Second Chances

A Monday post? Wutttt????

I know. You’ll see why. :) This is the “very specific reason” I mentioned in the previous post.

 

 

This is a continuation of last week’s post about my chronic illness. And about why I decided to share it with you at all. And why I’m going to be MIA for the next few weeks.

 

The short answer: I’m having surgery tomorrow to fix my leg.

 

The long answer: Over the years, EDS has caused my legs to become crooked (it’s way too complicated to explain how in this post). They’ve only gotten more crooked and painful as I’ve grown older, and it will continue to worsen unless the crookedness is repaired.

So how do they repair it?

(Skip the next paragraph if you’re squeamish)

 

My orthopedic surgeon is going to perform a closing wedge high tibial osteotomy. (Say THAT ten times fast. ;) ) Google it if you want to know the details, but in short, they will be breaking my leg, taking a wedge of bone out, realigning the bone, and securing it in place.

 

(Squeamish part over)

 

As you can imagine, the recovery for this surgery is pretty intense. And long. And requires a lot of sitting still. None of which I’m very excited about. (And I have to have this surgery twice…the second one will be six months from now.)

It will be at least three months until I will be able to function at a semi-normal level, without the use of a wheelchair/crutches.

And that scares me.

BUT.

There are so many verses in the Bible about fear–or rather, about not being fearful!!! My sweet friends have been pointing those out to me, encouraging me to memorize them, and pointing me to Christ and His promises to care for His children no matter what.

Since I’m such a music-oriented person, I turn to music when I get scared. I have a LOT of music in iTunes/Amazon/Spotify, but here are a couple of my “chill out” songs that have been playing on repeat lately.

 

 

 

Though it sounds cliche, I really do try to focus on the positives in all situations–but especially in this situation with surgery. Anyone with a chronic illness knows that if you can’t find positives and take joy in little things, life will be 100% more miserable.

One of the huge positives about this surgery is that it gives me (or rather, my legs) a second chance. I know my body will never work “right” or “normally,” but this particular surgery is supposed to give me significantly more function, as well as less pain, than I have right now.

And that alone makes the prospective struggle of recovery worthwhile.

 

Tomorrow (Tuesday), my parents and I will be making a short road-trip to a (relatively) close city. We’ll be going to the hospital where my amazing orthopedic surgeon works to have the procedure will be performed on my right leg. I’ll stay at the hospital overnight for sure, maybe longer depending on how things are going. (Not even kidding…one of my biggest fears is that the food will be nasty. Yes, I am a snob. ;) )

As with any surgery, there are a lot of things that can potentially go wrong. And because I have a bleeding disorder than keeps my blood from clotting properly, there is an even higher likelihood of something going awry. My doctors are working together and taking every precaution to ensure that my body cooperates like it should, but there is always the possibility of something going wrong.

So if you think about it tomorrow, would you be praying that there are no complications during surgery? I would sincerely appreciate it!

I’ll be keeping my Instagram updated with surgery/recovery things as much as possible. Be sure to follow that if you want to stay up to date–I won’t be posting surgery-related things on the blog. :)

I’m going to be out of commission for a while, but never fear…I’ve got exciting several blog posts scheduled and ready to go! :)

What Few Ever Know

 

Just so you know, I don’t want to write this post. And I REALLY don’t want to post it for the entire interweb to see. I don’t like being vulnerable with everybody. And with this post, I’m really putting myself out there. But. I also want to tell you because you’re mah frens. <3 So, here we go.

Let me begin with this relatable infographic from Pinterest.

 

 

I have a chronic illness.

It’s taken me a long time to be able to say those words. I still hate them, but after all this time, I’ve reached a level of acceptance.

What is my chronic illness? (actually I have a few including asthma and hemophilia but today I’m talking about one in particular)

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

(If you’ve ever heard of this, PLEASE tell me. I’ve met one person who actually knew what it was without me explaining.)

 

What is EDS?

I have EDS type III, also known as hypermobility type (there are 13 different “types”). Feel free to google it for a more in-depth explanation, but here’s a brief run-down.

