More Twists and Turns in My Journey

Several faithful readers reached out because they hadn’t heard from me in a while. I thanked them for their concern. And I realized I needed to explain my lack of postings and physical absence from book signing events.

The good news is that I will be signing and selling books at this year’s Christmas Gift & Hobby Show. Although, I am only doing three and a half days instead of the full five. Check out my Calendar of Events Page for my schedule.

Before appearing at this year’s Indiana State Fair, I had been out of the public eye for nine months. That’s right. No signings or appearances since last year’s Christmas Gift & Hobby Show, in November. Many of you noticed I wasn’t my usual perky self and made comments about it then. Apparently, my efforts to conceal how I felt failed.

I was battling some medical issues. The combination of which rendered me beyond exhausted. I needed time to rest and recoup. However, God had different plans.

Doesn’t He always? Why do I even bother making plans?

An old compression fracture in my neck caused numbness down both arms into my ring and pinky fingers. Two chiropractors and a therapeutic massage therapist were unable to restore feeling. An acupuncturist was suggested.

I will try just about anything once. The acupuncturist stuck four packages of needles in me while I observed four sleeping women in the room. They looked relaxed, comfortable, and peaceful despite the needles protruding from their bodies. I eagerly awaited that experience for myself.

Alas, it was not meant to be. I lasted ten minutes and insisted she remove the needles. Instead of that peaceful, easy feeling The Eagles sing about, I became increasingly uncomfortable and agitated. I felt as if I were coming out of my skin.

“But your treatment isn’t over yet. You have twenty more minutes.”

Lady, if you don’t get these things out of me now, I’m going to come unglued, jump out of this chair, and run around the room, screaming bloody murder.

And that’s putting it mildly. I was one of the rare people who experience negative side effects from acupuncture.

Oh, lucky, lucky me! Not.

It made everything infinitely worse. From head to toe, unrelenting waves of stabbing, throbbing, and searing pain tormented me. I lost strength in my hands and couldn’t use them effectively for weeks. I balanced a spoon between my two thumbs and rested it against my index fingers to eat.

But you got exactly what you wished for, Suzanne. You can feel your fingers. They might throb or feel as if they’re on fire, and you can’t move them, but, by God, you’re feeling them.

Although I pay a fortune for Marketplace medical insurance, aka Obamacare, it doesn’t cover squat. The medical bills were more than anticipated.

Desperate times called for desperate measures and difficult choices. My options were limited. So, my house went up for sale.

Fast forward to the present. I am living in a third floor apartment, no elevators, just stairs. It was my understanding that the direction of Hell was down. Trust me, in this instance, Hell is up on the third floor in my apartment.

The people below me smoke everything under the sun. It varies from regular cigarette smoke to sickening sweet smoke to unidentifiable funky smoke. And it all combines into a robust smoky soup in my apartment.

I am allergic to smoke. I told the property manager before I rented, I had to have a pet-free, smoke-free apartment. Well, it’s pet-free. After I complained profusely about the smoke, he said that no one had ever smoked in my apartment. Technically, he gave me a pet-free, smoke-free apartment. His smug attitude infuriated me.

I know you want to hit him, but don’t hit him. You will go to jail. And as bad as the conditions are in this lousy apartment, jail would be much, much worse.

Despite laws against smoking in public places, residents are allowed to smoke in their apartments. It’s just too freaking bad for the rest of us. Nights and weekends, it’s like living above a packed bar in the 1970s.

I have two large air purifiers going 24/7. However, they can not keep up when the neighbors actively smoke. So, I am forced to wear a mask. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing.

The only bright spot is that I have a short-term lease. I just have to survive six months of this inhospitable environment. In the meantime, God needs to grant me the serenity so that I don’t kill anyone while I am being poisoned and dying from smoke inhalation.

Any prayers and positive thoughts you can send my way are greatly appreciated. And I hope to see you soon!