Monday, September 16, 2019

Positive Options for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): Self-Help and Treatment by Elena Juris

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a topic near and dear to my heart, but a difficult topic for me to discuss with those outside of very close family members and friends.

10 years ago, I went in for a routine blood draw and during my drive home afterward, I began feeling a plethora of disturbing symptoms: numbness, tingling, swelling, and pain at the blood draw site that radiated/spread into my forearm, wrist, hand, and fingers. 

The symptoms steadily grew worse on my drive home to the point that I could no longer close my hand and make a fist shortly after arriving home. My fingers looked like fat, red sausages and my hand and wrist were swollen beyond belief. 

New symptoms kept appearing: sweaty palm, intense burning sensations, waxy/shiny skin that made my fingers, hand, wrist, and forearm look like they belonged on a mannequin, and several other forms of pain. I was in constant pain 24/7 and in a lot of distress over what was going on.

After seeing my primary care physician, having an ultrasound, a MRI, and seeing 2 to 3 different specialists, I was finally diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) 2 to 3 months after the blood draw that caused it. 

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is not curable, but can go into remission. There is loads of information about it online and not all of the information is positive.

Long story short, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) has been a difficult journey with various highs and lows. I've recently had a pretty bad flare up (which is still ongoing) beginning in early August 2019 that has kept me from doing much blogging and other basic daily activities without some assistance. I've given up on knitting and several other activities for the time being as well. 

So if you don't see me posting much on my blog or responding to comments you leave for me... or don't find me commenting on your blog posts... please don't take it personally. I'm currently on a healing journey.

I've recently read Positive Options for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): Self-Help and Treatment by Elena Juris and have come away with a renewed outlook regarding CRPS. I am armed with new information and look forward to trying some new protocols. Onward I MUST go!!

Here's a summary for Positive Options for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): Self-Help and Treatment by Elena Juris from Amazon:
Imagine if the mere breeze of an air conditioner on your skin were to cause excruciating pain. For those suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), previously called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), this crippling neuropathic pain poses an unrelenting reality. With symptoms such as swelling, hypersensitivity, stiffness, burning pain, and temperature abnormalities, CRPS can develop at any time and quickly leaves its victims disabled and isolated.
This book explains CRPS in an accessible style for all readers, providing the latest medical treatments, complementary therapies, and holistic coping strategies for maximizing the potential for healing. Readers will find a wealth of tips on life modifications to help better manage their condition. They'll find two interviews with practitioners who offer insights every patient should know, with the help of pain specialist Edward Carden, MD, and occupational therapist and neurological acupuncturist Sheri Barnes. They'll find a discussion of complementary therapies to tailor to their needs. They'll find a list of "dynamite distractions" that can refresh the pain-wracked mind and help readers rediscover their imagination and humor, when they just need to take their mind off the illness. They'll draw hope from real patient testimonies on techniques for transforming the pain and discomfort of CRPS. They'll find a chapter addressed to loved ones, providing advice and support in their difficult roles as encouragers and caregivers. Finally, readers will find information on how everyone can help to increase CRPS awareness, and an extensive list of resources to help patients and caregivers begin to connect with the support available.
CRPS remains a mysterious, poorly understood condition and few books about it exist, as knowledge of the syndrome continues to evolve. Previously, the condition was called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). This second, retitled edition to the original Positive Options for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD): Self-help and Treatment (2004) is chock-full of new information, reflecting a decade's worth of advancements following the popular debut of the book's first edition.
I am giving Positive Options for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): Self-Help and Treatment by Elena Juris 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Author, Ann Patchett's Bookstore, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee

Wow, Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee looks like a really cool, independent bookstore!! The website for Parnassus Books is well done, so check out their website by clicking on the above link.

If I ever visit Nashville, Tennessee, I'll have to stop by Parnassus Books. 

Check out the above video to learn more.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - The Ten Books In My 'TBR' I’ve Avoided Reading and Why!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader GirlTop Ten Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Below are the Top Ten Books In My TBR I’ve Avoided Reading and Why.

1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Duma - I have the unabridged audio version of this novel and the listening time for it is 43 hours, 52 minutes!! I've heard nothing but great things about this classic novel, BUT the time it will take to listening to it seems like a lot of time to devote to a single novel.

2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - I was a Russian language major in college and love Russian classic novels. Believe it or not, I have yet to read Anna KareninaI have the unabridged audio version of this novel and the listening time for it is 35 hours, 35 minutes!! I've heard nothing but great things about this classic novel, BUT the time it will take to listening to it seems like a lot of time to devote to a single novel!!!

3. Blackwater: The Complete Saga by Michael McDowell - I have the unabridged audio version of this saga and the listening time for it is 30 hours, 9 minutes!! This is another one of those long books by a new to me author and it seems daunting to listen to a novel because of its length.

4. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl - I picked up an autographed copy of this novel at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona shortly after it came out in 2006. I thought the title was catchy and it sounded like a great novel, but I have yet to read this novel. I am not sure why I haven't read this book yet.

5. Encounter With Tiber by Buzz Aldrin & John Barnes - Okay, I had the wonderful opportunity of briefly meeting Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, at an author signing event in 1996 for his above mentioned novel. (I even had my photograph taken with him!! How cool is that??) Of course, I had Buzz Aldrin sign his book for me at the event as well... (I think the author signing event was at a Barnes and Noble in San Diego???) But the fact is, I've never read Encounter With Tiber to this day!! Looking back on it now, I think I was just happy to have met Buzz Aldrin in person, have my photo taken with him, and have a signed book by him. Encounter With Tiber is a science fiction novel. I've never been much of a science fiction fan. Plus, it is a long book at over 500 pages, which is another reason why I've never read the book. I've kept Encounter With Tiber all of these years. Maybe I should read it to see if it is any good!

6. The Devil's Company by David Liss  - I picked up the autographed, hardback edition of The Devil's Company at an indie bookstore over 5 years ago. I had heard great things about David Liss's writing, so when I found an autographed copy of his above mentioned novel, I bought it. What I didn't realize at the time was that The Devil's Company is the 3rd novel in a series!! I generally don't like starting novels that are in the middle of a series. I haven't felt like buying the 1st two novels in the series and starting the series from the beginning. I have a feeling that this novel will remain unread. I am thinking of selling it online.

7. The 5-Minute Face: The Quick & Easy Makeup Guide for Every Woman by Carmindy - I use to love watching the television series, 'What Not To Wear'. I thought the make-up artist, Carmindy, always did a good job applying make-up for guests on the show, making them look natural. So when I discovered that Carmindy had come out with a make-up book several years ago, I decided to buy it to learn a few tricks as I'd never been much of a make-up wearer. Long story short, I've never read the book (yet), mainly because I haven't worn make-up the last 6 years. But I may return to wearing make up again in the years to come, so have kept the book in my collection.

8. S by J. J. Abrams - I remember learning about this book before it had been published in October 2013. I knew I had to obtain a copy of S once it was released and read it asap. It sounded to intriguing and unique not to read and keep in my personal collection. Why I still haven't read this book yet is a mystery to me!

9. Wear Your Dreams: My Life in Tattoos by Ed Hardy - For the record, I have no tattoos, nor do I ever plan to obtain any tattoos. However, during the past 20 to 25 years, it seems like everyone from every walk of life is having themselves tattooed. 

Ed Hardy is one of the well known tattoo artists that have made a big name for himself. Interested in popular culture, I decided to acquire a copy of his memoir to learn about his life. Somewhere along the way, I lost interest in reading Ed Hardy's memoir. BUT, there is still hope that I may end up reading Hardy's memoir after all... I recently learned that the de Young Museum in San Francisco, California has an Ed Hardy exhibit now through early October of this year. Maybe if I see the exhibit, I will become inspired once again to read this memoir.

10. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - I started reading this novel years ago after watching the movie, but I gave up on it roughly 20-30 pages into it as I just couldn't get into at the time. I've never tried reading it again. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been such a popular read, so maybe I should give it another try??? 

Maybe I need some inspiration here... Have you read any of the above books?? Is there a single book in particular I should REALLY read this year? Let me know in the comment section below!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Topaz by Leon Uris

I've been wanting to read a novel by Leon Uris for a few years now. I decided to give his novel, Topaz, a try! I ended up listening to the unabridged audio version of Topaz by Leon Uris and narrated by David de Vries.

Listening time for Topaz by Leon Uris is 11 hours, 8 minutes.

I like cold war, spy thrillers and Topaz by Leon Uris fits the bill in spades for this category. Overall, I like the plot, storyline, and character for Topaz. Leon Uris is a master story teller and definitely writes a layered and detailed story. 

David de Vries is an excellent narrator. I'll have to look into other books he has narrated.

My only complaint is that women aren't always portrayed in the most positive light in this novel. Topaz by Leon Uris was published in 1967. So the female characters seem very stereotypical for the time. 

The following is the plot summary for Topaz by Leon Uris from Audible:
A #1 New York Times bestseller, Topaz follows French intelligence chief André Devereaux and NATO intelligence chief Michael Nordstrom.

On the eve of the Cuban Missile Crisis in Paris, 1962, Devereaux and Nordstrom uncover Soviet plans to ship nuclear arms. But when nobody acts after sharing his findings, Devereaux becomes the target of an assassination attempt and soon realizes the plot extends far beyond Cuba - and himself.

