Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: opioid-epidemic
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
text 2019-03-02 07:52
Me, Mattie and the Opioid Epidemic



Though the pain was bearable, it diminished everything else in my life.


Ignoring the twinges, I decided to lift and twist at the same time. Now nothing over the counter was relieving the pain in my lower back. Of course, it was Saturday late afternoon with no chance of seeing a doctor except at the emergency ward, a place I consider the less of two evils, one being death.


Who did I know that recently had surgery, wisdom teeth removed, a hip replacement – anything that would warrant a prescription for Tylenol 3. Friends, neighbours, relatives; I called them all. Finally, I scored. Ten T-3 ’s would tide me over until I saw my doctor on Monday.


It was a hellish couple of days. Some things you actually have to experience to have empathy. Chronic pain is one of them.


When I finally got in to see my doctor, after standing in his waiting room for an hour and a half (too painful to sit), he wasn’t very sympathetic.


“How did you do this?”


“I don’t really know?”


“Do you exercise?”


“I run at least twice a week."


“How old are you?”


“Sixty-nine.” “


What are you doing running at that age?” He shook his head. “If you want your back to heal stop running.” He wrote me out a prescription for painkillers and muscle relaxants and a referral to a physiotherapist.


I left his office more hurt by his incredulity than by the pain in my lower lumbar.


Running is therapy for me, it takes me out of my head. When you run, it’s not only your legs and lungs that get a workout but all your senses. You have to be aware of the terrain and traffic, sounds and colours. It’s total exertion, and you experience it throughout your body - especially in my back, at least lately.


At the time I was working on my third Mattie Saunders novel. If you haven’t met her yet, she’s an independent young woman with a social conscience and a bad attitude, who loves birds, but not so much people.


Mattie is particularly down on addicts which is not difficult to understand considering her history, but if you want the specifics, you’ll have to read the two previous books.


To have a character address a particular issue in my fiction I undertake a lot of research. Discovering the cause of the opioid epidemic killing hundreds in Vancouver and thousands throughout North America was an epiphany. Many people have become addicted using legitimately prescribed opioid painkillers. When the doctor cuts them off, they turn to street drugs cut with deadly fentanyl. It’s a short journey from respectability to the morgue and death by overdose.


It’s not a stretch to say that could have been me.


They say if you want to know an author read their fiction, so not surprisingly, Mattie softens her stand on addicts in The Bird Whisper, the next in the series and soon to be released.


What about my back?


It slowly and reluctantly got better and without too many painkillers. I discovered I preferred the pain to the zombie-like feeling I got from the medication.


And I’m back running. Okay, not quite as far or as hard, but enough to get my runner’s high. That’s the other thing Mattie, and I have in common, we don’t take advice well.


Tagore said, “We are not trained to recognize the inevitable as normal, so cannot give up gracefully that which has to go.” He was right about that, but I find myself ascribing to the words of Dylan Thomas, when he wrote, “Do not go gentle into that good night.”

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-03-19 18:08
Win one of 100 copies of Cold-Blooded - The Mattie Saunders Series Book 2
Cold-Blooded - Rod Raglin

The second book in The Mattie Saunders Series, Cold-Blooded, has just been released and you can enter to win one of 100  free E-Book editions on BookLikes until April 15, 2018.


In Book 1, The Rocker and the Bird Girl, you'll meet the heroine, Mattie Saunders, a twenty-something, slightly eccentric loner who loves birds and so far has devoted her relatively short life to the rescue, care and re-homing of exotic ones people keep as pets, like parrots.


The sanctuary her grandfather left her is out of funds and in an effort to raise some money so her birds won't be homeless yet again, she reaches out the Bodine, the lead guitarist of the bad-boy rock band Seditious. She's learned Bodine has a pet Macaw and since she assumes he's fabulously wealthy hopes he'll by sympathetic and use some of that wealth to help these precious creatures.


Telling you more would be like shooting myself in the foot since I want you to buy the book.


In Book 2, Cold Blooded, Mattie receives a call from Liz, an old friend from high school, asking if it's possible to temporarily board some reptiles at Saunders Bird Sanctuary. The Reptile Refuge where Liz volunteers has been closed be police while they investigate a suspicious death that took place on the premises.


Mattie's not concerned with the circumstances and sees it as an opportunity to reconnect with Liz as well as help some animals in distress, but she soon discovers it's not just the displaced inhabitants of The Reptile Refuge that are cold blooded.

Cold-Blooded also addresses contemporary issues including love, friendship, family, the rescue and rehabilitation of exotic pets including birds and reptiles, and the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic.


Links associated with this post;

Link to BookLikes Giveaway http://booklikes.com/giveaways


To purchase The Rocker and the Bird Girl, Book 1 in The Mattie Saunders Series as either an E-Book or Paperback go to my Amazon Author Page at




Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs



More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?