That which does not kill me makes me stronger.

That which does not kill me makes me stronger.

Well here I am back in business and on the ball again. It has been a very long and painful five weeks. Just minutes before my radio interview with Sherri http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/2013/02/26/chatting-with-sherri  I felt a pain in my left knee. I mentioned to Sherri and she wanted to know if I wanted to cancel the show.”Hell no! ” was my response. Once the interview was over I tried to stand up from my sitting position and my knee popped and snapped. From that moment until now I have been hospitalized, bedridden, had surgery and now am on the mend. I was so scared as I was unable to walk or stand. I went through so many physical, emotional and mental transformations. Once again thanks to prayers from my friends and family God has decided I should be here to annoy you all for while still.

    I know I have just repeated myself here but there is a reason for my doing so. I am trying to make a point. There are so many of us with chronic pain, who on a daily basis have to live with what has been dealt to us. Then there are the surprise attacks on our bodies.  

      Does the fact that we have to live with pain on a daily basis make these extras more tolerable?

      Does anyone feel we are like the sore toe, when it is hurt we continuously bang it?

      Do you feel like others expect you to be stronger no matter what happens?

      There is a saying, God only puts on your plate what He knows you can eat. Well I think for some of us it feels like we are being served a buffet. I once had a friend tell me I had to learn to be grateful for the lessons God was was trying to teach me. It was during this conversation that I found out from her that she had never had a sick day in her life, let alone over 30 surgeries and two battles with cancer. When I told her that next time God wanted to add some more to my plate, I was going to tell Him I knew someone whose plate had ALWAYS been empty, and then I pointed at her. She called me a blasphemer and left my house in a huff. I am sure God was having a giggle over that one. 

      It is easy for those who have never suffered to be judgmental and unfeeling.

My mornings, my pain

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This morning before I got out of bed I found myself making a wish. Nothing new about this wish but I was hoping this time it would come true. I was wishing for a pain free day. Well it is half way through the day now and I am still waiting for that wish to come true. Maybe I would be more successful if I wished for riches.

This is not an unusual wish the world is full of wishes just like mine. If I could find a Pain Fairy like the Tooth Fairy I would be a millionaire. When asked, most times I tell those who ask that I am not a morning person when in reality I couldn’t be if I wanted. The body and joints just won’t allow it. This is frustrating and depressing.

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Tidbits from A Hairdresser’s Diary /Scissors Retired – part three

I wished that was the end of my suffering but some of it was just beginning. Chronic pain and surgery were two constants in my life. I was only twenty-seven and I was already been four times under the knife. This left me feeling lost overwhelmed and useless much of the time. Needing to find something, anything, to take my mind off my pain and frustrations, I started accepting a few of my former customers for hair appointments in my home. No one had a problem with the inexact schedule I was a slave to. When it rained, my friends and customers knew not to call for their hair needs on those days. My fingers and my back were far too painful to work. I was, at first, restricted to haircuts and styling, but gradually as I was stronger I was able to stand long enough to do the occasional colour or perm. This was a far cry from the customer base I had while working in a salon, but it kept my hand in my craft, and helped us a little financially. This made the few customers I accepted happy. But, I missed having my fingers entwined in the long hair I so desperately desired to help make me feel alive and creative.

1974 was the year that things would start to turn around for us, financially. Ron was promoted to salesman and one of the perks was a fully loaded company car, his own office and expense account. Ron worked so hard for this position and no one deserved it more. We splurged with a celebration dinner. The kids were so excited they could hardly wait to go for a ride in Daddy’s new car. Ron could hardly contain himself as well. He couldn’t wait to share with his mom – showing her just how far he had come, from being a truck driver for one of the largest gas companies to a salesman with his own car. His father had passed away from a heart attack June 1968. It saddened him he could not share this great news with him too. There was no doubt he would have been proud.

For the first time in our lives I now even had my very own car. We had come so far in these few short years. We long ago decided we would never pack up our tents and give up we were determined no matter what it took we would fight to survive. We would forge ahead to make our lives better, not just for ourselves but especially for our children. It was obvious both our families were proud of what we accomplished. Frank and Cathy in particular showed their support.

