My book.

My book.
"Fascinating" Stephen S. Hall. writer, N.Y.Times magazine. "Hard to put down." A.C.P.A., American Chronic Pain Association.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The subtitle says "good things". Here are some of them.

What have I learned over time:

The guy at the teller's area in the bank was taking such a long time. I started to get antsy and annoyed.

Wait a minute, I told myself. The air conditioning is on here. I don't have it at home. Let him take his time. I am really enjoyinig this.

What did I learn? Patience. Maybe it is a virtue but in this instance it was cool, literally.

The computer is taking forever to turn off. I sit here and wait and wait. I am starting to grit my teeth. When will this turn off, for goodness sake's??"

I look at the clock. Oh, sure it felt like 10 - 15 minutes but it was all of 2 - 3 minutes. What else would I be doing if I wasn't waiting for it to turn off?

Heck, not much. After all it is only 2 - 3 minutes. It is not like I do this a lot of times, so maybe I have spent all of 2 - 6 minutes of my day waiting for it to turn off.

What did I learn? Time may not fly when this slow slow computer finally decides to turn all the way off; but time is not as slow as I think it is. Oh right. Patience. Again.

Everytime I go outside, or wash my face, or rain falls on my head I revel in the lack of pain. I rejoice each and everyday, no matter how bad the day might look, in the fact that I can touch my face.

The simplest of things, washing my face, I took for granted all of my life up to the second the tic started. I never thought a person would need general anaesthesia just to get hair, scalp, and face cleaned.

What did I learn?

The surgeon always made sure he had some children's shampoo in his locker in case I forgot mine. The nurses were wonderful. I felt like an inconvenience, at best. They were saving vision - this must be a wate of time to them.

Instead I learned some folks can be absolutely terrific and caring.

My neck was injured during one of the trigeminal neuralgia surgeries. The surgeon who evaluated me for the neck said "You could be paralyzed just walking down the street." My neck is now held together with 2 clamps and 12 pins.

What have I learned?

The simplest of lessons: I can never take anything for granted. It is a glory that I can brush my hair on the left side, that I can stand, and walk, and talk, and hear, and see; to do everything a body needs to do and most of what it wants to do.

I can't. I can't. I can't. This is a mantra of mine. But, as a friend points out, Yes, you can. Yes you did. You wrote a book, you kept a lawsuit alive by self-representing that otherwise would have gone down the tubes. You drove cross country 2 times. You advovate for women in pain awareness. You asked and got the Pa. senate to pass 2 years in a row (and working on it for this year) a proclamation to declare September Women In Pain Awareness Month.

What have I learned?

All that was after the pain. The pain does not have to stop me. It is I who stop myself.

What have I learned?

That this old dog forgets she does not have to learn new tricks. A lot of the tricks are already in my repertoire, there for the remembering and taking.


  1. Wonderful that you find so many ways to celebrate. Well written and thought provoking piece. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for the awesome post. Looking forward to staying current with your blog. Keep it up with your good work. I will share your blog with my friends. Thanks

  3. Thank you both for the kind words.