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posted Feb 19, 2013, 9:26 PM by Elaine Busby   [ updated Feb 19, 2013, 9:29 PM ]

To many these days, these simple letters are a shortcut for the text message: I see you!

Unfortunately for my only brother, there’s no shortcut involved and no spaces between the letters.

He is in ICU. And that is nothing you want to see for anyone you love.

My brother has myotonic dystrophy. It’s a common form of MD that affects his finer muscles: he has very few facial wrinkles, his hands can’t grip and his lack of tongue muscles make him sound about two drinks shy of a six pack.

This form of the disease progresses slowly, but in the end, many die of pneumonia due to weak lung muscles.

My brother choked on cornbread three weeks ago, and ever since has been hooked up to every tube you can imagine.

I see him every day right now. And will continue to hold his hand, try to read his lips and make sure he is comfortable.

In our exchanges, we are down to what counts in life; simple, heartfelt times with what bits of laughter and passing beauty we can grab onto.

Today, my brother watched the clouds out the window and pointed to them. They gave him pleasure, and we’ll take those passing moments and make them our day.

Be there for the people you love. See them in person as much as you can. Call on the phone. Use I C U or any texting as an enhancement but not a replacement for face to face communication.

Because where Doug is, I may not see him again. 

: (


posted Jan 11, 2013, 11:46 AM by Elaine Busby

Did you realize it was John Lennon who said, "Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans?" I have always loved that quote, but had no idea until I began googling around that it was this prophetic Beatle who shared such wisdom with us.
As one who studies writing, I know many authors plan their books, but many others, including mystery writer J.A. Jance, lets life happen for her characters.
I may have an idea what I think is going to transpire in a particular chapter, but oftentimes, my character says something completely out of the blue and I have to go with it. And you know what, it always works out for the best if I don't fight with the character, but explore where he/she may be leading me.
I like to think of it as simple synchronicity. Some say it's being open to the universe. Others, that it's being in the right place at the right time. Or you could call it faith.
In any event, I hope in the new year, you can take a little time out from making plans and enjoy your life.
Thanks, John.

Panic Attacks

posted Dec 19, 2012, 5:30 PM by Elaine Busby   [ updated Dec 19, 2012, 5:39 PM ]

Have you ever had a panic attack, or know of someone who has? They are rather like the "elephant in the living room" - everyone knows they exist, but aren't ready to talk about them.
My main character in On the Rocks suffers her first panic attack on the first pages of my book.
Jade struggles to make sense of what is happening, and like many of us who have had panic attacks, thinks it might be a heart attack - or something worse. As the story progresses, her panic attacks become more common, and she is at a loss to know what to do. It's only when she confides in a friend that she starts to find answers.  
I hope at this holiday season, you can find comfort and strength from your friends and family. In the meantime, perhaps this link to the Mayo Clinic's page on panic attack symptoms will help.

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