Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wed. 03/16

Phew, I'm beat. Yestderday, at AS220, I was able to print out 2 more pages from the book and set up......10? block print illustrations that, once processed, will be 2 more pages. Today I'm going to try to get at least 6 pages illustrated in black and white to expose on silk screens tomorrow plus I've got website design class homework. However, my arms are killing me and my hands are swollen - I'm able to do more now than I've been able to do in years but my hands and arms still swell up and the nerves (from the tips of my fingers to into my spine) hurt. This morning I woke up with the fingers completely swollen and clicking - that's not good, not good at all. Both my hands are causing me trouble.

If you don't know, I injured myself as the in house artist at Trader Joe's Hyannis. Thru repetetive motion and my boss' threats and bullying I ripped the tendons off my elbows, damaged the nerves in both my arms and have had 4 surgeries to correct the injuries. I need to have more work done but the damage is so "significant" that there's no point. I have managed however to gain a lot of my mobility back - all the doctors I saw said I would never paint again but I am. The injuries and surgeries caused me to develop a rare and painful form of dystrophy known as RSD. RSD can develop in one or two areas of the body or spread to throughout the whole body body  - mine is full body which means it's not just the injured area that can show symptoms or cause to an injury, the symptoms are felt everywhere like a dominoe effect. So, if I hit my finger my right leg can swell and lose mobility which then causes my right leg to do the same. Or, I bang my finger and my mouth and face go numb. Or I bump my head and I lose all feeling on the bottoms of my feet. If I get upset I can't walk. Sometimes, I lose my voice, my spine will radiate piercing pain, my chest goes completely numb, you get the idea

My RSD is effecting my ability to walk, walking is my favorite activity outside of making artwork and I can't wa;lk nearly as much as I have. I used to walk somewhere between 8 and 14 miles a day but now, most of the time, I can barely walk a mile. But, when this started in 2006, I couldn't hold a fork let alone a pencil, after one surgery my right arm was in a spring loaded contraption for months because I couldn't straighten out my arm. It was terrifcally painful.  The hardest thing for me to deal with are the "spells".  Exhaustion, significant weather changes and emotional upsets can cause these horribly crushing spells that in turn cause me to see flashes of light and or my vision gets sloshy ( everything looks like it's drifting back and forth like the view off a rocking ship) plus sometimes I'll feel like I'm being crushed in a machine or like I've been set on fire and my head is filled with a thick liquid and I can't think or see well. I can't sit up, I can't concentrate, I can't sleep. I can't work anymore because I never know how hard these spells are going to hit or when they're coming so I can't make plans but I can make my art. My art on my time.

Today is on of those days when I have a lot of work to do but, because of the icey rain, I'm already having trouble.We'll just have to do the best we can. That's all.....however, if I could get my fat ass out for a walk I'd really appreciate it.

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