UPDATE: Beginning to Begin (again) Part 4!

**PART 4 (last portion) of my Hello! and Beginning to Begin, again post! You can find Parts 1, 2, and 3 by clicking on the numbers**

Since I was not in any medical danger, Dr. M said I should finish my school term and see him again after finals which also gave me a chance to digest everything. It turned out that the cement surrounding the short smooth stem in the femur cracked allowing the device to begin slipping out of place.

This was a possible (although very unlikely) outcome for choosing that short smooth stem. I do NOT at all regret nor have I ever regretted my decision to have a short smooth stem used in the femoral part of the device. I was just unlucky.

For some reason being unlucky seems to just happen to me a LOT. Because I had been infection free (knock on wood) for several years, Dr. M recommended a completely different type of device that does not use cement. No cement means no cement can fracture or degrade. Instead pins are used to affix the device into the bone. This also requires a secondary incision on the lateral (outside) part of the thigh. And this option has a longer recovery period including being non-weight bearing for two months post-op in order to let new bone begin to heal around the pins prior to putting full weight on the leg. Not waiting enough time can cause the device to fail and I told Dr. M that I WAS NOT DOING THIS AGAIN. I’ll talk about more this surgery in a separate post as there were a LOT of problems this time with the hospital and anesthesiologist.

On my last visit, Dr. M said that there was enough new bone growth around the pins for me to be able to start going to PT (physical therapy) again. I just had my PT evaluation this past week and begin going to PT this Tuesday. Unfortunately neither of the awesome physical therapists that I had before still work at this clinic (the second was promoted to being director at another clinic and the first received such a fabulous job offer at an adult day care center that she could not refuse). When I was last there was two years ago my second primary PT was promoted a therapist from the clinic he was going to basically switched places with him it was known that I had originally planned on switching to his new clinic. I felt that this new physical therapist was perhaps not so happy with the switch and I felt like she took her resentment out on me.

I purposely scheduled my visits for when they came back from lunch as the clinic was when there were less people in the gym making it easier for my physical therapist to spend more one-on-one time with me. Even with the gym being essentially empty this new woman would only spend 5-10 brusque minutes with me instead of the 40-60 or so minutes that I had always received before. This continued for the three weeks I was there before my trip to San Francisco. At first I thought maybe she was having a bad day, but when it continued I began to not want to go anymore. I felt that the way she was treating me was extremely unprofessional, inconsiderate, rude, selfish, and petty.

So when I called to make my eval this time and was told it she might be the one doing the eval I explained why I was very uncomfortable working with her and requested the other therapist. Unfortunately, the day before I received a call saying that, that therapist had some kind of family emergency and would be out the rest of June. I am truly sorry that he had some kind of emergency and I wish him the best. But I was NOT at all happy to learn that the one I wanted to avoid was going to be doing the eval unless I wanted to wait a few more weeks which I didn’t. But for the very first time, I would be switching teams following the eval. While she was polite during the eval I didn’t feel that she was very thorough. I felt that she rushed through parts of it and once again spent very little one-on-one time with me. And at the end when I normally would receive ice she didn’t even write for it and was of course out of the room at that moment. But I felt done and figured I could ice just as well at home as I have the same ice pack.

So when I went to make my appointments for that week I confirmed that I would be switching to a different team. This team contains two PTs, one that I know somewhat because my sister used to see him and the other I have not worked with directly before.

I am a bit nervous as in ALL time I have spent doing PT, I have always been on the same team in the back room. Now I’ll be on the other side of the gym where two teams work. I know no one can ever completely take the place of either of the two primary PTs I’ve had, but I hope that I will be treated with professionalism and kindness without any residual feelings of resentment.

So with a new round of gait training (ie learning how to walk) ongoing and being able to take a part time load of classes it is time for be to Begin, again.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Yours truly,

**You can find Parts 1, 2, and 3 by clicking the corresponding numbers.**

Please find me on Instagram and all other social media @jaclynsmusings


UPDATE: Beginning to Begin (again) Part 3!

