My name is Lisa and I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2007, I had spine surgery to replace ruptured discs, a result of being hit by a city bus. Unfortunately, I would find out that something went wrong during surgery, causing peripheral nerve damage, spinal embolism, and giving me what is called RSD or now more commonly called CRPS with Causalgia in both of my legs. RSD/CRPS is a severe chronic neurological pain disorder, rated highest on the McGill Pain Index. http://tuumest.com/MEDICALJUSTICE/McGill.html above cancer and unaided childbirth. You can read more about RSD/CRPS at RSDSA.org.
At the time, I had never even heard of CRPS, and it is still something that most people are not aware of. Sadly though, it is now affecting more and more people from children to the elderly. There is even a celebrity who suffers from it, Paula Abdul, who got RSD from a spinal injury as well, hers from a plane crash.
Before RSD, I graduated From Baylor University (“Sic Em Bears”) by way of Northwestern. I have a degree in Psychology, with specialization in Forensic Psychology, and a minor in Religious Studies. I danced competitively growing up, and was cheerleader in college. After graduating, I owed and ran a successful business, a Coffee House/Bar/Restaurant in Tulsa Oklahoma called “Gold Coast.” I was even elected as the “Mayor of Brookside” one year, the area where my business was located. Later, I worked at the Medical Examiner’s, and was then recruited to work with the Tulsa Police Department’s “Gray Squad,” their Cold Case Homicide Unit. I am also a jewelry artist, and have designed and sold jewelry both online and in stores for years. I have also collected and sold vintage clothing, accessories, and antiques since 1999.
After 13 years of marriage, and a very long divorce starting immediately after my diagnosis, I lost everything that at the time I thought was important. My home, all assets, and even most of my personal possessions. It took me some time, but I began to fight, and started to live again. Only just having to live differently. And now I realize, I actually live better. It has given me a whole new lease on life so to speak. I enjoy every little moment, and do not take anything for granted. I have faced most of my fears head on, and dealt with things that I never knew I would be strong enough for. I have beat all odds. I am walking, and though I most likely will always have it, you would never know by looking at me what all has gone on “behind the scenes.” I am living my life to the fullest regardless. There are of course good and bad days, and some days/weeks/months are more difficult than others. But, I have beautiful children, and I have started a brand new life.
Going from having everything at my disposal monetarily, to losing everything, was a difficult transition. And being a single mom, I had to do something to help with costs. After reading an article several years ago about “couponing,” I decided that I had to learn.
When I first delved into the world of couponing, I did so thinking that shows like TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” were the norm. I thought I could walk in a store with coupons, and I could walk out with a cartload of free stuff. Instead, I found that “couponers” had a bad reputation amongst store associates for being demanding and rude, and some of the practices shown on TV are actually illegal! I found stores changing their coupon policies because of the show, empty shelves whenever there was an available deal, and an empty pocketbook when I would leave a store. I realized a lot more went into it than clipping coupons from the paper.
So I started researching and asking friends who used coupons regularly. The more I questioned, the more tight lipped people became. I found that people liked to keep their savings methods a secret. I started with a “coupon bootcamp” class, and I set off on my journey to learn as much as I could. I set a goal, and decided that in the process, I would share my finds and help others get great deals along the way.
I now have overstocked pantries and am able to give and donate so much to so many! I do not keep a huge “stash,” and the majority of what I purchase is donated. It is the greatest blessing in all of this, that I can now once again help people with financial needs. Even though I can no longer write big checks, nor attend all of the glitzy charity events that I used to, the products I give can really help people tremendously with costs!
If I can do it, anyone can! Getting RSD has changed my life in so many ways, but blessings always come from our hardest moments. My hope for this blog is to help people. Those who may be just starting out, and even those who actively coupon. To encourage and motivate people by giving tips, reviewing sites and apps, and finding ways to continually save and earn. All doing so while couponing ethically, having integrity. and couponing with class!
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