10 Pain Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

According to M. Crouch, AARP,

1. Pain with loss of function The doctors say: If you hurt your leg but can still walk on it, it may be just a sprain. But if you can’t move it and you’re having pain, that should be investigated immediately. Loss of function can indicate a fracture, nerve injury, loss of blood flow or a serious infection. From personal experience: if you have a fracture you’ll be in excruciating pain. Something heavy fell on my toes last week, I’m still in pain and unable to wear shoes!

2. Eye pain that comes out of nowhere The doctors say: It could be caused by a blocked blood vessel, internal bleeding or acute glaucoma, a serious eye condition caused by increased pressure inside the eye. Eye pain can also be the first symptom of shingles, a viral infection that causes a painful rash. From personal experience: Take the shingle vaccine as I did two years ago and eliminate an unnecessary problem.

3. Chest pain The doctors say: An older adult experiencing any type of chest pain should be evaluated by a doctor right away. A heart attack doesn’t always manifest as sudden, crushing pain, it’s more like a dull pressure or a heaviness. Other signs of a heart attack are dizziness, fatigue or shortness of breath while doing ordinary activities like going up the stairs or gardening. Chest pain may also be a signal that a blood clot has moved to your lungs or heart — a life-threatening condition that needs immediate treatment. From personal experience: So many times I rushed to the hospital with chest pain and was told it was a stomach problem. The stomach pressing on the heart and causing muscle spasm. I would still go to the ER, if I have the above symptoms. No need to take unnecessary risks.

4. Pain in one or both arms, your jaw or between the shoulder blades The doctors say: These lesser-known symptoms of a heart attack are more likely to affect women, according to the American Heart Association. Nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, dizziness and light-headedness are other heart attack symptoms to look for. Severe pain between the shoulder blades can also be caused by an aneurysm or a tear in your aorta, a major blood vessel.

5. The worst headache of your life The doctors say:  An occasional headache is usually nothing to worry about. More concerning is one that feels more severe than usual.

6. Severe abdominal pain  The doctors say: “Pain in your abdomen that keeps getting worse — or that is associated with vomiting, swelling or a fever — can be a marker of acute appendicitis, a serious infection, or diverticulitis. You know your body. If you’ve had this pain on and off for years, that’s one thing. But if it’s new and it doesn’t let up or it keeps getting worse, I want to see you.”

7. Calf or thigh pain, especially if in just one leg  Increasing pain in your calf or thigh after a prolonged period of inactivity, even if it’s not severe, can be a sign of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This dangerous type of blood clot is especially common in patients recovering from knee or hip surgery. Patients sometimes describe the pain as feeling like a muscle cramp, and it’s often accompanied by leg swelling or redness. DVTs need to be treated right away because the clots can travel through your bloodstream and block the blood supply to your lungs, a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism.

8. Pain from a minor wound Say you’re working in the yard and something sticks you in the hand. Or maybe you cut yourself doing a home repair. If the pain from a wound (especially one that is red and swollen) keeps getting worse over a few days, that can be a sign of a serious infection that can turn deadly if not treated.

9. Pain after a procedure or injection Spinal injections, biopsies or other therapies that involve injections can occasionally cause infection or bleeding. If you experience persistent pain or loss of function after one of those, call your provider right away.

10. Pain with fever  If you have a high temperature as well as pain, your body may be fighting a dangerous infection. It’s especially important to seek treatment quickly.

On preorder FAMILY PLANS, Love Plan Series, book 7

Left inconsolable by his wife’s death in a plane crash, Tim Kent dedicates himself to his daughter, Brianna. He allows her to get closer to her best friend Debbie whose father died in the same plane crash. When Tim meets Erin Perkins, Debbie’s mother, he’s impressed by the beautiful, young woman struggling to raise six children on her own while working at an exhausting job. He does his best to help her. Attraction develops between them. While Brianna practically lives with her friend Debbie and shares Erin’s motherly attention, Tim acts as a surrogate father for the six fatherless children. But the sorrowful plane crash that brought them together threatens to separate them when shocking secrets are revealed.