**PART 3 of my Hello! and Beginning to Begin, again post! You can find Parts 1, 2, and 4 by clicking on the numbers**

Just as planned I had the first in a series of three surgeries on June 13, 2011 which was the beginning of phase one: Deconstruction and Clean up! All of the diseased, damaged, and infected bone was removed. Next Dr. M used several gallons of an antibiotic/antiseptic solution with was is essentially a very large wire brush (like one uses for bottles) to literally scrub the inside of my bones, up the femur to the hip, down the tibia to the ankle. Surrounding soft tissue was also cleansed. A lightweight metal rod was inserted as a place keeper to keep the soft tissue from collapsing without bone connecting the thigh region to the calf.

Numerous antibiotic beads were also put throughout the entire area. What NO ONE ever tells you is that antibiotic beads as well as cutting bone BURN horrifically. If you are familiar with the 1-10 pain scale, this type of excruciating pain ranks about a 15. The pain was so incredible that I was sent home on a PCA (patient controlled analgesic) pump. I was still in horrific pain even WITH the continuous IV pain medication. I spent the summer of 2011 completely non-weight bearing on my left leg as there was NO knee joint or bone in that region in a straight leg brace, wheelchair bound, and essentially bed bound.

It was during this time that the seed of an idea of starting a blog was planted. I desperately needed something to do, to look forward to doing. And there was a lot to learn about blogging from html coding, to deciding whether to use wordpress or blogspot, whether to be self hosted, what I wanted the site to look like, and what to name it.
Fast forward to May 2014, I had completed a FULL year, TWO semesters of (community) college. I had not been physically able to successfully complete a college term in 9 years! I had been out of PT (physical therapy) for a year and was able to pretty much do whatever I wanted. And what I wanted most was to travel. I had been dreaming of traveling for so many years. I could not believe that it was actually happening. Last summer I spent 6 weeks traveling throughout the east coast. (I’ll write more about this later one). The only problem was when I was out walking on Memorial Day my leg buckled. I did not actually fall and my leg had buckled many times before, but this time was different. I started having pain. The pain persisted. I tried to get an appointment with my surgeon but couldn’t until July when I was supposed to be back east. I went to urgent care as I was quite concerned especially with my trip just a couple weeks away. They did not think there was anything seriously wrong, but at least agreed to getting xrays. I was surprised when the films came back fine. But continued to prepare for my trip.

Unfortunately, the pain in my leg did not get better. It ended up getting worse while I was away. While I did have some amazing experiences during my trip, the continuing and later increasing pain definitely put a damper on everything which caused me to not be able to do many things I had wanted to. 

August brought the start of school and still had not been able to see Dr. M as my appointments kept getting canceled. Once again my pain doctor, Dr. G. tried to figure out what was wrong by ordering further studies which just did not reveal the problem. It was October by the time we figured out the problem and it was not one of the two possibilities Dr. M had said he thought it was. And the ONLY solution to this problem was surgery.

Yours truly,


**You can find Parts 1, 2, and 4 by clicking the corresponding numbers.**

Please find me on Instagram and all other social media @jaclynsmusings

UPDATE: Beginning to Begin (again) Part 2!

**PART 2 of my Hello! and Beginning to Begin, again post! You can find Parts 1, 3, and 4 by clicking on the numbers**

About four and a half years ago I began to explore how to go about starting my own blog. Four years ago on June 13th I had the first surgery by my (current) surgeon, Dr. M, which involved the removal of ALL of the diseased bone in my left leg. At that time I had no way of knowing if this particular surgeon would actually be able to do what he claimed he could. See at that that point I had already had 6 surgeries on my left leg at two different doctors, seen over a dozen surgeons many at leading teaching hospitals, and spent well over a years worth of time IN the hospital in the two years since this problem (for lack of a better term) began.

The three previous surgeons who had operated on me had all said that they could “fix, solve, or cure” the problem, but none had. I was told that amputation was my only option. Only after inquiring was I given names of other specialty surgeons who might be able to help me. Dr. M was literally the very last surgeon I saw after the third operating surgeon told me that my only option for any sort of quality of life was an above the knee amputation. Of the list of about 12 surgeons that I saw that time around for a second opinion only TWO said that it might be possible to save my leg. I believe one advocated having my leg permanently fused straight which I had already decided was NOT a feasible option for me and that I would rather have an amputation than a fusion. Imagine trying to seat in the front seat, much less drive a car with your left leg permanently straight!

