Friday Guest Post

I want to thank the people who took the time to guest post on my blog. These past two weeks my mind has not been in a writing mode. With the help of K.M. Allan, J.A. Sullivan, Paul and Susan, you’ve kept this little blog of mine going.

I cannot thank you enough.

On a personal note I am now off Oxycodone and because of that my writer’s mind has returned. Life will return to normal next week as I return to my blog and my second novel.

Get ready for some really cool hospital stories.

Until then I would like to introduce a favorite person of mine who will be sharing her thoughts on my Friday’s post.

I remember the day I met Susan. I was reading a post from a blog that I follow. I remember commenting on the topic and decided to see what others had to say.

It was a popular blog with lots of comments but when I came to Susan’s I stopped.

Her words drew me in. There was something in the richness of her voice that filled me with a need to hear more.

When I visited her blog I found myself surrounded by her poetry and her stories that allowed me to see and feel her adventures.

Her words had wings and in no time I watched as they hovered above playing their games of hop scotch and hide n seek.

In no time a friendship followed. Her inspiration and advice took away the fear of my upcoming operation.  It was an easy decision to ask if she would like to guest host but I must admit I worried she would pass.

Let’s just say it was a happy day when she accepted.

Please visit her blog and see for yourself the magic she creates. She will soon become one of your favorites just like she is mine.

Susan, take it away:

 

The Heaviness in my Eyes

“We are called to be here for each other, it’s that simple and that complicated”

‘James Diaz, Editors Comments from Anti Heroin Chic December 2018.

When Bryan asked me to be a guest on his blog, I was excited, honored and a bit nervous, and then I read the above quote from James Diaz, and the nerves dissolved.  I instantly thought of Bryan and how generous he has been with me and with so many others.  I thought about what a huge compliment it is that he asked me to be a guest in his blogging home, and the nervous feelings were overtaken by feelings of gratitude.  James is right.  We are called to be here for each other, and it is my honor to be here for Bryan while he is becoming better acquainted with his new knee.

Now, what to write about? Do I write about writing?  Poetry? Blindness? Do I wing it and do the stream of consciousness thing, like I often do on my own blog?  Maybe a mixture of flavors is best?  I think I will just see what happens and hopefully I won’t disappoint my host or his readers.   

I write a blog called Stories from the Edge of Blindness, so titled because I have a disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa – I know, it’s a mouthful.  Basically, it means that I am going blind from the outside in, or more technically, I have about 15 to 20 degrees of peripheral vision, whereas a normally sighted person has 100 to 120 degrees.  I don’t want to give a lesson in RP, but thought I should provide some background.  There will most likely be a bit of blindness in this post.

I have been feeling the heaviness in my fingers so keenly. I can’t get my mind focused and finding the words seems a constant struggle. My thoughts drift to what I can’t do; I feel resentful of everything that makes me different and the burden of a disease that makes simple things so much harder.  I lack confidence in my ability to make sense of the words, to create something with them that doesn’t feel stale or insipid.  These are the fates, I suppose, of every writer.  As to the fates of blind people, I can only speak for myself.

Sometimes, when I feel myself slipping away from my writing, when my mind feels blank, I realize that that heaviness I think is in my fingers, is really in my eyes, and the empty page is the product of a defense mechanism in my mind.  Seems like a bit of a tangled web, but it all leads back to my personal belief that the feeling of struggling to find the words is not writers block, but perhaps a lack of readiness to write about a particular topic or face something you would rather leave in the darkness (no pun intended) for just a while longer.

Admittedly, I write a lot about blindness, but it doesn’t come easy.  Although it is a sort of constant companion, it is full of ghosts that I can’t deal with all at once. My particular disease puts me in a space that is in between sight and blindness, so it makes it easier to deny when my mind just isn’t in the mood to accept reality.  But then something creeps up and pulls my feet out from under me (often literally) and I am confronted with the shapes and contours of my blindness.  And my eyes put the weight into my fingers, making them heavy, keeping the words at a safe distance, until I am ready to fully open my eyes again, to truly look at what it is I can’t see.

RP is a confusing affliction.  I am blind, but I can see.  The world is washed away by nightfall, but the sun can also blind me, painfully, in an instant.  If I go out during the day without a big hat and sunglasses, I can’t see anything and the sun exposure can render my eyes aching and useless for days.  It is light sensitivity to the extreme.  Seems simple, put on a hat and sunglasses when you go outside; that part is simple, but what makes me resentful is that my disease takes away my options.

