Thursday, 23 January 2020

Sparkly Spiders, Latin Inscriptions and Other Fairy Tales

I am copying this post from my main blog as it is important.

I'm not sure I want to share this post.
It has taken me a few days to write it...

Firstly, let me just say that right now, I am very happy.
I'm calm and feeling groovy and I am okey-dokey.
I just feel that it is important for people to know about here goes...

Last year ended with me in Intensive Care.
I woke up after being unconscious for some time.
I could see sparkly bright coloured, teeny-weeny 'spiders' dropping down from the ceiling, really pretty and gentle.
There was also gold writing in Latin carved over the walls, (?), this went away after a couple of days.
I just lay in a tiny bed, like Snow White - (the ICU is also the children's ward, it's Wales...).

Artist, J Batten
 I felt completely happy.

I had no idea how I got there.

A few days before this I had been to the same hospital for tests.
They had taken lots of blood and scans, sadly they didn't test for the right things.
My bladder had stopped working so I was given catheters to use myself, which I did, and was given some antibiotics.
The antibiotics made me vomit and I had a weird reaction to them.
My own doctor wanted me to have some more tests next week...they didn't happen.

I am usually very healthy, eat well and exercise three times a week, don't drink, don't smoke,
(wow that makes me sound such a goody-goody he he he).

A couple of days later...  I fell unconscious and Steve (AKA 'The Giant Troll' ), called the paramedics, who got lost and took and hour and a half to get to us.  (We live up a mountain in Snowdonia).
I was taken to A&E.

Steve told me what happened...I have no memory of anything that was done to me, which seems to be the best thing really.
He watched everything the A&E team did to save me, sounds horrific.
Glad I was not there to witness it!
I just woke up with rows of IV drips down both arms and groin and a big fat catheter.
See, I will do anything for attention ;o)

Turns out that I had Sepsis and went into Septic Shock.
Google it and it is really scary reading.
You can be very healthy one day, and dead the next morning!
So please, find out about it, learn all of the warning signs and act quickly.

Sepsis kills more people each year than cancer does!

The team said I had about an hour of life left in me.
The A&E doctor told Steve to bring my children to the hospital to say goodbye to me.
Mmmmm...that part makes me cry...
The thought that I would not have said goodbye to them...
Steve said, 'You don't know her, she will be up and walking around next week'.
I was. (Though it was hard).

I was moved to the ICU, I was there a few days.
It was a very odd place.
About five beds and some children's toys. 
There were a few very poorly elderly folks and a me, then a young woman (maybe late 20s) was brought in next to me.
She died.
The young doctor was distraught, she kept sneaking back to check that she was really dead.
So upsetting.
She was sitting upright propped up on pillows and looked so young and peaceful.
I hope she went somewhere nice.
Steve had walked right past her and not noticed she was dead.
Until they covered her face with plastic.
Steve asked me, 'Is she really dead?'
'Yes, she died this morning'
'But she's so young'
'Yes, she is'

December, the most wonderful time of the year!
We had been tidying up ready for our Yuletide celebrations.
That was put on hold until I came home, so our decorations are still up.
I'll take them down when I feel like it, they are a comfort to us at present.
A reminder that life could have been so very different this year.

I know that I have not been myself this past year.
Trying to motivate myself to finish things became harder and harder.
I felt drained.
I was tired all of the time without doing much really.
Naturally, I put it down to just being a lazy old sod.
Artists can find any excuse to not paint :o)
I could still draw every day because I just sit on the sofa to sketch.

Sketching ideas 

Painting and that is harder.
I do my 'Art' and sewing in the kitchen,  so everything has to be moved and then put back, way too much effort for lazy old me!
(Even sewing had become a tiring chore, yet I did manage to finish a special Memory Quilt.)

I  had also been hungry all of the time, stuffing my face, yet strangely getting thinner and thinner.
My children said I looked like a Wraith.
(Scrawny does not suit old women, they just look really really decrepit, like when the 'fountain of youth' goes wrong and they rapidly age then crumble to dust !).
Magic diet?
You bet!
The kind of diet where your body burns all of your fat, just to make sugar...till you drop down dead.
Magic indeed.
It appears I was a diabetic and no one had picked up on it.
Which was why my body could not cope with the bladder infection.
So, I now have type 1 diabetes.
I'm old (57) to get this, usually it arrives when you are much younger.
Guess I'm just lucky hey?  ;o)
Told you, anything for attention!

I have this little kit of things to check my blood/glucose levels.
There is a little black thingy.
I call it my Tamagotchi of blood.
No matter how much I feed it, it always wants more!

I want your blooood

And a pricker for my fingers, to draw the blood, which is fine if your hands are warm, mine never are, so I sometimes have to do it a few times.
Where is that Spinning Wheel and spindle when you need one?

Touch the spindle dearie...

Then it says if you are within the correct levels or,  'having a Hypo, or a Hyper'.
This little black thing is really judgy!

Then you are okay to inject yourself with insulin... four times a day, (yup, 4).
Before meals and at bed time.
Three in the tum and at night, in your thigh.
Fun and larks eh?
I also have to check how many carbs I'm having and not eat too much, otherwise you have to have lots of insulin.
I'm greedy, so this is no fun :o(
I like big dinners.
I don't like the effects of having loads of insulin though...dragon tum, just saying.
The diabetes nurse gave me a magazine about type 1, it was a cheery read.
If you aren't 'good' you can get all sorts of lovely complications like lower limb amputations, blindness, organ failure...see, very cheery :o)
I think I'd prefer to read 'Pretty House' mags instead!

The doctor/specialist at the hospital was a right beggar, so lovely and sarcastic.
He was small, skinny, totally bald and looked like a goblin.

