I have been offline for quite some time, and I apologize for that. My second surgery in June took quite a bit out of me physically. What they found when they went in was a misplaced screw that was pushing on the herniated L4/L5, and a lot of scar tissue had built up around my sciatic nerves (ouch, I'll tell you). The damage has brought out some herniation at L3 and bulging at L2 and L1, although that's not too bad at all. I hope by continuing to use the inversion table, I can fix that. I just need to wait for clearance to hang upside down again.
At any rate, those first few months were agonizing. When I saw my surgeon in October, I was sobbing so hard by the time I reached his office that he sent me home and said, "come back next month and we'll see about starting PT then." I had to see my pain management doctor, and we tried a Flector patch for the fusion site itself. I did not find that useful at all, but it might work for others. What I have found was a website. I did a Google search in desperation and stumbled upon the McKenzie Method. It's an institute based out of New Zealand, and he runs a PT program specifically designed for us with extreme back problems. He also has a set for neck issues too. I mentioned him to my pain doc when I saw him, and he was surprised that I found him. He said that in his opinion, McKenzie is the best way to manage severe back problems, and I agree with him. The exercises are simple, and I saw an improvement almost immediately. It hurt at first, and my range of motion is nowhere near that of those in the videos, but I'm getting there little by little. I can now move forward and backward more than a half inch, and I can lean forward and backward a little. My biggest problem right now is the tightness of my muscles. I believe that if they would stop with the spasms and loosen up a little bit more, I'd be in much better shape. But I still do the exercises multiple times a day, especially after I have to run errands or drive for any distance, and I stretch every chance I get. My kids find it hysterical when I walk in the door and immediately get down on the floor. But I have found something that works for me, and I hope it continues to help. Thank you McKenzie Institute!
So Sunshine Rising was very delayed. For that, I apologize, too. I have finally finished it, and it's a long novel. Since it has characters from the entire series in it, there is a cast of characters, and I highly recommend using it so you don't get confused. Now that Sunshine Rising is complete, I'll be working right away on my next novel. I hope this year to publish four to make up for last year (barring any further back surgeries). Please keep your fingers crossed! I have several ideas popping in my head already, and I'm anxious to get them down on paper to keep you all busy. In the meantime, I do hope you all enjoy the new book, and I thank you again for your support and patience!
Most importantly, remember to take care of your back! You only have one, and it is completely devastating when you lose it.