Monday, September 6, 2010

Confession: Chronic Pain, Ambition & Living well

Wowza, is every one else feeling the pressure of the season? I was speaking to a dear artisan friend the other day who mentioned that over the past few years they were unable to enjoy Halloween, do to the hectic work schedule this time of year brings. Shows, online markets, social networking, marketing not to mention family and everyday life.

It really hit a cord with me. I know for a fact if I am honest with myself, I can say the same about Halloween last year. Now, Halloween and Vine and even Ghoultide later undoubtedly made it quite fun (I soo enjoy shopping Halloween art ;) but when I got home and back to the real world of hectic schedules and expectations, the razzle dazzle of my beloved holiday was tarnished. There was no time left for fun it seemed.

This is such a sad and embarrassing thing for me to reveal. I work hard to be a machine as far a my body will allow me. I feel like it is a failure to not be enjoying the best time of year. I know that if my health was up to par that the heavy work schedule wouldn't mean a thing. You see, I have always enjoyed being an innovator even before I knew really what that meant. When I am smitten with my work it feels like fun, which means I end up devoting all time to that "work" and everything else gets neglected to some degree and I make no apologies-I just love it too much. I have never been good at balancing my home, work and social life and it is a character flaw that I wish was different for my loved ones but is not nor ever will be and I made peace with that long ago.

What I cannot make peace with is this bloody chronic pain. I think it is the chronic pain ruining my MoJo. It was just 1.5 years ago that I got the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia (aka: FM, Fibro). Leave it to me to get some disease-disorder that the medical community for over a 100 years believed was a falsehood and was simply made up in the imagination of needy women.
I told every specialist I saw over 12 weeks that they were wrong if they thought it was FM. You don't just wake up one day with "hospital pains" (the type of pain that the minute you feel it you know you are going to the hospital ER) always so fun, those are.

I later learned that the FM was brought on from a serious head trauma I had just suffered 2 years prior (10 foot steel pipe was dropped on my head (frontal lobe: memory, concentration, ect.. at a home improvement store). The gift that keeps on giving.

So, I now fully understand the depths of chronic pain (thought I understood before.. ha!) and how it through and through changes you as a person. It even changed a chunk of my belief system. There are things I would have never considered before that I surely would now if it made the pain go away. In truth, the pain has been in a harsh flair up for many weeks now. When it is bad, the pain brings me to an ugly place that should not exist--despair. During these time I cannot help but think about how I should be enjoying the upcoming sweet & spooky season and enjoying all of the good fortune and recognition that has been coming my way. I mean this is what I work for, to reach these goals and I cannot even enjoy it but for moments at a time.

Over the next 6 or so weeks I will be challenging myself by far the most I ever have since this illness took hold.
Even in great health, I believe the schedule I have made for myself would challenge Lance Armstrong. But I must secretly believe I can pull it all off because I NEVER give up.

So, in the next 6 weeks: I shall begin dismantling my current studio all together, painting the new one and moving all of the stuff back in. Staging the new studio for a photo shoot in TWO WEEKS for my biggest interview yet(eeep), Fully Decorate the house (we have approx 40 bins of Halloween decor), a coast to coast trip for Halloween and Vine which this year is 90% work related, Our first ever SpookyTimeJingles Holiday Soiree Art Show (HU-MUNGO undertaking), our 3rd annual Nelson's Manor Halloween adult Party (this is a very large undertaking), Multiple house guests at one time which will be a blast but the house has got to look good- fat chance in hell ;), Plus all of the normal stuff that goes on day to day...woo wee! I am wiped just from typing it out ;)
Yet, I am not sure I would change a single solitary thing! Yet, here I sit and vent, uh I am a frustration to myself!

So, as I prepare myself and try to align my health issues with my ambitions and learning to live well I ask for any positive thoughts and suggestions you can send my way as I try to find my way into the happy medium~

Love & hugs~
dingy dani~


Sandra said...

Dani...I know what you mean. Over 3 years ago I to was given that same speech. FM was what had hit me as well. That is why I did not join your group. I knew I only had the strength to do my doodles and paint a few doodle paintings from day to day. In your heart you want to do so much more...however the pains that hit take president. You look great one day and do a lot...and in bed the next week. The FM fog ever hit ya? OMG...I totally thought I was crazy. A friend of mine sent me a joke the other day...that I now had A.A.A.D.D, it was so funny...It was me. I said . dang now what in the heck do I have now...LOL
Your support is everything...if you have that, then you will make it thru the shows and company coming. But sweetie do not try to do it all by yourself. Fibromyalgia is no joke...did you take the Chronic Pain classes?
If not that it really helps.
I wish you luck, just remember to get a little excercise daily, I just started walking...really helps, Sometimes...LOL
You do have a amazing group of talented artists...I am sure they will jump in and help you...but they do not read minds, you will have to ask.
Hang in there sweetie.
Oh one more are right Halloween needs to be enjoyed.
Hugs from one FM to another...OUCH !!
Hugs even hurt sometimes...LOL
I linked your blog to 2 of my blogs...hope you story touch others as it did me.

Tess said...