Since I had my own car and when I felt well enough I would go back to the old neighbourhood. There I would cut a few heads of hair or give our former next door neighbour, Hildie, her much needed colour. Three of those haircuts and styles were for the three women of the family who had lived across the street from us before we moved. Sharon’s husband was the architect who had built the tiny castle we now owned. I loved doing Sharon’s, Leslie’s and their mother, Mary’s hair. They wore the elaborate, high bouffant styles that allowed me to be creative. Leslie, at one time in her career, was a practicing hairdresser and had a room in their house set up as a mini salon. This made my job very easy, but made me miss the salon atmosphere even more. Although I suffered afterward with body pain, it was so satisfying for my soul and my ego.

Tidbits from A Hairdresser’s Diary /Scissors Retired

Now we were into early 1974. Four more years had passed and there were even more dramatic changes in our lives. We had happily reunited with my Baba and Guido only to have Guido pass away just a few weeks before our son Douglas Ronald was born. I also had a second chance to get to know my father. I must say I had a burning curiosity to see him again. I was not sure if it was to confront him or forgive him. Maybe a little of  both. I was biding my time until I was comfortable about asking Baba how I could get in touch with him. Once reunited, our visits were sporadic but we were trying to get to know each other. I was looking forward to having our kids and Ron get to know him as well. This reunion did not sit well with my mother so we didn’t discuss it with her. I had not seen him in 26 years. We had so many years to catch up on. I also had the good fortune of cultivating a good and loving relationship with all the siblings I knew as my brothers and sisters. Now we were grown and could think for ourselves, we as a family decided to be just that – a family. Nothing pleased me more. We started going to the family Christmas gatherings, something we had not done for many years. This was great for our kids – they now had a very large extended family.

The smartest decision we ever made was to take the four thousand dollar settlement from the accident – not more than an insult for the extreme loss we suffered – and use it as a down payment to build our tiny one floored castle. We could not know how this one important decision would have such a positive impact on our young family. We would no longer look back. We went from Windsor Housing to becoming homeowners. How proud we were of that accomplishment. We would take a horrible experience and make it something special and wonderful – ‘a silk purse out of a sow’s ear’ – or so they say. One of the things that made it so wonderful was we brought our beautiful, seven month preemie, miracle baby boy, Douglas, home to our new home the first week we took possession. We had to leave him in hospital for five heartbreaking, frightening weeks after he was born. He was too tiny, sick and weak from fighting for his life to come home with me. We knew he was our son when he fought and won. Christine was the typical big sister who wanted to be a little mommy and Terry the big brother who wanted to protect his baby brother. The doctor was worried about my health and arranged for a tubal ligation the day after Doug was born. We were concerned another pregnancy might land me up in a wheelchair. God gave us three amazing, caring and loving children who rarely complained when they had to chip in and help. It did not matter if it was helping with Doug, housework or just running errands.

Doug was only a year old when I had to have an emergency hysterectomy. I was shocked but so very thankful that my mother came to the rescue to take care of Christine and Terry. They were old enough to go home with her and they genuinely loved their Nanny. To my delight, my mother and I had found some common ground. I no longer wept for the mother I never had. What she lacked in motherhood she made up for as a sweet, loving grandmother who the kids called, Nanny. She showed her love not just to our children but to the rest of the family as well. She showed no favoritism. We had too much baggage to let bygones be bygones but we could have comfortable and enjoyable visits. I must confess I had painful moments when I caught myself feeling jealous, these thankfully were short-lived and fleeting. It was important to me that our kids had grandparents that I was deprived of. It was obvious she was still oblivious to the bad treatment she bestowed on me. She acted as if it never happened. When I tried to talk about it she would look at me as if I was talking about someone else. I put it aside for our kids’ sakes. Ron didn’t want Doug to be so far away so we had a friend come stay at the house and take care of him for the week I was in hospital. She also helped for the six weeks I needed to recover.

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The final words written for A Hairdresser’s Diary / Scissors Retired

Good morning all. It has been awhile since I have been here to visit with you. I can give you the whole list of excuses and most would be valid and accurate but who needs to be bored with those. Everyone has them and no one wants to hear them. So I will give you some good news. This past Mother’s day I wrote the final words to the sequel to A Hairdresser’s Diary. I was so excited to have finished although we all know it is not really finished. Now comes the hard part edit, edit, edit.

I though you might like a taste of what I have accomplished so far. For those who have read my first book this will make sense to you. For those who have not it might be a little confusing. Anyway here is a taste. I will add more to morrow.

