Patti Edmon Altered Attic: Invisible Illness (Next) Week

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Invisible Illness (Next) Week

Though the national Invisible Illness Week doesn't officially launch until September 12th, I decided to post today because, well, I'm having a flare, probably like half the population. Yes, it's a stat; nearly 50% of us suffer from a chronic condition. It is very difficult to remain still when my dreams are so alive and energized. And when there are dirty dishes, laundry and chores that seem higher on the priority list than working in the studio, though usually not!
The IIW website is a wealth of information for those of us dealing with the myriad conditions that may go unnoticed, unless of course you happen to play tennis like Venus Williams (Sjogren's Syndrome) or golf like Phil Mickelson (Psoriatic Arthritis - both just like me!). In one of my favorite articles , founder Lisa Copen writes about the fact that living with illness doesn't mean choosing giving in! Next week I'll be writing more about this year's theme, Deep Breath, Fresh Start, the modus operandi for staying out of a funk.
Writing about feeling yucky seems trite given the multiple hurricanes and flooding, the fires in Texas, the impending 10th anniversary of 9/11, protests, war and unrest and, well, world hunger, the economy and politics and....
As in so many situations, I wonder how, as one person, I can possibly impact the lives of those suffering, so many far worse than I. But in preparation for the upcoming week I recalled a comment received several weeks ago.
A woman (who, unfortunately I wasn't able to contact/thank) wrote about my thoughts during last September's Invisible Illness Week. The realization that 10-month old words spoke aloud was very rewarding indeed.

Comment received in July from Smokey's Mom:
Ah, the silent chronic illnesses...I suffer from severe Fibromyalgia as a result of two separate traumatic injuries to my neck and lower back. I take so many medications, I've lost count. I cannot sleep at night without my Trazodone...I take 100 mg. of Morphine three times a day just so I can move and function. I am considered "disabled" (and I have the car plaque to prove it! Ha!) So, I really do hear you, and feel your pain. I am now experiencing rheumatoid arthritis in my left hand and fingers - good thing I'm right handed, lol. My life has changed so much over the last 15 years. You mentioned planning and then missing out on events - me too. Through all of this my savior has been my art. I'm certainly no pro, but being able to create art that other people want to trade me for or buy has been a blessing and it's what keeps me going. I don't get frustrated or angry any more, even when I lose time...Fibromyalgia is what I have, it's not who I am:) Your art is incredible. You are an extraordinary woman. How can you expect anything ordinary to happen to you. (Louisa May Alcott). I'm following your blog now:)
My lack of posting, due to my lack of arting, is very frustrating indeed but with this post I affirm that, like my friend states so well, though I have an illness I am not my illness. Thanks for sharing your eloquence Smokey's Mom, I hope you're able to create today!

1 comment:

Suz said...

How fitting, as I lie on the couch having a major flare. I have Fibromyalgia, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and neuropathy. I have been disabled for fifteen years after having pulmonary emboli. Art is also my savior,,,mixed media and jewelry making. I just met a woman I met on the internet fifteen years ago on a fibroboard while on a trip to Montreal. I guess I have another savior...the internet!


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