Well it's Art Fair Season and I haven't been keeping up here and I feel a bit bad about that. I had a bad summer/fall health wise last year and it's taken awhile to get my back on my feet. In June one day before the Berkley Art Bash I found myself suffering from Vertigo. Now I have always had problems with very bad motion sickness my whole life but this was a whole other level of horribleness I had yet to encounter. I went to the doctor and got meds and tests to see why.
Turns out that my water drinking habit of 96 + oz. of water a day tended to wash electrolytes out of my body and managed to dislodge the crystals in the inner ear that help with balance…..who knew? So I wobbled around at the Berkley Art Bash with vertigo and still had a great day. Spent the weekend awash in Powerade and about a week later I was feeling better. But that just gave the tests the doc did time to come back. And his office called and told me I needed to come back in. :(
Apparently my liver enzymes were elevated abnormally (slightly) so he ordered me off to get an ultrasound. Did I mention we don't have insurance? Well we've got major medical but that has a $10,000 deductible and won't cover this kind of stuff. So off I go to get the ultrasound to the tune of $300 and then I wait a week to go in for the results. While I'm waiting the office calls again to say I need to come in again. WTF? So I tell them I'll come in on Friday when my ultrasound results come in. When I get there
he looks over the results like he's just seeing them for the 1st time (again WTF?) and tells me it's all clear. Amazingly there is nothing to be seen in any of the vital organs, no stones or spots or masses (whew!) and while I'm breathing easy for the 1st time he uses that time to slam me with the information that I've managed to "tip into the range" that developes Type II Diabetes…..nice…..no wonder I've been so EXTREMELY tired for the last year and a half.
Always tactful, the doc tells me if I loose some weight I could tip back out of the range and get rid of the diabetes. " I want you to walk for 30 minutes everyday" he tells me. Okay now….I've been walking a lot anyways and have been on Weight Watchers for the past 3 or so years trying to lose weight. Not a lot of it has shifted. The only thing I've really lost is my tolerance for carrots….blech! It's hard to loose weight when you're 50. It's hard to lose weight when you have a baby at 41 and that baby kicks you right into menopause. It's hard to lose weight when you have 2 jobs, a business of your own, and a family including elderly parents and kids to look after…..personal time, exercise time….they're myths…right? Stack those things up together and you've got a perfect storm of "hard to lose" conditions. But I gave it a shot anyways. My neighbor said she'd walk with me and my other neighbor watched the kid for me so we could walk without the usual symphony of whining….from the kid, not me….though I was tempted.
After a couple of weeks of walking I thought it was going along fine when one evening I managed to roll my ankle and fall straight forward, face first. Couple things about my feet: my big toes have what some have called bunions but they are more like a cartilage build up in the base joint of the big toe. My right foot is so bad that the toe does not bend or bends only slightly at that joint. Hence that fact that when I walk my right foot I tend to "roll" along the outside edge of the foot. Well I "rolled" my foot on the edge of the pavement where the grass didn't come up to meet it. Ankle folded, I went down.
When I went down I fell face first. In order to not have my face fit the ground I bent my arms and locked my elbows so that I landed on them and my face and head did not hit the pavement. It was still painful nevertheless and my right ankle and left shin were in great pain. I figured I sprained my ankle and my left shin was hurting where I had damaged it from a fall in 2010 when I slipped on some ice. It came away from that fall with nerve damage right below my knee which was hypersensitive to any pressure. The fall had reawakened the nerve damage, I could feel the burning and tingling. Lucky for me a passing car screeched to a stop and two women jumped out and said "We're first responders can we help you?" No, really, that's EXACTLY what they said…..how lucky can you get? They gave us a ride home. As my ankle only hurt when I tried to turn it sideways or walked on an incline I was sure the ankle was sprained so I just wrapped it and carried on. As long as I walked normally and didn't turn my foot I was in no pain.
Three days later I was off to Traverse City to do an out door art fair. Two weeks later when it wasn't any better I went back to the doctor. "Look what exercising gets you." I said. "Everything always happens to you!" he said and then went on to explain that I had a chip fracture of the ankle and put me in an air cast ($91.00…not including office visit).
So no walking for 8-10 weeks. Fine with me, just give me an excuse to sit around and I'll do it. And I did just that. That was August 13th. I figured I'd get a lot of artwork done in that time. I had the Funky Ferndale Art Fair in Sept and then I would be done for the season. I started to get some work done but I kept getting headaches, which I took to be sinuses. I also was getting a pain in my arm around the elbow that gradually worked it's way up my arm, into my neck and the base of my skull. It made it hard to concentrate on my work. The headaches were worse at night which is the time I have to do my artwork. One thing lead to another and when I realized that I had had a continuous headache for 10 weeks I finally went to see my friend the Dr.
"Everything always happens to you!" said Dr. Broken-Record while he explained to me that when my elbow hit that pavement I did damage to the nerve that runs from the elbow to the base of the skull. (Great…more nerve damage). He put me on Vicodin and muscle relaxers and sent me off to heal.
That was October….I spent the next couple of months on the meds which put me to sleep at the drop of a hat. All I did was take meds, work a few hours during the day, nap, eat dinner, take meds, fall asleep on the sofa, wake up, take meds, go to bed and then start all over again the next day. I got NOTHING done….art or otherwise. It took until January for me to start feeling better. Where does this lead to? That's right it's the beginning of Art Fair Season…and I'm not half as prepared as I'd like to be.
"David' and a new piece called 'Steampunk Crow' shown above. I also sold a lot of a new item I was trying out…bookmarks. They were well received and make a good addition to the cards I've been doing. I did well and am raring to go!
Next up is the Great Lakes Art Fair in Novi on April 13-15th. I've got to get about 6-8 more pieces done and I'll feel ready. In May I'll be doing Art Birmingham at Shane Park. It's the start of a good season. I hope I can put all this health stuff behind me this year and really have a good season. And I hope that I'll see you at one of my venues! Keep your eyes on the blog for further notice of Art Fairs to come!