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome type III is a genetic, degenerative, collagen defect that causes every part of my body to be extra stretchy. My tendons and ligaments aren’t tight enough to hold joints together–causing daily dislocations or subluxations (partial dislocations). My intestines aren’t firm enough to properly digest/move food through. My skin is soft and tears easily–I have a lot of scars. My blood vessel walls aren’t firm enough to keep blood circulating–hence my feet/hands are perpetually cold–and I tend to pass out if I stand up too fast.

 

 

The thing with EDS is that even though parts of my body literally become disconnected at times, EDS is an “invisible illness.” People with EDS look perfectly normal.

And that, sadly, causes a lot of people to think folks with EDS are making everything up.

 

What’s is it like to have EDS?

Here’s how one mom describes her daughter’s pain:

“Chronic, severe pain is common in EDS. My daughter describes it as layers of pain: there is the pain of bendy joints, slipping in and out. There is muscle pain, from overworked muscles spasming as they try to compensate for the laxity in the joint. There is nerve pain, thought to be from nerves being stretched when joints dislocate repeatedly. Vitamin D deficiency is common in people with EDS and can lead to bone pain.” -Unknown

The common theme here? Pain. EDS is an incredibly painful condition. Not only are people with EDS more prone to injuries…

… but there’s little that can be done to prevent symptoms/chronic pain.

EDS affects every person differently. Some are affected to the point where walking becomes so painful they use a wheelchair as their primary mobility. For others, they have few noticeable symptoms, except maybe an ankle that sprains frequently.

Individuals with EDS are often clumsy.

(I wish my falls were as magnificent as Mr. Caution. ;) )

 

They are also active, fidigity people:

 

What can be done?

Braces, shoe inserts, and compression wraps are all treatments for the notoriously dislocating joints. Some people use crutches to preserve the life of their hips (but crutches cause their own set of problems and often cause shoulders to dislocate). Others use wheelchairs. It varies with each person.

Personally, I have a massively large box of assorted braces. Ankles, knees, back, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers… you name it I have it. I have special crutches that are easier on my shoulders. And I also have a wheelchair (it’s purple. Purple is very important. ;) ). Do I wear all of the braces every day? No. Do I use the crutches or wheelchair all the time? Nope. I only use what devices I need when I need them. Believe me—I don’t want to use any of the devices, so I only use what I absolutely must!!!

 

Each day is different. Each new day brings new challenges and victories. Some days, I do need my wheelchair for long shopping trips. Some days, I don’t even need to wear my knee brace. No two days are ever the same.

 

Why am I just telling you now?

To be honest, I’m scared. Having an invisible disease is tough. People judge. Think I’m making it up. Think I want sympathy.

I DON’T. That’s the very last thing I want.

This infographic is shockingly accurate:

So yeah. Pretty much all of those describe me.

But God is helping me to see that it doesn’t matter in the least what other people think of me. He made me this way to accomplish His perfect plan. And His amazing plan isn’t changed by others’ opinions of me. He’s showing me how being vulnerable can help me help other people through their own struggles. And I love helping others.

But really, I do have a very specific reason for telling you now. However, that will come in a different post in a few days. :)

 

Let me again state that I’m not asking for sympathy, pity, or attention. I’m not saying all of this to have a little “poor me” session. Not in the least! In fact, it frustrates me when people say “I’m so sorry for you.”

This is who I am. God made me this way for a very specific reason. And because He made me, no one, including myself, should be sorry!

Yes, this is a blog about writing. But it’s also a blog about me. And EDS is a part of me just the same as writing is.

But I don’t want to focus on the negatives. I want to focus on the beauty and blessings Christ has given me, and fortunately, I have a bit of a “Polyanna Complex” / “Glad Girl” disposition. ;)  So every now and again, I’ll do a lifestyle/EDS post. Because I want to show everyone how amazingly blessed I am, even living with a chronic illness.

 

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*exhale*

Okay. Well. Kudos if you’ve made it this far.

Now. Your turn:

Do you have any questions about EDS?

