About Me

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My journey as a writer began as a child. I wrote poems and short stories which were my way of dealing with various life changing events. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club. Follow me on Twitter @KIngallsAuthor www.facebook.com/KarenIngalls, and you can find my books at www.amazon.com. My first book is Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir which received two awards. All proceeds are donated to gynecologic cancer research. My second book is a novel Novy's Son, about one man's attempt to find love and acceptance from his father. This is an all too common problem in our society. My third book, Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is about the love affair between this great American sculptor and his model. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2017.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

RESOLUTIONS OR EMPTY PROMISES?


Resolutions are promises to ourselves to make a positive change, or to stop a negative behavior.


This tradition has a long history:

  • The ancient Babylonians promised to pay old debts and return objects.
  • The Romans started each new year by making promises to their god, Janus.
  • The "peacock vow" was made in Medieval times by knights renewing their vows to chivalry.
  • Christians pray and make resolutions at midnight church services on December 31st.
  • Judaism has a rich history of seeking forgiveness for past wrongdoings; and to forgive others.

The divorce rate continues to rise and many relationships are unhappy. Perhaps we no longer "court" one another. According to the Huffington Post, popular resolutions for revitalizing a marriage are:

        1. Change the way you act; even small gestures can create big results.

        2. Text or write love notes.

        3. Have date nights, or just quality time together.

        4. Say positive things about your partner to others.

        5. Do random acts of kindness.

These same positive acts could apply in any relationship, so let's resolve:


My New Year's Resolution for 2014 is to not let my resolutions to be empty promises. As a Christian I promise to God to forgive myself and others; to make changes to create more peace, joy, and kindness; and to nurture my body with better eating habits and physical activity.

Please share your resolutions for 2014, then we can be of support to one another.

                             Wishing you each a joyful, peaceful, and healthy 2014.
                          My most humble thanks for all your support this past year.

My thanks to the following:
           http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/21/happier-marriage_n_4481166.html
           images for new year's resolutions
           www.cartoonstock.com

                   




Thursday, December 19, 2013

GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS

                    MERRY CHRISTMAS, SEASONS GREETINGS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS...
                                  

FOR ME THE GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS ARE:

   SMILES,

          KIND ACTS,

                  HELPING OTHERS,

                           LAUGHTER,

                                    TOGETHERNESS,

                                              AND LOVE.





I believe that the world needs more of these gifts to share with one another...

There have been difficult times and situations where I live, and I pray that these gifts will be given to each neighbor...




Those friends who are facing illness, financial problems, divorce, or abuse will find help through these gifts that might be given to them...

And that family members will reach out to one another with the gifts of Christmas.


                                          As Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol said,

                                   "A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, every one!"


Thursday, December 12, 2013

MALCOLM: GRATITUDE & GRACE

I am honored to have Keith Carlson, RN as my guest blogger today. He is a nationally recognized blogger, coach, writer, and Radio-Internet personality. Today he shares a story about one patient who left a deep impression on him. Caregivers often do receive lessons from those to whom they give care.

     Malcolm was a middle-aged gay man of color whose life had been significantly challenging.  Displaced from his native country, he had a strong network of friends and a vibrant church community.Living with many serious health conditions--including AIDS—and having a fourth-grade education, Malcolm had difficulty navigating the healthcare system.

     Unfortunately, Malcolm also had a history of rectal cancer that he conveniently “forgot” about in terms of following up. As his case manager, it was a Herculean task to convince Malcolm to see the surgeon when he began having intense pain when defecating, and it was apparently not a shock to him when the doctor told us that the cancer was back.

     “I’m not getting treatment. I’m just not,” Malcolm said when the doctor left the room. “I want to die in peace.” He crossed his arms defiantly.

     “Are you sure, Malcolm?” I asked. “Is that what you really want? The doctor feels this could be treated, but he’s not making any promises.”

     
Malcolm was certain about his choice and could not be dissuaded until we had a meeting with his sisters. I didn’t want to influence him either way, instead playing the part of referee rather than advisor, only offering my opinion when requested to do so.

