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Tuesday, June 28, 2016


In 2008, cozy mystery, paranormal romance, and inspirational writer Joanne took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. She began by publishing articles and book reviews in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. Learn more about Joanne and her books at her website. 

Dealing with my Achilles Tendon

I limped into my doctor’s office and described the muscle spasms in my right calf that had morphed into excruciating ankle pain. While speaking, my mind raced through possible remedies: physiotherapy (my preferred choice) or anti-inflammatory medication (I would grit my teeth and endure the nausea and upset stomach).

“You’re having problems with your Achilles tendon,” he said after inspecting my calf and ankle. “A boot will do the trick.”

“Excuse me?”

“An Air Cast Boot,” he said while writing out a prescription. “You can pick one up at the Home Health Care Center across the street. Wear the boot for four to six weeks and your tendon will be back to normal.”

“What if I just rest and take it easy for a week? Maybe take some Tylenol 3...or something stronger?”

“Do you want to limp for the rest of your life?”

A bit extreme, I thought, but I was in no position to argue. At the Center, I listened as the sales associate explained the boot’s benefits. Wearing it would slowly and safely restore strength in my tendon while keeping the foot and ankle at a constant angle. She also showed me how to inflate and deflate the boot, but my mind was elsewhere.

There was no way I could drive, take the stairs, or walk on uneven terrain wearing that boot. And while I could remove it for showering and sleeping, I would have to wear the boot for at least ten hours a day.
After two days of complaining about my “new” restrictions, I decided to focus on my blessings and emerging positives:

I started with a shift in perspective. In 2004, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer and had to undergo ten months of grueling treatments. In comparison, wearing an Air Cast Boot for six weeks would be a cakewalk.

The injury was a minor sprain and not one that would require a hard cast and months of physiotherapy.

My extended health benefits covered 80 percent of the boot’s cost.

I was grateful for the elevator in my condo building and the well-maintained grounds that enabled me to walk freely and confidently.

Whenever I ventured outside, I had renewed appreciation for ramps, elevators, automatic doors, and main level entrances.

Wearing a boot slowed me down and made me more mindful of each action taken. If it wasn’t necessary or pleasant, I let it go.

After meeting with a foot specialist, I learned that improper footwear may have contributed to my Achilles tendon problem. I retired my heeled shoes and invested in Clarkes, Trotters, and Etonic running shoes. Whenever I wear my new shoes, I know that my feet and ankles are comfortable and well-supported.


A Season for Killing Blondes

Hours before the opening of her career counseling practice, Gilda Greco discovers the dead body of golden girl Carrie Ann Godfrey, neatly arranged in the dumpster outside her office. Gilda’s life and budding career are stalled as Detective Carlo Fantin, her former high school crush, conducts the investigation.

When three more dead blondes turn up all brutally strangled and deposited near Gilda’s favorite haunts, she is pegged as a prime suspect for the murders. Frustrated by Carlo’s chilly detective persona and the mean girl antics of Carrie Ann’s meddling relatives, Gilda decides to launch her own investigation. She discovers a gaggle of suspects, among them a yoga instructor in need of anger management training, a lecherous photographer, and fourteen ex-boyfriends.

As the puzzle pieces fall into place, shocking revelations emerge, forcing Gilda to confront the envy and deceit she has long overlooked.

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Joanne Guidoccio said...

Thanks for hosting me today :)

Ashantay said...

Isn't life interesting - we often learn the best, most lasting lessons when thrown into a situation we dislike, one we'd rather avoid. Best wishes for continued health!

Barbara Bettis said...

Joanne, Big hugs on making it through the breast cancer period with such success! As for your Achilles injury, I so sympathize. I didn't have that problem, but I developed a foot issue that has forced me to give up heels, too, which I've worn all my adult life. At first I felt undressed without them, especially in the classroom. But it wasn't long before I came to the realization you did--if my feet are properly supported, I'm much happier! Hope you're fine now!

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Ashantay, I agree...my lasting lessons have been grueling ones. I don't learn the "easy" way! Thanks for dropping by. :)

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Thanks Barbara! I also went through a period of adjustment with my new shoes. While I miss the extra inches of height (I'm 5'2"), I'm grateful for the comfort and improved health.

judyalter said...

Joanne, I'm wearing a boot now and forbidden to put weight on my right foot. Nice to hear from someone who came out on the other end. And big hugs for overcoming cancer.

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Hang in there, Judy! You will get through this experience with improved mobility.

Unknown said...

Great story, Joanne! I'm glad everything's okay and that you turned your challenge into another thing to be grateful for! ❤️

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Choosing gratitude works each time. Thanks for your continued support, Jeannie :)

Zara West said...

Thanks for reminding us that it's how were view things that makes them either hurdles or helps.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

I tore up the ligaments in my right ankle several times. Once, the doc had to realign them and put me in a cast. The attention was hilarious. But getting it off and back to new was the best part. Get well!

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Hi Zara, Perception is key. We can easily make mountains out of molehills and stall the best of intentions. Thanks for dropping by. :)

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Ouch, Vicki! I'm glad to hear you survived and thrived. I felt wonderful once the boot was off and all the pain was gone.

Kaye George said...

I hope this takes care of it and you're rid of the boot for good when this is over. Is a character going to have an Achilles injury in the future? Hope you're taking notes for that!

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Hi Kaye, The boot is stored away, hopefully for good. Thanks for the suggestion - I should mine this experience further and incorporate an Achilles injury into a short story or novel.

Ilona Fridl said...

I feel your pain. I kept grumbling about little things that went wrong with me finding they were annoyances. Then came my foot and leg breaking down completely. I wish I could grumble again about the little things.

Joanne Guidoccio said...

I also recall spending time (too much time) complaining about minor frustrations and disappointments. Take good care of yourself, Ilona.

Patricia Stoltey said...

The body always gets better when we retire the high heels forever!

sorchiadubois said...

Oh, man--does that sound familiar. Practicing gratitude--especially when things are circling the drain as they prepare for their descent into sewage--is hard! Sounds like you found the silver lining and muscled your way through. Congratulations on your successes both in gaining health and in your writing life.

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Hi Patricia, I'm amazed by how wonderful my feet and legs still feel, even after hours of walking or standing. But my younger self would not have willingly retired the heels. Thanks for dropping by. :)

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Thanks Sorchia! Love this expression "things are circling the drain as they prepare their descent into sewage." I can recall many times where I experienced that particular state. Gratitude and a positive attitude helped.