Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Exclusive! Book Excerpt!

I finally launched my first published book this fall. There is something quite wonderful about hugging nearly 300 pages, bound in a shiny cover, of words that you have written. Even if you have to publish it yourself and even if you give away more copies than you sell. It is proof, right there in your hands, that you have accomplished something.

So the next accomplishment would be to sell a few copies and actually get someone to read it and maybe even give feedback. So as an enticement, for those of you who like to try before you buy, I present to you a sneak preview of of chapter. (P.S. You can also scroll back in this blog to find other excerpts if this one isn't convincing enough!)

Limbs are from Mars, Brains are from Venus
Jun 7, 2011 5:21pm
So when you have a stroke like mine the bleeding causes death to the brain cells in the area of the bleed and brain cells do not regenerate; they stay dead (an obvious misstep in the evolutionary process!). But all is not lost; the brain can often create a workaround with a bit of a rewiring job to reconnect the disconnected circuitry. The way it has been explained to me this process, while spearheaded by the brain, is a partnership--not unlike a marriage--between the brain and the newly disconnected body parts such as muscles. In my case the process requires a renewed commitment to communication between my brain and my right appendages. But also in my case the 2 parts have been in a relationship so long that as with male/female relationships of any length--say, more than 4 months!--the one partner has really stopped listening, with any intent, to the other partner. They have reached the point in their "marriage" where she (in this example, the brain) can be talking directly and emphatically to the foot, leg & arm muscles to do something and he (in this example, the disconnected limbs) are either ignoring the brain outright (as husbands are wont to do at times!) or at best responding, "Sorry, did you say something?"

The obvious result is slow progress toward the goal of reconciliation; hence there is an also obvious need for therapy in which the partners need to be led with help to find new ways to communicate with each other their needs and aspirations. Therapy does take time, is often hard work, requires mutual agreement to commit to, and isn't necessarily a cure-all. But the results are almost always worth the effort!

I am seeing progress, inch by inch, as my brain & limbs reunite, albeit often stubbornly. I am able to push myself to a standing position, stand w/o holding on for a few seconds, dress myself almost completely alone (curse you, bras and underwear!), shower almost completely independently sitting down, take a few "Frankenstein-like" steps with something to support me, and even practiced stepping up onto and down from a "step" with assistance (go ahead and cheer; I'm becoming slightly more tolerant of being the center of attention and will work on my bow!). There might be hope for this "marriage" yet!

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