Monday, August 21, 2017

Changing The Quality of MY LIFE....

It's happened. I've done it. **Not alone; I'm grateful for the help of Twin Cities Pain Clinic for their guidance. I'm also grateful to have HAD the option of all the pain medication, and other medications made available to me over the course of the past 20 years... But the truth is, there are MANY negative side effects from any lab generated drugs that we put into our systems. I did the best I could with the options available to me at the time. I was unable to even get through a day without help. Surgery didn't "erase" my back problems. They're still with me. But, having been approved to use medical cannabis for the pain, I've also taken that chance to rid myself completely of the pharmaceuticals. 
In late March 2017, I filled my first order for medical cannabis. I now take capsules 3x daily that contain THC and CBD mixed in coconut oil, in a veggie cap. I also use cannabis oil in a vape pen for breakthrough pain. I used this in combination with the pain meds I was already taking. (The first month, having a combo of Rx meds, plus cannabis, was the most pain relief I've felt in 15 years.) 
I still wanted, no, needed, to get off of the opiates. That's been a concern for me since the first prescription was ever written. {thought process: Since I have a degenerative disease, I know my pain will be progressive, I'll likely be relying on pain meds long term, since it doesn't seem even surgery is a 'magic' solution for me.} I just don't want that life. Bring on the medical cannabis...
In May, my morphine-sulf medication, which was taken twice daily for long term pain relief, was cut back slowly, to avoid withdrawal symptoms, which can be a giant hurdle for weaning. I can happily say that I experienced nothing that was especially evident. I just followed directions, and in the 30 day period, my RX was cut back until I was able to stop them. Next step: Percoset. This was for break through pain, intended to fill the gaps that the morphine did not reach. What's ironic is that I have not had a pain free day, even WITH the meds. My body had simply become tolerant to the meds, so I was experiencing less 'relief' from pain as the months ticked by. I continued to tell my family physician that they weren't "effective" for the past several years. She repeatedly reminded me that I WAS getting relief, that without the medication, my pain would have been much greater. We also had discussed many times that I would not be willing to increase dosage, due to the fear I've had regarding addiction. After using them safely, and exactly as prescribed for so long, I can safely say I didn't have an addiction problem. My body was, of course, dependent on the presence of said medications. I would experience a withdrawal upon their termination, but that's a far cry from addiction. I'm thankful for having a non-addictive experience. That's a whole other box of shit storm I would not like to experience in this lifetime. 
The next 2 months were focused on weaning the Percoset from my system, slowly, so as to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Success! I took my last dose on July 28th. There was MUCH fear surrounding this date; unfounded fear, thankfully. Chronic pain is VERY scary. There are days when my chronic illness means I use all of my energy to just "be", and there's nothing left over to enjoy the day. It's been a lonely and depressing journey. One that takes place largely on a hamster wheel. I can try any coping trick, but it doesn't change the fact that I'll be waking up tomorrow with the same damned illness, no matter how "hopeful" I've been. I have yet to be able to "wish it away"... It's my life, though. It's still worth something. 
I've been off all RX meds since July 28th. I'm using medical cannabis and essential oils to manage my own health since then. I still have pain. It's not going to disappear. But, I'm proud to say that I've been able to cope with it using the weed and oils. And I'm KILLIN' IT! Although I have moderate pain on a bad day, I'm still strong in my conviction that I can do it WITHOUT going back to relying on pills made in the lab. 
I'm now completely obsessed with replacing chemical- soaked products with essential oils and natural, hand made products. I'm feeling and seeing the change. My mind has been more 'clear' over the past year. My skin reflects the changes. My hair, my nails, you name it. I suspect this change was what drove me to cut the meds as well. The ability to legally use cannabis was a gift I received this year by mere coincidence. Happy coincidence. 
Enough. I've boasted about my rock star status enough for one day. I'll be back soon to strut my stuff. 
I'm stronger than I ever imagined I could be. I fight like a girl. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Admit To Mayhem by DJ ADAMSON ... time for another (finally!) BOOK REVIEW

