Monday, February 7, 2011

MY FIRST BLOGOVERSARY was 2/5, let's celebrate!!

It is very hard for me to believe that a year has gone by since I started this blog. I could have and should have started one a long time before that. Some of you are aware that in spring of 2005 I was injured on the job, and that the surgical site got infected with MRSA. I won't go into the details of all that transpired, but I will say that 4 surgeries later, I am MRSA free, 3 bones shy in the left wrist, some ligaments, and muscle pieces and also 4-5" of muscle in my rt elbow were also now missing.

At that time one of my occupational therapists (PT for the upper limbs) suggested I make a blog of my journey, that it might help with my depression.  You see, I had only received my degree in Medical Imaging 5 years prior, so now my new and well beloved career was over.  I told him "maybe", but never did.  I should have listened.

I had some physical issues before that injury, in fact was scheduled to have my left knee replaced in the beginning of June. I had some major cervical spine issues I was dealing with and I had just went another round with a nasty Kidney stone before that. (I am a producer...there are 4 in the left kidney right now) Just a month before the injury I lost my Dad.

I finally had that left knee replaced in 2008, I had some complications afterwards, and a mysterious ongoing pain and some burning behind the knee, they kept checking me for blood clots, and not finding anything, one day on a visit to my knee guy, I told him sometimes the pain went all the way down into my ankle and instep, and sometimes it was a pain, and sometimes a burning sensation. He said that sounds like nerve, which means your spine, and sent me off to see a spine specialist. During this time, I had also been through many tests with a Gastroenterologist who finally decided I had IBS (Irritable Bowel syndrome) to me it was just so funny that both of these issues didn't spring up until after surgery and anesthesia.  At any rate, the spine guy ordered new MRI's of both my cervical and lumbar spine. He said that my cervical spine was much worse than the old MRIs showed, one of the 4 bulging disks I had was now fully herniated, and the Osteophyte complex I had was 4 times the size it was when first discovered. He said, "Surgery will greatly improve this, and your arm will be better (left arm...went numb or dead, or tingly) and your pain will decrease, however I will not operate on you, due to your size anesthia is risky."  In my mind I was thinking, hell I got my knee replaced, that was major surgery. He went on, "You may find someone who will, but it won't be me, additionally, let's talk about your lumbar spine. You have spinal stenosis in 3 vertebrae, they are not to a point where surgery would come into conversation yet, but it will progress, and again, it would be high risk surgery, that I would not do. I also believe that no other surgeon would do it, unless you dropped 100 lbs. or the spine was so bad that you were not functioning at all."  NIIIICE, so now what?  well I would have had the spinal stenosis anyway he says as it is hereditary and my dad had it, but due to my previous car wreck in 1993 (beginning of the neck, knee an spine issues) that put everything on the fast track. I left his office that day feeling like, I should just die now and get it over with. I was 48, my dad was in his 60's when he was DXed with spinal stenosis.

I was not on anti-depressants or in therapy, I knew I would benefit from both, but I couldn't afford weekly therapy and my family doc would not prescribe an anti-depressant, she did give me an anti-anxiety and upped it when the gastro guy told her it would help with my IBS.  THANKFULLY BC/BS Horizon jumped in and found me a psychiatrist who would see me and medicate me without going to therapy.  IT made a huge difference.

ENTER the BLOGOSPHERE!!!  I had several arty friends that had blogs, and one day I decided to actually start viewing some of them...I looked a little each day, and one day I found the 2010 button for ONE WORLD ONE HEART, I clicked on it, and read about this wonderful international "gathering".  I visited a few blogs off the list at random, and some said YOU MUST HAVE A BLOG ( and that was actually part of the rules to begin with)   so I took the plunge!!!

I have never looked back, sometimes I go on about family crap or my health, but for the most part I talk about my view on life, the world, and art, and I share my art and my cards ( I am a member of OPERATION WRITE HOME- something to make me feel like I have a purpose, something else that blogging brought me)  This wonderful, wonderful tool, has allowed me outside of my home (as I am mostly housebound) I have made countless connections, many of which I am proud to call friends. Friends with illnesses or disabilities, and friends with wonderful ABILITIES, and just friends of like thinking.

