Balnacra Arts & Pottery by Vicky Stonebridge

a spring clean for the May drama Queen

My blogging, is like everything, as usual months behind. so whats been going on? well the season was gathering momentum, spring giving way to summer, trying to catch up with everything after worry, upset and strange health hassals. grabbing the good days, trying to keep active, keep working, keep earning, get fit again…SAM_1770
when boom!2014-05-14 21.47.31 2014-05-14 21.57.10
I was waiting to see the specialist after a strange gall/liver pain acute attack in april, scans had discovered multiple cysts in my liver- pointing to the hereditary liver disease my mother & probably Granny have & had. Before this happened however, Wednesday 14th May, after a regular tutoring session in Inverness, i was walking back towards the carpark when BOOM, the abdominal pain from my right hand side suddenly hit again. I managed to walk a little further as the pain built, heading for the car park, trying to keep upright as long as i could, i figured i wasn’t going to make the carpark, so aimed for the bus station toilets for a little breathing space, where i collapsed. Someone immediately got help. The ambulance seemed to get there in seconds. By this time i was gray, shaking, sweaty, clammy & in complete agony. I was worried about my dog, left stranded in the car-park, so managed to phone Andy to come and find me at the hospital & rescue the dog. My phone was rapidly running out of charge.

To cut the story short; The ambulance crews were great, it was all very surreal, and rather dignity fail being helped out through the bus station with all those staring faces. I was given gas in the ambulance & wired up to stuff- “hey i feel better now, what a fuss!”… oh actually no, more gas!  In A&E i felt well looked after & was given an injection of morphine which knocked the pain back and spread itchy red lines up my arm. Eventually I was sent up to a ward where time slowed. I was there for 3 days. going hungry awaiting instructions for what happened next, waiting for a slot for another scan, waiting for a doctor to appear, waiting for any word about when i could go or should i ask for someone to bring me a phone charger, toothbrush & some fresh clothes? waiting for something to eat or drink that didn’t contain all the things that increase the pain. waiting for a diagnosis. waiting for some sleep, waiting for the next replusive nausea inducing dizzy making out of body spinning medication. I was not a happy bunny.My sense of “being in the best place” was diminishing. It was de-humanising, disempowering, lonely, scary, disorientating, frustrating & exhausting.

All I had with me was my art stuff. I was stilll too groggy & in too much pain to get my paints out, but managed to draw a few lines at a time in biro. this stilled my mind, kept me focused & passed the time. I’m sure i would have gone MAD otherwise.
2014-05-15 23.08.27
I also doodled lots of what was happening into comic pages which i’ll get drawn up properly in due course. Another thing which kept me sane was remembering the great weekend that Andy and me had just had. It was a store of good feelings and happy things i could draw on laying there in that bed feeling robbed of life & energy.
We’d been to Falkirk to a War Gaming show for Andy’s work, stopped to see the Kelpies. stayed over and went up Wallace monument & to Blair Drummond Safari park on the Sunday.

SAM_1685 SAM_1692 SAM_1716 SAM_1717
It took me a couple of weeks to be on my feet again really. I’m still in pain all the time & in fear of the next attack, frustrated at not getting any firm answers off anyone. stressed because i haven’t been able to earn enough to pay all my regular basic bills. stressed because I’m getting put under a lot of pressure from Occupational health to get back to Fire fighting duties & off sick pay.

But I’m more determined than ever to get out and enjoy the good days, when and if I can.
2014-05-24 17.46.42  SAM_1791 SAM_1797
to make as much as I can.SAM_1811
to stay active & keep on top of my garden, which I love.SAM_1819
and to make the paintings pay. I figure If I am too ill to undertake physical work, too ill to commit to shift work, and that this is likely to be a long term or permanent thing, maybe, I have no idea. But working at my own pace, and being my own boss, seems to be the best way to cope. Here are the three paintings I finished that last week of May to go to Beauly Gallery for the ‘Around the Firth’ June exhibition. I’ll be there as the Artist in residence ( all being well ) on Tuesday 17th June.

It has been a tough time, But I have learnt a lot about being sick and what so many other people endure, with I imagine a lot more dignity than me!
2014-05-26 18.32.15SAM_1835 SAM_1839 SAM_1846

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This entry was posted on June 6, 2014 by in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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