the story behind the story of writing jdm
On this 3rd anniversary of my writing/editing/self-publishing my book, “Journey of a Dream Master: The Dream Masters – Book 1” and the 53rd anniversary of my birth, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and insights as most have no idea about any of this because its never been shared until now. I tend to never ask for help and feel “the show must go on” so I usually struggle and persevere in silence as not to be a burden to anyone. I went from 2013 “permanently disabled” to writing, editing and publishing my first book in the trilogy on January 17, 2016. Not too shabby!
There is a very good reason for the way my book was written – including the errors. Between the severe brain injury, resulting migraines and massive doses of heavy medications (including Dilaudid), my official trial deposition in late 2012 reflects what my life had become as it was incoherent, full of unfinished sentences, blanks, and complete whiteouts where I lost my train of thought and couldn’t talk or think straight (my brain was really scrambled & heavily drugged).
Between October 2008 thru 2014, I spent the majority of my time in hospitals, emergency rooms, doctor’s offices, working with traditional medicine men and women all over the world. I couldn’t always work, drive or do many things I used to take for granted. In 2012, I couldn’t finish basic sentences little lone compose stories for a book! I still struggle but have healed far beyond their expectations. (I truly love proving the White Coats wrong!)
So, today while reflecting on my birthday and my hopes for this next year, I thought I’d share some background as well as my top 3 reasons for writing my book trilogy:
Humans are storytellers who have always loved sharing stories and I’m no exception. I am and always have been a storyteller who enjoys sharing my stories with all who are interested.
2.) TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE
I set out to write authentically about my life, my truths, experiences, pose some of my many random questions and ideas. The few editors and publishers I initially consulted and shared some of my content with all wanted me to change vital elements and delete certain stories because of their B.S. (Belief Systems). They’re uninitiated in the supernatural / metaphysical / mystical / paranormal / whatever-you-want-to-call-it. They couldn’t understand or accept certain things. I don’t judge them as they’re on their own journeys. I’m on my “Journey of a Dream Master” and they’re on their “Journey of an Editor (or whatever)”. I was not willing to downplay my life or sacrifice my integrity because of someone else’s limited beliefs and inexperience. I was going to write it my way or not at all – spelling and grammar be damned! So that is exactly what I did.
3.) TO PROVE ONLY TO MYSELF THAT I COULD
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I did not believe ANYONE would ever buy or read my book. Seriously, why in the world would anyone care about me and my experiences? I wrote it only for myself to prove I could and to leave some record of my little life. Then I made it available just in case anyone else wanted or needed to read what’s in it. All the wonderful reviews, fan photos, interviews and private messages have just been…beyond words. Firstly, it was surprising, then utterly amazing, humbling, and extremely gratifying. Thank you all!!!
SOME RELEVANT BACKGROUND:
Several “medical experts/specialists” mutually agreed (after a tremendously staggering amount of due diligence over a few years in a lawsuit) that I would be permanently disabled and never be able to do work as a paralegal or creative writer ever again. (Which is the same as telling me I can’t do something…which, of course, means I’m gonna do it.)
As a point of interest, I wanted to share just a few bits from one of those many doctors involved with my care after the accident. He and all the other doctors came to the same final conclusion at the end. Below is a small portion of his 79-page deposition. There is a lot more but this is enough to give you some small idea what I went (and still am going) through and how far I’ve come.
Q. Can you review for the jury what your exam consisted of and what your findings were.
A. Well, I noted that her blood pressure was 218 over 134 on that day, which is quite high. Her highest recorded blood pressure (on more than one occasion) was 229 over 196.
She had suffered a closed head injury followed by the development of post traumatic migraine which became severe, frequent, and disabling.
She also developed hypertensive urgency from autonomic dysfunction I felt resulting from her head trauma. And I thought this was the result of dysregulation of her bilateral orbital frontal cortex which is an area which promotes parasympathetic activity and inhibits sympathetic activity. This dysregulation causes a cortically provoked release of adrenomedullary catecholamines, epinephrine and norepinephrine.
What that essentially means is that there’s an area of the brain that I felt sustained trauma, and it’s called the orbital frontal cortex. It was a sufficient enough blow to cause a malfunction of that region of the brain. And it has dual action, that orbital frontal cortex; it promotes parasympathetic activity which tends to slow the heart rate and lower the blood pressure and inhibits sympathetic activity. And sympathetic activity, if you don’t inhibit it, causes an increased release of catecholamines which are substances like epinephrine and norepinephrine released by the adrenal gland, and causing surges in blood pressure.
The American Medical Association committee person has a certain percentage impairment rating, it’s based on certain criteria that are listed in the AMA Guides For Permanent Impairment. And the one that we use now is the AMA Guides To Permanent Impairment, Sixth Edition, which has been in use since January of 2008.
I felt that she had the maximum. Her headaches were so frequent, so disabling that she qualified for the maximum allowable impairment by the AMA Guides, Sixth Edition, for migraine headache which would have been 5 percent.
Q. Her diagnosis that you’ve made definitively is that she has migraines; right?
A. She does have migraines, yes. Migraines that are disabling. And it’s not just me. You know, Dr. #9 [NOTE: there were 12 doctors/specialists and they were simply numbered #1-12] had seen her as well, and he prepared a report, and found that her pain disability questionnaire score was 113 which places her, based on the AMA Guides To Permanent Impairment, Sixth Edition, placed her in the severe impairment due to migraine.
Q. I understand that you believe she may qualify for an additional impairment as well?
A. I do.
Q. Will Ms. Rhyne require future medical treatment as a result of the injuries she received?
A. Yes, she will – for the rest of her life.
Q. Do you believe that Ms. Rhyne has limitations related to her job as a result of the migraines?
A. Yes. Whenever she experiences a disabling migraine, she’s unable to function that day. In my medical and expert opinion, she is permanently disabled as a result of the accident and will, in all likelihood, never be able to resume working in her area of expertise which, to my understanding, is as a paralegal and creative writer.
I’d become friends with my main cardiologist. Interestingly, after the lawsuit was completed (which I won!), on my last visit with him I thanked him for all his help, smiled, looked him square in the eye and told him in no uncertain terms (regarding me being permanently disabled), “Thank you for all you’ve done for me. I appreciate your help and opinion…but you do not know me and I am going to be just fine.” He really took it in and after a long pause said, “I believe you.”
I think the reason he believed me is because I was completely congruent with what I was saying; and, earlier during my final evaluation, he’d compared all the tests, scans, images, etc. that he had personally performed from start to finish.
Astonished, he told me my heart had become more than double the normal size (due to the extreme high blood pressure basically building up that muscle – it went from normal to being like an Arnold Schwarzenegger of hearts).
He basically said that hearts “do not return to normal without some signs/scars of the trauma” and mine had not only returned to “normal” but there was no indication whatsoever of any trauma. He was completely baffled and said that if he hadn’t done all the tests himself and kept his records there at his office, he would swear someone has switched the results because it looks like 2 completely different people. So, as soon as I published my book, I made sure he knew so he could see what other “impossible” things I like to play with.
Geeze, this turned into a book itself rather than a brief birthday post! I just wanted to share the importance and significance of what my little book means in my continuing Journey of a Dream Master. Thank you for all the love. Thank you for buying, reading, reviewing my book as well as sharing your photos and stories with me. I’m looking forward to publishing and producing more of my projects as well as looking forward to getting out more and seeing more of you all this year!! Love, Laughter & Light ~ Lisa