Lisa Reads: Employment Options: The Ultimate Resource for Jobseekers with Disabilities

Lisa Reads: Employment Options: The Ultimate Resource for Jobseekers with Disabilities and Other ChallengesBook cover for EMPLOYMENT OPTIONS
by Paula Ruben Viellet

(My Employment Options) 

I am distinctly ambivalent about this book, but I will give it tentative positive review. After all, it is full of useful information. It is not just designed for people with disabilities, it is for ANYONE with issues in moving forward with for new employment.

You don’t have to read this book “cover to cover.” It is designed for you to choose that areas that you need the most help in. “Employment Options” is particularly good and detailed in the self-assessment areas.

Another bonus is that this book is written by one of the experts who runs the website MY EMPLOYMENT OPTIONS, which is a national Social Security Administration (SSA) Employment Network in the Ticket To Work program. Not getting crossways with the federal government is important, these folks can help you avoid that cluster of issues.

I have two problems with the book.

1. It doesn’t particularly help with avoiding problems with state and local intricacies. Attendant Care, and the payment thereof, is a state issue. Figuring a way to keep your PCAs paid for until you can afford to dump all state funding is a daunting task. Even if some states are better than Texas when it comes to this issue, EVERY state has problems.

A number of people simply give up and decide to live in social media and watching TV.

2. I am already fairly confident in my job hunting skills. Yes, I will continue learning, but I don’t need someone holding my hand and pretending I need them to be my cheerleader. JUST GIVE ME THE FACTS AND THE STEPS and let me do what I need to do!

When it comes to my first problem, I found NMD United to be a much better resource for me. It is for people with neuromuscular disorders, and covers circumstances like my own. So far, the people I met there are interesting, active, and proactive. If you are in Texas, there is also a Facebook group dedicated to our Texas members. If you want more information, contact me and I will tell you about them.

When it comes to actual jobhunting skills, I think that an online course I’m taking is a MUCH better source of information. HOW TO FIND A WORK FROM HOME JOB OR SIDE GIG IN 30 DAYS OR LESS is interesting and fun. After a brief introduction and “setting the ground rules,” it BEGINS by talking about scams, and how to avoid them. I thought that the chapters on effective search strategies were particularly useful.

I’m almost 1/2 of the way through. Next comes the resume and interview practice, then the cover letter. At the very end, there’s even a chapter about convincing the current boss to let you work from home.

If you are interested in that class, here is the info. I found the video toward the top of the page to represent the style of the class very well.

Lisa Reads: A Dance with Dragons

Lisa Reads: A Dance with Dragons
(A Song of Ice and Fire #5)
by George R.R. Martin

Oh my goodness! My head hurts! I didn’t see that coming!

Okay, that is pretty much what I’ve been saying for this entire series. Planning and writing ASoIaF has GOT to be a challenge. I honor anyone who can do so much with so many for so long… And still make it worth reading.

When I grow up, I want to be GRRM. Luckily for him, there is very little danger of me growing up.

Some of the people in previous books that I thought were dead, aren’t. Sometimes I’m glad, sometimes I wish I could place the “kill shot” myself. In one case, I was sorry that he was still alive until he did something semi-decent.

It looks like some of my favorites got killed in this book, but if the series on HBO is anything related to the books… I’m going to get fooled again.

I will read this series numerous times. I still prefer J.R.R. Tolkien and CS Lewis. Yes, I am a fuddy-duddy. I can live with that!

OH! No, I’m not watching the series. I don’t do HBO or Netflix. I probably will watch it eventually, but I’m not in a rush. Until then, I joined the ranks of people waiting for George RR Martin to finish the series. There are many other books on my list that I’m going to read.

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Lisa Reads: A Feast for Crows

Lisa Reads: The Count of Montecristo

Lisa Reads: Storm of Swords

Lisa Reads: A Clash of Kings

Lisa Reads: a couple of books on writing

Lisa Reads: Camino Island

Lisa Reads: A Game of Thrones

First Loading Dose Is in the Rearview Mirror

image of a CAT scan machine
This Helped Things Go Smoothly-a CAT Scan (image thanks to daveynin from United States [CC BY 2.0 (])
Yes… Earlier this week I had my first step in my adventures with Spinraza.

Other than getting lost and accidentally taking a tour of Methodist Hospital and the associated parking towers, it really wasn’t a bad experience.

Of course, there was some of the “hurry up and wait” that always happens with medical procedures. Of course, I was nervous… THEY WERE STICKING A NEEDLE IN MY SPINE, TAKING SPINAL FLUID OUT AND REPLACING IT WITH OTHER STUFF!

Just the idea makes the hair want to fall out!

I got changed into that fashionable hospital gown, gave necessary samples to make sure I’m okay, and equipment installed in case they needed to give me an IV med, and headed to the procedure room.

I was laying on my side and was strapped down. (Perhaps they expected me to leap around the room once they finished?)

They quickly located the spot and inserted the needle. It wasn’t COMFORTABLE, but it didn’t hurt… Except for when one of my nerve endings got touched. THAT caught my attention, but it was only for a split second.

The whole thing probably took 15 minutes. No headache, no pain… Tiny bruise that is very hard to find.

Since then, I have been dreaming all surfaces under my skin were vibrating as things slowly reawakens. Good dream!

I’m not really sure when to expect any possible changes, or exactly what to expect.

Next dose is in about two weeks…

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Spinraza Treatments: LET THE FUN BEGIN

Still Fighting a Cold

Spinraza Treatments: LET THE FUN BEGIN

There is a treatment for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, the neuromuscular disease that I have. There are also several others coming down the pike, but… To the best of my knowledge, only one is currently deemed fit for public consumption. It is called Spinraza.