She's just a small town girl... living in a lonely world...
Enter Lillian Dove. She's a lonely girl, with a cloudy background like most of us. She's struggling with her mommy/daughter relationship, she's also a recovering alcoholic. She throws herself into her work, cares for her kitty, ironically named "BACARDI". Life is lonely and uneventful.
And then. 
After spending the night with her boss, she is making the drive of shame the next morning and sees smoke during that drive. There's a house on fire, a familiar house. The occupants are away on vacation, yet Lillian sees someone inside. She tries in vain to rescue them, but once she arrives, there's no longer anyone TO rescue. Now Lillian needs the rescue. Although she's CERTAIN there was someone in the house, she cannot convince anybody else that her tale holds merit. 
Perhaps as a direct result of said tale, she finds herself suddenly let go from her job, and her internal dialogue begins. Was she dismissed as a result of the night with the Chief? Or due to her insistence that there was indeed someone inside the burning house? Does everyone think she's unstable?
She begins an independent hunt for answers, since she's jobless, she has time to play at amateur sleuthing. She's going to FIND the missing victim, who is the only one with the ability to back up Lillian's version of what happened at the burnt house, now believed to be arson... a house suspiciously burnt for a SECOND time, repeating an act that also took place many years ago, that time ending the lives of the homeowners. If there's a connection, Lillian believes she'll find it.

DJ Adamson has a wonderful start to a series. The book was engaging, the characters were absolutely believable. There was no "obvious" trail to the book ending, I was forever guessing. I HATE when I read a mystery with an almost visible line drawn to the suspect, leaving my read experience feeling like a waste of time. I didn't feel that way even once while I absorbed this book. 
I'm looking forward to the next installment!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

A SECRET by LUCILLE HULL ~ a sweet children's book ~ REVIEW TIME

I was determined to find the perfect target audience for this book and read it to them. Especially after reading about the author. I feel this book deserves a special place on the bookshelf simply for the author, who passed away, I think before the book was even published. 
I decided to read it to some VERY special little people I know, and their ages are 8,6, and 14 months.
The story is short, but sweet nonetheless. The characters are cute, Curly Worm, Furry Caterpillar, Mr. Centipede, a Striped Honey Bee, and a Lovely Butterfly. 
The youngster in the tale has no feathers, no wings, no fancy decor of any type, and yet, he lives happily. He reveals essentially that God loves each of us the same, no matter that we're different. 
The illustrations are bright and simple. I thought the book was very sweet. The kiddos that sat while I read seemed to like the pictures a lot, they chattered along with every page. The toddler, of course, lost interest every minute and a half, then returned as often to peek again. 
Overall, I think the book is worth the read. 

I received a copy through Goodreads giveaway, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. 
My opinions are mine alone. Thanks for reading! 
The book can be found on Amazon.com if you're looking to check it out!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A book review. I've been book~binging! TJ's Last Summer in Cape Cod by Garfield Whyte

A young man of 18, TJ is looking forward to a basketball scholarship for college. So, this final summer, before stepping into his new role as a college man, a grown up, must be a monumental one. He enlists the help of his wayward uncle, whose reputation precedes him. This novel is the tale of his struggle to become a man, while wanting to hold onto the freedom of being a child, who is allowed to make dumb choices and come away seemingly unscathed. 
While emulating the promiscuous behavior of his uncle, he gets himself in the middle of a love triangle. Taj has to decide how to handle this. How many people will get hurt? After many summers of living with an uncle that seemingly has a broken moral compass, will Taj continue to practice that same behavior? He really looks up to this uncle. They're VERY close, as close as father and son. 
I'll give no other details of the story, except to say that when reading this novel, I continued to reminisce my young adult years, and wow! Those were the good 'ole days (Isn't that what we all say?) When I began reading. I was expecting to be lulled to sleep with a YA novel. That was how I had heard it labeled. As young adult. IE for my teens, not me. I was VERY wrong about that preconceived notion. I'm glad I didn't dismiss it for my ignorance. The book was SO good. By the way, if you are misinformed about this novel, it's NOT for 'young adults'... It's for all ages. There are graphic descriptions throughout, but if you're a reader, you can handle it. The story is so believable, I asked the author whether this book was written from his own life experience; he assured me it was imagination alone. Wow! That's some imagination! You should not only read this book, but check out anything else this guy has written. He has a gift.
This ended up being quite a quick read for me, as I was immersed in the story. I didn't want to put it down! The characters are real, their life stories believable, and the ending was unpredictable, which I love. I've already recommended the book to my sister and 2 friends. When I find a gem of a novel, I TELL. There are many books that leave me unfulfilled, so when I find a book I love, I want to tell other readers. 
This is one of those times. Get the book. You'll love TJ. And you'll relate to his moral dilemmas. Maybe more than you'll admit out load. (wink)
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book for an honest and unbiased review. That being said, let me add the following words that are mine, and only mine. I LOVED this novel. I would never place words on my blog that weren't my own true opinion, good or bad. Let me assure you, I've read books that suck the life out of me through my eyeballs, and should I review any of them, that's what the review will say. 

and an appeal... what a pathetic excuse for a 'man'....

