Friday, May 20, 2011

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.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Not a Skater

My 15 year old son had a brilliant idea last week while at the local roller skating arena. Let me rewind just a bit, first, however. My son does not roller skate, roller blade, ice skate or really skate in any fashion. Although he's pretty good on the long board and does wear skater shoes, these two things do not a skater make.  He insisted that he was going to just "hang out" with his friends, sit and talk.  $5 later, he was safely in the skating arena talking and having fun with friends..... or so I thought.

It just so happens that my daughter-in-law's sister, who is the same age as my son, was there also.  Since she can skate well, here is where my son's brilliant idea entered the picture.  "She can teach me to skate!"  And it went downhill from there.  As soon as he stepped foot on the rink, he fell backwards, twisting his wrist and falling on the bent arm.  I, however, didn't know all of this until later on in the night when I arrive to pick up said son who is outside, leaning on the building, holding his arm with a grimace on his face.  Great!  A half an hour later we realized there might truly be a problem and literally raced to the InstaCare clinic before they closed for the night where the doctor x-rayed and surprisingly announced we had a green stick break.

Green stick break?  Huh?  Apparently it's a fracture unique to pediatrics because young bones are still so flexible.  At least it wasn't near the growth plates.  I'd hate to have a son with one short little tyrannosaurus-like arm.  He'd probably hate it even more than me.

So, four days spent in a temporary cast to ensure that any swelling went down before getting the real cast.  The plan was to get purple.  Of course, we all know how plans go.

Sadly, there was no purple casting material to be had.  So my incredibly handsome non-skating son now has a bright blue cast for the next 6 weeks.  Did I mention he's already sick of it?

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Let's face it, we all get sweaty at some point or another.  If you workout, garden, play outside or you just do a lot of mom running around, our bodies don't always feel just-showered clean.  Recently, we were given the opportunity to try a sample of Playtex Sport Body Wipes and let me just say... these ain't your ordinary "baby body wipes".

We just love the scent.  It's almost like you're using a body wipe spiked with a fragrance counter perfume.  Plus, they're alcohol free!  These wipes are for your entire body.  Perfect for carrying around in your purse or gym bag.  We also have to admit that we LOVE the colors of the packaging. ;) 

We received this exclusive complimentary sampling opportunity of Playtex Sport Body Wipes, available to members only, as a result of our membership at