Today is one of those days where I feel the weight of what happened in the hospital. I feel shocked, stunned, grieved. I can only describe it as a train wreck where I can still hear the sound of metal crumbling around me. What I feel today must be what I was feeling when I drew and painted in this image with the caption: There's more to do. I'm not strong enough.
We went over the image in therapy and talked about the butterflies included and how they symbolize transformation. Also significant is the green under the eyes which I used to stand for goals of growth and keeping focused on them. Despite that focus there's dissociation (figures in the tree) to fight as well as feelings of trauma and grief symbolized by the hanging figure between the eyes. Hanging on is my main focus. It's what's between my eyes. No matter what, just hang on. That's what I think the girl in the middle is doing.
I look at the color of the dress of the girl hanging on and realize it 'should be' a shade of red, however, it is orange paint that drips into red. In my art therapy pieces, orange symbolizes ambiguity, mixed emotions, indecision. Then of course there's the spiral in the throat. I started that about a year ago when it became very difficult for me to verbalize my feelings. As if through a hole in my neck, the words escaped me.
Recently I've felt like an idiot trying to talk, so I just didn't. I didn't email or write on this blog for a number of days (never a good thing for me). I just got quiet. Today I feel better equipped to put two words together but I also feel worn thin by it all.
Tomorrow is another much needed therapy session. Like every Monday, it's over the phone. However, I'll be going in to his office every other Friday to see him. In the Friday sessions, Michelle will get dedicated time where she'll talk about her own art and issues. The goal is for her to do some healing, too.
In the hospital I felt guilty for putting my friends through worry for me. I felt bad that they worried for five long months, especially around surgeries. When things would get harry I felt horrible for putting people through tears and worry.
In this art piece that expresses the guilt, I put hanging people on the shoulders of a figure standing behind a smaller faceless figure. Both figures have an amputated foot with darkened skin around the amputation site. The figure with the sunflower crown is holding a star in her left hand.
In the hospital I worried that the doctors would realize that they were putting forth a lot of effort for a nobody, and when they found out they'd stop caring for me. This piece expresses the issue of low self worth.
The painting shows a split face which is typical in my art anymore. It shows two faceless figures and a large sunflower at the bottom. Also of note is the yellow hair and orange face of the faceless figure with spike hair. Again, yellow symbolizes disgusting things and there were plenty of gross things in the hospital. For her hair to be yellow is very significant for me.
Both works were created after the amputation and are in watercolor and ink.
The painting above, where I express myself as No One is interesting to me since I had an alter named No One who always painted herself as faceless. That alter changed her name to Jordan and is interestingly enough, the main personality in the group. She is in affect, my face.
The No One painting is also the inspiration for art where there are two faces as opposed to just a split face. I've been doing that in art therapy a lot lately. Dr. D and I talked about that last Friday.
A few things have changed in my health but I'm hanging in. I didn't have to go in. There were some things that could be done outpatient and in the ER. I'm relieved not to have spent days locked in the hospital!
There are some dietary changes. It would appear that green drinks are not good for people w my blood disorder. Without knowing, I was putting down one of the highest vitamin K drinks you can make, which I should not have been doing. This is the second time one of my holistic steps has backfired. Though my GP and I agreed my symptoms were severe and I should use Black Cohosh to relieve menapause symptoms, someone w my clotting disorder should NEVER use that, not EVER! I didn't know that. I do now and I'm under quality guidance now, too.
I've been getting quite an education on what to do and what not to do. I've been learning about how my own blood system works and about what makes blood clot and what makes it thin. This is very important bc it seems all sorts of things change blood thickness. Everything from olive oil to Marijuana to Turmeric and even many essential oils can thin the blood or clot it. Care has to be taken with such items and some avoided all together... not Marijuana though. Thinning the blood or not, MMJ and tea are part of my daily life.
I have to several limit how much Matcha and other green tea I drink bc of my blood disorder but I need not avoid them at this time. There was only one food item I was killing myself with in mass quantities that I must leave behind. My love of greens must die! Kale is not my friend. It hates me and wants to kill me. Lol It has paired w my immune system, which also hates me. I can't get rid of my immune system but I must leave kale and greens behind. My second fav is cooked spinach. I can have it but I can't over do it
So, I'm home, hanging out with the frogs. Doing my best to stay encouraged. One such way to do that is to drink coffee. Yup, coffee. It's a coffee kinda day. Oh, ohhhh oh! I found coffee from Congo on Amazon. My black tea from Kenya was on there, too. I must splurge and have coffee from my grandfather's country of Congo.
