A Writer’s Life When Asthma Interferes #writerslife #asthma #thriller

newmeprofilepicfullsizerenderAs you know, I haven’t blogged in over a month, and as the saying goes, ‘life happens.’ It certainly did. In a writer’s life there’s never an opportune time for a set back. I’ve never been one to throw a pity party and I’m a survivor of the highest level. I saw this as a time to sit back a little and take care of me. I believe that when the universe sends you a message, its best to heed it because otherwise the universe will send you a stronger message that will land you on your back for a long time.

I’m living proof of that, too. If you’d like to read ‘My Journey Back,’ a story from coma to recovery that I went through in 2000, you’ll find it here: http://www.thecrystaltarot.com/my-journey-back. According to medical science, I shouldn’t be here. Docs told my husband after-the-fact, I had less than a 2% chance of survival. This is my alternative healing website where you’ll read a lot of info about Tarot, crystal healing, spiritual cleansing, and more. laboradoriteFullSizeRender

This time it was an asthma flare up. I’m no newbie to this, being born with it and I had to be resuscitated at birth, thanks to a mom who was an incessant smoker and bulimic, even during pregnancy. With that being said, asthma has attempted to be my nemesis my entire life. Notice I said, ‘attempted to be.’ I’ve accomplished whatever I wanted whenever I wanted in my life in spite of it. So I’ve conquered that so called nemesis.

What did slow me down were physical activities. Believe it or not, I never roller skated or rode a bike. So the preferred methods for me were always academic. Yes, I could be a gym rat like my hubby and son, but I never had the aspirations to run a marathon or climb mountains.

The pendant to the left, is one of my rescue pendants to relax and let go. One of the first things I do for my healing. It’s a laboradorite base and this stone has a natural lithium in it. It’s also wonderful in a grieving situation. Danburite on top, morganite in the middle, and aquamarine on the bottom. I don’t want to get into a discussion of the purposes of the stones here because it’s off topic. However, if you subscribe to my newsletter on my web site, you’ll be directed to a gift: a 12 page manual on crystal healing which tells you how to choose, cleanse, and program healing stones, and it includes a list of stones, their purposes chakra points. I started to wear this pendant every day during my awake hours.

What happened this time? It’s so weird. I was busy taking care of my hubby with a back injury, going to two book signings, very successful ones at that, trying to write my WIP, Libra, the fourth book in The Sign Behind the Crime Series, working with authors and the originators of Mystery Thriller Week Annual Event on Facebook which included writing blogs to be featured on as well as featuring MTW authors on my blog. The stress and a bronchial infection got to me. The usual med for asthma as the emergency drug is prednisone. I did make a trip to the ER where they gave me my nebulizer inhaler refill, a salu-medrol shot, antibiotics. The asthma has been so good since 2013, that this was a shocker. My nebulizer med expired in 2014, just to prove that to you.

The prednisone became an issue this time. I’ve been steroid dependent since I was twelve. That’s fifty-six years if you do the math. I’ve been so wonderful in health that I was able to get off steroids completely for the last eight months, even though my daily dose was only five mg.

Now, it was raised to forty mg a day. That was an irritant to my system. Not only does prednisone increase your appetite, it wrecks havoc with a person’s blood sugar, too. I had that handled, as well. I’m controlling diabetes without meds and through diet only. Over the last six months, I’ve gone gluten free though I’m mostly bad-carb-free, and lactose-free. This time, I still stuck to my diet plan and I only gained two pounds from the prednisone bloat, back from a forty-five pound loss since 2011. That too shall come off.

Okay, so what did I do to get through this hurdle? I did have to ease back from MTW activities and I didn’t blog beyond the four I had committed to on my blog. I did do a few blogs to be featured on other author’s blogs. Now down to fifteen mg, I’m writing my first blog in a month. I have been able to write my WIP but not with my usual word count. I’ve been maybe able to get 1300-2600 words max a day, and even every other day,  because prednisone has a strange effect on the eyes. It makes vision fuzzy. Not fun when you’re trying to write or read. And it makes one hyper, irritable, anxious, and unable to focus.

Aries3dbookIMG_2119Readers always want to know what part of the author is in their books. I will admit writing is a catharsis for me, so there’s a lot of me in my books. I used Aries, the second book in the series, to let out some of the traumas I had about the asthma growing up. In this blog, I included an excerpt where the antagonist, AriellaRose Larson is in the midst of an asthma attack in the police precinct during a family interview after her father’s murder. It’s an earlier scene, and there are many in the book, more intense and in a hospital setting with which I’m way too familiar. Her asthma experiences were my experiences but without her violent, murderous intentions, and deeds. After all, I write female serial killers. As Dr. Frank Khaos says in Aries, “I don’t have to be a murderer to understand them.”