I could kick myself (well I can't actually, LOL) for not listening to that therapist back in 2006, I think it would have made a world of difference, maybe I wouldn't have needed anti-depressants (I really don't think that, but hey, one never knows)
By the time of my 1 year blogoversary:

I had over 180 followers
over 9,500 page hits

over 315 posts
and participated in 11 Blog hops (including Last years One World One Heart and this years)...I am very proud of myself. :) I'll be prouder when I launch my Etsy shoppe, another thing I have been procrastinating for over 3 years. :(

I DO know I have all of you to thank!! you been interested in what I have to say, you like my pictures, and in general make me feel like I matter. So I toast you all! and say thanks a million for doing much for this semi-wrecked woman, and making her feel not so wrecked.

To help me celebrate a few of my friends have donated some prizes for me to give away. 

***YOU MUST visit their sites, and comment about something you saw there.
**YOU MUST comment on this post.
** NO ANONYMOUS comments allowed
**YOU MUST list your email in your comment
*** OPTIONAL, but I would APPRECIATE it---tell me what your favorite post of mine this past year was.

Please list in your comment here what would be your first choice for the prize, and I will try my best to accommodate.

 OK onto the goodies:

MagicMoon SoapWurks is donating a $10 GC...visit them here  I highly recommend the pumpkin soap for your face :)   

 Nicole from Beadwright is donating a sampler package for her bead backing for doing flatwork beading

You can get this awesomely HUGE digital package from Dezinaworld (this Image here is just a sampler) It is the ROSEY LEE set...the winner will get the full set

From FROG'S ATTIC  you could win this wonderful Heart Vintage Valentine Box (picture is not the item, it is not the actual size, it is just for viewing)

Bugaboo Stamps (one of my Favorite digital stamp companies) is offering 5 digi stamps, of your choice!

Next is a $15.00 GC from one of my favorite jewelry and other crafters...Love You More Designs

And from Me, a winner will receive 2 ACEOs  which will be wrapped in some lovely ephemera and come along with 2 tiny glass bottles of beads with cork stoppers.

 Here on the left we have "CAT = LOVE" hand made Marble technique Card stock, german scrap and dew drops, rubber stamping and an image from a calendar.
On the right we have "Natural Hope" crinkled and waxed tissue paper, rubber stamping, stickles, milagros praying hands, a MUCHA gal image raised on foam tape 

If you purchase anything from these shops, please let them know that I sent you. (Susan Guzy)

DRAWING for the PRIZES is Friday Feb. 25 at Midnight EST


just me said...

found your blog just in time for your blogoversary!! congrats!

Beadwright said...

Hi Susan congratulations on your one years. What a great time to be blogging. Thank you for allowing me to be apart of your anniversary.

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan this is awesome, what a fabulous giveaway and I didnt know you have been through so very much physically and mentally (I too have been through depression) I am so glad you found blogging, its pure magic :)
I feel honoured to be a part of your blogaversary, thank you.
I am off to visit your other sponsors now.
Hugs June x

Wendy said...

Wooohooo! Congrats. Susan on both your healing and your blog. It takes a lot of courage and strength not to give up when you're in pain and you've really opened your heart to everyone here in the blogosphere with your story. I'm so glad we "met" and have become friends.

For "Magic Moon Soaps" I would love their chocolate "an affair to remember" soap, I'm a chocoholic so that sounds so yummy and divine.

For the "Frogs Attic" I love their "Halloween" tags. Vintage and halloween together? perfect..

And your "Practical Magic" blog party post was my favorite as that's when I first discovered your blog and it was just so beautiful your post.

I love both of your ACEO'S, they're both wonderful. And I love soap and pretty things like that, so the "Magic Moon Soaps" giveaway is also something I'm drawn too.

Thank you so much for your generous giveaways and again congrats. my dear on your blogoversary!


Mermaidgyspy at aol dot com

Lynn Stevens said...

Hi Susan, Wow I had no idea so much had happened to you. I'm so sorry! The only good that came from it was you discovering bloggong and making new friends.

It wouldn't be very fair if I won again so let someone else enjoy the riches but I will post this on my sidebar and hopefully draw more interest. Its tough right now so many are involved with the OWOH and don't have much free time to check out other things.
Happy Blogaversary!!!!!!
Hugs Lynn

Danni said...

Hi Susan!

I'm ashamed to say, this is my first visit to your lovely blog, despite it being mentioned a few times by either Linda or Wendy or both!

I wanted to touch base and see if you received the email I sent you about the february fairies party. I reserved the 26th for you! :) Let me know if that works for you and if you got my original email, my email is artful.danni(at)

I hope things have been a bit less snowy in Ocean then they are in Sussex where my family lives. ;)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Congratulations Susan on your blog anniversary! I just found your blog recently though OWOH. It sounds like you've had such a hard time with injuries and illness, etc, so I'm so glad blogging has been a pleasant experience for you! It's so wonderful that so many other blogs are celebrating with you!

