Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy

It seems like you turn a certain age and you start to fall apart. Someone I know recently went to a regular physical, only to be alerted to several specific problems that needed attention. They were sent for tests, scans, work ups, whatever you want to call them. Another person I know had routine blood work done only to find a condition they didn’t know about.

For me, various things have been happening since I hit the big 4-0. Not long before, I was diagnosed with ‘frozen shoulder’ in my right shoulder. It was horrible. I couldn’t lift my arm above shoulder height, and couldn’t move it in any normal direction. Sleeping was uncomfortable, and working my semi-physical kitchen job at my son’s school was out of the question. I could no longer reach above my head to the upper shelves, or carry large trays of prepared side dishes to assemble lunches.

After a couple of steroid injections, the doctor recommended physical therapy. I went for about six weeks, with very little improvement. The next step was a procedure called ‘manipulation under anesthesia’ where I went under anesthesia at a hospital and he took my arm and moved/manipulated it until the adhesions finally broke away and the arm moved more normally. After the procedure, it was back to physical therapy. Shortly after the last session, and just before the follow up with the doctor, I heard a resounding crack in my right shoulder, followed by instant relief. When I saw the doctor, he said ‘congratulations, you’ve healed yourself!’

He elaborated again (as he had after the procedure) that I could get frozen shoulder again. Apparently once you have it, you will likely get it again, and usually in the other arm. I had sort of fallen out of the habit of all the physical therapy exercises, until I felt my left shoulder starting to tense in the same way the right had. So far, things have seemed to be going okay.

Fast forward a couple years and I get diagnosed with carpal tunnel. I’m faced with a surgery that, according to the doctor as well as several other people I’ve spoken with, may need to be repeated OR I wear braces on my arms while I sleep. The Velcro to open the braces rips very loudly, but that and a combination of basic stretches keeps the pain in check.

This round of physical therapy I’ve started addresses my lower limbs. Again, I’m putting it down to age since I’ve never had this before. I started to feel a pain in my left knee. It seems to be painful/tender around the knee cap, but there’s no bruising or other injury. After a visit to the doctor and a round of x-rays, he told me my knee cap is out of place, not dislocated, just out of place. Since there was pain, I compensated and started to walk differently, pushing my knee cap in a way it shouldn’t go. This round of physical therapy is to re-train the knee cap into the proper place.

Physical therapy is going well. I’ve been doing various exercises and stretches to help, but I still have a long way to go. It may sound like I’m complaining, but it’s a part of my life that influences my writing. This blog is about my life and my writing.

When is a time you’ve been injured? Did it result in the need for physical therapy or other drastic measures? What sort of influence did it have on your life?

Chocolate Making

Chocolate Making

Cravings motivate me in weird ways. While many people think “I want chocolate” and run to the nearest grocery store to pick up their favorite kind, I think “I want chocolate – how can I make it?” So I looked up a recipe. I found one for both milk and dark chocolate, and I’ve tried making each a couple times now.

The dark chocolate recipe has been going a little better than the milk chocolate. My husband is a dark chocolate fan while my son and I love milk chocolate. Recently it was my husband’s birthday, so I made him not only the chocolate but used it to make homemade peanut butter cups. He loves them – I couldn’t quite squeeze out a dozen, so whenever I see him snacking it seems like has one.

Meanwhile, I struggle with the milk chocolate. It doesn’t seem to be working out the way I want, but that’s not a reason for me to quit. I will eventually find the perfect balance for the best homemade milk chocolate. While I look for it, I’ll enjoy what I have.

What is a recipe you’ve tried? How did it come out? Let’s talk on Facebook!

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day!

I’ve been lucky enough to have my dad in my life my entire life. My parents are still married, and I see him (and my mom) regularly. He’s a great man who has always worked hard for his family. He was always there to tell me I can do whatever I want even if it seemed like something for boys, and he has supported me no matter what. I have hundreds of memories and pictures of things we did together that may have seemed odd for a father/daughter dynamic, but there’s nothing in the world I would change.

I’m lucky that he’s still healthy, active, and totally present. As I said, he’s been a great dad, and an equally great grandfather. He loves my son and has a fatherly pride for all his accomplishments, and eagerly awaits his upcoming senior year of high school and beyond.

I mention my son, so there’s another Dad that’s close to my heart. My husband. Our son is in the summer before his senior year, and my husband has been his biggest supporter and encourager. He offers our son opportunities to explore the world and his skills, and build new ones. He pushes and encourages, and cheers him on. No one stood taller or chest puffed out more than my husband standing next to our son at his Eagle Scout court of honor.

These men are both great, biological fathers. There are so many other ways a person can be a father, and more meaningfully, a Dad. There are all sorts of families today, including families where one parent does the work of two. All of these families should celebrate their father figures, no matter what they look like.