So the purpose behind this blog was for you to get a little more familiar on the personal side with an author I hope you’ll find interesting enough to seek out her books and read. I’m very big on being a survivor and not letting negative events get to me, but I learn how to use them for my benefit. As in the dedication of Aries, which reads: To survivors of life’s greatest challenges who picked themselves up and flourished. This doesn’t pertain to AriellaRose, but to one of the main characters, forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Frank Khaos, who’s had his own childhood and adulthood traumas.

On a positive note, until February 26, I’m participating in the International Thriller Writers Roundtable and I’m inviting you to participate in the discussion. We’re discussing: How long does it take you to write a book? What makes some stories flow faster than others? This is all discussion, no buy links. Here is the link. http://www.thebigthrill.org/2017/02/february-20-26-how-long-does-it-take-you-to-write-a-book/#more-40116′

Here is the excerpt from Aries. This scene is toward the end of the chapter when Dr. Khaos is finally alone with AriellaRose.

Nick escorted them out of the room, leaving Frank sitting opposite AriellaRose at the table. He focused on her breathing that seemed to have eased up when her mother left the room, but her wheezing intensified. He picked up the intercom. “Susan, please bring me my bag from my office.” He disconnected without waiting for a response. “AriellaRose, have you seen your doctor?”

“I’m okay. I’m always like this.” She coughed the words out.

“Always this congested?” There was a knock at the door. He got up, opened it slightly, and retrieved his medical satchel. Putting it on the table, he opened it and pulled out his stethoscope. He approached AriellaRose, but was met with a palm up, facing him. “I just want to check your lungs.”

“No.” She put her head down again, fiddling with her fingers in her lap.

He leaned against the table with his arms folded against his chest. Calm and compassionate, his way, he looked at her with a relaxed, unthreatening expression. “Why not?”

She didn’t respond.

“AriellaRose look at me.” His voice sounded so peaceful it wouldn’t wake a sleeping baby. She glanced up at him, for a moment. “I’m not going to hurt you. How long have you had this congestion?”

“My whole life.”

“You’ve had asthma your whole life.” She nodded. “But how long have you had this episode?”

“About a month.”

“What medications are you taking?’

“My usual.”

“Which is?”

“A couple of inhalers, the nebulizer machine, prednisone.”

“How much prednisone are you on?”

“Twenty, thirty, ten milligrams. It varies.”

His focus intensified. He felt the change in his face, destroying his preferred relaxed composure. “It varies?”

“Depending upon how many I pop into my mouth that day.”

He moistened his lips before he spoke. “Does your doctor know this protocol you’re on?”

“He told me I could take my asthma meds as needed.”

“Don’t think he meant the prednisone. That has to be regulated carefully.”

“Oops. So shoot me.” She put her head down again.

He smiled. “That’s not the solution, AriellaRose. You know, I do see your face is puffy from the pred, but for someone on a large doses, you’re not as fidgety as I would expect.”

She shrugged her shoulders.

“What do you take to calm yourself down?”

She looked up and, for the first time, Frank saw worry in her eyes. Then she blinked and completely shut down. Almost a catatonic gaze. Eyes blank. Face stoic. Pale.

Okay, forget the interview.

He approached her with the stethoscope. Putting the earpieces in place, he rubbed the metal base with his palm, slipped it under her sweatshirt, all the while without a response. It was as if AriellaRose had left the Earth plane.

How she could do this in an asthmatic episode is unusual, if not impossible. This young woman has a lot more pharmaceuticals than just asthma meds in her body. “Calling EMS, AriellaRose. Don’t like what I hear in your lower right lung.”

No response.

Frank put in a call to 911.

If you’d like to read more about Aries, the reviews on Amazon are awesome. Oh, and for those of you wondering, Scorpio is coming in September!

On Amazon and B&N you can read the blurbs for this book, and Gemini, Book 1 in The Sign Behind The Crime Series. 

 Amazon For both books in The Sign Behind The Crime Series, Kindle and Paperback

Barnes and Noble For both books in The Sign Behind the Crime Series, Nook and Paperback

Amazon CA For both books in The Sign behind The Crime Series, Ebook and Paperback

Amazon UK For both books in The Sign Behind The Crime Series, Ebook and Paperback

I hope enjoyed this blog. Please feel free to leave comments and questions.

The Sign Behind The Crime Series,

Best,

Ronnie

 

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