I was walking my dogs the other day, suited up with a large brimmed black hat and oversized dark tortoise shell sunglasses, and ran into a friend.  She came bounding up the street with her lovely golden retriever, taking in the sunshine, no hat, no sunglasses, no barrier to the world.  She looked so happy, comfortable and confident.  I knew she had woken up, gotten her dog ready and walked out of the house into the sunlight, without a single thought but enjoying the morning.  We walked around the block with them, and as they flowed and I stumbled, it hit me that I had been stuck in this loop of resentment about not having the same choices as other people, and it had been keeping me from focusing on my writing.

It seems ridiculous.  What’s the big deal about having to wear a hat and sunglasses?  The wearing of them isn’t a big deal, it’s the have to part that deflates me, the fact that I can’t just leave the house without a thought but enjoying the sunshine. But, the good thing, is that when I finally allow myself to see the loop and find my way out of it, I almost always start writing again.

I think the loop can be anything.  We all have them.  We all have things that we aren’t ready to face or to write about, but that isn’t writers block, it is simply being human.  As writers, we face ghosts in ways I think others don’t.  I think it makes us brave and strong.  And, I think that when we get stuck in the loops and need to step away from the words for a bit, that’s ok.  No one can look into the faces of their ghosts all of the time.

Susan

 

Wednesday Guest Post

Not too long ago I mentioned that Canada reminds me of that really cool cousin that you seek out whenever a family get together comes into play. Paul reminds me of that cool cousin and since he’s from Canada I can see now how it all makes perfect sense.

Paul is an observer. It is a rare talent that only a tiny handful can achieve. George Carlin was an observer and so is Jerry Seinfeld. Paul is in that mix where he is able to look beneath the surface of life and see the world in a special and honest way.

I’d like to take this moment to thank my good friend for being my host today. He is one cool dude.

Take it away, Paul.

 

“Please Like My Words”

Before I get started, I should mention that Bryan promised me I would become, “Rock star famous” as a result of this guest post. Personally, I’ll settle for, “Local celebrity, who people have never heard of, nor seen”. That way, I can still eat at the local buffets, without having to accommodate a long line of fans who want selfies.

With that out of the way, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of the matter.

Upon being subpoenaed to procure this guest post, I immediately tried to think of something really good to write about. I wanted to make Bryan proud and justify his selection. Also, I wanted to impress his readers.

This is like meeting the in-laws; you have to make a good impression. You bring flowers, you bring a smile, you bring cupcakes – or you avoid food altogether, so someone doesn’t ask if it’s vegan and you have to say, “No”.

That was how I approached this. I am going into potentially hostile territory – will they like what I have to say?

And it’s not that I crave approval from strangers on the internet, it’s that I don’t want to be the guy who is flown in for a guest post and the readers are left to wonder, “What was so special about that guy?”

So with that weighing on my conscience, I tried to come up with the best idea imaginable.

And…nothing.

I was idealess. I was a sleigh without reindeer.

There was one night when I was having trouble sleeping. I looked at the clock radio next to me and starting thinking about how amazing radios are, yet they receive no appreciation.

I probably spent half an hour thinking about how cool it is that we can press a button and have someone’s voice talk at us. We can make them louder, we can make them quieter, or we can make them go away.

That had me thinking about all the objects that are around us every day and how none of them get the admiration they deserve.

They’re all taken for granted.

Want food heated up quickly? Sure, no problem. Just put it in that rectangular box, set a time, and open the door when it beeps.

Do you know how insane that sounds? But we’re used to it. It’s no longer something at which to marvel.

This post was going to be about me going down the rabbit hole of household items and giving them 15 more seconds of fame, but I quickly realized that if I were to follow through with that idea, I’d be forcing it.

I live by one writing rule: If I have to force it, I’m not ready to write about it.

I will not sit here in front of this laptop and put words on the screen, if I have to pause and think about what I want to say. That’s too difficult.

I’ve made it 500 words into this post and none of these words were rehearsed. That’s how I know I’m doing okay.

Now, let’s bring it back to that idea that never was. From there, I decided to do a post about writing styles and how we each develop our own.

It would be a really cool post, where I subtly force my writing style on you, while talking about it. It would be very “meta” and blow your socks off, surely.

But just like the first idea, I determined I was forcing this one, as well.

Back to the drawing board! Except, I’m not good at art, so I sought another outlet.

I asked my friend for help and he asked me if I had any topics lingering in my drafts. Of course I do! I have 43 drafts sitting there, wondering where I went and if I still love them.

