Saturday, March 29, 2014

What have I been up to for the past few years...

Hello,

Yes, I'm still out here.

YES, the little counter in the upper left that currently says "I've created daily for 2 years...9 months...28 days...5 hours, 33 minutes" IS still accurate!  :-)

And yes, I've had a lot going on in my life for the past few years.


I started this blog intending to write about my creative projects, post lots of 'in progress' shots (LOVE those!), and highlight some of my work in my ArtFire and Etsy shops.  I still plan to do all of that but practically right after starting this blog I developed some health problems.


To my friends out there:  I'm  OK!  Promise!


This is a bit complicated but here's the Reader's Digest Condensed version...

In May, 2013 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Arthritis, and Systemic Scleroderma (a rare auto-immune disease).  My rheumatologist told me she doesn't see Scleroderma often and her patients that do have it go to Northwestern University in Chicago (they have a Scleroderma Program) for a day or two of testing and then she follows their protocol/recommendations.  After the initial testing, patients usually go back to Chicago a few times a year.  She asked if I was interested in pursuing this (I was) and she took care of contacting them, etc.

So, last August I had my appointment at Northwestern with Dr. Monique Hinchcliff.  During my visit with her she confirmed the diagnosis:  I have Limited Systemic Sclerosis (Scleroderma) and I was "one of the lucky ones."  After taking my medical history, etc. she said I've had symptoms going back as far as 10 years (it's a slowly progressing disease) and if it hadn't developed into one of the more serious versions of it by now, it probably wouldn't.  The worst things I have to deal with right now:  joint pain, digestive problems and fatigue.

I didn't have to go through 2 days of testing -- just some blood work and I go back in August for a yearly check-up.  (My college Roomy, Kathy, met me downtown after my appointment and we had a fun afternoon in Chicago.  Hmmm, Kathy -- what are you doing in August this year?  ;-)


Why am I revealing all of this now?  (And in a BLOG?!  AUUUGH!)  Well, I wanted to come clean and move past this and get back to my creative projects.  Speaking of which... I do plan to make/sell some teal colored creations my in Etsy/ArtFire stores.  (The sale of these items -- though I'm not sure what they might be yet -- will benefit Scleroderma Research.  And yes, Scleroderma has an Awareness Ribbon -- a teal one.)

Yeah, this is something I have to deal with -- but we'll all have something to deal with eventually.  And maybe by talking about this a little I'll be able to help someone else out there who is also dealing with it.  (Pay it Forward, right?)

Fibromyalgia and Arthritis and Scleroderma -- my Aunt Pat is right.  When I told her about all of this, she said that when I do something, I do it up right!

Whew.

More soon,
~Heather

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