I want to share the words I said at the launch.  They were spoken with a lot of emotion.

So much of life is in the smallness of moments…but harder to mark.  And even harder to remember….Tonight we are enjoying the grand celebration to mark the completion of a book, a book that took far too much of my time.

The deeper the difficulty fulfilling the dream, the brighter the outcome of the fulfillment. The sweeter the celebration.

I feel honored that you are here for our celebration.

Allow me to offer you some background on how this book actually came about.

Try to think back to a time when you faced a life changing

Situation that you wanted to run from.

When I left the doctor’s office on that fateful day after my diagnosis of urinary retention I was glad to know the root of my problems but I also I felt humiliated, defeated, and overwhelmingly and embarrassed.

My many confusing symptoms were caused by a broken part…and to make matters worse it was…down there…

As I continued my daily life I had a menagerie of thoughts I needed to work through. Sometimes facing the world was difficult.  To help process my thoughts I started journaling sometimes as prayers to God.

I had so many notes I decided to start an anonymous blog TrudyTriumph.com, under the pen name Trudy Triumph.

On February 12 of 2012 I posted my first blog entry sharing with the world about how I felt about my diagnosis of neurogenic bladder.

The book started then too.

Here we are 4 years later the book was born, hard labor and a collaboration that happened, beyond my wildest dreams.

When I imagine the reaction of my friends and family to this book and its topic, I feel a bit queasy because, now they will have a peek into my very private life.

Part of me does not exactly want to be remembered in connection with a toilet, yet I see toileting dysfunction as a last frontier of topics that need to have mature acceptance and an active audience.

Here I am talking to you about bladder and bowel problems. This was once an unspeakable topic for me. I knew that good girls did not discuss such topics.  Now you can see the deep crevice in my mind, I needed to cross.

And yes I not only crossed it I threw my paddle away!!

We finally have a book that is by a patient, for a patient.  Now the world will see the other side of the story.

I would like to do a reading from Beyond Embarrassment

Beauty from Adversity

I collect sea glass — pieces of clear and colored glass that were, at some point, thrown into the ocean, broken, and are now polished and made beautiful from years of being tossed in the waves and scoured on the sand. The excitement is in the hunt as I walk along the beach, enjoying the water and waves. Imagine: what was once garbage has become a treasure beyond measure.

On my birthday one year, my adult daughters whisked me off to an island near our home to look for sea glass

As I walked on the beach with my daughters that day, I glanced down. Right between my toes sat a cobalt blue pebble.

If a bottle floats on the sea and never encounters a storm or smashes into some other debris, it may come to rest on the sand and eventually be buried forever. But if it hits rough seas and crashes on the rocks, it will break. The resultant fragments will be tossed about and eventually burnished into the treasured pieces of sea glass that I collect.

Are not our setbacks a bit like sea glass? As we encounter adversity, we are forced to adapt and grow. I encourage you to find what works for you — everyone is different and lives with his or her own unique cir­cumstances I have shared my story with you from the first symptoms to diagnosis, from early strategies to the routines and processes that have helped me live with my new normal. My hope is that reading about my journey may help you discover your own path. As you travel through rough patches, may you be encouraged by the knowledge that others share your struggles and are living their lives in the best way possible.

And now this book Beyond Embarrassment, reclaiming your life with neurogenic bladder and bowel is a reality.

There are many people who made this night possible.

First of all, I would like to thank my compassionate, brilliant, and encouraging husband, Randy Lake. He is my partner in life, and I am so very grateful. He has been supportive of my wrestling with issues as a patient and loving me through difficult situations. The topic opens up aspects of our private life as well. He agrees with me that this story will help people, so he is willing to lay his privacy aside.

After I started the blog, my urologist Dr. Lora Plaskon suggested that I write a book her confirmation was empowering.

My luck did not end there. I have a dear friend, Julia Parker, who is a research medical librarian she really believed in this dream and made it her dream, too. When Julia started adding her research and grounded ideas, we got excited because the manuscript became balanced, complete, and credible, my story and her in-depth research, like yin and yang.

My road to finding the healthcare and support I need is sprinkled by lovely people.  Before I retired my colleagues at the Kent school District, including the school nurses at each facility, helped make my working possible.

My dear friend Dr. Earl Bardin whom helped me on the right path to good medical care.

Along the way in the early days when my confidence was rock bottom I had proofreaders who provided me sound advice and encouragement:  Susan Kopczynski Jostrom, Kathy Imahara, Susan Engle, Joan Burt, Elaine Plummer, Mary Etter, Sandy Newcomb and Renee Meade. They gave me great ideas and helped me see that my project had potential to continue. What they saw was raw and slight but these women took the time and offered up hope and saw potential in my writing.

I also want to thank the people, some anonymous and some not, who have shared their heartfelt stories and expertise with us.

I had encouraging writing coaches, kind and so very talented editors,    So many people helped with this project.  Too many to even name.

Beyond Embarrassment offers coping tips, facts not just for those who suffer from neurogenic bladder and bowel but others that might have a difficult diagnosis to overcome.

I want to reassure others afflicted with medical disorders that they are not alone, never forget we need to advocate for ourselves, that there are ways to cope, and life can be wonderfully lived.

We all have the right to shed the shame and stand proud!