A thrilling and well-paced novel filled with Cold War intrigue, Topaz features two agents on a journey around the world to save NATO and themselves. A subsequent film based on the novel was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released in 1969.
I am giving Topaz by Leon Uris a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Beloved Author, Toni Morrison, Dies @ Age 88

I discovered this morning in an online article from The New York Times titled, Toni Morrison, Towering Novelist of the Black Experience, Dies at 88 by Margalit Fox, that Novel Prize winning author, Toni Morrison, died yesterday due to complications from pneumonia. In the article, Margalit Fox wrote a lengthy obituary about Toni Morrison's life. Click on the above link to read the full obituary.

I have only read one of Toni Morrison's novels for a college English course, The Bluest Eyes, back in the early 1990s. I've always wanted to read more of her novels. I remember liking The Bluest Eyes at the time... But I cannot remember much of the plot details for this novel now though. I recently placed it on my reread list.

Have you read any of Toni Morrison's novels? If so, which ones have you read? What did you think of the novels you read by Toni Morrison?

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Evolution of the Book!!

The basic evolution of the book is discussed in the above YouTube video. I enjoyed learning some new things by by watching the video. I hope you enjoy watching the video too.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm

I've wanted to read Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm for quite awhile. I am glad that I finally did read this book. It's really well done.

The artwork for Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm is phenomenal and really captures a lot of detail making this a worthwhile read! The text that accompanies this novel provides just the right amount of information about the history of uranium and plutonium, fission, the Manhattan Project, the making of the first atomic bomb, the key players in making the first atomic bomb, detonating the first atomic bombs, its aftermath, and so on. 

I highly recommend Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm if you like learning about history and want to know the basics behind the first atomic bomb. Additionally, if you like reading graphic novels in general, then you'll like the artwork inside this book as well. 

I also found the font size of the text in this book to be the perfect size... Usually, I find the font size to be so small in graphic novels, comic and manga books that I need to use a magnifier of some sort to read the text itself!

Below is the publisher's summary of Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm from Amazon:
Trinity, the debut graphic book by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm, depicts the dramatic history of the race to build and the decision to drop the first atomic bomb in World War Two. This sweeping historical narrative traces the spark of invention from the laboratories of nineteenth-century Europe to the massive industrial and scientific efforts of the Manhattan Project, and even transports the reader into a nuclear reaction―into the splitting atoms themselves.The power of the atom was harnessed in a top-secret government compound in Los Alamos, New Mexico, by a group of brilliant scientists led by the enigmatic wunderkind J. Robert Oppenheimer. Focused from the start on the monumentally difficult task of building an atomic weapon, these men and women soon began to wrestle with the moral implications of actually succeeding. When they detonated the first bomb at a test site code-named Trinity, they recognized that they had irreversibly thrust the world into a new and terrifying age.With powerful renderings of WWII's catastrophic events at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Fetter-Vorm unflinchingly chronicles the far-reaching political, environmental, and psychological effects of this new invention. Informative and thought-provoking, Trinity is the ideal introduction to one of the most significant events in history.
I am giving Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm a rating of 5 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Friday, August 2, 2019

50/50 Friday - Best/Worst Read of July 2019

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reads and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. This book meme focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc). Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

This week's 50/50 Friday topic is Best/Worst Read of July 2019!! I read 16 books! Still need to write a few reviews though.

My Worst Read of July 2019
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
(Click on above link to read my review)

My Best Reads of July 2019
I have a tie for this category!! 
Two books made the spot for favorite read for July 2019.

(Click on above link to read my review)

(Click on above link to read my review)

Which books were your favorite reads in July 2019?

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Daxton by Becca Fanning

Daxton by Becca Fanning is another paranormal romance short story to feature bear shifters. It's approximately 50 pages and is the first in the 120 Proof Honey Series.

I was able to download Daxton by Becca Fanning to my Kindle for FREE from Amazon.

Below is my honest, unbiased review of Daxton by Becca Fanning.

The writing and storyline started out really well for Daxton. I liked the main characters. I also liked the tension and and some of the drama... BUT how the drama was handled seemed a bit unrealistic. Additionally, the ending for Daxton was abrupt and felt rushed, which made it lose points with me.

The following is the plot summary for Daxton by Becca Fanning from Amazon:
Blair Mason was a woman with a one-track mind, and that track was work. From sunrise to sun down, all she thought about was how to keep her small town grocery store open. That meant hard decisions, the type Blair was in the midst of making when she was rudely interrupted by a tall man. A tall handsome man. Oh, there were things other than work after all!
Daxton Holt thought getting his honey on Mason's shelves would be simple. Walk in, flash a smile and fill out some paperwork. But this owner was something else. She saw right through his charms, pushing him to really sell his product. He liked that, and he liked her. A feisty little minx is sweeter than any honey his bees made...
I am giving Daxton by Becca Fanning a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!