Tag Archives: medical

Word Loss: A Great Fear

Since I was a wee child words have been my greatest asset. Word games? All me. Bring it on: Scrabble, Boggle, Words with Friends, even the ever fun family game of Words. I could out talk, and out verbally wit for that matter, just about anyone looking to verbally rumble. Ah, the good ol’ days when the words flowed like a Hawaiian volcano.

Flash forward to 2017 and a 43-year-old writer. A person of words. A person who was  a walking dictionary and thesaurus. Now I struggle for familiar words. The simple everyday words at that. In one story I struggled to recall the word charming. Imagine that. Not some crazy twelve letter twenty-dollar word. I was scrambling in my mind. It sounds like “C’,” like chair, like something yellow-orange (okay, I relate things to colors). It’s a man, like tall man, like that guy from that movie and a chair.

“Loss of words is actually part of the aging process …”

I’m not saying the thought processes of my mind are fluid, but there’s a method to my madness. After finally looking up the name of Cinderella’s dream man, I was able to get the word. Then for ten minutes I shook my head and wondered what the hell was wrong with me. I was worried to the point I was almost physically ill.

This isn’t something new. About five years ago I realized the words were escaping me. A real nightmare for any writer. Since I was twelve I suffered debilitating migraines and was once told, after a brain study, that I had lesions on my brain from the severity of the migraines. My personal research proves this is a possibility, which is why migraine sufferers have a greater chance of having a stroke (sorry, interjecting my medical career there). Back to the point: I wondered if perhaps lesions had anything to do with memory loss.

blurRecently, I spoke with a few other men and women my age and took note that they all searched the vast blue sky for certain words that were “at the tip of their tongue.” After asking if they had more of a difficult time remembering simple words, they all said they did, that sometimes even simple words were a blur. Great!! I mean, not great, but yes. Loss of words is actually a part of the aging process, which is why verbal engagement and mental stimulation is so key as we get older.

I have Thesauraus.com as a favorite on my computer, and such a lifesaver. I try to use new words everyday. I also work to recall a word using any kind of cue I can before looking it up. The computer is  my last resort, though I’ve called in a life line or two.

Me: Dasan, what is that thingy called?
Dasan: What thingy?
Me: You know. You go to someone’s house and you push the thingy so they answer the door. The pushy button thingy?
Dasan: You mean a doorbell?
Me: Awesome. Thanks.

It’s pretty much like that. So when my various writing groups pose the question, “What scares you most as a writer?” My answer is always the same: Losing the words.

What scares you most as a writer? As a writer do you get a little worried about losing words?

Tania L Ramos, RN BSN and author
Follow me on FB, Twitter, or visit my WEBSITE for book info

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Heart and Soul

     I’m frustrated! So very frustrated.  I have a book waiting to be edited, another book I am working on, and a million ideas in my head.  On one hand, I want to move on with my new book, it is about a man who’s girlfriend breaks-up with him after about eight years, but during that eight years he helped in raising her daughter.  He was even there for the birth.  The story follows his struggles to fight for any kind of rights to continue to stay in the life of the daughter he loves as his own.  But it also follows the heartache and emotions of the eight year old who doesn’t get a say in the matter, and truly loves the man she knew as a father all those years.  It’s about the bonds we make with people, and how some bonds affect more than just two people when the ties are severed.  I’m seven chapters in, but I stopped to edit my book that I sent in for publishing.  Except, I can’t move on with that book until I get the money for the edit.  I’m in a dilema here.

     On top of all that, I have to start thinking about returning to work, which sucks.  Not because I don’t like to work, but because for a solid year, writing was my work, and I love it.  I love nursing, even though the medical system is grossly flawed; I love what nursing is supposed to be.  Okay, imagine yourself at a job you really like, then for one year you do a job you really love-yourdream job-then you go back to the job you just really like … it blows! It makes the job that you really liked seem like the worst job on earth.  I want to write.  It’s in my blood.  It’s in my head all the time, morning, noon, and night.  I stay up nights monologuing my characters.  I hear them speak, I see them move, I know how their voice sounds.  Okay, now don’t rush out to 5150 me, because it does kind of resemble schizophrenia, this I am well aware of.  But I’ve had te opportunity to meet other writers who feel the same way, so it’s not just me, or most writers suffer from writer’s psuedo-schizophrenia.  It’s awesome.  No really.  To be able to see this entire fictional world and be able to write it down for others is nothing short of amazing.  Especially when it is mystical. 

