Tag Archives: #FML #amblogging #amwriting

On Surgery, a lousy Post-op period, and feeling my age…

Last month I finally had the shoulder I injured 2 years ago repaired, surgically.

Long story short: I fell in a department store while looking for a dress for a wedding. Pain lead me to my PCP who thought I’d simply bruised my arm. Xrays showed nothing so he sent me to Physical Therapy for 6 weeks. It helped…some. Pain continued and I was told a biceps bruise can take up to a year to heal. Didn’t think an MRI was warranted when I asked.

Okay.

A year came and went. Still in pain. Went to an orthopod. More xrays showed nothing wrong. He diagnosed a “frozen shoulder.” Never heard of that before, I gotta tell ya. Treatment was pain meds and exercise. Didn’t get better. In fact, got a worse. Sent me for a cortisone injection. Worked for 3 days. Pain increased. FINALLY, after 20 months of this crap, sent me for an MRI. Diagnosis? Torn Rotator Cuff, biceps tendon and muscle.

Ya think they’d have listened to me from the beginning when I asked for the MRI.

Treatment? Surgery was my only option because the more experimental ones aren’t done at my hospital.

Went for my surgical preop. The doc who did it ( not my PCP) diagnosed a heart murmur. I said I didn’t have a heart murmur. She insisted I did and wouldn’t clear me for surgery unless I had an echocardiogram.

I went for the echocardiogram

$5,000 later, no murmur.

Ya think they’d have listened to me when I said I didn’t have a murmur.

SO, surgery. Went well, according to my orthopod. Yeah…from his perspective it did. Textbook case of a repair.

From my perspective? Not so much. First, I’m allergic to narcotics so the typical stuff they give for the excruciating post-op pain of this surgery, I can’t take. And believe me, Motrin does NOTHING to alleviate bone pain. Once the nerve block wore off I was in agony and I don’t use that word lightly. Coupled with the fact you aren’t/can’t lie down after this surgery, but need to remain propped up, like in a recliner, on your back, and my agony was increased fifty fold because I don’t and can’t sleep on my back. The torture device of the rotator sling that needs to be worn 24/7 for 4 weeks doesn’t help with sleeping, either.

I’d asked my orthopod about my postop time frame. With any other surgery I’ve had over the years, I’m up and at’em and raring to go after about a week of down time.

His response? Well, because of your age now, you’re gonna take much longer to heal. You’re not 25 anymore but knocking at 60’s door. I almost knocked on his door when he said that.

So, I’m old, I take longer to heal, I can’t take anything for the ridiculous pain, I can’t sleep, and since this is my dominant hand I’ve lost all independence with normal things, like getting dressed and performing personal care issues. If you think I’m being dramatic, YOU try putting pants on with one hand and cleaning yourself after going to the toilet with a hand you’ve never used for that purpose before, then tell me I’m still being dramatic!

I can’t do simple things like brush my hair, put on makeup, feed myself without all my food continually dropping back to the plate.

I can’t drive.

The hair in my armpits is long enough to braid because I can’t lift the arms to shave them.

I haven’t slept more than 1.5 hours a night since the surgery. When you only sleep 3 hours a night to begin with, having half of those hours taken away from you will make you cranky, to say the least.

Getting out of the chair is tantamount to giving birth: I grunt, wheeze, sweat, and push myself to a standing position, then need to catch my breath from all the effort.

It’s not pretty, kids. Not at all.

I’m on week 4 of this post-op period now. Still in the torture sling; still trying to sleep ( and failing) in the recliner. Still cranky, still in pain ( although not as much), and still unable to shave my armpits.

Welcome to my life ~ Peg

 

 

 

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A matter of opinion…

This wasn’t the blog post slotted for today when I planned my week. Things have a habit of changing, though, so….

On Monday, two things happened at the same time and were in such direct opposition to one another, for a few moments I felt as if I’d been shot through a time warp and landed in a parallel universe.

Let me ‘esplain

My Limitless Publishing book, DIRTY DAMSELS, has been out in the book reading world since July 2 of this year. I have been roping in reviews from wherever I can because, as we all know, the more reviews you have – and good ones! – the algorithm powers that be at Amazon sit up, take notice, and help you promote your book to the masses. Before the book launched, I did a BookSprouts review campaign and did really well with all 4 -5 star reviews. People I don’t even know bought the book ( Bless their souls!) and also rated it, mostly as 5 stars, which is fabulous. Since it’s been two months since it was released, I wanted to ramp up some more publicity for it, so I had it listed on Netgalley. You’ve all heard me talk about this book reading and rating service before, because I’m  a Netgalley official reviewer. So, monday morning at midnight, east coast time, the book went up for read and review. Monday was Labor day in the US, so the masses had a holiday. When I logged on at 5 am that morning I saw the book was listed, noticed the number of cover “likes” and then saw that it already had one review. 5 hours after it was put up.