A  Hairdresser’s Diary

Scissors Retired

Chapter One

It was a long and painful, five years that followed the devastating car accident that targeted me in mid-June of 1970. The memories were overwhelmingly painful for me. So horrifyingly vivid were those first hours after being hit by the unconcerned, uncaring drunk driver those memories remained fresh in my mind. The life altering accident happened in a split second, but in my mind, it repeatedly played back in slow motion. There were even freeze frame moments. I was overcome with anger as I recalled the way my back was twisted so severely and grotesquely. Seat belts were not installed in vehicles as of yet. I was sitting facing Ron, my husband, both my knees rested on the front seat, my feet on the console and my left arm on the back of the seat. Then, in a flash of a second, a drunk driver sideswiped us. He was driving a stolen car, and was on probation from prison and had no driver’s license. He was eventually charged with dangerous driving. When he hit us the whole top of my body twisted to the right. I hit my forehead on my passenger side window. My knees remained on the seat. I thank God that Ron was not badly injured, even though our car was totaled. Fast thinking and in shock, Ron was able to get us to the OPP station safely. He was smart enough to get the description of the car and had part of the license plate memorized. It was not long before an OPP officer had the driver in custody. Remorse was not in this uncaring person’s personality. For someone who caused so much devastation and destruction he got off easily, his sentence was few more years in jail. My sentence was far greater. Although I was the injured one, my sentence would be for life. How profoundly unfair, one drunk drivers inconsiderate choices changed the lives of a whole family. At the time, Ron and I did not know just how much fight God had instilled in us. In the next few years, we would have many an opportunity to show the world just what we were made of. I still remember those family members who thought these two, nineteen-year old kids wouldn’t last a year together, let alone have the guts and gumption to get through this life-altering circumstance.

Something cool to read by the pool – A Hairdresser’s Diary

cover finallulu

If you have not already read ‘A Hairdresser’s Diary’ now might be a great time to enjoy this inspirational memoir. You can find it at any of these links. Read the reviews and then write your own. You can get it in e-book or printed form. If you prefer an autographed copy you can now get a digital signature for your e-book on Amazon.ca or .com.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Hairdressers-Diary-looking-reflection-ourselves/dp/1475164289/ref=zg_bsnr_220855011_12

 

http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=A+Hairdresser%27s+Diary&categoryId=100501

 

http://www.ahairdressersdiary.com/

A chat with Sherri

bok-signing-0021

As an author, especially a first time author, I am excited when given the opportunity to share my story. It is awesome when a reader e mails or calls me with a wonderful testimonial or  when I get five-star comments on Amazon or any other media site. I have been honoured with many wonderful interviews through the posts of many amazing people, some being authors themselves. So on Feb 26th at 10:30 PST I will be privileged to do a radio interview with Sherri Rabinowitz and a chance to get the word out about my book A Hairdresser’s Diary and the sequel I am now writing. If you have a moment on that day, please tune in at the link below.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rithebard/2013/02/26/chatting-with-sherri

http://www.ahairdressersdiary.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Hairdressers-Diary-looking-reflection-ourselves/dp/1475164289/ref=zg_bsnr_220855011_12

http://www.amazon.ca/A-Hairdressers-Diary-ebook/dp/B007V3CTO4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1360763470&sr=1-1

Cancer once again raises it’s ugly head

I know this post is really off topic for me and takes you away from my book that I have been promoting, but I though this would be the place I could show my fear without any judgements and from what I am to believe this is what blogs are about.

It is no secret I am 67 and anyone who has read my blog knows about my hairdressing, modeling and make up artistry days and the book I have written about those careers. My health issues are not a surprise either if you read my personal website. The six car accidents, 28 surgeries ect. One of those surgeries a few years ago was thyroidectomy to remove half of my thyroid as it was cancerous.

I had the breast cancer scare only to be blessed with the final results that it was not. But the 5 weeks waiting was like torture. I am not complaining,I promise you just trying to give you a little background.

Now I am getting to the point I am trying to build up to. Four years ago I found a small lesion approx half the size of a regular pea on my back, about waist-high. It was bothering me as my underwear, slacks, skirts, belts ect would set right on that area. I went and complained to my family Dr and was told it was just a mole and try to wear things lower or higher than where this thing was. So I did the best to avoid rubbing it. But it started to grow and bother me so once again I was asking to have it investigated. For 2 years I was just sluffed off and told to cover it but it was not looked at again. Now you might ask why didn’t you insist? well the answer to that is from the above part of this story I mentioned I have a lot of health issues, so many on fact my Dr will only discuss three per visit. This was always put on the back burner even when I made a special appointment for him to look at it, my dangerously high blood pressure, my chronic pain, my arthritic flair all took president.