Life Sometimes

The past two weeks have been rather interesting. I hate using the excuse, “I’ve been busy” or “life is so crazy.” Because truly, my life is nothing compared to a lot of other people.

But it feels busy to me. It feels insane. It feels like I’m barely staying afloat half the time.

So what to do???

I don’t know. I have no idea. Wish I did.

But really, wouldn’t it be great to go back to being a kid just for one day? Think about it. No deadlines. No school. No laundry. No deadlines. No cleaning. No work. No deadlines. No jobs. No life-altering decisions. NOOOOO DEADLINESSSSSSS.

(I’m really hating deadlines right now.)

Some days I feel on top of the world. Other days, I eat an entire package of Oreos. By myself. *hides face*

Then there are the days when I play this song over and over and over and over again:

(Isn’t it relaxing? I loves this song so much.)

 

All that to say, I don’t have a decent blog post this week. (shocker, I know.) I wanted to, but that just didn’t happen. So instead, I delved into my Pinterest boards and found things that make me laugh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Soooo….how is your week going?? Any Oreo-induced stomachaches yet??? *points to self*

INSTAGRAM!!!!

Seriously, Instagram is one of my favorite social medias to stalk. I lllooooovvvveee stalking my favorite authors/people and seeing all the beautiful pictures and videos they take. And now, I have my own!

 

*evil laughter*

 

*creepy voice* Come stalk me, if you wish. ;)

 

INSTAGRAM!!!

2016 in Review

I can’t believe it’s over. Seriously. Didn’t we just do this?!?

*clears throat*

 

2016 was an amazing year for me. It was full of new experiences, new joys, and new friends. Oh sure, there was a lot of crud mixed in there, too. But overall, 2016 was a beautiful year and I’m so blessed!

 

~Top Posts~

My thoughts on Pinterest (which I didn’t make a graphic for…bad me.)

I wrote a letter to my first novel, TORR. (Also, didn’t make a graphic.)

I did my very first (and very awkward) VLOG!!!

One of my most popular posts ever. (and to think I almost didn’t post it…)

 

I launched the Very Awesome Vlog Challenge

And last, but not least, I announce my new book

Also, I went from 6 subscribers to 42. How phenomenal is that?!? Seriously, guys, thank you so much! I would have no blog if it weren’t for you all!

~Writing~

  1. I wrote, edited, and published The Old River Road in 9 months. (okay, yes, some of that was in 2015.)
  2. I PUBLISHED MY FIRST BOOK!!!!!!!! That is my biggest, proudest accomplishment of this year. I can’t believe I actually did it. I never thought it could happen.
  3. I wrote one full novel, called Ocean Hues.
  4. I wrote a novella, called Left to Die.
  5. I started the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum and became and OYANer.

 

~Life~

Lots of life stuff happened this year. Good stuff, just…life. And for the record, I really don’t like growing up. (I should do a post . . . “things I’d tell my 10 year old self”)

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Well there you have it, a pretty dull look at my very exciting 2016. Forgive my dullness. It really was a great year. At the moment I’m functioning on a lot of candy and a very little amount of sleep.

How was your 2016? What was your favorite part?

Happy New Year! I hope it is filled with many joys and blessings! :)

Writing in the Midst of Life

blog-thing

I’m a college student. (Though only part time this semester hallelujah!!). That means 15-20 hours a week are dedicated to school.

I work part time. Another 15 hours each week.

I read 7-10 books a month. (No idea the hours on that.)

I’m a musician. Approx 3 hours a week (I’m in a slump right now).

I’m a martial artist. 1 or 2 days a week, I’m at the Dojang for 3 hours each time.

I’m trying to shave down blogging to an hour or two per month.

Somewhere in all of that, I have to have some kind of family life.

Yet I also want to write.

So how do I do it?

To be honest, not very well. A lot of days, I feel like I’m riding a spiraling roller coaster into “the depth of despair” (as Anne of Green Gables would say).

Other days, I sorta feel like I come out on top.

So what makes the difference?

Let me introduce you to this lovely little device called a timer.