Can a brighter future arise from those ashes at Christmas time?

Family Plans is part of the Love Plans Series.

On preorder KISSING PLANS, Love Plan Series, book 6

Susan Chen returns to Cincinnati to work as university professor. Her best friend, Royce Winston who’s been secretly in love with her for years, is determined to change their relationship for the best. Little did he expect Susan to arrive with her mother and a Thai fiancé imposed on her by her family. When Susan asks him to accommodate the unwelcome fiancé until he finds a job, and then help her get rid of him, Royce eagerly obliges.

The best way to succeed is to push the fiancé into another woman’s arms—even if she’s Royce’s former girlfriend and the fiancé has become his houseguest and good buddy. The complicated situation threatens to explode at any minute…and finally does, ripping apart their best laid plans.

Kissing Plans is part of the Love Plans Series.

Alternate Ways of Gardening Part 1

Too hot, too cold, too wet. I’ve lived and gardened in the heat of Arizona, the iciness of Alaska, and a very wet part of Oregon. I’m also nearly seventy years old and have fibro myalgia that causes joint and muscle pain.
I’ve learned to adapt. Here’s one alternative way to get plants to grow.

Fish totes and plywood boxes: awesome raised ‘beds’


Fish totes are the three-foot-wide plastic containers crabbers and fishermen use to keep their catch. They’re sturdy and have forklift pockets for ease of movement – if you want or have to move them.
My husband drilled drainage holes in the bottom of ours and lined each with a pallet bag to keep the initial fill of soil in them. The bags decompose after a year or so, but that’s long enough for the soil to settle. When I needed more area, my husband built plywood boxes and set them on pallets to get the same versatility. I use a four-in-one garden soil mix from a local sand and gravel company. There’s pit run sand, compost, and a couple of other components. All I know is that it’s great stuff.

From my garden last year

I couldn’t bear to toss the weak tomato (left). It was struggling in its two-gallon pot. The ground was too low for me and hard to dig by mid-summer, so I put it in a new fish tote with a few pepper plants. Deer ate the peppers but forty days later it didn’t matter. The tomato plant had grown over where they had been.
As the summer sun moved across the sky, what was once the sunny site in the yard was now in the shadow of the garage. No problem. My husband put the forks on the tractor and moved it (and the other containers) into the sun.
I’ve planted tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and loads of other plants in these super pots this year. So far, we’ve had a very chilly and wet year: only three days in the seventy-degree range. The extra warmth these ‘raised beds’ get has put my tomatoes way ahead of my neighbors’ plants. It’s not a competition thing. I grow for food. Any extra goes to bless the local food bank where they have a very efficient distribution system.
What tricks do you have for growing in your part of the world? Let me know in the comments section.


After the day is done or when it’s too hot to go outside, read a book! Here are a couple of box sets you might enjoy.
Murder is to Die For: Cozy Mysteries
Cute But Crazy – Quirky Careers
Unforgettable Blessings
Unforgettable Courage

Travel with Mona to New Zealand

While some parts of the world are at war, and many countries face political upheaval, let me take you to a region where we can find peace and serenity.

We cruised around New Zealand in January, supposedly the warmest summer month of the Southern hemisphere, but it was way cooler than I expected—62o F—and I used my free day in Auckland, the capital of New Zealand, looking for a warm jacket to buy. Here are two pictures taken from the penthouse restaurant of the hotel.

The harbor and high-rises of downtown Auckland.
The Sky Tower is a telecommunication and observation tower in Auckland.

We started our New Zealand cruise on January 16 from Auckland. Here are two pictures of Auckland taken from the ship as we departed the harbor under cloudy skies.

From the ship logbook that I saved, here is a description of our departure in marine terms: “We swung the bow to port and started to make headway at 19:02, setting various courses through Waitemata Harbor, then through the Rangitoto Channel towards the pilot station. At 19:43 the local pilot disembarked. The captain rang “Full Away on Passage” and the ship entered the Hauraki Gulf en-route to our fist port of call, Tauranga. We sailed all night and arrived in the morning to Tauranga, our first stop, where we met with strong winds.”

