Monday, November 24, 2008

An Honest Doctor

If you have spent a lot of time in hospitals and doctor's offices, you surely thought I was trying to be funny, but no- I have actually met an honest doctor.

A few weeks back I was playing hide-and-go-seek with Rosie. Being much too big to play this game in my tiny kitchen I smashed my toe into a cabinet while crawling on the floor. Tears welled in my eyes and the pain took my breath. I had to focus on catching my breath and not screaming. A fun characteristic of CRPS (Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome) is pain that is out of proportion to the severity of the injury.

I have had CRPS since 1989 when I was hit by a car. It was really out of control back then, and I couldn't walk for almost a year after the accident because of pain and tightness in my foot. Treatment helped the sensitivity so that I could put weight on my foot again, and so that my physical therapist could loosen my ankle enough to walk. But the pain never went away, and has spread to the rest of my body over the last 19 years. Even though I have dealt with a great deal of pain over the years, I have always been grateful that the more serious symptoms of the RSD did not return. Until now.

About a week after I squished my toe I noticed that it was getting harder to go up stairs. My ankle just didn't seem to bend enough. A few days later I was going to the store and had to take off my shoe and sock even though I was driving, because they were bothering my skin. The stiffness and sensitivity gets worse everyday. I already can't walk as far I used to without sitting down. I am really starting to panic. I am worried that in the next few months I will no longer be able to walk at all.

I went to a new doctor to get the same spinal blocks which helped so much the first time. I had the block last Wednesday, but it has only made the pain and stiffness worse. My doctor finally returned my calls this evening, and told me he didn't know what to do next. He could have lied or blamed me, but he simply said he didn't know what to do. It was actually nice.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why Memoirs Are Important

I am in the middle of reading Angela's Ashes, and I am enjoying it immensely. When it came out I was not in a good place in my life, and I felt like that last thing I needed was to read about more pain and suffering. But after three different people compared the way I have told my life story without self pity to Frank McCourt's book, I thought it was finally time to give it a read. I can only say that I wish I had read it sooner. It has sparked a lot of deep thoughts, and I thought I should write them down.

There is a force in nature that maintains balance in all things. Some might call this power God. I am just one girl, and I wouldn't pretend to know the shape and reach of this force; whether it is some omnipotent being who gives and takes and judges. I only know the balance I see in the world. It is our job to maintain this balance by caring for ourselves, those around us, and everything we touch.
To each of us our sorrows are deep and real, and many of us pray for relief. The Universe hears all of us crying and grasping tight at her skirts like infants, begging to be picked up, carried along, comforted. Our troubles exist in the same time and space as all others, and compared to the pain of some, our lives would feel blessed, but we are not always open to that knowledge. If only we could hold up our sorrows to the light cast off by every other creature, maybe then we could see that right now may not be our time of greatest need. We might even notice the problems of others near us and realize that we can help.
Putting your own suffering in perspective by knowing the lives and challenges of others is a gift of clarity and peace. I believe that this is why memoirs are important. Reading other people's life stories has helped me to appreciate the many things in my life that have been blessings, and to understand the things that have caused me pain a bit better.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I am so honored

Taste of Salt Lake was fabulous this weekend. There were so many people there, it must have been a record amount of money raised for Cystic Fibrosis research.

I donated two pendants to the auction, and each one was paired with a painting by Somer Love. They sold for around $300 each! I never expected them to do that well. Several people also picked up my business card that night, so I have had a pretty steady stream of orders. It was a great night.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

I have nursed my wounds long enough (too long, I'm sure.) Yesterday I sent out yet another query letter to yet another agent. This will be the 39th agent I have queried. I finally counted and I feel better because it felt like I had received over 100 rejections.

I have a new vision for the project, which means a lot more work, and a lot more writing. Fingers crossed kids!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Live, Love, Breathe

For Christmas last year I received a calendar from my friend, Somer Love. Each month featured people, young and old, who are living with Cystic Fibrosis, a terminal lung disease. Somer graced the month of May, so I was very excited to hang it up. As I read the stories each month, I was inspired by how each person faced their challenges with cheer and strength. Then I got to August and saw darling 12-year-old Haley Palmer. She raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for CF research by making and selling bracelets. I thought, “I know how to make jewelry... If she can do it, maybe I can too.”

Somer and I put together a line of pendants based on the theme from Somer's paintings, “Live, Love, Breathe.” Each one is handmade from pure silver, and signed on the back. 100% of profits are donated to Love to Breathe for CF research. With the help of several dedicated friends who wear the pendants and spread the word, we have raised over $500 in just three months.

Haley Palmer has since succumbed to her battle with Cystic Fibrosis. I am saddened to have never known her, but I will follow her lead. I can only hope to be half as successful as she was. Haley said that you can't make footsteps on history sitting down. So stand up and support our efforts to cure Cystic Fibrosis.

Next weekend we will enjoy another fabulous Taste of Salt Lake. I can't wait to dine on food from all of the finest restaurants in Salt Lake. Two of my pendants have been donated to the silent auction, but you can by your very own at