A draft is where blog ideas go to die. I wasn’t going to dig one up for this momentous occasion. That would be like doing a presentation at school in your pajamas.

Most of my drafts are just a few words – ideas that I jotted down, hoping they’d one day bloom into magnificent flowers to bring the in-laws (all of you). None of them did.

My new idea was that I was going to go through my drafts and share with you some of the things I wrote down. Since I don’t always title my posts before writing, a lot of my drafts are labelled, “(no title)”. Real helpful.

Here are a couple of the tidbits I would’ve shared from my deserted drafts.

  1. “Michael Myers walks around looking like a plumber that got electrocuted.”

That’s it! That’s all I wrote. I had just been to see the Halloween movie and thought I had come up with something clever. I did write a post about Halloween, but can’t remember if I used this line.

 

  1. “How do we go from GI Joe the hero, to a bunch of regular Joes on IG?”

I’ve been trying to use that in a poem (Yes, I also write poetry. I’m an all-you-can read blogger.) since August 2017. Now that this line has seen the light of day, I’m not sure I can re-use it.

 

So, that was my big idea, but then I realized I was making dinner with food that had been thrown out. I couldn’t possibly feed that to Bryan, or his readers.

I will not be the romaine lettuce of bloggers.

A couple of hours ago, I realized I had approached this all wrong.

I didn’t need a great idea, I just needed to be myself. That’s one of the main lessons I’ve learned from blogging – it’s so much easier to be yourself, rather than the person you think the readers want.

With that, I sat down and wrote this – a guest post about the ideas that weren’t good enough to write about, with injections of my style and personality throughout the whole thing.

This has been an amalgamation of everything I said it wouldn’t be, carefully sown together since the opening paragraph, while still maintaining a sense of, “What’s the main topic here?”

And it’s a post exactly like this one that will make me a local celebrity, who people have never heard of, nor seen.

Mission accomplished.

Thank you, Bryan, for this life-changing opportunity! Dinner is on you!

That’s my time. You’ve been a great audience!

 

Paul

The Captain’s Speech

Friday Guest Post

My good friend J.A. Sullivan is my guest host today. I’m always curious what she has to say and when she accepted my invitation it made my day.

I was part of her beta reading team a few months back and I must say, she caught me off guard.

J.A. Sullivan’s style of writing convinces you all is well. The setting is safe, the comfort is real and her characters remind you of happy memories. There were times when I swore her characters were in the same room with me.

Sometimes I still do.

But as you settle in to this wonderful slice of paradise a tiny chill hits the air. As you search for a jacket you realize it is not a chill that is curling your toes but something dark, forgotten and haunting.

I do not scare too often but I did when I read her work. Yes, she’s that good.

My dear readers, may I introduce you to a talented writer and one of my good friends, J.A. Sullivan.  

 

Facing my biggest fear – meeting writers, in person!

By J.A. Sullivan

I think I’m like a lot of writers. Fearless when it comes to telling stories, where my characters can do and say what I would never dream of doing. But when it comes to real life, I feel more like a timid woodland creature, ready to bolt at the slightest noise or sudden movement. Yes, an introvert through and through. Perhaps you can relate?

Jennifer 1

Most writers I’ve talked to feel this way, and they can think of nothing scarier than meeting with other people in person. However, let me tell you about a time when I faced this fear head-on and it ended up being one of the best decisions I could have made for my writing.

Back in the summer of 2011, I signed up for a short story workshop at my local library. It was the first time I’d ever shared my work with anyone outside of close friends and family – I was terrified! For years I’d been reading everything I could get my hands on about the craft of writing, had submitted a few short stories (without success), and had even written a few non-fiction articles for real estate newsletters on exciting topics like selecting the perfect paint colour (hey, at least that was a paid gig).

But this was different. It wasn’t a quick rejection note, or a request to rewrite “Picking the Right flooring” so it sounded sexier. This was me sending in two short stories to a group of strangers and then sitting in the same room as my creations were picked apart. On top of that, I’d never critiqued anyone else’s writing before either. How was I supposed to start? What if I really didn’t like their work? Maybe it’d be better to back out of the workshop before I frenzied myself into a full-blown panic?

Instead, I took a deep breath, sent in my stories and went to the first session feeling on the brink of passing out or throwing up. Thankfully, I managed to stay upright and kept the contents of my stomach.

After a few days, I started to notice something. Almost everyone in the room seemed as petrified as I was! We were all wishing we could hide under a rock when it was our turn to give notes to someone else and even more so when our own stories were being discussed. It was like finding my own secret tribe.

