Friday, March 30, 2007

My Blog Is One Year Old Today

I can't believe it has been one year since I began this journey into the journal of MYSELF. When I started this I just wanted a way to share my ideas at a time when I had a really difficult time sharing them verbally.

This all started with a newspaper article I wrote which was pro Organ donation. This article was published and was butchered in editing so bad, it completely changed the context of my work.
I was so upset; because I was suffering from verbal affaisia, which is the inablitity to speak the words I think, because of a brain injury. I counted on my written word to verbalize for me, and my word was ruined.
My Sons said, "Mom you should write a Blog!"

I had no idea what a Blog was. My Sons explained to me it was an online journal, that folks can see.

I was excited.
Alex, my older Son, told me I could get one free. He said, "Google free blogs."
So I did.

Of course I could not do it all myself. I needed help. I was in my first month of pain therapy towards my recovery from my brain injury, after being debilitated for exactly a year, so I was only able to concentrate for small amounts of time. I also could not learn the same way I used to, so I needed alot of hand holding.

Alex was there for me. He helped me by phone from University, and then when he came home for Summer break he was there full-time to help me out. Without the help and encouragement from Alex, Cam and Carl I would not have been able to be the blogger I am today.

So my first post on my Blog was a re-posting of my Newspaper article in full. You can read the article at .

My Friend Laurie already had a blog. She had one for a few months, so I asked her alot of questions on how to do the writing, and she gave me lots of pointers. Her best pointer was, " Write your script in Word first. Correct your spelling mistakes and grammar errors. No one wants to see type-o's. It is bad form." Laurie's blog is here: .

I quickly learned that I could see other Blogs from Blogger on the tool bar at the top of my Blog. I began to understand what other Bloggers do on their sites. One of the first Bloggers I began to read regularly was Charle's at: .

In the next weeks I found many Blogs that I thought appealed to me, and I began to read them every day. I did not understand the concept of Memes, but I was intrigued by them. I learned to read the comments on other peoples' Blogs and to use the comment links to find the Commenters' Blogs, and through them, I began to create my list of bloggers I read.

I read Trisha at:
I read RheLynn at:
I read "El Rato" at:
I read RennyBa at:
I read Daphne at:
I read Mother" at:
I read No Milk Please at:

And Ron Allan:, and Genny: found me.
And I found Jules: , and Chumly: , from another blogger who has drifted away.

I am so happy to say that these folks have been with me from my beginning, even if at first I was only a Voyeur, and I was invisible to them, and didn't comment at first. Today we share comments with eachother, and they are still online too.
Also the bloggers I read have a few things in common.
1)They all talk about the place they live in, so folks from around the world can get perspective on a place far far away.
2)They are funny alot of the time.
3)They try very hard to teach their readers something and...
4)They are respectful, and they appreciate their readers.

I used to read blogs every day, like a religeous ritual. I would post faithfully and I read and began to comment alot. I could only spend 20 min at a time doing one task, but I would cycle myself all day to read and post. In the early days that is all I could do. I was dopey because of new meds and treatments, and I was so fatigued by the long-term effects from the chronic pain, I just had no energy to do anything. Plus my brain injury damaged the part of my brain that controls sleep, so I spent alot of nights in the quiet den reading and blogging when the rest of my house slept.

Blogging came for me when I had just been able to even look at the computer after the injury. My brain injury which is damage to the Trigeminal nerve of my head caused me great problems computing. My brain could sense the refresh rate of the computer and I would actually see a pulse on the monitor, which just messed so much with my headache........
I could not sit at the computer before March 2006.
Plus before March 2006 I could not read at all. I could not comprehend word after the second paragraph. I would become confused and I could not understand the picture that was being painted in the words. So doing the computing was very hard work for me.

My brain injury took away my immediate short term memory. This was the worst thing that could happen to me. I had a photographic memory, and I depended on this so much for my sense of control. When I lost it I really felt I lost me. As I Blogged I regained hope in myself. I felt that if I could record and archive as much as I could, so folks in my family would not have to depend on the real me to keep them abreast on events that I would soon not remember until a month or more had passed, and my long-term memory would take over. So my blog was my connection to my family.

This was so important to me. I am an only child, and I really value my whole family, right down to my second and third cousins. Everyone in my family owns their own piece of my heart.
I was isolated by illness, and I could not really talk much on the phone, I could not visit people, and keep in touch. So the journals I write are for them. The focus of the first months of my blogging were tributes to my friends and family and were building blocks of my past history with them.

As this year progressed, my pain treatments became more and more successful. I still am on a cocktail of meds from anti-seizure meds to muscle relaxants and neuro-blockers. Plus antidiabetics, and thyroid meds (problems which seemed to have been stimulated from the physical stress on my body from the brain injury). I have trigger-point anesthetic injections into my brain and the facette joints of my neck, and into the musculature of my face, shoulders and throasic spine every two weeks, which basically temporarily paralyses me and takes away the pain for one day every two weeks. Blogging was the only thing I could do on "brainfreeze" day. So it was an important way for me to feel productive as well.