There are other dads who aren’t dads by blood or by marriage. These people step up and support and encourage their children’s friends. I have a number of friends whose parents I don’t really know their names, because they’ve always been “Mom” or “Dad”. Sometimes I find myself asking ‘what’s your dad’s (or mom’s) name again?’ These ‘second parents’ are part of a child’s support system they may not recognize until much later in life, but they ask for nothing – not even recognition.

No matter what the Dad in your family looks like – biological, adopted, foster, or even a different family member like an uncle or grandfather, today is the day to celebrate them.

Tell me about your father figure on Facebook!



Time is made up of deadlines. I’ve been contracting with a company to write blogs and website content. I have an online spreadsheet of the copy to work on and when it’s due – the deadline. Even when you’re in school, the due date of an assignment is a deadline. If you haven’t turned it in without a good reason, the deadline is missed and there are consequences. Those are deadlines others have imposed on you.

Today I’m talking about the ones you’ve imposed on yourself. You want to get your laundry done and the house cleaned by 8 p.m. on Thursday, so you can be packed and ready Friday afternoon to enjoy your weekend trip. So you split it into smaller tasks starting on Saturday, by tackling each area of the house on a different day, and ending by finishing up the laundry and packing Thursday night. How you get it all done is up to you, as long as you have it done by Thursday at 8 p.m.

The self imposed deadline that’s now looming in my head is June 30. It’s the date I chose to have the first half of my upcoming novel self-edited and prepared to go to an outside editor. I feel like it’s mostly ready, but I know I’ll nit pick and worry right up until the 30th. It just what I do. Sometimes I get so caught up in it that I get sick of it and can’t be sure it’s “good enough” to hand over to an editor. “Dumpster Fire” is a good way to describe it from time to time.

I’m actually ahead of the game on this. Since so much of my novel was written before I really started to focus it on it this year, I’ve breezed past a number of milestones/deadlines without a thought. But this one concerns me a little, if only because I don’t let a whole lot of people read my works in progress. The ‘dead’ in ‘deadline’ looms in my head. What if it’s not good enough? What if the editor laughs in my face? What if….?

What sort of deadlines do you impose on yourself? Are they difficult to achieve? How do you go about accomplishing a multi-part task by a specific deadline? Let’s talk on Facebook!

Summer Plans

Summer Plans

School’s out for summer! At the moment, those are more than just song lyrics. My son finished his junior year of high school the Friday before Memorial Day. So ahead are the lazy days of summer before a thrilling senior year, right?

Not necessarily. He’ll have plenty of time to relax, since school doesn’t start until the third week of August, but there hasn’t been a summer of just doing nothing in a long time. This year, his summer will be full of experiences, some that may be once-in-a-lifetime.

My son’s passion has become broadcast journalism. His school offers an elective class he took the first semester of his sophomore year. He liked it so much, and the teacher recognized his video editing skills early on, and encouraged him to sign up for the class second semester. He did, and was immediately made lead video editor when he walked into class on the first day. He took a break first semester of junior year to take a different elective, but quickly fell into the editing job second semester. His teacher even had him helping to edit the documentary on the school’s basketball team’s journey to the state championship (sadly, they lost the final game). At the end of the year, the finished product was screened for the basketball team and their guests, as well as the broadcast journalism students and their guests. It was a fun time and a huge feather in his cap.

When my mom was scrolling her Facebook feed, a post about the school’s summer camps came up. Out of curiosity, she clicked on it. She then alerted me to the Broadcast Journalism camp that was to be held in early June. When he asked about it, the teacher said it was more for the students interested in starting the class in the fall, not for those already in it. He went on to say he’d want the help of his current students, to which my son enthusiastically offered. The teacher was happy and relieved to hear it, as he says he doesn’t have half of the editing skills my son does. Volunteer hours to count toward his required volunteering for the year may be in store for him, too.

The extra hours will be a blessing, since he’ll be missing out on his usual source – being a counselor at vacation bible school at the church associated with his school. But he’ll be missing out on that for good reason – that once-in-a-lifetime reason I mentioned earlier. He’ll be attending the famed Philmont Scout Ranch Boy Scout camp. He and his fellow Scouts will head out on a 12-day trek through the New Mexico backcountry. It will test all sorts of Scouting skills he’s built up in his 11-year official Scouting career. The big drawback being its the New Mexico desert in mid-July! My son was born and lived the first 14 years of his life in Arizona, so the heat won’t get to him much, but it’s still a factor. Michigan summertime heat and humidity is a different experience from the hot, dry climate of the Southwest, and he’s been out of the environment full time for three years now.

Once he gets home from that, the summer will likely be about finishing up his required reading and getting things together for the beginning of his senior year. We may throw in some college visits here and there in between all this big stuff.

As for myself, my summer plans are fairly simple. Work on my book, help out in my husband’s business, go on a few kayaking trips, and physical therapy for a knee injury.

What are your summer plans? Let’s talk on Facebook!