How about this? How about you've made us suffer enough, taking the life of your dad, my brother, IN HIS SLEEP... my family has suffered. Oh, how we've suffered. You put us through a fucking trial, when your act of homicide was followed by your own confession, you should have pled guilty and let us grieve in private. But no... 
And now. After we've begun (all over again) the grieving process, through which we'll never emerge, since closure is a concept I  am unable to grasp, even when I reach and clutch at it in my nightmares. I will never understand WHY. The real why, not the ridiculous tales you fabricated in the 24 hours prior to pulling the trigger, while you plotted and planned. My mind cannot accept his death, as there was no physical form to which we might say goodbye. No final touch of his face, his hands, no hug before we lay him to rest. No rest. Cremation without saying goodbye. Warned that the image of his final state would haunt us forever. He's no longer here, this is "not the brother you remember, you must not look." and then... "not enough to resemble your loved one" .... that won't haunt me? 
Well, it has. It is. And it will continue.  
You're evil. Pathetic. Uneducated. Naive. Ignorant. Puppet. A killer. Cold-blooded. Alone. Life in Prison. No parole. At 19. First and second degree murderer. That's you... don't get me started on your mother. She belongs beside you in that cell. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Remember My Beauties by Lynne Hugo BOOK REVIEW, PEOPLE!

You'll love this book if you're a horse lover. That being said, you'll love it even if you aren't familiar with horses. 
It's a well woven tale of a completely dysfunctional family. Jewel comes to the homestead to feed and groom the remaining horses. Her rapidly aging parents aren't able to care for either the property, the horses, or themselves. That leaves everything up to Jewel, the responsible child. Her brother is an ex-con, a lifetime nobody; yet seemingly mom's favorite. This is a harsh pill to swallow. Jewel serves an ultimatum to her parents. If Cal comes home, she no longer will. It backfires. Suddenly she's faced with whether there will be ample care for the 4-legged family she loves with all of her heart. She's questioning her relationship with everybody. Her second husband, her daughter, her step-daughter, her parents, her brother, even her sister, who is briefly mentioned, but plays no real part in the story. 
It brings forth the heartbreak of being unappreciated, of cheating, mistreating, drug use, aging, illness, and death. But it also takes a broken family, a blended family, and puts them back together in a stronger, more healthy dynamic. It's worth the read. Great lessons to be learned. 
I received an ARC (Kindle format) from NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. I would give no other kind of review... 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

time for a book review! The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen


A book of mournful discovery. And wonder... But what about a happy ending? Could there BE one? 


The entire family of a young boy lives underground. He has never been above ground. He has no idea 'what' is beyond the walls... 

The family consists of grandma, mom and dad, sister, big brother, the young boy. Eventually, a baby. I was RIVETED from the get-go. This young boy tries to understand his very limited world. Mom, who makes carrot soup, from food that appears whenever supplies run low. Grandma cannot see, blinded by the fire, the same that ravaged his sister, who wears a mask to cover horrific damage. His father, who is suddenly very angry with the young boy's sister, now that she has had a baby. His brother, who suffers from a severe limitation that affects his ability to communicate. 
There are sharp twists and turns in this maze of a tale. I loved the fact that no matter how I tried to guess, I could never imagine what was next. It was written brilliantly. 
I thought in the beginning it was going to be a knock-off of "Room". I was happy to be wrong. Dead wrong. It was SO creative, and tragic. The entire tale was woeful, up until the end. And yet... it was a story of love. Sometimes love is painful. 
I finished this book quite a while ago. It was a single sitting type of read, but I simply cannot pull an all-nighter any more, so it took a few days to complete. Way to go Amazon, for choosing this as the March Kindle Firsts book. There's not a week that goes by that my mind does not drift back to the young boy in the tale. I cannot get him out of my mind. If a book has that kind of pull on me, then it's a good one. And I've read a LOT of books since the beginning of the year.  
If there was a book I'd recommend;  at the top of the list, this book would stand. It's perhaps in my top 3 for the year so far.