I still have my drug coctail. I still have my "brainfreeze". I still have short-term memory loss, and a slight affaisia. But I have come a long way baby!

I am slowly scrapbooking to archive all of our photos. At the same time, I am digitally scanning every photo and I am creating a digital library of our photos. My dream is to have the scrapbooks done. Each page will hold a pouch with a digital archive of all of the photos the scrapbook page represents. Then all of the original digital files will be stored away from our home, so we have the security of having them if disaster should ever occurr. I hope to archive my Parents' and Inlaws' photos too. I have to say that this is the hardest hobby. I don't work very fast at it. I have successfully created a new wedding album for my Parents so far. My real-life Best Friend Pauline always teases me about how slow I am. But I must say she totally influences my addiction to dollar stores and srapbooking supplies. We have a weird affinity wanting the other to share our newest "find". So in my world, my best finds are always purchased in twos so Pauline and I both get one of the cool thing. Especially if it is a bargain! Thus the dollar stores. It is a wonderful world when the best find in three one inch pieces of ribbon that say "Best Friend" on it, 2 for a Dollar.

I took piano lessons to help me with concentration. At the moment my piano teacher is a bit too busy at University for lessons, but that work we did together was a Godsend to me. I play 20 mins at a time, and I am pretty good too! I guess I play at a grade 5 level (perhaps that is too high of a self-evaluation).

I knew I was improving in my recovery when I began to feel bord this fall. Reading RheLynn's Knit Owl sparked my desire to try knitting again. When my kids were little I was a knitting machine, so I tried. And I could do it! My Autumn was so exciting! I found a charity through connections with RheLynn, and I make cat toys to raise money for Socks for Sheep, which is one person's work for Heifer International: .
RheLynn and I became pen pals, besides blog exchangers.
I have made a Cyber Friend who has progressed into being a real-life friend.
We email and snail mail eachother often. She is an artist with a great computer saavy.
We connect through photography, blogging, knitting and crafting and writing. This is a pretty vast array of things to be able to gab about. She is my best Blogger friend.

Because of Knitting I found a shop in my area called Knit or Knot: . The owner of the shop and I became fast friends. She has a spinal cord injury which causes her chronic pain, and I was able to help her find a pain clinic for her. Do you have any idea how important it is for a person who gets injured and has chronic pain? For the first time I was able to change my title from sufferer to helper. This was the turning point for me. I learned to own my injury, but in the process, the injury defined me. I had come so far, and I found my new Normal, but I could not see me beyond my own limitations. When I could help Norma to improve her life, I no longer felt sick. I felt like a warrior who fought the foe, came home with a scar, and set out again to champion the weak.
I tell Norma, "We might be only two half-people right now. And if that is what we are so be it. But for now our two halves can work together as a whole. So we can do anything!"
We work together as much as we can to build her business. If she wins, I win.

In the process I have met a great bunch of local women who are knitters, and I am taking a few knitting classes, and belong to a knitting club at the shop called: Knotty Knitters. We have a "hen party" once a week and knit together at the shop. (Thursdays)

Knitting a crafting are hobbies and occupational therapy for me. They fill my days. Now I hope to make them work for me. I soon will launch my Ebay and Etsy shops for a line of products I have developed for my crafting, and to sell some of my crafts online.

At the same time I started knitting I also had to accept the fact that I am disabled and would not be able to return to my work. So in trying to find my new Normal I looked for a group to volunteer for. At the same time I was looking for volunteer work, PSICAN was wanting a resident Medium. So I merged with PSICAN and I am their Medium Consultant. OOH I said a paranormal word!....Medium. You are best to read some of my earlier posts that you can find under My Witchy Work label. You can read about PSICAN work on Sue and Matt's Paranormal Blog: You can read about me in one of their past Wednesday posts by Chris Laursen. Sue and Mat, I met, when Tricia posted them as a feature blog, on her blog. Now we work together at least monthly, and the group from the Ontario team gets to know me case by case. These are really fun people to do stuff with. My husband Carl and I take great pleasure in being able to work with PSICAN.

Through PSICAN I met my newest real-life friend, Tere. She has been a member of PSICAN for quite a while. She is a dowser. She lives in our area. Tere and I go to meditation together. Now I have met another fine group of people from my area at meditation nights.

Blogging is still a big part of my world, but the limitations of my abilities and the inability of me to be able to multi-task have slowed down my blogging. I only post a few times a week instead of every day. I am always playing catch-up with my Blog reading too. But I won't quit it. I just accept now that I have been able to add craft hobbies into my world, and I must balance crafts and Blogging in my week.

So in the past year I wrote a newspaper article that was butchered by the editor.
This prompted me to Blog.

Which prompted me to read Blogs.
I found reading Blogs and writing blogs helped my health improve.

