Sunday, April 20, 2014

Oops! I won

One of the blogs I follow, thanks to the Blog Blitz, is lilicasplace. I started reading her not too long after her stroke. We have quite a bit in common. We are both survivors. We are both writers. We both have emergency medicine backgrounds. Many friendships have less in common. Lilica and I started emailing back and forth since then.

I read where she gave an award to Deanne Humphry-Dunne on the 13th and skimmed the rest. What I missed in reading was Deanne gave her the Butterfly Light award. The oops comes into play when she told me she awarding me also. I went back and reread the blog and sure enough she did. Wow, what an honor. The award was originally created by Belinda. I'm sooo confused! :)

Da Rulz-
Here are the conditions for accepting the award :
1. You must write an acceptance post, making sure you link back to the blogger who awarded you and thank them. You MAY NOT lump this award in with a batch of other awards.
2. You must individually name and re-award to a minimum of 1 blogger. You must let them know either personally with a comment on their blog OR a pingback.
4. You must write a short paragraph entitled either “How I’m Spreading Light” OR “How I’m A Positive Influence”
5. Display Belinda’s lovely “Butterfly Light Award” badge on your blog.
How I'm a Positive Influence
I always lead by example and encourage others to do the same. I use myself as an example for both successes and failures. Failures are only temporary setbacks. It is easier to maintain a positive attitude than a negative one. That's not to say that I haven't had my share of time on the self pity pot because I have and will, but time spent on it is measured by a clock. Smiling creates less wrinkles than frowning. A good reminder when you aren't even a fall hen like I am. I focus on the blessings instead of the turmoils and tell it like it is. It's not always pretty but there is a lesson and an upbeat to all things if you just look for it. A step forward even if it is a baby step is forward progress. Just as others are cheerleaders for me, I'm am a cheerleader for others.
Who am I tagging?
My biggest cheerleader...Zan Marie Steadham of In the Shade of the Cherry Tree.

Sunday Stroke Survival ~ My Big, Fat Body

I wish I was in this shape instead of larger!
No it's not a personal image thing. It's the truth. When you have to say that round is a shape, you know you are obese. I have a gut that I can use as a table. No that's not boasting. I'm saying it with shame.

I recently went to the cardiologist. She looked at the stats and told me I'd gained weight. Five more pounds was added to my bulk and I now weigh more than before my stroke. I'm obese (bordering on morbidly obese) and I know it. Chock up another item that keeps me in the high risk range for candidacy for another stroke or heart attack. Genetically indisposed for high cholesterol no matter how much medicine I'm on. Married with a strong family history for weight relate medical problems.

I hear ya, "But Jo, you can change your weight problem." Yes I can to a point. The extenuating circumstances hold me back. The pressure sores on my foot is a biggie. I'm under doctor's orders to stay off it as much as possible. It's a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't. If it were on the toe part of my foot, I could focus the main weight bearing towards the heel as I walked and vice versa  for the heel. But no, it happens to be on the outside edge of my instep. There's no way of not putting pressure on that.

Prior to the pressure sores, I was walking half a mile a day and losing weight. I had lost thirty pounds of unneeded bulk with a minimum of twenty more to lose. But since May of last year, I put all of that back on and then some. Talk about frustrating! Combined with the muscle relaxers for my spasticity and my hubby in hospice, I find that I'm nibbling more not because I'm hungry but to stay awake. The fatigue I feel all the time and medication are a double unchangeable sword. While I may nap and catch forty winks during the day and early evening, it's not a restorative sleep, but from exhaustion. I'm staying awake the only way I know how.

Couple that with a prior eating disorder of equating comfort with food and I've got some major problems! I guess I'm just making excuses, right? I could pick the right kind of foods to nibble like carrots or celery. I actually do this quite frequently. But calories are calories. Intake without burning them off in some way is an imbalanced equation...thus the added weight. Added to all the stressors in my life, it's definitely a no win scenario. Mentally, I know these are just excuses, but stopping is more trouble than it benefits right now.

Yes, added weight or obesity and smoking are changing risk factors, but for now correcting them is  on hold until I can do more about them. Am I on the verge of another heart attack or stroke? You betcha. Is there anything I can sanely do about them? Nope! Things I can't do anything about take a backseat to those things I can do. I'm taking it one day at a time on good days and one second at a time one bad days.

Yes, in an ideal world, I'd not smoke and be the perfect weight according to the charts. BUT this is not the idealistic world of Fantasy Island. This is the real world with all the joys and heartaches that a body can stand.  I don't sweat the small stuff. There are very few big stuffs around so long as my husband is breathing. Once he stops permanently, then it's all small stuff again. If he starts breathing again, it's still small stuff after he does. BUT the moments in between are killer.

I do what I do to survive in this moment. To handle this or that task in hand.  The past is the past and the future will unfold in spite of what is happening today. For today, I'm fat and sassy. I have a great sense of humor in spite of the world's roller coaster. Tomorrow's problems because of today's actions will be dealt with in time as will all things. Yes, I'd like to lose eighty pounds, but for today I choose to be happy and semi-sane.

Nothing is impossible with determination.