The problem with going to the hospital is that I was just there! I mean seriously, are they keeping a room open just for me now?
Yeah, I'm delaying. I'm trying to enjoy a few more moments outside the hospital. I just want a little more time b4 needles, prodding and more medications. It's been months since someone asked that intrusive question, "When is the last time your bowels moved?" Every dang day they asked me that. I know I was on some serious pain killers that could shut down my bowel, but the question is intrusive. There is no such thing as privacy in the hospital. No quiet. Just sickness. Depressing.
My left leg is very painful. I try to ignore it and do other things. My breathing isn't normal. All I can do is shake my head.
Here we go again. That's what I keep thinking, here we go again! I don't want to.
Tomorrow I see Dr D in his office. I want to see him b4 I go in just in case I'm in for more than a few days.
Dr. D and I discussed the recent firing of my new CNA. I fired her for several reasons and fired the company, too.
My insurance covers a CNA that can take me to the store and to doctor appointments. It turns out this CNA was driving me around w/o a drivers license or insurance. I called the company and they shocked the crap out of me when they said they hire people to drive even when they have only a hardship license. This girl had that when she was hired but let it drop because she couldn't pay for it. Still she took me to the store! When I called the company with my concerns the CNA decided to call me and curse me out!!! Obviously she can't return to my home after that. ...continue reading "Therapy Review: Lowered Expectations and Less Stress"
My physical wounds have healed faster than emotional wounds. There's a real fear that time will pass, I'll 'look better', and people will forget that on the inside I'm still struggling.
When all this first happened and for the entire 5 months, friends leaped to my assistance. I had more visitors than I knew what to do with. 🙂 I felt loved. Now that things are going back to my version of normal with Lupus, I fear being left and yet I know the fear is unfounded. My friends love me and I know it, and I know that they were there for me before all this happened. But there's this fear that all the love and attention is going to stop, and I'll fade right into the background and be forgotten. I like the feeling of being loved. It's not entirely new but its new enough that with a taste of it I don't want to let it go. ...continue reading "Don’t Forget Me"
Monday was one of the hardest days I've had in a while. It started off with nightmares that stayed with me for much of the day. I tried to go back to bed to start over but had yet another nightmare. Then as planned, I got myself together, got on my horse (wheelchair) and left the house despite mega pain. I went to the shoe store and cried my eyes out in the store unexpectedly. I had no idea the grief would hit me right there in DSW but it did and there I sat crying in my chair in front of people. I felt like a fool.
Later I went to the post office to send out art only to discover that it was Columbus Day, no mail. That would have been fine except I was already at my max of stress and physical pain. Then later the big worry happened, I fell. ...continue reading "Surviving to Eke out Gratitude"
It was a packed session. We started off talking about what took place in the hospital yesterday. I was given news that should have made me happy but I can't seem to trust it. I'm still 'stage four' Lupus with issues associated with my kidneys and vascular system but the medications are working very well and have stabilized me. I have no new blood clots. I still have a lot of nerve damage but I can walk and that is something they weren't positive would happen. There's still a long way to go with my nerves healing which means I hurt quite a bit, but I am stable and out of the woods.
I told Big E, my Oncologist, that I want to be happy about the news but I'm still shell shocked. I said, it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. He said, I know, I was there. When he said that I wanted to cry. I was so happy he said it. He was there, every single solitary day for three months he showed up by my bedside. Week days and weekends Big E was in my room checking on me, three months straight! ...continue reading "Therapy Review: Stability. Forgiveness. Gratitude."
September 1st I started a gratitude art journal. I wrote down a few things I'm grateful for then decorate the page. After reading through daily entries I see the thing that pleases me most is getting basic needs met like those today. My CNA showed up! I got a shower and a hot meal and slept in a clean bed.
Today the CNA that arrived made a wonderful chicken curry dish. Tomorrow she will help do some more organizing here. This is a photo of how things are coming a long so far. I love my new art table to bits but I've still not used it. I'm not going to push it though. It'll come.
Dr. D and I talked about the CNA that showed up today who was absolutely perfect. It went so well I had to call the supervisor to tell her so. That's when I found out I don't get to keep her but for one more visit. I hate that. The CNA and I also did some much needed organizing of the walk in closet. I so needed that help. You know what she did that felt so good? When it came time for me to soak my foot, she got a wash cloth then got real close to my foot and asked if I wanted her to wash the amputation site. She didn't act disgusted at all. I needed that. I really, really needed that. I didn't let her do it, but the gesture was healing. ...continue reading "Therapy Review: CNA. Butchery. DID."