Thursday, July 24, 2014

Turn It OFF! Tinnitus is More Than a Funny Word

Good morning!  I’ve decided to use my blog not only to writing, music, and other facets of entertainment, but, also to share my journey. I’ve had significant health problems for almost two years. Initially, my rheumatologist diagnosed me with systemic lupus (SLE) on June 19, 2013. However, the medication wasn’t working and I kept getting worse and developing new symptoms. So, after second, third, and fourth opinions, my neurologist believes instead I have fibromyalgia. 

In April 2014 I visited yet another rheumatologist who I hoped would be familiar with autoimmune disorders. Following an extensive intake during my initial appointment, I found a place where the doctor also listened to me. Based upon my blood work, the doctor believes I have Sjogren’s Syndrome. She also made the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and pre-lupus. I’ve never heard of pre-lupus, but, hopefully it stays in the “pre” category.

Thank you for listening, each week I will have a new installment chronicling my journey- Which is now more frustrating than ever. I test positive for ANAs in my blood, but, the lupus tests are negative. There are several varieties of autoimmune disorders, with different caveats and health variations. Learning to live with the unknown has become my routine.

TINNITUS is more than a funny word…

Our family takes several camping trips per year. We love getting knee deep in nature and enjoying the beauty of the outdoors. The majority of the time we camp in tents. (the broad spectrum of pros and cons of tent camping could create an entire book- I’ll probably start a new thread on that someday) Anyway, we are all settled in one night and drifting off to sleep when my five year old niece yells, “Mom, turn it off!”

Huh?

It took us a moment to figure out she was demanding we silence nature – the crickets, frogs, cicadas, etc. We had a full laugh over that one. She begrudgingly stopped crying and finally went to sleep. It makes sense to us as adults that some things we just can’t turn off with a switch. But, when logic strays far off the reservation of reason, I feel so much like a five year old.

I’ve had an incessant ringing in my ears for the past eight years or so. It began gradually. One day I noticed the sensation and likened it to a sinus infection, allergies, congestion or whatever. Rapidly, the noise became louder and louder to which I received no relief. I even attempted to participate in a medical study for tinnitus. (I was rejected from the test group for answering yes to occasional feelings of anxiety. REALLY, ya THINK? You have 24/7 ringing in your ears and tell me you wouldn’t have bouts of anxiety too.)

The tinnitus began a few years before the other physical symptoms began. I also suffered some severe vertigo that an ENT physician diagnosed as BPPV. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)* – Anytime I would look up I became obnoxiously dizzy and nauseous. It scared me, but after a few simple doctor recommended home treatments, it finally went away.

However, the tinnitus began around the same time. I have times when the ringing softens and fades some, but, it never completely goes away. Mayo Clinic - Tinnitus




There are some medical studies that support tinnitus as a symptom of fibromyalgia and other autoimmune disorders. However, there are conflicting reports that claim the two are not related at all.

I realize that over the past few years is when my autoimmune diseases surfaced more prominently. However, I’ve had other slight symptoms, such as the tinnitus/hives/anxiety/chest pains that were present long before I reached full blown flares and a diagnosis.

I must believe that inflammation in my inner ear is causing the ringing reaction. I will continue my research and hopefully find some answers. But, as many of you are well aware, finding an answer is not always easy and it takes perseverance. Sometimes, it’s all I have to get up in the mornings, but, I can’t just give up. Maybe I should say, I WON’T just give up. I want to feel better again.

*According to Web MD- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is caused by a problem in the inner ear. Tiny calcium "stones" inside your inner ear canals help you keep your balance. Normally, when you move a certain way, such as when you stand up or turn your head, these stones move around. But things like infection or inflammation can stop the stones from moving as they should. This sends a false message to your brain and causes the vertigo.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What Else Will Bloom? Tuesday Tales

Happy Hot Tuesday and another edition of Tuesday Tales. Today, I return to my current WIP, Multiple Scorgasms for my Fantasy Leagues series. This week we write to the word prompt "bloom".
It's exciting because I'm so close to the end of writing this first book. Which means, it will retire from Tuesday Tales. I may get one or two more out of it. :) I'll just have to wait and see.



I incessantly banged on the door and rang the doorbell in tandem. I had my fist in mid-air when the door jerked open by a very disheveled Lola cocooned in a sheet gritting her teeth. “What the fuck are you doing here?”

“I was worried.”

“As you can see I’m still alive.”

I noticed her wrists and alarm pinged my gut. “What happened to your wrists? Are you here alone?” I advanced to the threshold, the investigator took over.

“I’m here alone. I’m fine. I want to be left alone and go back to bed.” She shooed me away with her arm and tried to re-wrap the slipping sheet.

“No, I’m not leaving.” I stormed past her dim protests and took up the battle in her foyer. “You might as well close the door because I’m not leaving right away.”

She slowly closed the door and leaned forward into it. “I don’t know what happened.”

“Where did you go today?”

“Nowhere, I’ve been here in bed all day.”

“Have you eaten or drank anything?”

“I’ve had some water, that’s about it.”