LOL These Came Across my Desktop Today

A friend emailed these jokes to me today and I had to share. The sad thing is I can relate to each and every one. Happy Easter, y'all!

Your sweetie says, 'Let's go upstairs
and make love,' and you answer,
'Pick one; I can't do both!'

Your friends compliment you on your new alligator shoes and
you're barefoot.

A sexy babe catches your fancy and your pacemaker opens the
garage door,

Going braless pulls all the wrinkles out of your face.

You don't care where your spouse goes,
just as long as you don't have to go along.

You are cautioned to slow down by the doctor
instead of by the police.

'Getting a little action' means you don't need
to take any fiber today.

'Getting lucky' means you find your car in the
parking lot.

An 'all nighter' means not getting up to use the


You're not sure if these are jokes.

Lawyers should never ask a Georgia grandma a question if they aren't prepared for the answer.

In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know me?' She responded, 'Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You
think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.'

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?'

She again replied, 'Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.'

The defense attorney nearly died.

The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said, 'If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you both to the electric chair!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Need a Kick in the Pants? Your Inspiration for Today

I have been reading blogs this morning. Not that I don't read all of the blogs, but some hit home more than others. Yeah, yeah, I have been horrible about not commenting lately, but I'm reading you. A couple of blogs stand out at me from the long list of bloggers I follow.

  • One is Diane's The Pink House On The Corner. Her husband had a stroke in 2010. Two-thirds of his brain was affected. In spite of everyone suggesting to put him in a long-term facility, she brought him home. She is his primary caregiver. They had a life and still do, but changed forever. She was a published author and he was a graphic artist. Neither one are doing what they once were. Today, she blogs about an end to a dream. She has been told her husband will never walk again. Hard blow for them, but as I told her in the comments, never give up hope.

  • The second blogger is Nathan Bransford. He interviewed a published author with Cerebral Palsy, Steven Salmon. Steven writes his books in Morse code. So far he's published three books.

  • I'm a stroke survivor fighting my way back to become a better writer than I once was.  The hurdles are great, but I'm fighting one of the hardest battles I've ever faced and trying to do it with grace. My strokes are relatively young so there is definitely some mighty high hurdles to leap over to get where I want to be. You can find her here. Oh wait! You are already following and reading me.
So my question is...what hurdles are you having to leap over that you think are insurmountable? Yes, life will always put hurdles in front of you to leap over or trip you up. It's what you do with those hurdles that counts the most.

If you've tripped and fallen, do you sit on the ground nursing your boo-boo, or do you pick yourself up and finish the race?

Are you a quitter, a person that leaves things started but never finished? If so, why in the world would you want to become an author? It takes many hours, days, weeks, months, years of dedicated work to make it in publishing.

Are you a one hit wonder like the musical groups in the 60s? Whew, I wrote and published one book! Where do I go from here? Well, I put everything into this one published book and haven't got enough gumption to write another. Guess what! You're a one hit wonder. Write another one and put the same amount of effort into it. So many authors put everything into the first book which sells very well, and their second book is a stinker. Have the same intensity of effort into each book you write.

That's my two-cents for today but with inflation I think it's worth a quarter.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday Writerly Ways?

You may have noticed I've stopped writing my "Wednesday Writerly Ways." This is a temporary set back. How long it will last is anybody's guess.

There are a number of reasons for this. Mainly, it's hard to write about writing, self-publishing, and marketing when you aren't doing any of it. Yes, I could rely on memories but that hardly seems fair because there is no forward action these days.

The limited amount of energy I have because of my strokes, caring for my husband, and just life in general saps almost all my creative juices. If you've read my updates and my "Sunday Stroke Survival" you know what I'm going through. It's just too much junk! Well not really junk, but necessary distractions.

I could fight against the tide of overwhelming have-to-dos and write but writing should not be a chore. Now editing is ALWAYS a chore. I refuse to put writing in the chore category. I've gotten nothing but enjoyment from my many writing pursuits as it should be. Yes I still blog, but I'm even doing that with a couple heaping spoons of salt. But at least this is writing.

I mentioned in one of my stroke blogs how I read now and the way my brain isn't working anymore and said I'd give an example of how I write now without corrections and heavy goes. Squiggles be damned.

I wake up thiz mrning to (XXX lost) my husnd on the flour. I chek her ot to make sure their are no brkoe bones. Not broke so me hplelp him up and beck two bed.

Horrible isn't it. Now try to write small stories or attempt a novel writing like this! Now think of this whole blog post this way and you can see the struggle I have just to post one blog.

First I have to realize I made a mistake (some words aren't squiggled). I still mess up pronouns even in speech. My brain is healing ever so slowly. This is a lot better than just after my second stroke. My first left me unable to speak but I could write fairly well after a fashion.

No, I'm not whining or on the pity pot. I'm just telling like it is. I used to say, words are my life. Now it's changed to correcting myself is my life. Frustrating? Oh yeah with bells and cherries on top. So to alleviate any added frustration...I've stopped writing for now. It's just going to take some more time to get my brain in gear so bear with me.

Nothing is impossible with determination, BUT you also pick a few battles you can win.