Writing in a Hailstorm

Good Day to everyone! After what feels like a lengthy absence, I’ve hit the ivory of my keyboard to write again. A hailstorm pelted my life for the last couple of weeks, but I’m up and running again for what will surely be an extraordinary next couple of months. Time to catch up on all things written;-)

While the last couple of months have been filled with illness, it has also been a refreshing breeze. Not allowed to read or be on a computer, I’ve had ample opportunity to observe life and disconnect from the internet which has been spectacular. Creative minds never cease, and it is to this trait that I laud for my sanity with a ban on electronics.

Okay, I’ll admit, at first I panicked. What? No electronics, you say??? Are you nuts? I’m a WRITER, but these quickly diffused once the lurching and knotting of my stomach lessened and my mind unfroze. This would be a time of opportunity; not for sitting on the couch with a gallon of ice cream and a box of Kleenex. Pride, barely intact, I propped my chin up on a pillow and plastered a smile on my face, resolving to see this as a springboard and not a road bump.

The next steps fell in trickles then downpours once the first one took shape. As most would agree, sleep was in order. Lots and lots of sleep was achieved. If sleep were an Olympic event, I’d have a shiny gold medal right now. Next, hydration. Contrary to popular belief, wine is not for hydration. I know, a shock to me, too! So, I settled for my next favorite beverage: water. It sounds bland, but I spiffed it up with lemon juice and reveled in the fact that I was tripling my vitamin C intake. The pharmacist in me was doing backflips, I can assure you;-)

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Info on Vitamin C found at NIH.gov

After the sleep and hydration came…meditation. Yep, you heard it from the lion’s mouth. I’ve never been one to incorporate meditation in any kind of way into my daily life, but without the crutches of entertainment/stress relief coming from the internet or TV, I had a ton of time on my hands. Being a “Type A” personality when it comes to certain venues in life, I needed a stress reliever. What was I to do?

I remember in college taking a relaxation/meditation class for one of my general education requirements. At the time, it was an inconvenience, but let me just say that it came to the rescue in my time of crisis. Albeit approximately twenty years later, give or take a few years, I have been extraordinarily grateful.

As a side note, I’ve been told to practice yoga, and while I’m sure it helps others, each person is different. Having arthritis, lots of the positions have ended up hurting my joints rather than helping, and that’s okay. I think I’m more of a Tai Chi kind of person anyway.

Back on track, the meditation was word focused, and I have to say that as absurd as it sounds, the word “relax” helped me to…well, you know…relax. Silently repeating “Re” on the inward breaths and “lax” while I breathed out helped the contorted mass of muscles in my neck, shoulders, lower back, etc… I couldn’t believe it! After ten minutes, I opened my eyes and felt like a bowl of Jello. Decidedly better than a ball of wire, I immediately determined to meditate prior to every writing session. It clears the mind and lets the fountain of words flow onto paper.

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Photo via Tribunist.com

Once my symptoms cleared a bit, I admit, I binged on Netflix. Well, sort of. I can only watch a couple of shows before I have to turn it off. Drat you seizures! BUT, it was the rocket to my mood that I needed. All I’m saying is if you haven’t seen the show Superstore, you’re missing out.

The remnants of illness linger, but I’m ready to gradually increase my workload over the next couple of weeks. It’s phenomenal to be back on the computer, hacking away at the keys. Hopefully, the rest of the year will be smooth sailing. Of course, I’ll look like a walking Halloween sign for the remainder of Fall and Winter seasons as I must wear a mask, but I’ll have plenty of hilarious tales to tell you with all the stares and encounters I get upon my journeys out into the world.

So, until then, read lots, eat well, and write often!

Happy reading,

KD

Healing Through Fiction

Books have been a mainstay in my life since I learned to read all those many years ago, and they will forever be a part of my life until my last breath. To escape into another world for an hour, a day or more is something I’ll never take for granted, and it is also why I’ve become an author.

Situations in life lift us up and can also tear us into a pile of rubble in a matter of minutes. Like many reading this, I have had ups and downs in life. Most of my downs deal with family health issues stemming from cancer, diabetes, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. While I’m not personally afflicted with each of the above, I do have a couple, and I have immense gratitude for the families and caregivers affected by these terrible diseases.

You know, books, like movies, can ebb pain, fears and anxieties even if only for a couple hours. The world of fiction grows exponentially, thanks to Amazon, Kobo, iBooks and many others, each and every day. Endless opportunities to escape are at our fingertips, and I find it uplifting and cathartic in so many ways and exceptionally healing.

I’m especially grateful for the foundations that sponsor drug study trials for cures in diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer among other disease states. One day, hopefully in the near future, this will happen, but for the time being we wait and hope.

So, today I’m going to plug one very special foundation that’s near and dear to my heart. The Angioma Alliance is a foundation set up for people suffering from a rare disorder known as hemangioma cavernous malformations. Big words for a tiny disorder, but one that packs a devastating punch for people that suffer from it. These abnormal blood vessels packed together in the brain or spine are prone to breaking open, leading to bleeding on the brain. They may range from millimeters to inches in length.

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So, what happens when these bleed? People may experience headache, seizures, hemorrhages and stroke. In a nutshell, it can be devastating. My family has experienced the anxiety of waiting through the night to see if our loved one would live. I can tell you it’s not something I want anyone else to experience, but like other diseases, research is critical to finding a cure.

I believe there’s a medication waiting to be formed to stabilize existing cavernomas and to prevent rupture of these vessels. Right now, surgery is the only option, and some cavernomas reside in areas of the brain that surgery becomes too risky. Since this is a rare disorder, not much money is being thrown in the way of research, slowing the progress for these families. As a result, I’ve decided to donate a portion of my book proceeds to the Angioma Alliance Foundation to assist in some small way to their cause. I’ll post updates on numbers in the future, and I encourage people to read up on the Angioma Alliance Foundation for more information. I will also link to the organization on my blog site for anyone who is curious;-)

Healing through reading can be achieved, and I’m happy to be a part of it! I’m also excited to include my readers in on my own journey through getting fit physically and creatively. Okay, I know a lot of you are thinking, creatively? Let me explain. When our bodies are fit, our minds show less fatigue and allow the brain to fire without a ton of caffeine pumping through our tired veins. Sure, a little caffeine is great for people who love lattes and espressos, but I know some of you out there are dumping four extra shots into those already caffeine-chalked drinks, and I’m surprised our hearts don’t beat out of our chests.

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Kidding aside, it’s a known fact that most writers and readers sit while typing/reading, and this places us in a high risk category for heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, etc… I know, I know, enough of the lecture, right? BUT, I luuuv all my followers/readers, and I wouldn’t be a good pharmacist if I didn’t try. Drat that Hippocratic Oath;-)

That being said, I’m also doing this to make myself accountable for getting my body active, and what better way than to broadcast it across the web? From here on out, I’ll post random updates on my progress of weight lifting, interval training, water drinking, etc… to keep you all laughing and happily reading!  Let the groaning begin!

Does anyone out there donate to a foundation of their own? I’d love to hear about organizations you support!

Happy reading!

KD