Friday, April 26, 2013

Shoulder Dislocations

#traumafiction Topic: Shoulder Dislocation

What is it?

A shoulder dislocation occurs when the humeral head (ball of the shoulder) pops out of the shoulder socket. Ligaments and muscle may also be affected, depending on what caused the dislocation. A traumatic dislocation, such as from a fall or car accident, is more likely to cause additional damage to the shoulder structure. 

What does it feel / look like?

The patient will have a visibly lower shoulder on the affected side. She will have trouble moving or rotating her arm or shoulder (range of motion). She will feel pain or discomfort in any position, but more so if she tries to move her arm. People instinctively hold their affected arm with the good arm. Supporting the affected arm side against the body provides relief until a reduction can be performed. 

She may hear or feel a 'pop' when the shoulder dislocates.

 See how the left shoulder is lower than the right & looks misshapen? 

How can I fix it?

Placing the humeral head back into the socket is called a shoulder reduction. This can often be performed without medical care, so depending on the scene you are writing, your character/patient may be able to do this herself or with the help of a friend. 

A simple method for shoulder reduction is the modified Milch method. The video below show the modified Milch method. (sorry, I couldn't get the video to place on the blog)

In addition to this, if the shoulder doesn't pop back in by making the arm straight, the patient can attempt to reach behind her neck and that often does the trick. 

 What happens next?

The patient will have immediate relief once the shoulder is back in place. She may have a sore shoulder or difficulty with normal range of motion for a few days. To speed healing, you can place your patient in a sling for a few days to allow the muscles/ligaments to heal.


Unfortunately, once you dislocate your shoulder, you're at risk for doing it again. If the collarbone was broken in addition to the shoulder dislocation, reduction will be exceptionally painful and may not work without surgical intervention. 


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Reality of the Situation

The other day, someone close to me was gushing about the fact that I have a book out in the ether, and asked why I wasn't more excited about their prediction that, soon, I would FOR SURE, be a bestselling author.

"You're going to make tons of money. Why aren't you more excited about this?" *exact quote*

You know that smile that crosses your face when you're trying to be polite, but in your head, you're screaming at a wall? Yeah, I had that look, I'm sure. 

Now, don't get me wrong. The support of friends, family, writing groups and other authors is imperative in this business. It just is. And I LOVE that I have such an amazing cast of support behind me. However, non-writing supporters have a much rosier view of an author's future than, say, the author and the author's writing friends do.

Why? Because the author (me) is grounded in a little thing called reality.

The supportive cast is grounded in what they've seen in the media about authors making it big. I like to call this delusional non-reality.   

When you insist that you just know an author is going to be rolling in the cash and making it big, you walk a line between dismissing the goals they've met thus far and planting seeds that threaten to sprout, despite the author's best laid "reality soil.

Let me lay it out for you. My husband and I work our asses off, yet despite years of tough work, we still struggle everyday. The threat of layoffs and injury constantly hang over us. One good injury, and my career as an EMT is over. One more layoff and my husband will probably go insane. We live in a exceptionally-tiny-for-a-family-of-five house of 900 square feet, and drive old cars. Do we want/NEED a bigger house? How many times can I say yes?? Do we need to upgrade our vehicles? Again, yes to the million. 

Is it going to happen? Likely, no. Are we comfortable, healthy, warm and happy where we are? Yes. 

When people jump  up and down and squeal about all the fame and fortune SURE TO COME from one little I hope a little? 

I wouldn't be human if I didn't hope, just a little

Chances of that happening are 10000000000000000 to none. And while I appreciate the faith in me, I'd prefer to stay on the ground, thanks. 

Good thing my reality-soil is a good foot or more deep. I can plant an entire garden of books in there and know they will grow, over time, in their own way. They may never produce that patch of fame and fortune-in fact, I never expect them too. 

That's not why I'm an author. Not at all.

So to all the non-writer supporters of authors everywhere, be careful about planting unrealistic seeds. Let the writer in your life be HAPPY with the accomplishment of simply getting an agent, getting a book deal, self-publishing--whatever the milestone may be. 

We don't need more than that. 

We don't need your future monetary predictions, or bets on when the movie will be coming out. 

We don't need your certaintly that every household in America and beyond will know our names by the end of the year. 

We don't need to discuss our book sales numbers with anyone but our agents and publishers. *psst* It's really uncouth to ask. 

We just need you to say, "good job. I'm proud of you." 

And if you see that tight little smile, assume that inside the writer's head, she is ramming her forehead into the brick wall in her mind. Or, having a character conversation, in which case, she's not hearing a word you're saying...

Either way, happy writing and happy author-supporting!!!




Thursday, April 4, 2013

Oh Hey!! It's A Book Release! Also: Never Give Up!

Happy Book Birthday to Me!

I just found out, and I'm so darn excited, that BLOOD OF ISIS was released yesterday afternoon. I had no idea. So, here it is, all official like! :) Today is the official "book birthday," so, we'll go with that.


Click the pic to go directly to Amazon

But wait! What's this 'Don't give up' stuff all about?

Well, I'm one of those people that you hear about, who starts a book and then sets it aside for a while, then works on it again, rinse and repeat. I did that with BLOOD, a lot. 

As in, SEVEN YEARS, a lot. Yes, it took me 7 long years to write this book. I had two children and changed jobs twice in that time frame. I cried more tears over not finishing it and feeling like a failure then you'd care to know. 

Most of all, I thought about these characters for SEVEN DAMN YEARS, to the point they actually made me crazy with their banter. In my head. Constantly. 
So one day, at the prodding of my good friend and fellow writer, Robin Lucas, I sat down and finished the draft in 5 weeks. From almost a decade to a little over a month, I had a FINISHED DRAFT!

