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Journaling until I'm blue in the face. Work in progress.

"Someone Else" in watercolor and acrylic. All work shown is on 8.5 x 5.5 paper.

"Froggie Smiles".  These are photographs. I'm looking forward to scanning so these look right. This is much darker than the actual painting. I'm working on the details of all these pieces. Once I have the colors in mind it doesn't take long to finish.

This last one was created for the sole purpose of testing out new paints. It's a paint pallet sheet. Sometimes when I just need to draw but there's nothing specific to do, I draw lines on paper this way and wait to use it later to test paint or clean brushes.

Faith

Saturday at 2pm I'll move to the new place. I'm excited but I won't have the internet for a few days. In the few days off line I hope to set up my art table and supplies. I need to see my belongings again. It'll mean a lot to see my stuff. It's hard to explain why I look forward to seeing gadgets and odds and ends, but I do. Part of the things that were thrown away for various reasons, were all of my bound books, including my Shakespeare collection, Maya Angelou book and poetry collections as well as my cookbooks, some of which I had for 20 years.

They say 'things' can be replaced but they forget to add that we will mourn these 'things' for awhile. All my dried flowers, including sunflowers were tossed by the person who cleaned out my apartment while I was down. Every dried rose I have is gone. It hurts. I have every last one of my dolls and every single piece of jewelry, every leaf of tea and every single piece of artwork and art supplies. Those items are sacred. I feel like my poetry collection fell in the category of sacred, but l wasn't there to say so.  ...continue reading "The Move"

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Fifteen days total but halfway through I began to lose myself to the constant and extreme pain. My medication cocktail sometimes caused me to see dragons and aliens. I'd been in intensive care for the bilateral pulmonary embolism and life threatening blood clots. I was about to begin a chapter of life I'll never forget, one that has left physical scars and emotional pain. What I've decided to do is express some of those experiences through art.

The first experience in multi media is called Three Birds.

Half way through ICU care I was losing it. The doctors worried I'd have to go on dialysis. My kidneys were shutting down, my heart was in trouble too. I was in trouble and I knew it so I asked my God, "Are you with me?" I needed to know if He knew his servant needed his comfort and approval. ...continue reading "Three Birds"

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I got the apartment and move in Saturday! I already have the keys and lease.
I'm excited and a bit nervous, mostly excited. I have to figure out how to fit my stuff in this place. One thing I know is I'll have a 55 gallon aquarium in there! Somehow, some way, that aquarium WILL fit. I'm going to split it in half, half bedroom, half art studio w tea bar. I'll keep the doll collection in the bedroom area. I'm sure my little studio will feel like home in no time. ...continue reading "Saturday is moving day"

My toes were so cold I wanted to get under the blanket, better yet I could warm imaginary toes beside and imaginary heater and get better results.

I experienced, for the first time, this phantom pain they talked about. It's where you can feel the limb that was removed. One man said he could feel his foot itch even though it wasn't there. For me, I had a strong response like neuropathy. It was as if I were experiencing Raynaud's Syndrome. The 'toes' were so cold! ...continue reading "Raynaud’s Syndrome or something else?"

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I've gotten a hold of all the paperwork I need to apply for the wheelchair accessible apartment! I have everything I need! Oh I can't wait to have my own place again. Since this started I've had zero personal space either physically or environmentally. People touch and prod, observe and examine, when and where they like. And they've done it since February when the train wreck began. So now after 5 months of living in a hospital with 2 months of that 5 in a nursing home, I will have night time privacy.

Coming w me to the new place (when I get one) will be the staff: nurses, CNA's and the physical therapist. I'll have a CNA 3x a week for four hours. It seems like a lot but there's still a lot I'm unable to do for myself. ...continue reading "Apartment Possibilities and the Wheelchair"

Snapshot fma
Snapshot

The last few days have been torture. I hurt from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. The amputation site is having an electric storm of shock and neuropathy. It's been a bad few days and I've done very little reaching out. I've just been waiting for medication time!

The foot that was amputated coincidentally was the foot with Chronic Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. Though amputated for other reasons, I hoped the RSD fire and pain would stop, it didn't and won't. It doesn't work that way. ...continue reading "Enduring the Days"

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Someone to Watch Over Me
Someone to Watch Over Me

I asked you to do the surgery. You said you could or a colleague but I trusted my life in your hands. It felt like there was so much at stake, more to lose than body parts. I can't explain how afraid I was that I'd throw a blood clot or bleed to death. I was so scared I kept calling to my mother!

I had a dream about her last night. She was a helpless infant in my arms. I rolled around in my wheelchair with her head on my shoulder. I made sure she was safe and warm. Safe. ...continue reading "Not Cut and Dry"

I'm not brave. I'm not. I'm not rolling with the punches, I'm just getting punched. As I said, I've walked through the fire and I'm all burned up. I'm skinny, starving for a moment of real rest, of relief. ...continue reading "The Brave Face"

Stone and Shadows
Stone and Shadows

I see "the surgeon" tomorrow, the one who amputated my toes. I wonder what kind of person it takes to look at a foot rotted black, take a saw and hack off a body part to be thrown away? What allows his mind to go there and his hands to follow? Though beyond repair, black as night, shriveled to nothing and dry, they were still mine.

My heart knows 100% that this surgeon was one who helped save my life, mine and many others. He is loved and honored, rightfully put on a pedestal. He has taken people with slim odds and brought them back from the brink. In my heart I see him that way, but behind my eyes I see the man who methodically removed part of me and threw me away.

Faith Austin

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