Wow, And here I thought I was the only one feeling angst for the season and seasons soon to come. 6 years ago in May I woke with a swollen knee, a humongous swollen knee. That first year I had many trips to specialists and lost of rehab, mucsle pills and pain pills. Plus 2 MRI's and three shots in my back (they found a bulging disc). Never did I get a real diagnosis. I have a vericose vein running behind my knee and I was told I have degenerative joints. Now these 6 years later with come and go pain (it's worse during cold or humid or high pressure days) I am scheduled to see the specialist yet again. The same one that told me I am too fat 6 years ago. "Yes, I am overweight, have been off and on most of my life. Now, tell me something knew." I've tried to loose weight, I really have. Maybe this time they will figure it out or give me some more ideas on how to handle the pain when it comes; besides pills. Your post helps, knowing someone else is going through the same sudden set-on of an ailment for no real reason. But, your post also made me realize I never did tell the specialist about getting hit in the head with a sledge hammer handle (11 stitches) the year before the onset of all of this pain. I'll tell him about it at my scheduled appointment this month. Maybe, just maybe it will give him some idea of what might be going on with me. Thanks!

julie Haymaker thompson said...

i am thinking all this pain is rather goulish so trun it into art ??? would that help ??

Kristi said...

I had to stop by and mom sent me a link to your post. I too am an artist and was diagnosed with FM over five years ago. Reading your post, I felt like you were inside my head! I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone in your struggles, that there are others of us who (often) stubbornly refuse to accept this as our fate, but get kicked hard back to reality when we do. (sigh) I know too well the despair caused by pain so intense it swallows you whole, and the running commentary of, "You don't look sick", "You're too young to have pain", etc...
Anyway, you are not alone. I wish you all the best, and a very gentle hug. Thank you for sharing...I makes me feel better to know that I'm not alone either.

Harry watson said...

I live in Tampa, Florida, but for reasons of work and I am a merchant, I travel constantly for different states of the country, but I remember I read this article today in the city of New Jersey exactly Atlantic City, walked the streets after leaving of a Chinese restaurant, which I recommended at that time, when suddenly a young man in the famous skating skates went through my side, then came back to find the few streets in a park where they meet all these guys, when suddenly a crowd of boys rushing out of the park and one of them flying through the air, realizing I saw that a car had collided accidentally and unfortunately one of the boys, had borne the brunt, but had not been hit very hard, so I thought he had been back, the young had a severe back pain and had to rushed to shore memorial hospital, where doctors said the stroke had caused a severe back injury and had to be some treatments to determine degree of problems that could result, to lower the pain medicine they gave hydrocodone and this somehow soothed the pain the poor boy, after that came his family and now with them in the hospital I felt more relaxed and less committed because it could leave the boy with his family, I retired to where I was staying and grab my laptop to tell me because a child he was given hydrocodone, since it seemed odd and in findrxonline indicates that this surgery is appropriate to alleviate severe back pain and although it is a dangerous medicine if not used properly, doctors use a lot for these cases of severe pain.
This reminds me again that we must always be ready to offer collaboration to the neighbor and we can all spend the same situation.

fiddlestixstudios said...

Love and hugs to you Dani!I will definitely keep you in my thoughts and prayers,and send you positive energy as you go through this CRAZY season!You have got to be MAD to be re~doing your studios right now!Sounds just like something I would do! I know it will turn out fabulous though,and congrats on all the big breaks you are getting,your hard work is paying off!I know all about this time of year through Christmas really getting messed up by our hectic schedules.I'm really trying to work on that one,too.Haven't come up with any good or logical conclusions yet,though!
Big Hugs :-),

LuLu Kellogg said...

I had no idea you had gone through all this. I am so glad you are still here.

I have Fibromyalgia too so I know how it is to have to push through the day being in pain. I am right there with you!

Also in the midst of redoing my studio, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed but am plugging along. We are getting our house ready to go on the market on October 1 (more stress)!

I am just pretending I am on a Merry Go Round right now and trying to have fun whilst going round and round!! Weeeeeeeeeee!!


Anonymous said...

Chronic pain...mood sleep...throwing "hissy fits", you name happens here!! As I told you in the past I have Stage 4 Endometriosis and FibroM. It took doctors 10+ years to diagnose always seemed to be in "my head" so they said. Two surgeries later with a bowel twisted in the wrong direction grown to my ovaries and a whole bunch a cysts...I almost have to laugh at all of those Dr's who didn't care enough to find out what was really going on...because there is no point in crying!! Yes, I am severely bummed that I had to miss the Soiree this year because my body just wasn't interested what my brain wanted to do. Yes, deadlines are hard but for some reason they seem to get meet even if you have to sleep for 2 days after!!! I get very frustrated at times about the attitude people have towards both the diseases...they think, big deal so she has cramps or sore muscles or a headache...Big deal!!! What I have learned is "don't judge until you have walked in my SHOES". Sometimes things fall by the wayside but I have learned to understand that a few small failures can lead into some wonderful things!!! Many days I sit and am thankful for all the wonderful things in my life,and my husband and my pets and this great gift to make art that people actually want to buy!!!LOL And for you giving me the chance to join STJ that has given me so many opportunities!! So chin up...and remember all GREAT things come with a few failures on the way!!! Oh...and I forgot...I am also very thankful for "pumpkins"...they give me a warm, fuzzy feeling...

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Anita Van Hal said...

Hi Dani...I'm sorry to hear you were diagnosed with fibro too...I was diagnosed 10 years ago...also most likely caused by a series of neck injuries from car accidents that were not treated properly...I have since been diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, myofascial pain syndrome, and have had a chronic headache for over six years...add to that chronic fatigue, and art is what gets me through! Best wishes!

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