Arthur Rackham must have met my doctor ;o)

He shook my hand and I said, 'Oooh your hands are freezing!!'
To which he replied, 'The heart is colder!'...:o)

He told me I had been a bit crook, (his words), which I think summed me up.
He would come to see me in the mornings.
He asked me how I felt about the needles and having to do this.
I just said ''I have no choice'.
Which I don't.

He asked me what I did for a living, I told him I'm an artist.
He said, 'That's a job is it?', then went on to talk about the artists he was reading about.
He knew quite a lot about art really, for someone who thought it wasn't a proper job.
I love sarcastic people, they are so amusing.
He was also a really good doctor.
He said the A&E doctor, (the same doctor who said I was dying), ran down the corridor to him when I arrived, to ask his advice.
Glad he did.
The A&E team saved my life.
The ICU team helped me recover.
The diabetes ward, (most folks there didn't have diabetes, it's Wales ), helped me get stronger and learn to become a diabetic.
I am eternally grateful to them all.

My doctor works a day a week on A&E and came to see me on the ward, she found me walking down the corridor and looked up at me and said, 'My god, you're strong!'
I'm not sure if I am...
I'm stubborn see.
I knew it would come in handy one day!

So, that's about it.
This is my life now.
The sepsis alone can affect you for years afterwards, it can make you sick for a long time, some folks get flashbacks or PTSD from it.
As I cannot remember anything about being in the A&E, I'm hoping that won't happen!
The type 1 diabetes is enough for me.

As it is now a new year and a new decade, I'm going to look on the bright side.
Maybe when I feel stronger I will be able to get some of my UFOs finished.
At least I have a 'real' excuse now though, so I might milk it a little he he he.
I'll post some pics when I see I have this bone in my arm...

As for the 'sparkly spiders' and 'Latin inscriptions'?
I have no idea what they had given me in those drips...

I just know that when I fell unconscious at home that I had left my body and didn't come back until it was safe.
My children say that I was 'away with the faeries'.
Well, the Fae do know that I love them, so I like to think that they took care of me.
I will make something special for them when I can.

Seems the Fates didn't think it was time to cut my thread just yet...
Thank you ladies :o)

Artist, J Strudwick

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Trying to find A Thing of Beauty

I've been thinking...
About things...
Sometimes you feel like you are falling through the sky.
Sometimes you feel like you are hitting the earth.

The past few years have been a weird experience.
It is not my intention to make the world a miserable place, (I think the world is beautiful), so I will not pass these things on to you.
But, I have become 'changed'.

As it is a new year, with all of those associated new beginnings, then this is also the best time to let go of the old, dusty dreams too.
And now is a good time to start creating the ideas which are just fragments of things so far.

My home is crammed with vintage fabrics, old lace, and trimmings, just waiting to become something, waiting for me to transform them into my dreams of what they could be.
I have been saying this for a very long time.
Now I am going to fulfill my promise to them.

I am now going to post all of my paintings and miniature items on my other blog, Oberon's Wood and try to post my other thoughts, ideas and creations on this old blog.
I am not a big fan of social media in general but I do feel happier on a blog, so we will see
how well I manage this.

After the usual post-holiday tidy-up there is that feeling of excitement as you sort through all of your treasures.
I am also sharing this with my daughter.
We are both creating together.
We paint together, now we are sewing together.
This pleases me, so much, my grandmother liked to sew, my mother sewed dresses for my sisters and me in the 'swinging sixties' and now my young daughter is too.
We are making things to adorn our lives and hopefully, the lives of others.

I want to try to make the world pretty.
In uncertain times it is so very easy to focus on ugly things.
It's time to see the beauty all around us.
Beauty is more than skin deep, it is within us all.
I wish you a very beautiful year ahead. :o)

Friday, 22 June 2018

Black Widows and Boudoir Dolls

The other year my dear friend Lindy Lou was bitten by a Black Widow spider.
She is fine and is still the crazy Olde Broad she has always been.
I am slightly sad that she hasn't become a Superhero though...
(Or has she, I mean, they have to keep their secret identity, well, secret don't they? mmmm)

So, I had this idea floating around my head, (usually in bed when I'm really trying to sleep), of creating a Boudoir Doll who was also a Victorian Mourning Doll.
Then after this horrific encounter with an arachnid (he he) I thought maybe I could also add Black Widow to the list of ideas.
After all, to the Victorians, more was most certainly...more.

So here she is in all her Gothic glory.
Mistress Charlotte (see what I did there?).
I thought that rather than make a 'spider' I would use the colours of the Black Widow instead. I also thought she would look nice with velvet and lace, who doesn't ?
She has big spider eyes which also look like she has been weeping, even spider widows cry.
'My my Charlotte, what big eyes you have...'
'Well, my dear, I am a Spider'

I love Mourning Dolls and the idea of a Victorian Spider Widow is just so absurd that I think she could get away with anything.
Hence, the hair...wild and pouffy...(my children think her hair is like Helena Bonham Carter's).
I have added a very soft veil, it's so soft to stroke...
I like being able to see through the veil to the world beyond, sorry I'm getting lost in metaphysical things again. :o)

She has really big feet, no idea why, I just love big feet (mine are not big, maybe I'm overcompensating?).
Maybe I just like my big dolls to be much bigger than my teeny dolls, so everything is bigger?
Who can say...

I hope Lindy Lou will not mind me using her encounter with the Black Widow in this way, but I'm sure that when she climbs down from the web in the corner of the ceiling, she will let me know :o)

So now comes the part any creative person has learned to love...
What will the next thing be?
We never know where or when that odd thought will prod us and the Muses will wake us from our dreams and demand we do something to satisfy their desires.
I'm not complaining though, I love the Muses.
How else could we turn something so nasty as a spider bite into a doll? :o)

I think it's time for some tea...