A view from the Tamaki Maori Village
We visited the temple and discovered the history and culture of the Maori people. They sent a warrior to meet us and make sure we have come in peace.
They welcomed us with a traditional greeting, the touching of noses and foreheads. Then they gave us a colorful performance, singing and dancing on the sound of ancient Maori instruments.

After two days at sea, we arrived at Port Chalmers, located on the South Island on the Otago Peninsula. It was settled by Scottish pioneers, and the temperature was only 57o F.

We visited the train station and the Cadbury factory, where we tasted our favorite chocolate.

Our guided tour led us to the Larnack Castle. Set on 35 acres, this neo-Gothic castle was built in 1870 by a prominent banker. It is now owned by the Barker family who restored it to its initial splendor. The ballroom can be rented for weddings, balls, conference dinners, and other functions.

Larnach Castle
The magnificent gardens with a view over Otago Peninsula
The back of the castle
The local Scottish band.

The ship headed south to Fjordland National Park, dominated by the Southern Alps, and started a scenic cruise through many fjords. Most of the passengers were on deck admiring the scenery.

We continued the cruise through the Tasman Sea, the large body of water between New Zealand and Australia. The British explorer Captain Cook extensively navigated the Tasman Sea. We visited his house in Melbourne, Australia.

Calm, serene and awe-inspiring, New Zealand seems to be the perfect place to relax. But the trip is so long!!!

KISSING PLANS, book 6 of the Love Plans Series is on Preorder.

Available at Amazon

Susan Chen returns to Cincinnati to work as university professor. Her best friend, Royce Winston who’s been secretly in love with her for years, is determined to change their relationship for the best. Little did he expect Susan to arrive with her mother and a Thai fiancé imposed on her by her family. When Susan asks him to accommodate the unwelcome fiancé until he finds a job, and then help her get rid of him, Royce eagerly obliges.

The best way to succeed is to push the fiancé into another woman’s arms—even if she’s Royce’s former girlfriend and the fiancé has become his houseguest and good buddy. The complicated situation threatens to explode at any minute…and finally does, ripping apart their best laid plans.

IRRESISTIBLE – I’ve Got A Secret

Everyone has secrets…
But when you find that special someone, it’s those secrets that can make or break a relationship.
Six stories.
Six secrets—some bad, some good—featured in these BRAND NEW STEAMY STORIES From New York Times & USA Today Bestselling, Award-Winning Authors.
Can they hang on to their happy-ever-after once those secrets are revealed?

TWO HEARTS’ SUBVERSION by Tamara Ferguson, USA Today bestselling author: Marc Theroux and Desiree Broussard shared tragedy when they were kids. As friendship grows into something more, they’re forced to keep secrets when both are recruited by separate agencies responsible for investigating domestic terrorism. Will their love survive separation as Broussard Industries is targeted by one of the largest terrorist organizations in the middle east?

NO MORE HIDING by Natalie Ann, USA Today bestselling author:Brent and Vivian both have secrets that they are keeping from the other. When trust becomes a factor, can they find their way past their lies to love again?

MESSY PLANS by Mona Risk,New York Times and USA Today bestselling author:Dr. Matt Lopez is perfectly happy with his medical career until the new nurse practitioner, with her lovely smile and crazy ideas, turns his life upside down.

EVAN by Stacy Eaton, USA Today bestselling author: Can Laney and Evan find a way to build a relationship while keeping others from getting involved, or will the revealed secrets be enough to end any chance of a future before it begins?

DEAR DIARY HOTTIE by Mimi Barbour, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author: During their last months of high school, Eva and Jason hook up in a way that neither of them forgets. When they finally meet by chance, can he forget his animosity toward the girl who never acknowledged him after their passionate encounter, and can she put aside her unending grief that he never called.