The timer has changed my life. I decide how much time I want to dedicate to a particular project, then split it up into 20, 30, or 50 minute increments, depending on how my brain is functioning. Here’s how it works.

 

After a 20 minute set, I get a 5 minute break. That’s enough for 20 pushups and a fresh cup of water, or 3 TaeKwonDo forms.

 

After a 3o minute set, I get an 8 minute break. That’s enough to make a cup of coffee, do a quick desk tidy-up, or 5 TaeKwonDo forms.

 

After a 50 minute set, I get a 20 minute break. That’s enough to read a chapter of a book, reply to an email, play with the dog…or write 250 words.

 

 

Here’s the most important thing: set a timer for the breaks, too!!!! You’ll regret it if you don’t. (Speaking from experience.)

And also, switch between two projects/school subjects. Twenty minutes on this, twenty minutes on that. I was shocked with how my productivity skyrocketed when I did that.

If I don’t do that, this is what happens.

img_3034

*clears throat* *coughs* yeah–not what I wanted.

 

So, this is great and all, but what does it have to do with writing?

A lot!! When I get done what I need to get done during the day, my evenings are free to write. Or edit. Or outline. Or–whatever! But even when I’m writing, I set a timer. Seeing exactly when I’m going to get a break helps me remain focused.

 

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What do you do to keep yourself on track? Have you ever used a timer?

November Goals/Writing Update

I’m going to go back to monthly wrap posts, but instead of trying to wrap up October, I’m just going to start with November goals. :P

And since I don’t have time to make a cool feature image, let me leave you with this neat picture I took yesterday that I’m a little proud of.

 

img_2969

 

Writing

Even though I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo, I’m going to be fixing up and finishing a bunch of other projects.

  1. Finish Even Through Rain
  2. Publish above short story (Information forthcoming)
  3. Complete edits on secret project (Details forthcoming)
  4. Send said project to editor
  5. COMPLETELY OUTLINE Long Lake Legacy book 2. (LOTS of details forthcoming ;-P )

 

 

I don’t really have any other specific goals for this month other than writing, since that will be my focus. But who knows…life has been throwing me curveballs as of late!! ;-)

 

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Do you have any goals for November?

Are you doing NaNo?

If not, are you working on something else?

Zee Loveliness

*cue sarcastic grin*

 

I was supposed to have a nice, sparkly post going up today. But THAT NOT HAPPENIN’. It’s 12:30 a.m., and I just finished studying. Life is not being kind to me right now. But that’s OKAY–cuz what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Or it teaches you to be sarcastic or…something.

 

Anyway.

 

No post today. Just me dumb ramblings and poor grammar.

 

I’m leaving for a 5 day trip tomorrow. I have two empty suitcases sitting in my bedroom that need to be filled. I have school to finish before going to the airport tomorrow morning. I have overdue thank-you notes to write. I have applications to make. I have food to eat. I’m all out of chocolate. And right now, I’m rather sore from sparring class and just want to go to sleep.

 

This is making me think of that song from Annie: “To-morrow, to-morrow, I love ya! To-morrow! You’re always a day away.”

 

Sorry I have nothing of substance to share with you.

 

I’m coming to the realization that being an adult is not so fun. This halfway adult thing is already miserable enough.

 

 

PS, does anyone enjoy these incredibly unprofessional lifestyle posts? Or shall I just be quiet when I have nothing to post and skip a week?

A Time of Rest

Yeah, I know I skipped the August wrap. Sorry. It just wasn’t happening.

 

Last year, about this time, I took a bit of a blogging break. When I came back, I was far more refreshed and ready to carry on gung-ho. I’d been hoping to avoid it this year, and thought I would be able to. But to be honest, I need a break. This month is going to be incredibly busy, with lots of traveling, company, school–you name it. So…

I’m taking the month off!!!

However, I will still be around and available, I just need to stop thinking about blogging for awhile. :)

And the vlog challenge is still on! And I’m still watching it closely, so don’t stop posting your videos! :) I’ll be posting mine when I get back in October. But don’t wait for me! :)

I will return on October 8th. With my VAVC vlog. 

