal cervical (neck) curvature. Reach back right now and feel how much your neck curves between your shoulders and skull when you are looking straight ahead. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

That’s quite a curve, isn’t it? Kinda like this:

Not a perfect example, but probably accurate if you’re looking up at a kiddo on a swing. With a normal cervical spine. Not hard to hold that ball, right? A bit lighter than the lightest kids’ bowling ball. Move your hand around a bit and you could hold it in your hand all day, right? Especially if it’s permanently attached to your palm.

But here’s what it looks like when you have three vertebrae fused together with enough hardware to make an X-ray tech say, “Oh, wow!” (C4-C6, for me)

Do you see how difficult it is for me to even sit upright? Want me to walk and hold my neck like this with increases in pressure each time I take a step?

Consider this the next time someone tells you they have back or neck pain. I now have moderate scoliosis because the rest of my spine is trying to compensate for the rigidity of my neck.

What are the other co-morbidities of constant, chronic pain? Depression. Opiate use/addiction (I’ll address this in a later post), Isolation, Increased risk of suicide, Obesity (who can exercise?), and many other illnesses.

*HUGE thank-you to my chiropractor for the visual a couple of years ago, and for his staff member for posing for the pics last week! A picture truly IS worth a thousand words in this situation.*

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