Three years ago I insisted as it was getting very large now the size of a quarter. Frustrated at my constant insistence he stood back without getting close enough to see a doorway he said,”It is a fungus ” and he gave me cream. Well the cream did not work. For the next three years I tried so many times I cannot count to get him to check it out. My hubby was getting angry and frustrated as well. Now it was 3 in x 4.6 in.  I decided on my next visit no matter what it took I would not leave without him checking it out. So when I go tot the office I was taken in earlier as the patient before me did not show. The Dr nurse ( his wife) came in first I again showed her. Her response was to get the Dr to look at it . I told her I have been trying to do that for years. So when she was walking out the door and he was coming in she said, “Oh by the way Chris get the Dr to look at that thing on your back. He just grunted, “Oh that hing on your back again?” I could tell he was irritated.

So when we finished everything else I asked once again. He told me to make a special appointment just for that. I told him I was not leaving until he looked and that he could give me the appointment of the person who missed theirs and charge OHIP double I did not care I was not leaving. Annoyed he looked and stated he needed to take a scraping and that I would put him behind. All the time going on about me not making a special appointment. In doing the scraping I was in need of a dressing as it was bleeding that only annoyed him more. On his way out the door he said, “I won’be calling you with the results make an appointment for two weeks.

I did and went only to find out the results concluded I needed a biopsy. It was not what he assumed just a rash.

I went for the biopsy and the diagnosis was cancer. The specialist said his main concern was not the cancer because carcinomas are the most common cancers but it was the size. The treatment for one so big was very difficult and worrisome. Also where it was because. I have already had three back surgeries any treatment would put pressure on my damaged and painful back.

I was so angry ! Cancer is always scary but I had already had thyroid cancer . It was the neglect, of my family Dr of 26 years. How could he be so uncaring. I had the specialist who did the biopsies make the appointment with the cancer clinic as I don’t trust my Dr anymore.

Well I went to the cancer clinic yesterday. The treatments for the cancer was going to start with not less than 30 daily radiotherapy treatments. The oncologist said the pain and the sickness this would bring me due to the size, the position and my already not great health would be like torture. He said it would be at least three months before I would get any relief. The fact my back is so bad that the position I would have to lay in would make my pain worse and once they start the procedure they cannot stop. He said it would be like a third degree sunburn on top of a third degree sunburn every day for no less than 30 days. The radiation could cause another type of cancer far worse than I have now. I was physically ill when he was talking. Ron finally asked him what the alternative was and he said surgery (this will be my 29th) The Dr said it is the only way to be sure they have it all and I will be healed up in a month not three and the pain will be far easier to deal with than having full body pain constantly. He said my fybromyalgia will flare until it is unbearable I will be nauseous  – the list goes on. I opted out for the surgery. The only other problem now is that the cancer lesion is so large they will have to do reconstructive repair and replace the skin from another part of me to fill the hole. BUT THIS CANCER WILL be gone. All of this is because when I first found it I could not get my Family Dr to pay attention and he kept sluffing me off until a few weeks ago I got angry and insisted. It COULD HAVE BEEN REMOVED AND I  WOULD HAVE ONLY HAD A COUPLE STITCHES. I am not sure when this will be done but the  plastic surgeon at the cancer clinic when available they will call me. I ask for your prayers.

I am at a loss of how the person whose hands you put your life in can be so callous. You might ask.”Why don’t you get another Dr?” There is a Dr shortage in the great country of ours.

Laughter is the best medicine especially for chronic pain

I would also like to share with you information on how I deal with daily chronic pain. A few years ago I started a group called SAS Share A Smile. There were only about 12 of us but we met at a local physio  therapy place here in Paris. The owner gave us a place to hold our meeting twice a month.

The only goal and stipulation for this group was we could not complain about our problems unless our complaint was accompanied with laughter. There are enough places to go to complain this group was not one of them.

I now only keep in touch with the group via internet for when I get sick and was in hospital no one was prepared to take over for me.

I will share some of the things we accomplished and maybe it will help others.

 

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