BLOOD turned out hella different than the story it was when I started, but I loved it all the same. And here it is. 

I've written three more books since selling this on in September. I've grown as a writer by LEAPS AND BOUNDS. Looking back, I can't even believe how much my writing has evolved and changed. 

But I still love this book. 

I will always love this book. 

And I hope you do to. 

*Confetti toss* Now, let's eat cake!        

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Today is the day!

Are you excited, because I am. On Friday, my debut adult paranormal romance, BLOOD OF ISIS, will be released. To celebrate, you get the see the hot, juicy cover today. Oh, and I also dyed my hair red, just for the occasion. But I digress...

Even better, you get the chance to win a free copy of BLOOD OF ISIS by entering the contest below. More on that at the bottom of the page. 

Without further ado, here's the cover:

There you have it. I hope you love it as much as I do. 


Now for the fun. How about an excerpt and a contest?

The prize= a copy of BLOOD OF ISIS, released on Friday April 5th. 

Chapter One

The silver glint of a truck underbelly caught Jayda Swenson’s eye as she rounded the corner on Moon Pass. Smoke billowed from beneath the truck’s bed in the ditch, wafting up and over the asphalt as she stopped her Jeep and grabbed blue medical gloves from the center console. She ran to the side of the road with a rush of adrenaline. Her first day back at work after vacation was going to start earlier than her seven a.m. shift, it seemed. She’d missed her paramedic job, despite enjoying the much-needed break. Nothing like a truck fire to ease back into it. 

A trail of black-and-red flannel spilled from the driver’s side window; a pale arm stuck out, the hand splayed and bloody. Jayda’s heart raced as she started down the embankment. Four steps down, she stopped. Rush into the fray alone or wait for back up? It wasn’t a choice really. She had to wait.

She skirted back up to the pavement, grabbed her cell from her pants pocket and dialed 911. Fragments of plastic and metal scattered on the road caught her eyes as she glanced around the accident scene. Tire tracks zigzagged from left to right, deep lacerations slicing the soil where the truck had hammered into the soft ditch. 

“I hate this,” she muttered as the urge to slide down the hill and treat the bloody body threatened to suffocate her. Waiting sucked, but going for a victim alone was foolhardy and against every protocol and rule that had been drilled into her head over the past decade. Never go alone. Wait. Keep yourself safe. The mantras were well-learned but didn’t take away the primal fervor of wanting, needing, to help. Dispatch picked up the line, distracting her from making the choice.

 “I need an ambulance and fire rescue to the south end of Moon Pass. Tell them to take Bay Drive in.” 

“Is this the truck fire?” Dispatch’s response was scratchy. Tiny licks of pale orange flame spurted teasingly in and out of the smoke. 

“Yeah. Tell them New Brighton medic 20 is on scene.” 

“10-4, medic 20. This has already been dispatched by another…” Movement through the smoke caught Jayda’s attention. The phone slipped from her fingers as a hunched figure materialized from the haze, dragging a body. She froze with the surreal memory of a demonic form slicing through her dream the night before; one she’d woken from with a sickening feeling of dread and familiarity.

A man came into view, his broad back arched inside a tightly stretched gray T-shirt. His grunts of exertion broke Jayda from shock. She burst forward to help, grabbing the victim under one armpit, bumping shoulder to shoulder with the stranger as they pulled the victim up the embankment and lay him where grass met road. The man in gray doubled over, hands to knees in a lung-wrenching cough. 

“Sit down.” Jayda glanced at him as she knelt beside the victim. A faint, thready pulse met her touch over his carotid. Weak, wheezing breaths accompanied the shallow rise and fall of his chest as his lungs eked out a last attempt at life. Glad she was already in full uniform in anticipation of her medic shift this morning, she grabbed a pair of scissors from the thigh pocket of her pants. She cut the victim’s shirt down the center and began a quick search for injuries. His torso was bruised and purple with a depression over the right chest. Bones crunched beneath her fingers where she touched. 

“Shit!” She needed equipment and she needed it now. His sternum was broken and the backfill of blood in his jugular veins was making them pop like ropes along his neck. Another rack of coughing burst from behind her. She spun to see the stranger bend with hands on his knees. His ripped blue jeans were covered in smears of chocolate-brown mud and clung to his long legs. He was huge and he’d fall hard if his airway decided to shut down after consuming all that smoke. Jayda wrinkled her brow. She’d never be able to support him if he fell. He might be sexy in a grubby kind of way, but there was no way she’d sacrifice her back trying to catch a brute like him.

“Hey,” she barked. “Sit before you pass out! I don’t need two of you going out on me!” He took two long strides and was at her side. One masculine hand with long, square-tipped fingers gripped her arm. He pulled her to her feet. Jayda cried out, batting at his grip with her hand. His hand snaked down her leg, fumbling for something at the thigh pocket of her uniform pants. 

“Scissors?” he croaked. She bent down and retrieved the pair she’d used earlier, handed them over. Before she could speak, he turned and jogged back down the incline, heading to the driver’s side and disappearing into the smoke.

Whew, how was that?? OK, so here's your question to enter the drawing for a free copy of BLOOD OF ISIS:

What does our sexy, grubby, mystery man go to retrieve?

A: A Puppy (ahhhhh)

B: A box of chocolates & field daisies for Jayda (ahhhh) 

C: A demon who will start the demon\ zombie Apocalypse (ewwww, or ahhhh, depending on your viewpoint)

D: A junkie (ddefinitely not ahhhhhh) 

Leave your answer in a comment to win! Answer & winner will be revealed on Friday during the BLOOD OF ISIS book release festivities.