When the workshop was nearly over, I realized this feedback was crucial for me to improve my writing, and I started wondering how I could keep this critiquing thing going. I asked a few people if they’d be interested in starting a little writers’ group. Most said yes at the time, but only one person really seemed to mean it – Barb. She was one of those people you happen to come across now and then that you immediately click with. So, after our class had ended, we started meeting on a monthly basis to share our work and give feedback to each other.

We seemed like an unlikely couple. I write mostly horror; Barb writes contemporary fiction and middle grade stories (and she will be the first to admit she does not like violence, gore, or anything horror). But somehow it worked. She found space in my stories where I could develop characters further, and I found areas where she could increase the dramatic tension. We didn’t have a lot of common ground when it came to our reading, movie or musical tastes, but we realized that good writing needs the same elements regardless of genre, so we had lots to discuss.

At the end of 2011, we heard that the same teacher (Larry Brown) from our summer workshop was putting on another workshop in January of 2012. We both signed up, eager to learn more from Larry, and hoping that maybe we could pick up a few more people for our tiny writers’ group.

Again, as the day of our first class approached, I was feeling tense and queasy. What if the summer group was a fluke? What if the other writers didn’t feel like a deer in the headlights when sharing their work? What if the tribe I’d found was all in my mind?

Jennifer 2

But I had Barb there, and I knew the teacher from before, so I tried to settle myself down. And you know what? The class was terrific! Most of the other writers were first timers to critiquing and just as nervous as I was.

When the class was wrapping up, Barb and I asked around to see if anyone else would like to join our group. A few people were excited, and started meeting with us for a while, but then they all faded away – except for one elderly gentleman. Ron was in his early eighties, had only been writing for a short while, but he didn’t seem to be intimidated by anything. He was eager to learn and since 2012 he has never missed a meeting!

Then there were three.

Shortly afterwards, something I hadn’t expected happened. Larry, the teacher of the classes, reached out and asked to join. He had wanted to stay out of the group for a while, so that when he did join, we would see him as a peer instead of a teacher. And it worked out perfectly.

Now we’re almost seven years in and still going strong. I still write mostly horror, although I switch it up now and then, so my group doesn’t get too disturbed. Barb started writing memoires recently, and it’s been wonderful seeing the world through her pre-teen eyes. Ron (who just turned 88!) writes creative non-fiction about his experiences growing up in rural Ontario, reminiscing about war-time efforts as a child and all the firsts of his life, like the first telephone he had at home. Larry writes contemporary literary fiction, with a wicked sense of humour, which has been published in several magazines across the globe. We’re an unlikely bunch, but I think that’s why it works so well.

In the past couple of years, I’ve been finding other writers to critique with on-line (like the very awesome Bryan Fagan). It’s a fantastic way to learn different ways of telling stories and has helped improved my skills. But, there’s nothing like meeting in person.

If you’re a new writer, finding on-line people to share your work is a great start. Learn how to take criticism, learn how to dish it out in the most honest (but least devastating) way. It will help you grow as a writer. But, when you’re ready, I highly recommend finding local writers to meet with.

Discussions about writing with live people is the next level. For example, when my group meets, we usually each take turns giving our feedback, but hearing someone else’s thoughts can trigger something you hadn’t noticed. That’s when the conversations get deeper and the critique information the writer receives is at its strongest. When you critique on-line, you usually see each comment in isolation and, unless you share the comments with other people, you can only weigh it against your own judgement. In a live discussion, you have the advantage of other people weighing in on the comments as well, and more people to help find a solution in the moment.

These three people have helped strengthen my writing more than they will ever know. It’s scary to put yourself out there, but facing the fear is worth the reward.

Jennifer 3

If anyone has any reflections, questions or suggestions about finding or starting local writers’ groups, feel free to leave a comment below.

Thanks for inviting me to guest post, Bryan! If you didn’t live on the other side of North America, we’d gladly have you in our strange little pack!

About the author: J.A. Sullivan is a horror writer and paranormal enthusiast, based in Brantford, Ontario (Canada). She likes discussing books, movies, and everything to do with writing. If you’re interested, she’d love to connect with you on the following social media sites:

WordPress: https://writingscaredblog.wordpress.com

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20319805-j-a-sullivan

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ScaryJASullivan

Instagram: www.instagram.com/j.a_sullivan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ScaryJASullivan/

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Guest Post

I was really happy when K.M. Allan accepted my invitation to guest host today. For the past couple of months I have been her beta reader.