Kristen said...

Susan it is a pleasure to meet you! I can so relate to this post and I am glad Nicole sent me over (She is amazing ain't she) Anyway I have had similar but not to your extent (thankfully) but I would love to get to know you better so you have a new follower for sure!
Happy blogoversary!

Tracey N. said...

Nice blog! Congratulations to your 1 year blogoversary. When I saw the drawing was Feb 25, I had to comment cause that is my Birthday! I just know I am going to win the beadbacking!! It sounds like we have a lot in common with the back/neck issues. I have had 4 spinal surgeries and my Neurologist is recommending a 5th (which I am not volunteering for yet) Lol. Thanks for the giveaway! Hugs, Tracey

Sara said...

Hi Susan. I am not going to enter the blog giveaway but I wanted to leave a message saying happy blogoversary. I always enjoy your posts, your creativity and look forward to many more. Hugs Sara

jacque4u2c said...

Happy blogaversary!!!!!

Dena said...

Hi Susan,

This is Dena OWOH #324 to answer your question, sorry I took so long.

To post three gadgets across the bottom of you blog, go to design templates - layouts - footer layout

and then chose the teplate option for three. IF YOU are not using a custom design you may not have this option if you are using a pre-made template.

I hoped that helped.

Dena :)

Sara said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sara said...

Hi SUsan, I know a lot of doctors bedside mannors are are a lot to be desired. My spine they wont operate on because of heart problems and the success rate is not high enough. It makes me annoyed when they use weight as an excuse not to operate though. I hope you manage to find someone who will operate. My entries for the giveaways are as follows
Magic moon soapworks - I love their info about what is in their products on the front page
Beadwright. - I love their crystal quartz on their etsy site
Dezinaworldarchive- I love the PNG butterfly themed button on blog
Frogs attic I love their pumpkin charms for knitting stitch markers
Love you more designs - their cha cha cha charm bracelet on etsy shop
Bugaboo stamps -I love their idea gallery espescially Rae Annes 2 cards
and for your blog I loved the 30 days of truth posts that you did.


Fun With This and That said...

Nice to meet you .Your interesting blog . Hope you come back and become friends Laura

Tumbleweed Trails said...

Happy Blogversary Susan! A huge congrats on all of the followers, hits and posts. I’m so glad I’ve
met you and now have an opportunity to get to know you and follow your blog. Your
Story is incredible. You’ve come a long ways through everything.

I enjoyed visiting "Magic Moon Soap Wurks” and found the "Aromatherapy Teas"
delightful, and the two new products for February sound incredible. How di"vine…
Serendipity (‘White' Chocolate drizzled Raspberries) and Wicked Kisses (Dark Chocolate Peppermint).

I don’t even know where to begin with Nicole of “Beadwright.” I’ve been a fan of
hers and her work for so long. Can you say envious and jealous? I love every bit of her
beadwork and am fascinated that her Etsy store contains so many great things such as the
“Bead Kit Layered Flatwork Ocean Sky” as well as Essential Oils. I’d love to have one day to
spend with her and have her show me how to do some beadwork/stitches.

Dezineworld always has so many great collage sheets and such to choose from. One thing I like is Steampunk so the Steampunk collage sheets always catches my eye.

“Frogs Attic” has so many things that appeal to my senses. Because I have a tendency to
be mechanically inclined and love anything to do with travel the “Bike Tags for Gifts” and the “Original Collage for the Traveler” are two of my favorites.

“Bugaboo Stamps” has many many digistamps to choose from and the “Characters” are
my favorite. I always like Characters and Caricatures.

It’s easy to see why one of your favorite jewelry shops is “Love You More Designs” with
all the lovely jewerly to choose from. A fav. of mine would be the Vintage Chandelier Crystal Drop Earrings.

Love your prize of the beads and two ACEO’s. Your work is great and I always have a
thing for beads.

Your OWOH post is my favorite because it is through that post that I got to “meet” you
for the first time. (Along with the fact that the photos in that post caught my eye since I
love to fish, camp, be outside and use to have chickens and loved ‘em to bits when I was
on a farm).

I would be happy with any of the great prizes you are offering if I’m fortunate enough to
win. If choosing one helps you out then it would be the sampler package from Nicole of
Beadwright or your’s for the ACEO’s and beads. It’s a tie between the two of you and I
just can’t choose one over the other.