     Ther are several scenes in my book, “Be Still,” (yep, another shameless plug) where I described a world of a man in a coma and what he sees.  He is caught in a struggle in a world between life and death (this is only a part of the book, there’s more to it).  My favorite parts of the book revolve around these enchanting, mysterious, colorful scenes, because I can make them anything I want.  It’s creativity so nothing is too much or too little.  I get to share what is in my head, and that is a fabulous job, even if i sound a little whacky when talking about it.   It would be stupendous if this was what I could do for a living.  Then I could say I am living up to my fullest potential (research Maslow’s heiracrchy of life).

     I suppose I’ve teased you with what my book is about, so let me give you the inside jacket version (no, really, this is my jacket):

     Holly Rose Silver died at only 3 days old, leaving in her wake a shattered family: Shannon and Jack, her parents, and Travis, her older brother.  Shannon immediately became withdrawn from the family, harboring a dark, inner secret.  Jack committed the ultimate form of betrayal in the eyes of his son, by abandoning the family and delving into work.  Years later, to the exact day of Holly’s death, Shannon was killed by a motorist—under peculiar circumstances.

    Jack hid bleak facts of Shannon’s death from his son, the only family he had left, in an attempt to preserve her memory.  As years passed, the relationship between Jack and Travis became estranged and a new woman entered Jack’s life­­­: Dr. Christina Kriss, a young, quick witted, redhead who became a friend and confidant.

    When Jack learns he is dying, he attempts to restore the relationship with his son. As Jack struggles with living, an unlikely friendship forms between self-proclaimed archenemies, Travis and Dr. Kriss. After a serious accident, Travis finds he must make the harsh decision whether his father will survive on life support or be taken off and left to die.  Meanwhile, Jack is thrust into an enchanted world somewhere between life and death where he is reunited with his dead wife and daughter—but not everything is as spectacular as it seems.

    This emotional story follows the journey between a son seeking the truth and resolution from an absent father before it’s too late, and a father caught between living and dying, who must mend relationships on both sides while confronting his own guilty demons.

                           ****                  *****                *****              *****           *****              *****                 *****

     I like to write about the things I see around me; real struggles from real people.  Now this book isn’t based on any real person or family, but as an EMT and nurse I have been caught in the middle.  Many nurses and medical professionals will be able to relate to the nurse in this book, but so many other people can relate because we have watched a loved one die or be on the brink of death.  I wrote this to capture the point of view from family, the man dying, and a friend.  There aren’t a lot of twists and turns; it’s not a mystery or thriller, but it does have some startling aspects and truths.  I can’t tell you how much of my heart and soul is in this piece.  I can say, it was exhausting going through the rollercoaster of emotions.  And there is one part, and only one, where the son finds the truth and must battle his emotions, where I can honestly say, that is all me.  I wrote that on the day I found out horrible news; the worst news, which devastated my family.  I wasn’t facing a death of a familymember, but at one point it hurt that bad.  I pulled out my computer and found where my character discovered the truth, and in that chapter I added in two pages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance (research Kubler Ross stages of grief).  I personally went through them all, and what Travis (my character) felt, is exactly what I felt.  That particular chapter is very personal to me, and is very much an insight into my soul and how i felt that awful day. So I can honestly say, I poured my heart and soul into this book.  This is why I stressed out so badly about reading my review, because it was a judgement of my heart.  My next book has the same effect on me, because I have seen and lived the circumstances of my characters.

     I was once asked why I didn’t write about about Paris, New York, or exotic places.  My answer: because i haven’t been there. I can’t write things I don’t know.  What I do know is heartbreak, romantic love, motherly love, devastation, regret, remorse, sorrow, joy, delight, and hope.  These are the things I have to offer.  I can only hope that what I write will touch someone in a positive way.  My books are general fiction, but they pose questions, and if I did my job correct, I was able to give at least one answer.  So, okay, I am going to get off my soapbox now and play on Facebook.

     Thank you again to those who have followed me, or read my posts.  And to the RN who commented on one post I would like to say, thank you,  it feels amazing to finally follow my dream.  I don’t think it is too far off from nursing.  I may not be tending to medical duties, but hopefully I’m still helping mend people.