This is the final week of the Chronic Pain and Illness Photography Project I have been participating in for the past 3 weeks. Facilitator Stephanie Blumensaat did a marvelous job putting this project together and keeping the group running smoothly. What a wonderful group of creative people who were willing to share so much of their art, their lives and their souls. Simply amazing. Stephanie has a blog, Chronic Pain Life, that you just might want to check out. She will be putting together future projects that some of you might want to participate in, I know I will.
I hope you enjoy these photos and insights into me….
Day 15 – Gratitude. – posting a day late
I have much to be grateful for every day, yesterday was no exception, but it was a very rough day, things happening all around me that I could not help with or do anything about. (my dog had an emergency trip to the vet and I couldn’t move my head without vomiting to help…it was a very hard day.) Yesterday was filled with rapid vertigo. Yesterday I had a very long, rough day with vertigo. I am very grateful for the bucket I could throw up in if needed….and all the medication I had that made me not have to throw up so much. (I’m most thankful for my darling husband for taking care of our furry baby…she’s fine…and taking care of me.)
Truthfully, I’m very grateful the day is over.
Day 16 – Dreams
One dream I always had was to go to Disney Land, not Disney World, I wanted to go to the original.
Right before I got very sick, I was able to go. This is the land of dreams….a place where dreams come true…..the photo is the refection of the castle. I think this photo is very symbolic of my dreams today, they are very vivid and beautiful, a little wavy, and sometimes a bit upside down….that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped dreaming.
I still have many dreams, some are short term, some are long term, some are very attainable, some probably aren’t. And that’s OK. I think healthy people have the same kind of dreams….not all come true.
Day 17 – Identity
The image I chose for this prompt is a mask I made….the outside shows how most of the world sees me….the invisible illness, my cheery exterior…is that part of my identity….yes, I think so. The inside of the mask shows how I feel about things and how I feel about me. I think this is a good representation of my identity.
This prompt was very hard for me. If I were able to really get up and out and create a new photograph for this prompt I would have done something different.
How do I Identify myself now? I’m still Wendy.
Day 18 – Know This
Know This….You are not your illness/pain.
Your illness and pain are a part of you but it is not YOU.
Do not lose yourself.
Day 19 – Spirit
Showing my spiritual side. I hope you enjoy this photo as much as I do.
I took the selfie yesterday and manipulated it in Photoshop to show my spiritual side.
I study Buddhism,
I follow a mindfulness way of living.
This has made a huge difference in my life, and how I deal with chronic illnesses.
Day 20 – Goals
Take more risk…..overcome fear….first step!….walk out the front door…..
My goals….get out more.
We moved to a new place in August of last year. During the move my hip started to hurt. I haven’t been able to hardly walk since the move. I had hip replacement surgery on the 14th. I’m starting to walk again, that is going very well. However, I’ve had vertigo attacks every day for over 30 days. Fear rules my life. I started to get in the shower today, and was then going to go to the store with my husband. A first outing since my surgery, other than to the doctor….
right before I got in the shower I was on the computer and the world started to tilt……suddenly it started to spin, violently…for 5 hours I was spinning with violent vertigo, so very, very sick!!!
Then I slept for 2 hours and I still feel like I have no balance and my head is mush.
This is a HUGE GOAL!
Get out that door!
Expand my life!
I know I can do it!
if not…my Goal is to be perfectly happy, in the life I have, just the way it is.
Day 21 – Invisible
Invisible Illness and me
“You look so good!”
Just beneath the surface
no one can see
Day 22 – Music (bonus prompt)
As most of you may know, I’m deaf. My chronic illness took my hearing. I haven’t been deaf long, and music is still in my head and I still sing and love music…I just can’t listen to it. (I have Cochlear Implants and can hear some music but not like I used to. Hopefully, I will be able to hear it better in the future, but for now, not so much.)
When I relax I often hum, when I’m up I often sing, my husband and I often make up silly songs and laugh…..the silly songs are wonderful, they make me feel normal, and keep up my spirits. Music can be very therapeutic.
Today I wanted to share something different with you.
A few years ago, right before I lost all of my hearing I sat down with a friend of mine who is a sound engineer and he did a pretty good recording of what my tinnitus sounds like. These are the sounds I hear all the time. I don’t hear the worst of it all the time, but I do hear some of these all the time.
One day recently I suddenly didn’t hear anything and it scared me. I felt completely alone and was terrified. It didn’t last long. These sounds can drive me crazy at times, but they can also be very soothing.
This is my music….my Sounds of Silence.
Day 23 – Art (bonus prompt)
I use my art to help me with my chronic illness in many ways.
Here you will see where I have three expressions of me.
Silly loving Me.
Chronic Pain Me.
Natural, Strong Me.
I try to create something every day….drawing, writing, photography……anything creative…..
My art helps me heal, even if I’m just doodling, creating heals my soul.
(sometimes when I can’t voice my pain, I can show it in my art)
The Chronic Pain and Illness Photography Project is over now. I’ll be returning to my regular scheduled programming. 🙂
I’m sure my regular readers are curious about my hip replacement surgery recovery. I’ll give you a thorough update in the next post….here’s a little spoiler….my hip is doing GREAT!
See you soon. I’m off to Duke for visits to my doctors tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day….. Yay!!