Let me repeat that: 5 hours after is was made available.

When the butterflies in my stomach quieted, I scrolled down to read the review.

That damn battalion of flapping insects went on hyper-flap again.

The review was…scathing, is the best word. The reader admits she didn’t even finish the book ( well, who could in 5 hours? Was she Evelyn Wood’s granddaughter, fer Chri’sake??) and then droned on about how she “knew she was going to be disappointed, but requested the book anyway.” Oh, and she gave me 1.5 stars. Then she proceeded to upload the review on to Goodreads. Under the review several of her “friends” commented that they were glad she put up her review because it kept them from requesting the book for their own.

Friggin’ lemmings.

I will truthfully say I have never not read a book because someone gave it a bad review. If her “friends” had thought to scroll down on Goodreads and see all the 4 and 5 star reviews listed, would they have changed their minds? I can hope so, but I doubt it. Once a lemming…..

Needless to say, I was pissed. I emailed Goodreads and Netgalley and asked how they could publish a review from someone who blatantly stated that they did not finish the book. Isn’t that…cheating? Wrong? Fraud?

No response from either entity yet.

Now, the part of my Monday where I felt like I’d been shot through a time warp came an hour later when I received a 5 star review from Reader’s Favorite.

This reviewer actually READ the book. How could I tell? Because she gave details that a reader wouldn’t have gleaned if they’d skimmed through the pages. That review went a long long long way toward making my Monday better, I have to tell you.

I consistently wonder if people ( and that’s being kind, my calling them that and not trolls) who do reviews who aren’t authors ever think about how their words effect the writer. Do they understand they are bashing what this person does for a living? Critiquing their livelihood? Netgalley is a free service to readers, so they don’t even have to pay for the books they request. I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion, I’m not questioning that. What I object to is blatantly stating you did not finish something and then being able to rate it, in turn, lowering the chance of other people wanting to read it.

I will tell you when I request a Netgalley listed book and then find it is not for me and don’t finish it, I always click the DNF button attached to the book review page. That gets me out of having to write a review. I don’t give any books I read less than a 3, and if I have to give a three, I always always always make some positive remarks about the book, ending with, it simply wasn’t for me. I don’t bash the book or the author.

Obviously, I was raised right.

Those lemmings? Yeah. Not so much.

Thanks for listening to me gripe!

Until next time ~ Peg

 

 

 

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Preparation….not my strong suit, I’ve gotta tell ya. #FML

So. Next week I’m having surgery.

I’m not looking forward to it because I won’t be able to use my right arm or hand for an indefinite period of time.

Long story, short: I fell 2 years ago and tore my rotator cuff, bicep tendon, and something called a labrum ( sounds kinda dirty, but since it’s in my upper arm, it’s really not.) In the beginning the docs told me all I had was something called a “frozen shoulder.” After 3 months of PT, multiple pain killers, rest and no exercise, the pain  never went away and they threw up their hands, and I really think they thought I was malingering or faking. When the pain proceeded to get worse they gave me cortisol injection. Didn’t work. I finally convinced someone to order an MRI.

Yeah…when someone says they are in pain, believe them first before you question if they’re faking it.

The MRI showed the above mentioned results.

And now I have to have surgery to repair all the damage. I can’t imagine it’s going to be easy on the orthopedic surgeon to correct the problems because they are – as mentioned above ( again!) 2 years old, not recent. There has to be some kind of scarring or something going on in there that will make this worse than I’ve been led to believe.

This has been ( despite my saying Long story, short) a long winded way of saying I won’t be typing anything for a few weeks. This week and next, before the surgery, I’m doing everything in my power to front load all my blogs, tweets, announcements, etc.

Can you spell stressed?

Yeah…my middle name.

While I’m recovering, I still have a sale going on and two books in edits – one in galleys! Yikes. Pray for me peeps. Pray for me.

Until next time, when I hope all is cured and my pain is gone ( just throwing that out there into the universe to see if it sticks!) ~ Peg

 

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#MFRWauthors If I never had to do this one task again….

I’m not gonna go the writing route today for this topic. I could probably pick out 50 things I never want to do again with regards to writing, like line editing, spellcheck, ensuring grammar and tense are correct. I simply want to write and not have to worry about all that falderall!

But I’m not going the writing route, instead, I’m taking a detour into adulting because there is/are somethings I wish I never ever ever had to do again: housework.