“Are you sick? Have you had a fever?”

“This is a fucking interrogation, not a well-visit. Would you give it a rest?”

“I know, I’m sorry, but, geez, Lola, you look rough.”

“I feel like I’ve been stomped by a bull.” Her gaze perked up and she smiled. “I see that Finn is your date this week.” She changed the subject and having mercy on her, I allowed it. 

“It’s pretty awesome huh?”

“Yes, I’m very happy for you.” She walked into the living area and sat down on the couch. I followed. “I’m sorry I didn’t give you the word myself. Eugene has been holding the work fort down for me this week.”

“Hey, you needed to take some personal time, and from what I’ve seen this is the only personal time he has."

“You’re perceptive.”

“So, are you gonna tell me about those marks?”

Lola exhaled and tears filled her eyes- a sight that had become sadly commonplace. “I can’t tell you anything about them. The last thing I remember I took some allergy meds and I woke up this way.”

“Would you consent to a rape kit?”

“Hell no! The shape I’m in is my own damn fault, not someone else’s.”

“It doesn’t mean you deserve any of this, Lola.”

“I’m sure I did something to provoke whoever ruffled my feathers.”

“You are worth so much more than you give yourself credit for.” I reached out and stroked her shoulder.
Lola suddenly lunged like a hungry animal and pressed her lips onto mine. She tasted of fresh mint mouthwash and desperation. My insides tightened and reflexively, my mouth opened to receive her tongue. She wrapped her arms around me and pulled me closer. She ran her fingers under my hair and rested them on the back of my neck. I returned the curious kiss with interest and innocent love. I finally pulled away.
“Lola, what are you doing?” I whispered the question with a gentle smile.

“I don’t know, Danika. I love you, but, I don’t know how to love someone without sex involved.”

I hugged her and pressed her head onto my chest and stroked her hair. “Lola, at first, I thought of you like another mother, you know someone to watch over me and guide me. Then, I thought of you like a sister, someone to have my back through thick and thin. But, finally, I came to think of you as all those things into what people consider a lifelong best friend. I love you deeply. All these months of talking to you and sharing with you. I need you in my life.”

“I feel the same way. How come I couldn’t articulate it the way you did?”

“I’ve learned from the best…you.”

“I’m sorry I pounced on you.”

“I didn’t mind, you’re a very good kisser. But, I think we are better as besties than lovers.”

“You are so understanding, I appreciate that. You made me bloom, what else could I do?”

“It’s what besties do. It’s crazy, you’ve shown me how to do romantic love and now, I’ll show you how to love on a platonic level.”

“That sounds so formal.”

“It isn’t, trust me.” I kept stroking her hair and I kissed the top of her head. “You are a fabulous kisser, don’t let anyone ever tell you differently.”

“Thanks babe.”

“Now, will you please tell me what’s going on?”

BEFORE YOU LEAVE ME FOR SOME OTHER AWESOMELY TALENTED WORKS, PLEASE CHECK OUT MY LATEST REVIEW!  Here's just a snippet- "The main characters are realistic and draw the reader into their struggle to explore their feelings and build a relationship. With elements of love, friendship, erotic sex scenes, humor, romance, and a hint of suspense, this titillating tale fires up the senses to deliver an entertaining read."
Goodreads Ind'Tale Review Sexy Bea Spelling 

Now head over to our main page for more responses to the word prompt "bloom"...;)Tuesday Tales Main

Monday, July 21, 2014

Great New Review from Ind'Tale!


Ahoy! I have another review to share. This time from Ind'Tale courtesy of Goodreads.

I'm tickled to death for the latest review of my most recent release! here's a snippet:

"The main characters are realistic and draw the reader into their struggle to explore their feelings and build a relationship. With elements of love, friendship, erotic sex scenes, humor, romance, and a hint of suspense, this titillating tale fires up the senses to deliver an entertaining read." 



SEXY BEA SPELLING-
Andrew pulled her close and leaned down to find her mouth with his own. He kissed her softly, yet thoroughly. “I will always reach your lips.”

Bea needed sex and intimate human contact. She normally lived in overdrive every day, never heeding her deep feminine desires. But on vacation in the tropics, she fulfilled her hopes to escape her daunting lifestyle for a few days of wickedness. Fascinatingly, Andrew was there waiting to seduce her and surprised her with Tessa, a ménage fantasy, piquing Bea’s lurid curiosities.

Beautiful Tessa used her tongue to moisten Bea’s barren cravings, rekindling fire deep inside. Energized, Bea slipped into a short affair with an eager Andrew, ready to feed her every yearning. But, when Bea returned to reality, she wanted to leave Andrew behind. An odd coincidence led her face to face with his masculinity again and this time, she had nowhere to run.


Ind'Tale Review

You can find Sexy Bea Spelling at most major online stores. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks, iTunes and more!

and of course my publisher!!!! Secret Cravings Publishing

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fantasy League Friday Gretchen guy

It's time to start uncovering the profiles for our first round of the dating club. We have 13 women and 13 men set for Fantasy League Football and the Multiple Scorgasms. Following are the initial questions asked of all participants. Keep track of the participants and see who YOU would match up together, and why?