Both my pain management and infectious disease doctors thought that there MUST be a way to save my leg, but neither had any idea of where to go. It took a couple months to even get an appointment with Dr. M as I had been told he was moving to Palm Springs. I was ready to follow as I truly had NO where else to go in state. So finally at the beginning of December 2010 I met Dr. M. We heard so many great stories from his other patients while we waited in the excruciatingly TINY office. I’ve never before or since ever seen so many patients pleasantly chatting with each other exchanging “war” stories during the often multiple hours long wait Thankfully the wait time has been much improved from then when I had heard it wasn’t uncommon to wait 6-8 hours to see the doctor. It can still be quite a long wait at 2 or more hours, but I learned quickly how worth the wait it was.

Dr. M actually took the time to LISTEN to my history. He also took the time to explain to me how his approach differs from most orthopedic surgeons, the multiple surgical steps involved, and what options I had. I told him about my need for having a way out that would allow me to have the longest residual limb (stump) IF need the amputation arose. He explained how traditionally orthopedic would use a long rough (like sandpaper) textured stem that would run up the center of the femur nearly to the hip. He also said that when a stem like that has to be removed/replaced it there was a high risk of the femur shattering. I told him that, that was a fear of mine. He said that since he uses custom made internal prosthetic devices that he would recommend a short stem with a smooth texture. That way when (not if, as I am quite a bit younger than the typical age of his patients and would likely need 2-3 replacements as at most they only last a total of 15- 20 years with periodic maintenance surgeries) the upper portion needed replacing that it would protect the rest of the femur. Plus it gave me a way out which I desperately needed then.

Yours truly,


**You can find Parts 1, 3, and 4 by clicking the corresponding numbers.**

Please find me on Instagram and all other social media @jaclynsmusings

GenBeauty LA 2015 & 2016

I LOVE Generation Beauty or GenBeauty as it is affectionately called. Last May, for the second year in a row I had the opportunity to attend this amazing event! I just received an email today that tickets for GenBeauty LA 2016 have just gone on sale. The catch is that instead of it being the last weekend in May/ first weekend of June it is the last weekend in January. It is literally the weekend immediately before the Spring semester begins. I am not complaining exactly since it means returning to the event only 8 months after the previous one. I am just not looking forward to what will likely be an even longer wait until the event after that.

Plus it taking place immediately after Spring semester was a great thing to look forward to. That said, I have already purchased my ticket as I expect tickets to sell out quite quickly. Plus the current pioneer rate is not only the cheapest price the tickets will be, but there is the protection of tickets being 100% refundable which later tickets are not. I do hope they cap the attendance this time (or move to a larger venue) as it was a bit tricky getting around in my wheelchair with THAT many people. Plus several booths ran out of their goodies within the first few hours of the first day. it was as if they had not be properly informed by Ipsy as to the number of tickets sold.

That said, I still had an amazing time! I met with so many fabulous brands and received so many incredible products that I am still working through! I will say a couple of my most favorite items that I received at GenBeauty include the super silky soft powder brush from IT Cosmetics which has quickly become my most favorite brush ever! I also received the brand new Born This Way Foundation from Too Faced before it was released to the public. It is a great foundation and one of my favorites! I also love the Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer I received from Bare Minerals. This is one of my favorite daily use foundations as this truly gives me a my skin but better look.

If you live in Southern California or have the ability to travel I HIGHLY recommend attending GenBeauty. The sheer amount of goodies you receive just for attending are just amazing! Plus nearly every booth also gives away another goodie for visiting them and posting something on social media (usually Instagram). And nearly every booth has giveaways throughout the weekend.

I do want to say that the Ipsy staff were so kind and helpful before the doors opened they made sure I had a place to wait in the shade. They also brought me water and made sure I was one of the first inside so I could get to a booth of my choice before all the masses descended.

