When alternative healthcare practitioner, educator, and health coach Tiffany Anderson faced major illness and an eventual hip replacement, her journey through recovery and her desire to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle inspired her to help others struggling through similar circumstances. Her experiences inspired her to write the book Butternut to Bionic: A Resource Guide for Hip Replacement Surgery.
Writing the book required Tiffany to get up close and personal about her illness, her surgery, and all the stages of her recovery. As a fringe benefit, she found herself healed and liberated in sharing the details of her journey. She’s so enthusiastic about wanting to share resources with fellow hip replacement recipients, and such a charismatic writer, that we can’t help being inspired by this author! We hope you’ll read our interview with Tiffany so you can be inspired too.
You can also follow Tiffany on Facebook or find out more about the health care services she offers at her website, www.andersontherapeutics.com.
Tell us a little about yourself!
I am a PBS nerd and proud geek who isn’t too shy to cosplay during Comic Con. I enjoy watching documentaries, Antiques Roadshow, Ancient Aliens, and classic Disney flicks. I am a Salt Lake native and fell in love with Disneyland on my first trip at age six. I’ve been a regular visitor with family and friends for decades. To simply say “I love Disneyland” is an understatement. I wear a not-so-hidden Mickey on my person at any one time and my home, vehicle, and work space is decorated with park-inspired art and collectibles. I’m a bit of an eccentric and have been described as eclectic, a healer, a teacher, and a witty muse. Writing is therapy for me. I grew up reading often and writing poems and stories, and I kept a diary during my tween and teen years. Publishing a book has fulfilled one of my childhood dreams.
What prompted you to write Butternut to Bionic?
The idea for this book came about during a time of personal health crisis. During my ordeal, I kept a journal, researched, and cataloged to make sense of an unexplained case of jaundice that led to a series of medical adventures. In a matter of months, I witnessed myself shifting from a place of exceptional health to a rapid decline that nearly ended my life. Throughout that period of time, I felt as though I was an unwilling participant in a surreal dream. I coped by taking charge, investigating, and partnering with medical professionals to heal and recover. Ultimately, I crafted this book.
Can you give us a basic idea of what your book is about?
Butternut to Bionic is a tale and a resource book about receiving artificial hips. It is written from a patient’s perspective and takes the reader on a journey of healing and survival. The chapters are presented in chronological order. From start to finish, the reader can follow along and share how I prepared for, received, and am living well with my artificial joints. Butternut to Bionic is a useful and insightful guide for hip replacement recipients, family members or caregivers, and healthcare providers.
Were there any particularly favorite sections or parts of the book that were difficult to write?
My favorite sections of the book are where I offer suggestions about pain relief and ways to manage stress. I am an alternative healthcare provider who practices what she preaches. For over two decades, I’ve been helping people to feel better and improve their quality of life through massage therapy, education (written and classroom), health coaching, and Reiki. Improving my own quality of life is a priority for me. The aim of my book is that a reader may find the information and resources to be useful in improving the quality of their own life.
Writing a non-fiction book and sharing details about my personal life has been challenging. I’ve been writing for many years, though my non-fiction writing resided in work-related pursuits such as research papers, newsletters, articles, and grants. My hip replacement surgeries, and the illnesses that led to them, has forever changed me, limited my abilities, and forced me to modify my lifestyle. Writing this book helped me to grieve. It has taken over six years for me to put this book together. There were periods of time when I felt as though I had returned to the scene of a crime, since within every chapter, and with every edit, I relived the ordeal over and over. This was hard for me to do. I spent months wondering how comfortable I would be sharing such intimate and personal details. Overall, I felt that the pros outweighed the cons and was compelled to share what I learned, how I recovered, and publish my story.
I received encouragement from my surgeon, my physician, my acupuncturist, and my dentist, who all agreed that my book would be of value to someone. Writing it has been liberating, and brought value to my life. The greatest gift I received from writing this book was the ability to express gratitude to those who helped me and to acknowledge my own survival skills. I have peeled away many layers of sorrow and pain, and found a great deal of joy and pleasure creating my book.
What do you think is the toughest issue for people facing hip replacement surgery?
Hip replacement recipients are a medical minority. The Mayo Clinic released an orthopedic study in 2014 demonstrating the prevalence of people (by age and gender) who have artificial hips and/or artificial knees. Estimates from that study state that 0.8 percent of Americans are living with artificial hips. Of that 0.8 percent, I am part of an even smaller statistic, since I received my artificial joints in my mid-40s.
The number of people to receive hip replacements is expected to climb, and more women than men are receiving both hips and knees. We are a diverse group of people from all walks of life and age groups (<50 to well over 90 years of age) who need help, resources, and guidance to embrace what I lovingly refer to as “a bionic lifestyle.” There are a variety of reasons why people need joint replacement, and there are any number of variables and possible surgical and recovery outcomes with such a diverse group of patients. We undergo an invasive surgery that forever changes us and compromises our health. That, in and of itself, is tough to face and endure … especially when we may encounter a number of unknowns based on our current health, preexisting conditions, gender, age, and how well we recover.
I recognize that people are aware life provides no guarantees. Investing in health and practicing prevention with quality nutrition, stress management, and exercise is something we hear in the media, and from our healthcare practitioners, on an ongoing basis. The emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle is crucial for the survival and longevity of a hip replacement recipient. Prior to surgery and long after hip replacement, our bodies require a high degree of ongoing maintenance and care if we wish to remain active and do our best to avoid future surgeries. Orthopedic surgeons know that hip replacements are one of their most commonly performed surgeries and are making strides to help each recipient succeed and live well with their new bionic parts. With support and education, I feel that hip replacement recipients can heal, make peace with the equipment designed to help them, and participate fully in their recovery in order to live as well as they are able.
What advice do you have for writers hoping to publish a book?
Utilize every resource available to you. Talk to colleagues, find a mentor, take classes, pick the brains of librarians, workshops, and read! Read books similar to the one you want to write. When I began writing my book, I was a bit clueless about publishing and at one point envisioned myself with a ragtag copy in a shoebox, wondering if my book would ever sit on a shelf outside of my closet.
Follow your heart, follow every lead. I took advantage of SLCC’s writing center, participated in the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge, and found a brilliant writing coach who specializes in narrative writing. I attended sci-fi writing workshops while attending the Salt Lake Comic Con. Every writer, regardless of form or genre, has a style and voice that we can benefit and learn from. Other writers have blazed the trail for us, and following any lead is helpful. The universe was smiling on me when I read an article in Utah Stories that highlighted Glass Spider Publishing. That led me to approaching Vince Font and his team. Every step along the way has led me in the right direction. Drive, passion, and believing in your book is the greatest inspiration to direct your path.
Can we expect more books from you in the future?
Definitely! I may or may not write non-fiction again, but who knows? My life experiences may offer something book-worthy in the future. I have had a twisted romance series in my thoughts and dreams for many years. I believe it’s time those characters stepped out of my mind and onto the page.
You can get Tiffany Anderson's book Butternut to Bionic: A Resource Guide for Hip Replacement Surgery in paperback or Kindle e-book here.
Glass Spider Publishing was launched in 2016 by writer Vince Font to help authors of all experience levels get their books into publication. If you have a story to tell and could use professional editing, design, publication, and marketing services, get in contact with us today.
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