Tag: #inspiration

How Chronic Illness Changed My Life: An Artist’s Survival Story

How Chronic Illness Changed My Life: An Artist’s Survival Story

Growing up, I struggled with severe stomach pain. Doctors would say that I needed more fiber. Nothing seemed to help. It was miserable for me. I’d often go to the nurse’s office at school where she’d let me eat crackers and lay down. She just thought I was hungry. My mom even took me to the emergency room once and they had no idea what was causing my suffering.

Fast forward to my teen years when I was told I had endometriosis and cystic ovaries. I was told I’d probably never be able to have children. And again, more debilitating pain and suffering. Going up and down stairs at school became intolerable. Holding down a job became equally challenging when once a month I’d be in so much pain I couldn’t move and was bedridden. I also became intolerant to cleaning chemicals at work. I started coughing up blood.

I remember one teacher at school telling me I basically had to suck it up and carry on, that no one would help me. I know she was trying to help, in her own way, but it wasn’t helpful. It just made me realize that my illnesses were invisible. No one could see or feel them for themselves, so they couldn’t understand or believe me. It made me feel small and completely alone. There are days I still feel alone with it.

After having an ectopic pregnancy, that almost killed me, as a young adult, things snowballed. I was diagnosed with anemia. I started having dry mouth, heavy periods that would last a month or more, severe pain in my feet and hands, my hair started falling out, and more. It got so bad that I couldn’t lift a gallon of milk! I started to gain weight for no apparent reason. My diet hadn’t changed. Despite my pain, I was still trying to keep active.

Doctor’s had no clue as to what was happening. Medicines they prescribed did nothing to heal me or take away the pain. I learned to just suffer through and do my best every day. It’s all I could do.

One doctor, at the time, said I had fibromyalgia. But fibromyalgia was so new back then and after the medication she gave me did nothing for me, I thought she was full of it. I was in my early twenties. I didn’t get another opinion on that diagnosis. I just carried on the best I could.

Around the age of twenty five, I became pregnant with my son. I was so happy. My husband was worried the whole duration of the pregnancy. He thought we’d lose another child and that it could possibly even kill me. I developed toxemia and pulmonary edema (water on my lungs that was crushing my heart). I was extremely swollen and I couldn’t breathe and the hospital I went to said I had asthma. But, I didn’t. I was dying, but because it was the weekend, my doctor didn’t show up to the hospital and I languished for days, until he had me transferred to a different hospital on Monday. I was there a day before they decided to take my son early by cesarean. I recuperated in the hospital for a week after and my son stayed in NICU for two weeks.

Years and more suffering later, I had my thyroid removed because I had two lemon sized tumors on it that were causing me a great deal of pain. They found small traces of cancer, after it was all removed. I didn’t need chemo, though. I continued to gain weight and suffer from extreme fatigue and other odd symptoms, despite all my best efforts. And getting help with this was a long drawn out nightmare in of itself. Synthetic thyroid hormone replacement made me more sick. I had to demand/beg for natural thyroid hormone replacement and it helped. My energy went up and I stopped having chronic bronchitis.

A couple of years ago, I lost fifteen pounds right out of the blue. No idea why and doctors didn’t try to find out. They just congratulated me on the weight loss. During this time, I started to have heart fluttering and pains in my legs, numbness and tingling all over, and pains in my back. Then, my primary care doc told me I’d leave my son “motherless”, if I didn’t lose weight. By then, I’d lost thirty pounds, and despite feeling stronger and lighter, I started to feel worse. But, his support consisted only of him telling me to do a lapband surgery and to dismiss me completely. His comment kicked off my bought with medical PTSD. I started to believe everything I did was wrong and I was going to die and leave my son motherless. Eating healthy, weight training, cycling, and walking all weren’t good enough. That’s the message the doctor gave me. He placed the blame solely on me and didn’t care to investigate further. And while all this is happening, I got diagnosed with macular degeneration and was told I’ll go blind in ten years.

Then, last year, just before the pandemic hit, I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and fibromyalgia by a rheumatologist. A rheumatologist I had to schedule an appointment with myself because at this point, I was willing to try all sorts of specialists to get answers. My doctor should’ve recommended a rheumatologist years ago, but didn’t. He’d lose his cash cow, for lack of a better term, in my opinion. Maybe, I dunno. I can’t even begin to understand what drives a doctor to be so careless and abusive to his patients.

The newest diagnoses have been extremely difficult to deal with. I wanted to believe I had hope at a cure and returning back to a healthier, happier me. But now I know, there is no cure coming. And the medications to treat are as bad or worse than the condition itself. That’s the choice I have to make now. My first biologic injection (that I had to give myself at home) helped. I felt normal, until I didn’t. It caused my insides to feel like they were on fire and it caused me to be severely constipated. TMI, I know. I’m sorry, but it’s true. So, I had to stop it and now I’m waiting for approval of another biologic. I don’t have health insurance, so it makes fighting these illnesses that much harder. I’ve been waiting a couple of months now.

The rollercoaster of emotions has been almost as unbearable as the illness. This past year I’ve really had to take stock of what’s important to me and I’ve had a lot of time to think. So, I decided to put in the hard work of dealing with childhood trauma and the medical trauma I’ve suffered with most of my life and especially now as an adult.

I’ve done most of the research into trauma and how to heal on my own. Pinterest is a great place to find helpful articles, by the way! And I’ve been journaling. But I got to a point where I needed help from an outside source. And an art friend of mine who does therapy offered to help and her timing was perfect. With her guidance and knowledge, she’s helped given me the tools I need going forward. I’m incredibly grateful for her generosity and insight.

