Skip to main content

Back to Life Book Review

Facing a debilitating illness or surgery, or having a family member doing the same, can be frightening and a bit like you're leaping into an unknown abyss.  I recently read Back to Life:  A Journey of Transformation Through Back Surgery and found it to be an interesting and informative read.  

One month ago, my mother had heart surgery for the second time.  The first time was 17 years ago for a triple bypass after two heart attacks.  She was 45.  This time she needed a valve replacement and they performed another bypass during the nearly 10 hour surgery.  Back to Life by Pamela Douglas chronicles her experience with major spine surgery through first-person and family journal entries in categories of before, during and after surgery.  I found the similarities between Pam's experiences, thought and feelings to be remarkably like what my mother just went through with major heart surgery. 

To me, what is most extraordinary is the way the human brain works.  In Back to Life, Pam describes with great thought the "before" or preparations pre-operation.  As a people, most humans think the worst and prepare as such, even if we're hopeful and optimistic.  Pam meticulously readies things for her family, pays bills in advance, sets her home in order and covers work essentials gracefully.  All this while in the back of her mind she thinks...."what if?".  The mental preparations for a major life experience such as spine surgery are almost more stressful than the actual surgery and recovery.  I find this very interesting.  When faced with an illness, tragedy, or other major life event often the mental looming beforehand is worse than when it actually happens.  I think we find it easier to deal with an actual tangible physical situation than impending mental what-ifs.  Even if the actual physical situation is excruciating.  

Back to Life: A Journey of Transformation Through Back Surgery reads quickly and I actually enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.  Bits of advice and thoughts throughout are useful in all aspects of life.  There's no "poor me" in this book and Pamela Douglas is truly a woman to be admired not merely because of her remarkable strength and openness with spine surgery, but her life's accomplishments and talent and well.  Check it out, buy it, borrow it.... read it!

Pamela Douglas with her daughter, Raya Yarbrough

Pamela Douglas is an award-winning screenwriter with numerous credits in television drama, and also a fine artist. In May 2005, facing a degenerative spinal disease that threatened to leave her paralyzed, Pamela underwent major surgery. Her decision and the long recovery that followed inspired her to write BACK TO LIFE: A Journey of Transformation through Back Surgery. Learn more at

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using created by Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.


Popular posts from this blog

Sit-upon Tutorial By Rachel Beyer

As a former Girl Scout, I have lots of fun camp memories. I remember learning to tie knots, set up camp and to cook over the campfire. An essential Girl Scout tradition is making a sit-upon. A sit-upon is a homemade waterproof cushion. They are easy to make and I remember using them every time we did any activity while sitting on the bare ground, which most often was damp or scattered with uncomfortable sticks and pebbles. A sit-upon is great for sitting around the campfire, your backyard, or even a sporting event. 
There are lots of ways to make a sit-upon. When I was a Brownie Girl Scout, we made ours from old vinyl tablecloths and foam. But in a pinch, you can use a plastic garbage bag and a stack of old newspapers for padding.
To revisit this simple craft project, I decided to use a roll of vintage vinyl wallpaper I found at a thrift store and some foam I bought at my local craft store.
Essential Supplies: Waterproof Material (vinyl tablecloth, or other store-bought vinyl or plasti…

Boring Cash No More!!

Ahhhh! I just learned how to turn money into a really cool work of art!! Seriously, this is really cute and fun too. Foldin' Money can help you turn plain old cash into a really fun crafty gift! It's kind of like paper crafts with a real monetary value. Ha!

Foldin' Money has design kits to help you make the perfect gift for anyone on your list this year. Both US and Canadian currency directions are included in these design kits. For review, we received the "red" kit which has templates and step-by-step directions for a cake, tree, heart, and tie. We found the instructions to be very, very easy to follow. Ladies, I think even your husbands could fold money into the perfect gift! Did that sound rude? Sorry Fellas!

What we found really fun was the endless ways that you could possibly use the Foldin' Money designs. I thought it would be really fun to put one of those little strands of battery operated lights onto the folded money tree! What a fun gift idea and you …

#Halloween Spaghetti & Eyeballs for Sadie Hawkins {The Daily Chaos 10/14/2011}

This post must be written lightening fast because I must leave soon to pick up my daughter from the high school's Sadie Hawkins dance and ferry her and her date to their next destination. How's that for a long, stressful run-on sentence full of far too many prepositional phrases.

We had the distinct pain honor of hosting the dance dinner for 19 teenagers tonight. I don't know about you but I remember Sadie Hawkins as the dance where the guys always said no. Seriously, teenage boys can cut a teenage girl's confidence to shreds. Oh who am I kidding, grown men still do that. So we had dinner in the backyard complete with Halloween lights and a cauldron full of bubbling homemade root beer. My husband loves the homemade root beer and is always the dry ice master chef of the brew. At one point, he came in from outside all dejected because apparently the ladle had fallen into the cauldron and the kids had been trying to fish it out with their hands.... he didn't feel like …