 

There are days I wish I had a real-life, true-to-form, living with me in my house, fairy godmother. Or at least a simple version of Cinderella, only without the whole going to the ball and being married to a prince subplot.

 

I am sososoossoososososoo sick of housework in general and dusting/vacuuming/polishing specifically.

Where does the dust even come from? I’m alone in the house for, like, 14 hours a day. I’m not swishing around from room to room churning up air motes or leaving behind evidence I’ve been in the rooms. Most of my window blinds are closed to keep the midday glare out. But lo and behold, within one day, if I scrape my finger across a table it comes back with….crap on it. Dust crap.

Arghghghghgh!

 

Sometimes, when I walk into my dining room after sweeping it no less than an hour before,  dust bunnies the size of friggin’ tumbleweeds will glide across the room, pushed forward by some unseen alien force hell-bent on making me crazy!

Seriously, I’m sosososo done!

 

 

I wonder what the other authors in this blog hop would love NOT to have to do. Check out their posts:


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7 guilty pleasures; #MFRWauthors #BlogChallengeWeek10

 

This post gave me just a little trouble. Not because I couldn’t come up with 7 guilty pleasures – but that I had sososososo many, I had to whittle them down to just 7!

Well, here goes nuthin’.

In no particular order, here are the 7 things that (I think) are guilty pleasures for Moi:

  • a total jammie day – no bra, no makeup, hair in a messy bun, glasses
  • Girl Scout Thin Mints – if you’ve had them, no further explanation is necessary
  • Binge reading a new favorite author without any interruptions

  • finding a new mascara that: doesn’t smudge and make me look like a raccoon, lengthens my non-existent eyelashes, and ISN’T waterproof ( I hate waterproof mascara!!!)
  • Tweeting – I can’t explain this one, but I just know it’s a guilty pleasure for me

  • having dessert without counting points. (Some will get this, most will not).
  • a professional facial

It’s very telling that the only writing/reading pleasure I mentioned was binge reading a new favorite author. And that there are 2 references to food!! Very telling, indeed.

Because this is week 10 in the MFRW 52 week blog challenge, here are some other authors who are blogging about their 7 guilty pleasures today. Drop by and leave them some love.

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Cooking, Friends, Life challenges, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

My life in three words….

and those words would be, “Help me, Jesus!!”

Let me ‘splain.

I’m doing a presentation for my Romance Writers writing group in March 2017 and then giving it again at a conference to the New England Romance Writers group in April. It’s a good talk, even if I do say so. Timely and to the point. Plus dotted with humor.

But, I digress…

The lecture/talk is accompanied by a POWERPOINT presentation. Now, I am a great talker. I could ramble on for hours about any topic that strikes my fancy. I was on debating club in school so I can argue for both sides of almost any discussion. But I have never before used a machine to aid me in my discussions, and this is why I need celestial help. I have no freaking idea how to effectively use PowerPoint.

Now, because this is, well, me, and most of the things I’ve learned about in life I’ve learned about in books, I did the logical, smart, quick thing to do and bought a PowerPoint Manual. 2 in fact. Powerpoint for Dummies, ( because this is, like, me!) and Teach Yourself Visually PowerPoint.

Last night I started learning how to navigate through the PowerPoint system. Chapter one was called NAVIGATING THE POWERPOINT INTERFACE. Okay, what?? Navigate and Powerpoint I knew the definitions of. Interface? No friggin’ clue. This is Webster’s definition of Interface:

  • a device or program enabling a user to communicate with a computer.
  • • a device or program for connecting two items of hardware or software so that they can be operated jointly or communicate with each other.

Okay, once I got over being panicked by a simple word, I read on. How to choose a theme, how to decide on a design, how to create a SLIDE, how to navigate around the RIBBON. That’s another word I had trouble with because, you know, RIBBON signifies something I tie my hair back with or the backs of fancy dresses.

I dutifully created my first slide after about 50 stops and starts and deletions and begin-agains. I had some text – no pictures yet because my mind was boggled by now – but a starting point.

Okay, so now, how to save it? I did everything the manual instructed me to do. Perfectly, I might add, the first time.

Then I went back to check and see where the document had saved to and….couldn’t find it. Yup. Two hours of sweat down the drain. Another fifteen minutes of frantic checking and I “found” it listed in an obscure compartment titled PRESENTATIONS. Well, Du-uh and FML!

2 hours and fifteen minutes on just one slide. Here is what it says because –of course– I couldn’t figure out how to cut and paste it here!

Romance and the Baby Boomer Generation

or

Writing Romance about and for the Seasoned Crowd.

2 hours fifteen minutes, people. For that. At this rate, my presentation will be complete in 2020.

When I’m not pulling my hair out trying to learn something new, you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me//

 

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