Over the winter I talked a lot about feeling like I didn’t have any ideas for my apples. I probably became a bit of a broken record for a period of about two weeks. And then it cleared and I’ve been fine until today.
Total creative block.
So I asked for help – thank you Facebook for instantly connecting me to so many people. My friend Betsy replied with a photo. A photo of her using a nebulizer. She then asked me if it inspired anything and of course it absolutely did.
Betsy and I chatted for a bit – I was concerned for her and curious. AS can throw us many curve balls and include complications beyond the joint fusion we typically initially talk about. Since we all seem to present with different variations and intensities we tend to talk about the key issue that affects our daily lives and we all have in common – which is pain. We don’t talk too much about the what-if’s of some of the less common complications and one of the reasons I think is because, well – they are scary.
Betsy told me that last week she passed out at home alone and awoke with heart palpitations. She didn’t know how long she had been out but she knew something was wrong and she did what many of us would have done. She got up and drove herself to the hospital telling herself that was the reasonable thing to do since a world renowned hospital was 5 minutes down the road. And after a number of tests and a few days in the hospital she is facing a meeting with a cardiologist – and using a nebulizer in the mean time to help keep her heart rate regulated. I don’t understand really how the heart and lungs all interconnect but what I do know is that this is scary and hits home and makes all of us with AS ask that question. “Will it happen to me?” It isn’t something we can dwell on but it is something I hope everyone is monitoring. Her situation is a reminder to us that AS is a difficult disease to deal with on a daily basis but we also live with the worry of the future in a way that involves a stress about how the disease will manifest. It isn’t like most people who wonder about what disease might or might not strike in old age, for us we know the general course of our disease enough that our minds have a place to wonder to and to imagine.
I asked Betsy if she was freaked out or if she was just numb. That may seem like a shocking question for me to have asked her but for a fellow AS’er – we do become quite numb to the latest symptom and complication. We have no choice but to deal with the stark facts and do the best we can to face our circumstances. I know Betsy would agree that if the time comes to freak out – she’ll do it and then do what she must. She is brave and strong and she will get through it – I have every faith in that fact. Thank you Betsy for reminding me that when I need an idea – you are all around me – you are all the inspiration I need.
Day 302 was created in mixed media. It is two haves of the cross section of a bronchus or lung airway. One side is open and the other constricted. The photo she shared with me of her using the nebulizer inspired a google search that resulted in this medical art image and I then took a lot of artistic liberties.
In The Studio
1. Countdown – 63 days to Apple-A-Thon!
2. In The Studio – Process pic of the day
3. Apple Recipe of the Day – Apple, Ham, and Grilled Cheese Sandwich
4. Interesting Article Of The Day – Feel Good Story