Every year, we manage to make Christmas work—the presents,
the get togethers, the decorating, the financial expenses! We even manage to
get in some spirituality, Christmas movies and Christmas songs.
Even though my youngest autistic son has been terribly ill
and in pain for the last four years, we have managed to have the Christmas
spirit! Last year in November, he was diagnosed with a debilitating, incurable
auto-immune illness called ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue
syndrome). It is a medical condition characterized by long-term fatigue and
other long-term symptoms that limit a person's ability to carry out ordinary
daily activities. Despite constant sickness, severe pain, fatigue, suicide
threats and attempts, expensive medical bills and waning hope, we still made
But can we do it again this year?
The only treatment they have given him in the traditional
western medical world, is compression socks for orthostatic intolerance (OI).
OI describes a condition in which an excessively reduced volume of blood
returns to the heart after
an individual stands up from a lying down position. After 40 years of dedicated
research, you would think they could come up with something more than SOCKS!
Anyway, after one financial issue after another this past
year, mostly medical treatments, we are embarking on yet another diagnosis for
his illness and another treatment plan. This time it is for Lyme Disease. It is
an inflammatory disease characterized at first by a rash, headache, fever, and
chills, and later by possible arthritis and neurological and cardiac disorders,
caused by bacteria that are transmitted by ticks.
For better or worse, we find ourselves without funds this
Christmas. In fact, I have taken back gifts to the stores as much as I can. Do
we care? Not really. For what is Christmas about? Sure, it is nice to receive
presents and fun things to enjoy. But, oh, what joy and a miracle it would be
to have our son well again so that he can move forward with his life and not be
sick and in pain at such a young age.
Is our whole family on board? Yes. Even his autistic older
brother has said he doesn’t want anything for Christmas except for his brother
to get well. So, we will put up our artificial tree with old ornaments, eat
from our food storage, watch old movies we already have, visit with friends, do
as much service as we can for others and pray that God can give us a miracle of
health rather than a new video game or big-sized TV.
As the Grinch learned, “"Maybe Christmas, he
thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little
bit more." Christmas truly is what you make it.
Excited to share my latest novella release, Hawk Mountain Heist, on November 5, 2018! It is available now for pre-order for 99 cents.
Story-line: When easy-going Tanker Sutherland is jilted at the altar, he
moves to Utah for a job on the ski patrol and to train a new avalanche rescue
dog, Tobler. Tank is annoyed when he’s assigned to help a pretentious,
well-to-do woman named Olivia find her brother instead of an official search
and rescue. Never once did he dream it would involve criminal recyclers,
kidnapping, an avalanche and serious danger.
Olivia is terrified of being buried alive, but it doesn’t
stop her from going to the winter mountains during a huge storm to find her real
estate developer brother when he doesn’t return her calls. Unfortunately, she’s
assigned a ski patroller who doesn’t have his heart in the search.
Will Olivia and Tanker set their distrust aside long enough
to rescue her brother from criminal recyclers?
Will be available from other distributors this week!
Just letting you know that all of my back titles of novellas will be made available for print purchase soon. Also, all of the books I write going forward will be novellas instead of full-length novels. I'm still donating to Community Animal Welfare Society (CAWS) from proceeds of my books.
So honored to feature a local author and friend on my blog today--Sara Fitzgerald! She is amazing! Here is a behind-the-story look at A Miracle for Ann:
I wroteA Miracle for Ann because of my daughter. Savanna has autism. When she was first diagnosed, private insurance did not cover treatment for autism. My husband and I struggled to pay for the expensive treatments she needed. We had many miracles from God to help us along this journey.
I got involved in helping get the “autism” bill passed so private insurances now cover autism. We were blessed to have her attend Pingree as a toddler and now Spectrum Academy.
Savanna is our miracle child. We prayed for her every day for seven years. She has blessed our lives with so much love and joy. I dedicated this story to my husband, Russ, and Savanna.
I think some of the best stories are written from the truth you know. Although A Miracle for Ann is fictional, the emotions are real. I hope you enjoy reading this story, and wish you happy holidays this years.
Below is more about A Miracle for Ann:
Story-line: Ann is two-years-old and was recently diagnosed with autism. Her parents are desperate to help her. Ann shows great promise. However, she needs early intervention at an expensive preschool.
Going to school could give Ann the life her parents always dreamed of for her. But paying for the school would take a miracle, and this Christmas season, miracles seem to be in short supply.
“A Miracle for Ann is an intimate peek into a family’s response to receiving an Autism Spectrum Diagnosis. It highlights how this can affect people differently within each extended family system. I was touched deeply by the emotion, love and dedication of the family for their daughter." Marie Seoane, LCSW
Here is more information about Sara:
Sara Fitzgerald has a daughter with autism and was involved in getting the S.B 57 Autism Services Amendments passed. Sara was named Writer of the Year by the League of Utah Writers in 2006. She is also the author of the Christmas story, Saving Savanna. She lives with her husband and daughter in the Rocky Mountains. She enjoys spending time with her family.