I was able to see her drive and determination, combined with her talent as a storyteller. I have no doubt you and I will see her work in our favorite bookstores.

But on the flip side of this shiny coin I feel she eats way to many tacos. She also has a habit of reminding me on a daily basis that she is the good twin. I must admit, the jury is still out.

But enough about me.

Ladies and gentlemen may I introduce to you one of my favorite Australians whose heart is pure gold.

K.M Allan, it’s all yours.   

 

Walking For Creativity

When you’re a writer who works from home, most of your day is spent indoors, crammed in a chair, huddled at a desk, not doing your back any favors. You end the day emotionally drained, with aching bones, and eyeballs that can’t handle light that doesn’t flare off a computer screen.

Your skin hasn’t been drenched in natural light for hours and you count it as a good day if you spoke out loud to anyone—yourself or otherwise.

When you’re trapped indoors and in your head, one of the best ways to unwind is taking a walk outside. Some people can do this all year round, not caring about the weather (sure, I can trudge through snow, hail, and don’t mind getting heatstroke!). Others wait for the days when the air is the right temperature and the light just right (a necessity if you’re like me and take photos as you’re walking).

I like to walk either early morning or late evening. I’m a sucker for the first bursting rays of sunlight at dawn or watching them melt into pink clouds at dusk. As a creative person, if you don’t find this inspiring, you should have your soul checked—it might be missing.

KM Allan

Walking in the morning gifts you with fresh air and kicks off your accomplishments for the day (after all, you did drag yourself out of bed while everyone else was still sleeping). Walking in the evening gives you the chance to mull over the day’s work. I’ve figured out many plot twists pounding the pavement after tapping the keys all day.

KM Allan 2

I live in Australia and I’m lucky the area I call home has plenty of greenery. While walking the dirt path of a creek one early morning, I even spotted a kangaroo, but he bounded off before I could take a picture. Most of the wildlife I see are birds. Kookaburras, Rosellas, Cockatoos, and Ducks that like to charge if your walking path veers too close to them. During some very early mornings you can also see possums that dangle above you as they make their way across power lines. If I was a children’s picture book author, they’d make great characters for a book.

KM Allan 3

Instead, I’m a YA writer who sees dark magic and mysterious disappearances when walking amongst creeks and their surrounding trees. If you’re looking for an inspiring way to fuel your creativity, try walking and see what story ideas it stirs up. At the very least, it’ll get you out of your chair, and those aching bones moving.

 

K.M. Allan

Thank You

Hey Everyone!

I am home with a new knee. I am happy it’s over. Like most surgeries the buildup was worse than the actual procedure. I was in excellent hands. I consider myself lucky to have found an amazing doctor as well as her team.

 I was going to reply to everyone’s well wishes on my last post but then I got to thinking that you deserve a post dedicated to you.

 I am overwhelmed by your kindness. Your words of encouragement helped me prepare  for that crazy ride up north. My mind was swirling with all kinds of doubt but your positive words of encouragement helped ease me into my comfort zone.

 I will write future posts on my experience. Trust me, this brain of mine is already working overtime on all the little stories I saw. Until then I want to focus on you. Creating this blog was one of the smartest things I ever did and last week proved it.

 I am taking this week and next week off. In the meantime I have some amazingly talented people who will flood your inbox with tons of good cheer.

 My ‘dear’ brothers posted their visit with me on YouTube. It’s a 2 minute skit titled Visit with bryan. If you want to see me in all my glory of hospital drugs – enjoy.

My goal in these coming weeks is to lower my usage of pain pills and up my daily exercise. Have yourself a great week.

 Life is good.

Hospital

Mac & Cheese and New Knees

knee replacement

This will be my final post for a few weeks. With the pain pills and the rehab I felt it was best to take care of one thing at a time.

On the other hand, with my mind drenched in the land of legal drugs it might create some interesting topics. Imagine Timothy Leary with his very own blog.

The possibilities would have been endless.

I will have some amazing guest bloggers filling in for me. They are talented and fun and super cool friends. I am really happy they are helping me out.

Since August I have prepared myself just in case a worst case scenario occurred. In my discussion with my surgeon she pulled no punches. She informed me there is a chance this may not work and if so my daily life would be in a wheelchair.

Since that day all kinds of emotions have danced around in this head of mine. Bummed, depressed, scared….pick your poison.

But recently I witnessed some things that turned my head in another direction.

Last week my wife and I visited the hospital where my surgery will take place. They took blood, checked my heart, poked this and that….the usual pre-op routine.