      After much debate between Malcolm, his family and his doctors, he underwent a successful surgery and experienced a profound improvement in his quality of life. Two years later, Malcolm’s co-infection of AIDS and Hepatitis C got the better of him. Living at home with the constant care of family and friends, he was relatively comfortable  and peacefully waiting to die.

    “I have no regrets, you know,” he told me one day. “I’ve had a lot of fun—maybe too much—but it’s been a good life. I’m glad I got this bag,” he said as he pointed to his colostomy. “Thank God it bought me a few pretty good years.”

     As Malcolm moved towards death, the vigil at his bedside intensified. One day, when he knew that he was actively dying, he looked at his friends and his sisters and said, “Thank you all so much. It’s been a good life. Please scatter my ashes near Mom’s rose bushes, and think of me every spring when they bloom. She and I will be together.”


     Malcolm died later that evening, and his family and friends gathered together in his cramped apartment to remember him and toast his memory. Despite his lack of intellectual prowess, Malcolm was a giant in his own way, a man of deep feeling and a spiritual connection that saw him through to the end.

     He taught me many lessons: 
                 1. to be present with my patients,
                 2. to allow them their own process, 
                 3. and to let go of my own agenda as a clinician. 

      I’m sure those roses are still blooming in Malcolm’s mother’s garden, and I have no doubt that when his family places those roses in a vase on his mother’s antique oak table, the fragrance that fills the room reminds them of this simple, heartfelt man who lived life on his own terms, and died with gratitude and grace.
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*Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC has been a nurse since 1996. 
*He is the blogger of the award-winning nursing blog, Digital Doorway
*The founder of Nurse Keith Coaching and NurseKeith.com.
*An editorial contributor for Working Nurse Magazine, LPNtoBSNonline.org     and DiabeticLifestyle.com.
*Featured author in several non-fiction nursing books by Kaplan Publishing. *Keith is the co-host and co-founder of RN.FM Radio, the newest Internet radio station devoted to the nursing profession. 
*His passion is helping nurses and healthcare professionals find satisfaction in their personal and professional lives by manifesting the ultimate balance between workstyle and lifestyle. 




Thursday, December 5, 2013

CONTINGENCIES: THEY CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE






Thomas Edison believed in contingencies, or those future events that are possible, but just cannot be predicted with certainty. He was a pragmatic optimist; he was not "pie in the sky," but believed in himself.  He believed in hard work, common sense, and stick-to-itiveness. Perhaps that is why he is one of the greatest inventors of all times.


When I was a senior in high school I had a B+ average, was involved in various service clubs, but I did not score well on my SAT. I do not know if that was because I had sprained my ankle playing volleyball in gym class the day before, walked the UCLA campus on crutches to get to the test site, and was still in a lot of pain with a very swollen ankle. Whatever the reason, a few weeks later the school counselor said,

                  "You will not be accepted into any college or university with such a low score."                

    The following September I was a freshman at the University of Colorado and was told:

              "With such low SAT scores you will never graduate from here."

Well, I did not graduate from CU only because my mother was dying and I had to quit school. However, I did graduate a few years later with a BA degree in Minnesota, and went on to get a Master's Degree.

I worked hard, had stick-to-itiveness, and used the common sense the Good Lord gave me. I knew that someday I was going to be a college graduate and receive the training and education in the nursing field I so desired.

"What you are will show in what you do." This is a quote by Edison, which has long been a favorite of mine. "What you are is God's gift to you, what you do is your gift to God," is a quote by Emmett Fox. The words spoken by these two men have been powerful  motivators to me for most of my life. Therefore my contingencies were events that I felt I could make come true. I faced abuse, divorce, untimely deaths, cancer, and such negative words from counselors with a strong belief in myself.

I'm a cancer survivor of 5 years, an award-winning author, and a retired RN with two college degrees.
  •  What are your strengths?
  •  How do you face obstacles?
  •  Do you believe in yourself?
  •  Are there contingencies in your life?


For the month of December my book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, is available at 15% discount when ordered at www.BeaversPondBooks.com. Enter the word "Gifts" in the coupon box.

**All proceeds go to gynecological cancer research at Mayo Clinic, Rochester and Florida Hospital Cancer Institute.