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I am happy to report the book project, which is currently consuming my time, is nearing completion. It has taken a team to get to this point. And I look forward to sharing my story with you and your loved ones. I have a new website, thanks to my daughter, Katie Eigel, who kept this blog alive as a page within the site.

I have taken a break from teaching to focus on advancing the conversation about pain, which is a big goal of my book. Recently I was given the good fortune of being interviewed by Erin Hart for an article in the September issue of the American Chronic Pain Chronicle magazine entitled, “An Artistic Approach to Pain Management.”

The publication of the article came on the heels of me printing and reviewing my full-book manuscript for the first time. This was all great news. But I found myself feeling anxious and unsure, and then feeling guilty about what I was feeling.

I was reminded of a similar experience prior to my total hip replacement surgeries. Another highly anticipated moment. The day before surgery, alone with my own thoughts, I began to second-guess what I was about to do. Every fearful thought and worst-case scenario proudly paraded itself inside my mind. Is this really what I should be doing?

Had I been forewarned that these irrational fears might arise, that last pre-surgery day may have been more productive and less stressful. But no one had alerted me that my mind would want to play these tricks. It would have been so helpful to have had a “heads-up” about my pre-surgery jitters.

I am working through these new feelings and know that just like my surgeries, I will ultimately be in a better place when my book is complete and I see our understanding and conversations about pain increasing.

About Mary Byrne Eigel

Before writing children’s books, Mary spent many years teaching in classrooms and creating art in her studio. She was born with bi-lateral hip dysplasia, a painful condition that causes normal activities, like walking, to be challenging. As a child, when Mary had to trek long distances, she often wished she had a wheelchair. For her, a wheelchair offered pain-free opportunities, not limitations. Mary grew up in Chicago, which is the lakefront inspiration for the town of Sail. She lives in Missouri with her husband and two dogs, Beaux and Trey.

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