While we were there I found the cancer ward and walked through it. I took my time and watched as the young, the old and the somewhere in between passed by. I didn’t plan on this but something drew me to them.  

Some were too weak to walk while others were doing their best to get by. I made eye contact with everyone I saw and when they looked back they all smiled and said hello.

So I came home and realized it was just a knee. It wasn’t going to rob me of anything. It would not take away my imagination, my sense of humor or my inability to make macaroni and cheese.  

Trust me, you don’t want to go there.

The people I saw would have taken my bad knee over their current situation in a heartbeat. How nice it would be to give them their wish.

So off I go to rainy Portland, Oregon where a new knee awaits. I’m tempted to take my old knee and make a planter out of it. Maybe I can grow another lemon tree in it. For some reason I’m thinking bowling ball.

Now there’s a story idea.

Have a great week everyone. I’m a tad busy Friday morning so hold those calls. I’ll catch you on the rebound. Enjoy life and peace to you all.

Cover Pic

When life throws you a gem

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday out here in the states I’m posting this a little early. Close your eyes and pretend its Friday. For my good friends all over the world….never mind. 🙂

doctor 5

Before I start I want to direct my attention to those who are male doctors or have close connections to male doctors. My opinions in this post are connected to my own personal experience. In no way do I feel my experience is directed to everyone. Just me.

Now that I have your attention – Here we go.  

 

My Dang knee

Doctor 1

One of the earliest posts I wrote was a piece about my right knee. I broke it many, many moons ago and I feared its life was coming to an end. But it didn’t. It gave me years of walking and slipping and sliding and all the goodies life has to offer.

Sadly it didn’t last. A failed operation in December of 2017 led to constant pain.

But as the pain lessoned on my right knee pain increased in my left ankle.

Yes, it’s been one of those years.

In my house we have labeled 2018 as the year of the pain. I have popped more pain pills and made friends with more ice packs than I care to admit.

For a while I was using my office chair as a makeshift wheelchair. It was kind of fun until I ran into the wall and over the cats tail.

By August the ankle improved. Turns out it all had to do with the way I was walking to protect the knee.

Think domino effect.

 

My Male Doctors

doctors 2

But the knee got worse. This time it was different. I could feel something was wrong and it was going to stay wrong.

I had two male surgeons helping me since the beginning of the year and by summer they pretty much waved the white flag. Before I knew what was happening I was being sent to Portland, Oregon to see another surgeon.

Most of my life my doctors have been men. It was never a choice, it just sort of happened. By having male doctors I grew use to my checkups being quick. The answers arrived before the questions. Listening was non-existent and before I knew if I was out the door.

I grew use to this sort of treatment, figuring all doctors were the same. What do I know, right? They went to med school, I didn’t.

But all of that changed with my visit to Portland.

 

Strange Happenings in Portland

doctors 3

I knew she had a solid reputation before we met. I researched her patient’s write-ups and all of them were positive. Fellow doctors spoke highly of her.

Our drive from Eugene to Portland is about two hours. My wife and I joked it would be a five minutes visit. That would give us time to check out Portland’s giant bookstore.

Let’s just say we were a tad off.

As you know I am big on listening. I was a poor listener growing up which led to tons of mistakes. Listening is a powerful tool which explains why my five minute prediction was off by roughly 55 minutes.

In the time we spent talking my first woman surgeon did most of the listening. When my story was complete she did the most unusual thing: She sent me home without an answer.

I was told to keep a diary of my knees performance. While doing so she would consult her team.

Her team?

Consult?

Three weeks later we headed back. This time it was her turn to talk. She read my daily reports and combined them with her own. She analyzed other procedures before a conclusion was made.

And her conclusion? Total knee replacement.

 

We mean no harm

Men mean well. We really do. We do serve a purpose and at times we can be a lot of fun. We can solve problems in minutes. Sometimes seconds. Some of us listen but most of us don’t and when it comes to analyzing – Please. It’s not our thing.

We’re just way too busy for such nonsense. 

So there you have it. My first experience with a woman surgeon and because of that I will never have a male surgeon again.

I must admit, I do feel a tad bit of guilt. It’s as if I just shoved a knife through the heart of my own species. Sorry guys.

Listening is power. I tell my daughters that all the time. Now if only I could teach that to my male friends we might actually climb that hill to the valley of success.

On November 30th I place my knee in the hands of a talented surgeon. For the first time I’m not worried. Huge thanks to Dr. Schabel. 

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