I had contacted Ipsy Care prior to the event and the woman I corresponded with was so kind and helpful. She made sure that the event staff were aware of my attendance and that I would be in my wheelchair. There is NO way I could have made it through the even without my wheelchair. Just like I would not be able to make it through the school day without my wheelchair either. At least not yet. Eventually I hope to be able to return to just using crutches and then just my two legs.

Ipsy does hold a special event the night before GenBeauty that is invite only for some creators. It is a dream of mine to one day be able to attend this elite event. One can dream right? Until then I will continue to enjoy GenBeauty like everyone else. New this year was a GenBeauty in NYC, which was held only a few weeks ago. I heard it was an amazing event! I wonder if there will be other GenBeauty events throughout the USA in 2016? The LA event will be just a few weeks into the new year, so they certainly have the time and ability! Although if Ipsy were to through more than one GenBeauty even in LA in 2016, I would certainly be a big supporter!

Have you been to GenBeauty either in LA or NYC? Or are you interested in attending the LA event in January 2016? If so please let me know, I’d love to meet you there!

Tickets can be purchased through the GenBeauty website: www.genbeauty.com

NOTE: It looks like the Pioneer Rate will end on November 8, 2015 or when tickets sell out which ever is first. Only the Pioneer Rate is refundable.

Yours Truly,

Please find me on Instagram and all other social media @jaclynsmusings

**I am in NO way affiliated with Ipsy. I just LOVE their event GenBeauty. All opinions are my own**

UPDATE: HELLO! (again)

**PART 1 of my Hello! and Beginning to Begin, again post! You can find Parts 2, 3, and 4 by clicking on the numbers once those parts are live**

So I know I have been away from posting for quite awhile and a LOT has happened since then. It is my intention to begin blogging more consistently. And I would be truly interested in hearing from YOU, my amazing followers. I would love to have more dialogue with you.

I’ve recently become active on Instagram and will be posting a link to my profile. Instagram has by far become my most favorite form of social media and I would LOVE to engage with you if you use Instagram. If you don’t then comments section below is another great way to get in touch with me. I am very interested in hearing from YOU to find out what type of posts you are most interested in. Also I am quite interested in having a dialogue with you to learning about you.

So PLEASE introduce yourself!

Up until now I have not posted any photos of my whole face on my blog. While is is quite common among book bloggers, it is quite uncommon among beauty bloggers. I am very interested in changing how I blog so as to be of more interest to you. But I can only do that IF you let me know what interests you.

I plan on continuing to write reviews and have a LOT of fabulous products that I am very excited to share with you. Some ideas for other types of beauty related posts include makeup looks, makeup tutorials, DIYs, monthly favorites, seasonal products/colors, collaborative post, and OFD (of the day) type posts. Although I am open to your suggestions and ideas.

I also want to go back to including more book related posts from reviews, to interviews with characters and authors, to favorite books of the month, and upcoming releases. I recently found out that the author of one of my favorite series that I discovered through blogging will be releasing not one, but TWO new books this year! I literally cannot wait until she sends that ‘magical’ email stating that the ARC (advance reader’s copy) is available. I may or may not have already begun re-reading the first three books. Anyone have a guess what series?

Lastly, I plan to include more update posts on my physical challenges and my journey. When I first started this blog I wrote much more often about my life. Anyone who has followed me since the beginning might remember when I wrote about being in between surgeries, writing while still in the hospital post-op, and about learning to walk all over again. In many ways I have come so far in the nearly four years since I began this blog! In other ways, I feel like I am back to when I was having to re-learn how to walk. And actually I will be having to go through gait training for the fifth time.

So PLEASE let me know what YOU want me to feature or include more of on my blog. I would love to have more dialogue in the comments below and on social media, especially on Instagram. I am also always available by email! Introduce yourself! I’d love to get to know you. If you are new a huge WELCOME, and if you are a longtime reader, WELCOME back and thank you for your patience.

Yours truly,


**You can find Parts 2, 3, and 4 by clicking the corresponding numbers once those parts are posted.**

Please find me on Instagram and all other social media @jaclynsmusings


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