ROYAL FLUSH by Susanne Matthews, International bestselling author: Pearl refuses to be part of another of her father’s mergers and runs away to be herself. When she meets Kyle, she falls for him, but what will happen when he learns who she really is?

And Then There Is Cellulite by @TaylorLeeWrites

Leslie Morgan Steiner the author of four books, including “The Naked Truth,” which explores femininity, aging, cellulite, and sexuality after 50 writes:

Women in Summer

“Summer is coming, friends. You know what this means. Bikinis. I’m 56. Like most American women, I’ve grappled with body positivity my whole life. My mother, a college athlete who never dieted, preached that natural thinness was a God-given A+ and muffin-tops a failing grade. My first published article was about surviving anorexia as a college freshman. Working in the New York fashion magazine industry, I got negative reinforcement about the size of my boobs and butt from every Vogue cover and Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

Our culture seems to insist that women abhor our own skin. Research shows that a whopping 45 percent of teens have pondered cosmetic surgery; 40 to 60 percent of elementary school girls worry they are becoming “too fat”; and more than 80 percent of women are “sometimes” or “very often” on a diet to skinny up.”

Jiggly Thighs A.K.A Cellulite

On that note, I remember a great article about women’s focus on jiggly thighs. It posited a marketing genius’s conclusion that if you wanted to be a financial wizard assured of rolling in the dough—find an ‘ailment’, a ’condition’ (such as cellulite) that after a certain age 100% of women have. Develop a “surefire” product that supposedly addresses that dreaded issue (but doesn’t), then sit back and roll in the dough.

Okay, point taken. I’m a reasonably intelligent woman and I do know better. I’ll be 78 years old next month, I work out, run six miles a day on the elliptical, weigh tops 110 lbs.  But…last week, I ordered cellulite crème from Amazon. Sigh. What is it about jiggly thighs and a non-existent bootie (guess my exercise regime does something…) that has been drilled into our heads that our bodies no matter what shape we are in are unsightly and something to be ashamed of.

Note that cellulite crème isn’t marketed to men. Let’s go there for a moment.  I’m surrounded by males of all ages. And while they are certainly conscious of their appearances–my grandsons are exercise fanatics, my 82 year old guy primps with the best of them.  But at least as far as the beach goes, I don’t see them or a lot of guys in coverups.

A moment of truth…

I write sexy (make that very sexy) romantic suspense thrillers. I admit my leading women are gorgeous and I have never called attention to a quiver or a jiggle on any of them.  However in defense of my author-me, all of my leading men are also Shemar Moore or Jake Gyllenhaal lookalikes. Ahh…fantasy.

Back  to Leslie Morgan Steiner. She writes: When Deborah Copaken, a friend and author of the memoir “Ladyparts,” was in her 20s, she wore a bikini, albeit reluctantly. She always felt self-conscious running into the water, she told me, her thighs jiggling behind her, her butt cheeks exposed. Why couldn’t she dress for the beach like a man? They never worried about such things. Then she changed her mind. “I decided f— it,” Copaken says now. “If my soft arms, jiggly ass and stomach scars bother you, that’s your problem, not mine.” She switched back to bikinis. “I don’t want to spend a single minute of the life I have left worrying about my body.”

Regarding swimsuits and the like, after considering various ways we women can claim our gorgeous selves, Steiner writes: My most beautiful friend, a grandmother in her late 70s, hates bathing suits so passionately that she only swims naked. Mostly late at night in private pools. Occasionally in a deserted lake. She says she’s too old to endure the torture devices designed to deprive older women of the simple joys of swimming, frolicking and enjoying our birthrights — the bodies that nature gave us.

Now that’s a thought…and a practice I highly recommend. Having done a significant amount of skinny dipping over the years, with sisters, daughters, and yes lucky men–who insisted I was beautiful etc. etc. I definitely agree. Not only for my jiggle-free fictional gals, but for the rest of us gorgeous women, cellulite and all. Hooray!

And while you are considering what makes a gorgeous woman check out:

 

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Unforgettable Blessings