Have a great month!

Life Lately/April Wrap

Well, these monthly wrap up posts seem to be “the thing” right now, and while I try not to do what everyone else does, these posts are so fun to read I don’t see a good reason not to do them!

(And yes, I do know that it is May 4th. Life gets in the way of my desires to post on time.)

 

www.LakesidePublications.co

~Books Read~

11. Sorry, I don’t have the energy to list them all every single month.

BUT.

I will list my top 3 favorites.

Samara’s Peril by Jaye L. Knight. I got to be an advanced reader for this book!! Can you believe it!!!! I still can’t! It was so amazing!!

The Ryn by Serena Chase.

The Remedy by Serena Chase.

(I am completely blaming my dear friend Hope for telling me about those last two. And no one needs to know how late I stayed up reading them. They were totally awesome, by the way. :) )

 

~Writing~

Well, since I had a long day of near panic when I realized how close the release date of The Old River Road is coming in comparison to how much work still needed to be done, I re-evaluated my goals for April.

Total words written: 20,000

Total words edited: 85,000 (that was my whole manuscript for TORR)

I successfully completed my “week of insane writing.” Barely. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. The story just wasn’t flowing right. But I pushed through, and finished with 15,000 words in five days.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 11.59.34 PMBTW, please tell me I’m not the only one that gets to the “..999” word count and seriously cannot think of ONE MORE WORD to type to finish up my daily amount.

Most words in one day: 5,126

Least words in a day: 216

Most words in an hour: 2,000 (a new personal high!)

 

~Beta-reading~

  1. Abi’s Martin Hospitality
  2. My own book. (Does that count?)

 

~Life~

Well, a lot of life stuff happened this past month.

  1. I got accepted and enrolled in college. *ahhhhh!!!!* I will be taking classes from home through IMG_1439Liberty University. Classes start in 14 DAYS!!!!
  2. I buckled down on high school stuff so I can close that area of my life.
  3. Edited an entire book, hired a cover designer AND editor, rounded up 12 amazing beta readers…and somewhere in there lost my sanity.
  4. Learned how to drive our 36ft motorhome. (Told you I lost my sanity.)
  5. Resumed TaeKwonDo classes. Boy I tell you, I am one rusty black belt. Eight years of no practice really puts a tarnish on that shiny blackness.  :-)
  6. Ate at Chick-fil-A for the second time in my entire life. Seriously, they need to get these restaurants in Eastern Washington. What the heck is up with them only being in the southern/eastern states and in Seattle?
  7. Met an internet friend in person!!! (Hi Rosey!!!!) :-)

 

~Goals for May~

  1. Finish getting The Old River Road ready for publication. This means going through my beta-reader’s comments, sending it to my editor, going through her comments, then sending the manuscript to the formatted. (WHEW!)
  2. Start college. This one is inevitable, so maybe I should say “survive starting college.”
  3. Plan my graduation/baptism/18th birthday/Mom and Dad’s 22nd wedding anniversary.  These events are all so close together I decided that we may as well celebrate them all on the same day. Why not, right? Now I just have to plan the insane event.
  4. Beta-read Hope’s Song of the Sword, and Abi’s Martin Hospitality.
  5. Read 8 books.
  6. Do a Vlog.
  7. Survive. (This one has been on the bottom of my daily to-do lists as of late.)

 

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Well, there was a lot more that went into April, but that’s all I have the energy to record for now.

So how was your April? Did you do anything absolutely fantastic that I should know about? How do you feel about frozen cookie dough? (Sorry, that was random, but seriously, have you tried the stuff?)

 

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DON’T STOP READING YET!!!!

Are you still reading? Good. Keep going.

I have this wonderful idea to do a Vlog sometime in the near future (’cause Vlogs are awesome), but in order to do so I need to know if you have any questions for me. I can come up with a topic on my own if necessary, but it would be far more fun to answer your questions. Please, if you have any questions, leave them in the comment box, or email me with the contact form. THANK YOU!!!