Thank you so much Susan for holding this celebration and allowing us all to be a part of it
With you.

Eeks, I've written a book here.

Warm Regards,
visionquest2020 AT msn DOT com

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Congtaulations on you blog anniversary, Susan! You are giving away wonderful prizes.

I just became a follower!

jacque4u2c said...

Last time I came I didn't get to go hop and see the give away origins but today I did WOW!

Beadwright - I love the cameo brooch she has, I always think of my sweet Mammaw when I see cameos. You never saw her without one on

Dezinaworld - I like the pink collage see, it has such an array on it - so nice.

Frogs Attic - The downloadable Strawberry shortcake - TOO YUMMY!

Bugaboo Stamps- The little elephant in the basket - just so adorable!

Love You More Designs - The vintage inspired pearl & glass necklace is just very nicely done

And then the two Aceos you made are just fantastic!

Once again happy blogoversary and I am so glad that blogging has been such a medical outlet for you - I know it has been the therapy I have needed!

Kathy said...

Hi Susan, Congratulations on your 1year anniversary. I am very happy that blogging gave you the release you needed during your hurting time. I would feel very lucky to be the winner of your giveaway.

Kathy said...

My previous comment was too short. I didn't take the time to comment on all the places you suggested I visit.
I went to Magic Moon Soapworks and I love the Muscle Rescue Bath Tea. It contains Dead Sea Salt and I have been to the Dead Sea and know all about it's healing qualities.
At Beadwright, (I just love that Nicole), I love her beaded gourd bowl that I didn't win for OWOH!!
When I visited Dezinaworld Collage, I liked the Colour Theme sheets she had. Sometimes it is nice to work with just one color.
I fell in love with the Santa Picture at Frogs Attic. So cute!
I don't know if I can go withoutthe Dragon Stamp from Bugaboo Stamp. She had so many different stamps it was hard to choose a favorite.
And at Love You More Designs, I liked her religious themes. I have a perfect someone who would absolutely love the Vintage Jesus and Mary Medal Charm Necklace.
Thank you so much for introducing me to these sites. I know I will be back to visit them often!
Again, congrats on your one year of blogging!

Micki said...

I must have missed this, and I didn't know you went through so much. I had cancer at around the time you were going through all that with MRSA, and you know about my injury last year, so we have that in common. My heart goes out to you and I am so glad that blogging has helped you. My favorite post has been this one. It was amazing what you went through and that you have persevered with such a wonderful spirit.
Happy Blog Anniversary!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Stopped by via Nicole's blog...Congrats on your blogoversary!
I also came upon your blog during OWOH. You have certainly come through a lot of tough things & I am glad that you entered the blogging realm! I am already a follower & will be back to visit again.

Marie S said...

Hey Susan congratulations on your first year.
Way to go girl!!

Micki said...

I finally had a chance to look at the sites.
1. Soapworks- I like the moisturizing and purifying moisturizer.
2. Beadwright-large agate beads
3. Dezinaworld- any vintage collage sheet
4. Frog's Attic- hand stitched tags
5. Bugaboo Stamps-character stamps
6. Love you More Designs- moon over miami charm bracelet.
Happy Anniversary!

Jenny said...

Happy Blogaversary Susan.

It sounds like you have a year with much to celebrate. I admire your courage and determination in facing down so many obstacles.

I will go visit your giveaway links!

Thanks for the fun chances!

Jenny said...

What fun giveaways. I went to all the sites and some of the things I wouldn't use so I will leave them open for another blogger who would.

From Magic Moon I would love to try the Rose Lavender cream...

And from Love you More Designs I love the Cha cha cha charm bracelet.

Thanks for the fun chance.

Woo hoo!

rockcreekcreations said...

Awesome giveaway! I visited everyone... Seed Bead Set Czech Toho Nicole's BeadBacking Nymo Needles This set would be awesome! Everything that’s needed! the not so plain jane soup because I’m battling an unknown cause of contact dermatitis.
Dezina: I haven’t looked at collage sheets all that much & I’m amazed at the variety of the images…how cool!
Frog’s Attic has some super cute stitch markers!
Bugaboo stamps-such cute designs. I’m thinking how they could be incorporated into jewelry….hmmmm.
Love you more designs…I love the pink & blue charm bracelet. It’s very light and airy!

rockcreekcreations at gmail dot com

Tess said...

I love that Cat=Love ACEO. I love cats, I have 3 babies. They mean so much to us. Loved this post...