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Herbal Support for a Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted by on November 30, 2017 in Brain Health, Brain Injuries | 0 comments

Are you in search of herbal support for a traumatic brain injury? While I am not an herbalist or naturopath, I’ve taken an interest in herbal remedies that might enhance my brain function. After attending this past year’s annual brain injury conference in Vermont, then seeing a naturopath to discuss herbal support for my  chronic fatigue, anxiety, and brain fog related to a TBI, here’s what I learned (*Many of the following have been part of my daily brain-building routine for a long time; others I have recently added, or increased the...

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Conjoined Twins

Posted by on October 15, 2017 in Identity, Nursing, The Body, The Human Condition, Writing | 0 comments

  One might wonder how conjoined twins manage to survive – physiologically, mentally, and emotionally – after surgical separation. While some sets of conjoined twins, for medical reasons, cannot be separated, as in the somewhat famous case of Brittany and Abby Hensel, since 1987 several have been successfully separated. In some cases, conjoined twins, who are old enough to make thoughtful choices, have refused to be separated. Lupita and Carmen Andrade, who were expected to live only three days after they were born, not only...

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Memoir Dialogue

Posted by on October 2, 2017 in Writing | 0 comments

When writing memoir we’re expected to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, right? Blanket lying to readers is a definite no-no. For instance, I’ve never been to Abu Dhabi, so I can’t (or should not) write about the year I spent (did not spend) in this major cultural and commercial metropolis on coast of the Persian Gulf. But when writing memoir dialogue, it’s impossible to recall, say, the exact conversation you had with your grandmother just hours before she collapsed from a stroke twenty years ago, or precisely what...

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The importance of wasting time

Posted by on August 30, 2017 in Creativity, Writing | 0 comments

The other day, while searching for ideas to jumpstart my writer’s brain, I decided to haul out from my file cabinet the library of journals fat with notes from lectures I attended as a Vermont College of Fine Arts graduate student. I thumbed through each page, scanning for a word, a phrase, anything that made my heart skip a beat. Aha, after several minutes, it finally happened, the one sentence I needed most to see, to hear, to touch, to taste: “The importance of wasting time.”I let out a long, calming breath, comforted by this affirmation:...

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After a freak car accident, I thought I was too broken to find love

Posted by on August 4, 2017 in News, Writing | 0 comments

I did it! After I spent the better part of four months working on an essay about how I found love after a deadly car crash left me wounded, and feeling ugly and unworthy, it has been published in the The Washington Post. This piece is not for me alone to read and remember how far I’ve come. It is for all of us who have been scarred and fractured by trauma – any kind of trauma. It is for those of you who still feel lost and alone and afraid. My essay, “After a freak car accident, I thought I was too broken to find love,” is my gift...

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Pain Woman Takes Your Keys

Posted by on July 31, 2017 in Book Reviews, Pain, The Body | 2 comments

Though I’ve already written a blog post about pain, I’m here writing about it again. Why? Because I’ve been thinking a lot about pain after recent emergency surgery to have my appendix removed. During the first week of my recovery, I spent a lot of time hanging out on the couch, either sleeping or reading. You’d think I would have treated myself to a few light reads, but, like I said, pain was (and is) very much on my mind. So the first book I picked up from the pile next to me was Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from A Nervous...

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Past Ten

Posted by on June 21, 2017 in Brain Injuries, Writing | 2 comments

Below is a piece I wrote at the urging of author, editor, and teacher Donald Quist. He asked me to contribute my reflections about how I’ve changed over the previous ten years to his project Past Ten in which various writers share similar recollections. As Donald says, the personal stories in Past Ten are a “testament to the transformative power of time and the human capacity to turn the unpredictable into art.” Enjoy!   June 21, 2007 It’s 2:06 p.m. The summer solstice. I’m sitting at my desk at the Vermont Lung Association, where...

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Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

Posted by on June 5, 2017 in Brain Health, Health Care, Musings on Aging | 0 comments

It’s June –  Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Did you know that? If not, no worries. I’m here to tell you all about it. Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month is a time to help raise awareness about a disease that affects millions of people world-wide. Though researchers know a lot about Alzheimer’s, they still don’t have a cure, which makes the disease still a mystery. That’s why purple is the color designated to Alzheimer’s, because it symbolizes mystery. But purple also represents magic, and it is that magical day millions of us...

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What I learned at the Muse & Marketplace Conference for Writers

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Writing | 0 comments

What I learned at this year’s Muse & Marketplace, Grub Street’s National Conference for Writers: “Brevity is not the soul of a good pitch.” You need to give magazine editors enough information to help them decide if your story, essay, or op-ed is a good fit for their publication (Adam McGee, managing editor of Boston Review). Before choosing which publishing path – traditional, small press, self-publishing, partner-publishing – is best, literary agent  April Eberhardt encourages us to answer the following questions: What...

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Transportation for Seniors

Posted by on March 25, 2017 in Musings on Aging, Older Drivers | 0 comments

I’m here to share with you my latest interview with ITNAmerica, a nonprofit transportation network for seniors serving fifteen states. “Why the interview?” you might be wondering. Have you ever thought about how you would manage your day-to-day life if you couldn’t drive? Do you ever think about what you’ll do when you’re old and frail, or old and ill, and can’t drive? While I don’t lose sleep over it, I do think about it. I think about how I’ll get to the grocery store, the bank, the movies, and, of course, the wine outlet. The...

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