I honestly thought that when I left the abusive environment of my parent’s house, after becoming an adult, I’d be okay. And I thought I was. I was safe and I didn’t have to think about the bad things that happened to me anymore. But the truth is, your body remembers. Your nervous system remembers. Your subconscious remembers. And trauma can be linked to chronic illness, so I want to help myself as much as I can. That way, I can feel better. I figure the mental and emotional aspect would help the physical. And here I am. I know I’m doing the best I can. And I forgive the doctor. Not for him, but for me. The pain and anger were only hurting me and holding me down, so it was time to let it go.

The entire year in quarantine put a lot into perspective and I’m glad I’m putting in this inner work. It’s okay to feel emotions. Emotions are passing and they are trying to tell us something. We just have to listen and love them. We have to love ourselves and be kind and patient with ourselves. Creating my art helped me through this past year a great deal also. It was the best outlet for me. And it will continue to be, moving forward. As long as my body will allow.

To Learn More About Me And My Artwork, Please Visit: http://www.designsbymistyblue.com

Thank you for reading my blog and for supporting me and my artwork. I’m eternally grateful.

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

“Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams” Painting

“Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams” Painting

Here I am standing with a large 3d statue of a hand reaching out. I painstakingly hand painted it in an homage to Van Gogh. It’s named “Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams”.

A friend purchased this large statuette at Ross with the hopes of doing something special with it. She never got around to painting it, so she asked me to work some magic and my first thought was Van Gogh’s Starry Night. What could be more magical?!

Detail Photo Of “Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams” by artist Misty Lemons of Designs By Misty Blue

I liked the idea of the design swirling around the length of the arm and stars kissing the fingertips on the statue. I love how the piece turned out, but it fought me every step of the way. Lol! Van Gogh was a genius who created flowing, passionate works of art. To try to recreate such a unique style was difficult, but well worth the effort and I had so much fun with it!

Detail Photos Of “Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams” by Misty Lemons

One of my all time favorite artists is Van Gogh. He had a tumultuous life and yet still created brilliant emotionally charged pieces in vibrant colors. You can almost feel the flow of energy radiating from his pieces. I can relate to having difficult and traumatic times in my life also. And though hard times suck, they can enrich the soul and your art. It can make you a more passionate, empathetic person.

The statue stands almost one and a half feet tall. My friend wound up giving me the piece to do what I wish with it. I don’t think I’ll part with it anytime soon. I love how it turned out and I want to keep it in my personal collection for the time being. Despite how large the piece is, it’s fairly lightweight, which helps with carrying it. Right now, I have it on display in my office.

Size Reference (Please, Excuse My Dry Hand! Lol!)

I painted the hand with acrylics and thoroughly sealed it in a semi gloss finish, so it has a nice sheen to it.

I love how painting odd shapes presents a challenge. It was a lot of fun trying to feel out the piece and place the artwork in a pleasing manner. Painting rocks prepared me well for this challenge! A rocks surface can present several challenges! From size, texture, surface, porousness, and more! I love painting rocks!

Large Rock I Painted (This Piece Is Also A Part Of My Personal Collection)

I hope the name of the piece resonates. Despite hardships and disadvantages, it’s important to hang on to hope. Please, remember to “Never Let Gogh Of Your Dreams”.

To Learn More About Me, Please Visit: http://www.designsbymistyblue.com

Thank you for reading my blog and supporting me and my art! Please, subscribe to my blog to stay in the know!

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy

Soul Searching & A New Website

Soul Searching & A New Website

Hi! I hope you are well. My apologies for being an inconsistent blogger. Life and all, you know. I am over 40 now and with the arrival of the pandemic and being newly diagnosed with a serious health condition, I’ve been taking stock of my life. I’ve also been working on healing childhood trauma. I’ve been learning a lot and doing quite a bit of soul searching. And I’m trying to take what control I can over my health, but it’s not easy with and especially without health insurance. It’s been a lot to take in and it’s been exhausting.

With all the inner work I’ve been doing, I haven’t had much time for anything else. I was creating sporadically, but my zest was lacking. I’ve only just started to feel more like myself and have been creating more consistently and happily.

My son has been a great springboard for ideas and advice. I’ve got a plan now and he’s helping me where he can. I’ve built a website and it includes an online shop. I’m going to be focusing on stickers, pins, paintings, and eventually, art prints. I’m super excited and am having so much fun along the way! Website/Shop

My son and I have also been working hard and having fun adding videos to my YouTube channel.

Reorganizing my office to make it a more workable efficient space has been a top priority. I’m adding shelving, a cubby with cloth bins, and a dresser to hold my printer and Cricut Maker.

I set up an account with a shipping company and have designed proof of purchase receipts and an inventory list. It’s been a lot of work and I love it! It gives me purpose and a path forward.

My son is almost an adult now and before too long will leave the nest. That’s been especially hard for me. All I’ve ever wanted was a family. Raising him has been my purpose and my privilege. Now, I need to focus on myself and give myself a new purpose. My art is my purpose. I’ve always been an artist. I’ve always loved creating. It only makes sense to pursue it.

I’m a bit of an underdog. I’m a plus sized, middle aged, chronically ill, introverted woman. The odds are against me, but I’m strong-willed and driven. I’m full of passion and heart. I believe in myself and I believe in making a positive difference in the world with my art and heart. I hope you’ll join me on my journey and I hope to count on your support. Thank you for reading my blog. It means a great deal to me. Please, subscribe!

To Learn More About Me And My Artwork, Please Visit: http://www.linktr.ee/designsbymistyblue

Copyrights: Misty R. Lemons/Designs By Misty Blue Do Not Copy