I met people from around the world in the Bloggosphere and I learned alot, and I began to talk about my world so others could learn about Canada too.

I felt I had a purpose when I blogged each day for my health.
I was able to keep my friends and family updated at time in my life when my verbal communication abilities were not normal.

When my health improved a bit I turned to interests developed by my Blogging to fill my day.

I started to knit, and shared with RheLynn at Knitowl's Blog, and tried to scrapbook while I stayed connected to my Best Friend, Pauline. I got to interact with my Best friend and my Best Blogger Friend.

I had an outlet for my photography in my Blogging. I got to make slideshows and show the photos I would take of my Son's Metal Band, Fall The Loss. All of this work required me to learn more computer stuff. At this point I began to realize my learning style changed with the brain injury, so I had to teach myself how to learn in a different way. I did it too because I wanted to edit and post photographs!

Through my Knitting needs I met Norma at her store Knit or Knot. With my Blogging and Photography I was able to advertise her shop to the world on my Blog, so she could build her business. I was also able to help her with her own physical pain a disabilities, and in doing so, I was empowered again. No longer a sufferer, but a conquerer.

I got stronger as the year progressed. As my strength improved my imagination flurished with ideas, and I began to invent knitter aids, which I now have in production in my little cottage industry. I work at my own pace in my little 20 min time frames and I make things. I feel more like a bazaar seller. But now my occupational therapy of crafting has a purpose. I will never be rich on it. But if selling my wares pays for my crafting, that is great! Seeing I only have a small and limited disability income now. There is also a positive side to the selling. We don't end up with a big pile of finished crafts with no where to go.

I am celebrating my life with YOU!

If I was to meta tag myself to explain my world it would look like this:

short round woman, wife, mother,only child, Medium and Healer, friends with God, swimmer, violinist, guitarist, bassist, dulcimer player, piano player, cantor, gun shooter,roadtrip lover, past forest ranger/tree climber, wilderness survivalist, college and university educated, past drag racer, past dental scientist, past special-ed assistant, past sex shop girl, past journalist, past editor, past bingo caller, slot machine jackpot winner, priestess, world traveller, camper, makeup artist, drag queen groupy, transgendared and gay pride advocate, long-haul transport truck driver, driving instructor, fisherperson, golfer(duffer), pogo player, Germany advocate, Canada advocate, multicultural believer, rock and roll chick, heavy metal queen, old time rock and roller, old country music worshiper, classical music and jazz listener, root blues mover, books on tape reader, slow book reader, sings with the radio, tequilla drinker, movies- blood gutz and gore, mystery seeker, queen of plastic surgery, body sculptor(try very hard to keep my round and womanly shape), cleavage shower, Druid, emailer, searcher, seeker, gardener, herbalist, cuisine artist, baker, cake decorator, scrapbooker (wisher), knitter, crafter, inventor, colour artist, candle magicker,ritualist, incense burner, smelly smeller, photo taker, slideshow maker, mute button user, attracted to sparklies, Dollar Store junky, transplant donation card holder, shoe shopper, bare footer, two-handed driver, pet lover, rodent and crustation breeder, like being alone with my thoughts, kids worshiper, dry humoured, teaser, proudly prouder, friendly friender, happily happier, bouncily bouncier, child of the moon, soaker of Summer sun , of the year of the rabbit, and a Cancer

Please have a look at the archives for the first two months of my blogging. You will learn alot more about my world from there. Happy reading.


J said...

Hi Lynn, I've tried posting a long comment several times, but Blogger has decided that it didn't want me to.

So, Happy Anni!

Lynn said...

Thanks J.
Oh it could be my blogger only. I have having serious publishing probs. Several trouble tickets to blogger already. I had to do all my posts for the last few weeks in Html only. I am not proficient at it so it is a hard grind for me

Anonymous said...

Happy First Birthday!

Lynn said...

Thanks Tracy

RheLynn said...

Happy Blogiversary Lynn! A wonderful post - up until now I still hadn't known just how difficult it was for you to blog/email as much as you do. Wow! I am really appreciative of our meeting and penpalship as well, even more so reading this.


Lynn said...

RheLynn it isn't bleak here in my world. I just have to plan well.
I have come along way in a year. I can code now at a freshman level. Mostly now I have to deal with timing. I can't overdo stuff. One thing has to slide to let another come forward. But that's ok. It is so much fun being able to get out more now. So what if a mess spends a couple of days in flux, so I can get to do something else. It won't rot, so all is good!
I am having a blast! And now my affasia seems like a typical menopause brain fart, so my friends can relate!

Teena said...

Happy anniversary!!!!!!!

Evey said...

happy blog o versary to you:)

I am off to check out your blog from the beginning days and read up on you:)

Mother of Invention said...

You are mega-dynamic and multi-faceted, Lynn! Congrats on your 1st Blogaversary! You have come so far it's incredible, to me at least since I am technophobic as you know!
I need to have or rent kids to show me stuff!