Friday, November 4, 2016

Spinning on Repeat

The world is spinning. Things are floating and moving at unusual speeds. It feels as though a tsunami has hit the coast of California and our house is toppling over and at any moment, I will land on the floor. No, it's not vodka. It's vertigo. And it's BACK!

I Have. Vertigo. For the fourth time in ten years. The first time I had vertigo was one year after I was in a car accident. My daughter was five and we were turning cartwheels and summersaulting all over town. The spinning happened the next morning as I rolled out of bed. The room shifted and the next thing I knew, I was on the floor. Initially diagnosed with an ear infection, I was given antibiotics. When the meds didn't make the spinning stop, I was sent to Dr. Jacobsen of the Head and Neck Associates of Orange County, a gifted Ear, Nose, Throat doctor. He knew what was wrong and promised to fix me.

The next episode was in 2014. Then again in summer of 2015. And now, for my birthday. Happy birthday (you're getting OLD) to me!!

There are many types and causes of vertigo. A migraine headache or a virus in the inner ear can cause symptoms of vertigo. Luckily, they can be remedied with medication and rest and time. The most common type of vertigo, one that typically afflicts people over 60 or with those who've had head injuries, is called BPPV: Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo in which dislodged crystals travel though the labyrinth of the inner ear and send mixed messages from the vestibular system to the brain. It's what I had ten years ago and what I have had each time since.

The key word is "benign" so we know it's harmless, except for the falling and nausea and inability to function normally. This type of vertigo that is inextricably tied to movement. If I move too fast, I spin. If I flip my hair, things get shaky. If I look up, left or right too quickly, I feel disoriented and faint. Oh, and I kinda feel drunk. That's because my blood pressure is rising and falling, rapidly, sometimes 30 points in a matter of minutes.

The treatment for BPPV - the Epley Maneuver - is like magic. With a vibrating disc pressed behind my ear, Dr. J shifts my head until the misplaced crystals travel back through the inner ear to where they belong. The treatment induces extensive spinning during which I try not to throw up on Dr. J's shoes. For at least a week, I am required to limit my movement and sleep in a recliner so the crystals stay put. Doctor's specific orders: "Don't move much, and if you do, move like a zombie." But it has to be done. Once my brain trusts the messages from my vestibular system, the world, my-spinning-twirling-falling-over-world, is set right.

If you ever experience symptoms of vertigo, avoid driving, take things slow and see your doctor right away. For best results, find yourself a Dr. J.

{J}

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

NANOWRIMO16

National Novel Writing Month is here!! And we are taking advantage of the NaNoWriMo campaign to make our final edits to FORGED and prepare for pitching it at the SDSU Writers' Conference in January.

If you've ever considered writing anything, visit www.nanowrimo.org to get inspired. It's and AMAZING conglomeration of talent and motivation.

Our NaNoWriMo novel page begins with our short synopsis but below, we have included a more in depth teaser:

When a boy lands in a bloody heap at Emily’s feet, her first thought is to run. Instead, instinct compels her to touch him and a surge of energy pulses from her hands in a radiant stream of colors and warmth. She is shocked when his broken bones snap back into place, revealing her power to heal, and she’s pretty sure senior year isn’t going to be the fresh start her parents said she needed.

When the ghost of his father urges him to the library, John finds a beautiful girl, shaking, covered in blood, and in the evil grip of a student possessed by a demon. He rescues her and is unable to deny the powerful connection between them. For the first time since his father’s death, John has hope in embracing who he is.

That’s when their worlds collide.

The Healer and the Listener quickly learn that they are not the only students with extraordinary gifts at their east coast boarding school. In fact, there are seven Innates who, according to Native American legends, must band together to prevent Armageddon and the demon occupation of the human race. But how can a group of unlikely prep school students whose eyes were just opened to this secret world, be expected to restore the balance of good and evil?

FORGED, a young adult, paranormal adventure can be described as Breakfast Club misfits on a Lord of the Rings journey. It will appeal to readers who yearn for fantastical elements grounded in American history. Told from the points of view of Emily and John, we follow the Innates as they battle malevolent spirits in search of the source of their powers and the only thing that can save them. The expedition will challenge the group to acknowledge their diversity—of origins, of powers, of desires—and do what they have to do even when it goes against every self-centered, self-conscious, bone in their bodies.

We can't wait to share the magic of FORGED with you!!

Is this something you think you would read? We'll share more throughout the month and are happily accepting feedback.

Happy NaNoWriMo2016!

{H&J}