BioGen’s Spinraza information

FDA approves first drug for spinal muscular atrophy


ANYHOW… Next week I will begin treatment with Spinraza. It seems to work REALLY well with infants and young children, less well as we age. Also, this is not a “one and done” treatment. I don’t get to swallow a magic bullet and began leaping around the room. This is more like insolent for a diabetic.

I will get two doses in April and and two more doses in May. After that, quarterly. For life. (Unless I tell them to stick it someplace else…)

picture of a needle going into the lumbar region of the spine
LUMBAR PUNCTURE Photo credit: On Visual Hunt CC BY-NC-SA

Did I mention that they will withdraw some spinal fluid and replace it with medicine? I was actually going to do this last year, but… With my spinal fusion, it was difficult. They are going to do it with a CAT scan from a really weird angle.

Here is what some others with spinal fusions has said about the process:

My First Spinraza Injection Was Like Something Out of a Comic Book
(Absolutely not! They are not going to go through the side of my neck. If something goes wrong going into the lumbar region, it will mean the end of my track and field career. If something goes wrong and they inject that into my neck, no breathing or computer use.)

My Spinraza Journey

I admit, I’m a little bit nervous about the whole thing.

What Are Some Side Effects?

Here Is the List from WebMD

Yeah… It’s enough to make your hair fall out if you worry about it too much. I already have a good many of these symptoms anyhow. Nothing new under the sun…


Lisa Reads: A Feast for Crows

Lisa Reads: A Feast for Crows
(A Song of Ice and Fire #4)
by George R.R. Martin

I have to admit it: of the books in this series, this one is my least favorite. I don’t know why, though.

The plotting is still intricate and interesting. The cast of characters is still downright intimidating, and sometimes I need to use the wiki to remember who somebody is. Granted, some of my favorite POV characters weren’t in this book much… It’s hard for the dead to have much of a point of view. Some of the others are showing up in Book 5, which runs concurrently with Book 4, so I’m not cheated.

This is a beautifully written series. I just didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the others. I suspect it is quite necessary for the rest of the series…

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The Count of Montecristo

A Storm of Swords

A Clash of Kings

A Couple of Books on Writing

Camino Island by John Grisham

A Game of Thrones

Lisa Reads: The Count of Monte Christo

The Count of Monte Cristo
By: Alexandre Dumas
Narrated by: Bill Homewood
Length: 52 hrs and 41 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 08-04-11
Language: English
Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks

I have seen several movie versions of “The Count of Montecristo,” and enjoyed most of them. I seem to remember having read it (probably an abridged version) when I was about 12. The sense of adventure and the satisfaction of seeing the “bad guys get their just desserts” was just plain FUN. I will always enjoy these simplistic versions of Alexander Dumas’ book, but they don’t begin to hold a candle to the unabridged version!

Granted, there are some downsides. This book is REALLY *L*O*N*G*, 117 chapters… But who is counting? Some of the science and medical techniques are, well… 19th century. I had to work hard to set aside the knowledge I have as a 21st-century woman.

Speaking of which… I’m not entirely comfortable with Alexander Dumas’ portrayals of women. Again, they are SO 19th century!

And yet, this story just WORKS!

It sort of feels like a Gothic novel at times, but there is no supernatural activity. It also feels a bit like a travel journal at times, details of streets and actual buildings abound.

The menagerie of characters is quite impressive. Alexander Dumas keeps his people straight as well as George RR Martin does, but he isn’t QUITE as bloody. Most of his cast survives…

Alexander Dumas was writing at a time when people thoroughly enjoyed words. Sometimes, the writing is a bit tedious for our ears, but it really is a treat to savor. It just takes a while to develop a more sophisticated “palate.” Listening to this audiobook version may have helped. You can just feel the 19th century dripping through your fingers as you listen to the tale.

I was most astonished when I saw the rich themes of “repentance” and “forgiveness” running through this novel of REVENGE! I definitely will have to think about this more in the context of this book. It is a wonder!

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A Storm of Swords

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A Couple of Books on Writing

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Lisa Reads: Storm of Swords

Lisa Reads: Storm of Swords
Book III: Game of Thrones
by George RR Martin

Man… These books are WEARING me OUT!

That doesn’t mean I don’t like them. They are complicated and intense and well-written. He foreshadows so skillfully that you don’t realize what he’s doing until the thing he foreshadows happens. And THEN, you are sure he is pointing to something that is certainly going to occur, but it’s only logical misdirection!

When I grow up, I want to write as well as GRRM!

Anyhow, back to the book! Lots of people that I care about are now dead. Occasionally, I am celebrating at their death. Some of the people that I expected to be dead are still hanging around… But there are still two more books to read so far.

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Happy “Margarita Day” and Happy “Walk Your Dog” Day!

Yep, today we get Two fun things to celebrate. Pour yourself a margarita and take your four-legged buddy on an extra nice walk.

A picture of Snoopy

My old buddy, Snoopy, would have agreed! Currently, I am not a pet-Guardian on my own.

Before I take on the responsibility again, I need to do some learning and figure out how to do things better. Meanwhile, I get to share the home with Cooper, a gentle follow who is a great delight.

Meanwhile, until I’m ready to take on the responsibility, here are Dog-related Books I Want to Read:

(Yes, I understand that some of the training methods in this book have received critique. Things DO change. I still want to look at the history of dog training methods.)

a picture of a dog


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