Of all profiles, I challenge you to write a 1000-5000 depiction of the dating experience of your two favorite members. The winners will receive prizes and a chance for their depiction to be published!



You will now get a closer look at Mr. Shy:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rat or Ant and a Tattoo??? - Just Out of My Grasp

Good morning!  I’ve decided to use my blog not only to writing, music, and other facets of entertainment, but, also to share my journey. I’ve had significant health problems for almost two years. Initially, my rheumatologist diagnosed me with systemic lupus (SLE) on June 19, 2013. However, the medication wasn’t working and I kept getting worse and developing new symptoms. So, after second, third, and fourth opinions, my neurologist believes instead I have fibromyalgia. 

In April 2014 I visited yet another rheumatologist who I hoped would be familiar with autoimmune disorders. Following an extensive intake during my initial appointment, I found a place where the doctor also listened to me. Based upon my blood work, the doctor believes I have Sjogren’s Syndrome. She also made the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and pre-lupus. I’ve never heard of pre-lupus, but, hopefully it stays in the “pre” category.

Thank you for listening, each week I will have a new installment chronicling my journey- Which is now more frustrating than ever. I test positive for ANAs in my blood, but, the lupus tests are negative. There are several varieties of autoimmune disorders, with different caveats and health variations. Learning to live with the unknown has become my routine.

So, my brain on fibro...
Yikes!

So, with all the driving last weekend, it's safe to say The Husband and I became a little punchy. When we got stuck in Houston traffic because, WOW, it's so much better to close multiple freeways on Saturday, patience wore very thin. However, rather than become angry road rage idiots, we became hyena idiots.

It's rather interesting how confused my mind becomes when I'm trying to do the simple things. Unfortunately, for a multi-tasker like me, this has been uber depressing. I can't even load the dishwasher and try to hold a conversation at the same time. I have to stop, focus on what I need to say and then say it.

So, back to traffic troubles. I recalled a few years ago when we took a vacay for spring break in Montana. My niece was sitting in the front seat next to me as I was driving. I started talking about my next tattoo, and was asking her how she liked having a crazy aunt...
It gave me an A-HA moment, I'm a loving aunt...so, I needed a loving ant!  Several months later, I got this awesome girl ant with a big heart tattooed on my left foot.  It's one of my favorite ones!



Even though I wasn't the one driving, I was still tired. I haven't felt well for a week or so anyway. But, I decided to talk about when I got my tattoo.  So, I say, "this is like the time I was inspired to get my rat tattoo."

WTH?

I do not have a rat tattoo, I promise. But, both words ended with "t" and were one syllable, I guess that's all I needed to get right.



   

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuesday Tales and a Super Moon Moment

Happy Hot Tuesday and another edition of Tuesday Tales. Today, I return to my current WIP, Multiple Scorgasms for my Fantasy Leagues series. We are writing 300 words to this gorgeous photo of the moon. 
I didn't see the supermoon on Saturday night, even though I was outside. I studied the stars and forgot about it, but, I did see some other amazing photos.
Please check out my 300 as we examine what Finn sees in Danika....


She was there that day when my uncle took me back to that house one last time. I was supposed to stay in his truck. The look in her eyes, it wasn’t pity, it was empathy. But, my immature mind couldn’t tell the difference. I thought she was afraid of me and I didn’t want to hear her insults.

But, how could his beautiful creature want to hurt anyone? I wouldn’t take the chance. When she opened her mouth to speak, I ran back to my uncle’s truck. He told me to stay inside anyway and I didn’t want to anger him. I needed a home and didn’t want him to kick me out for disobeying him.

I would spend the rest of my life listening to my uncle and respecting him. I couldn’t imagine my life without him and my crazy aunt. They took me in when everyone else deserted me…even my own mother.

She could have lived life in that wheelchair, but, she gave up on me. It was selfish, cruel and I didn’t know if I’d ever forgive her. Meeting Danika brought everything back with such clarity, it gave me a headache to imagine it. I felt an immediate connection to her because she was there, at that pivotal moment in my life. Fate couldn’t have been more opportune. It left me with lingering questions and I wanted immediate answers.

Who the hell takes their child to a crime scene cleanup job?

Why the hell was I grateful for it?

I took another drink of my beer, warm from my inattention. The night gave me comfortable obscurity nothing else could. Other than the moon giving me away, the blackness gave me shelter. Tonight, literally, I saw her in a new light, the silvery moonlight illuminated the truth.



Now head over to our main page for more responses to our beautiful moon prompt...;)Tuesday Tales Main

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fantasy League Friday -

It's time to start uncovering the profiles for our first round of the dating club. We have 13 women and 13 men set for Fantasy League Football and the Multiple Scorgasms. Following are the initial questions asked of all participants. Keep track of the participants and see who YOU would match up together, and why?

Of all profiles, I challenge you to write a 1000-5000 depiction of the dating experience of your two favorite members. The winners will receive prizes and a chance for their depiction to be published!



You will now get a closer look at