Today is my six-week post-op day and, although I’m still uncomfortable, I’m actually feeling better. 

However, I’m about 2.5 weeks behind most other people in the healing process. It’s because I take immunosuppressants. At last, now I finally see progress. It’s hard because I’ll still have moments where I feel like shit, so it’s hard to feel optimistic, or rather, hard to remember that I’m usually optimistic overall. When I feel like shit, I tend to get tunnel vision. I fear I’ll be feeling this strange pain for the rest of my life, even though it’s 99.9% unlikely. 

I had a tiny infection for the past couple of weeks. I wound up going to the ER on Friday. I’d been on antibiotics, but there was a little stitch that was not healing correctly, so I got it taken care of. Now it’s healing great. The doctors at the ER said the rest of my scar looked fantastic, so all is well.  

The strange pain I have gets me quite depressed. It’s kinda awful. It feels like I am wearing the tightest bra on earth all the time. And not just over my torso, but up and around my shoulders too. It’s painful and exceedingly uncomfortable. It’s hard to sleep. One of my many reasons I got this surgery was so I’d never have to wear a bra ever again! When the feeling starts to get on my nerves, and I think about it too much, I get dark. I think, what if I will always feel like this? The thought of that puts me in a terrible place. I don’t know if I could handle it.

For this reason, I’ve been pretty moody. Antsy. Every time I sit down to write a new blog post, I’ll get a couple of paragraphs in and will have to stop. I can’t do it. I want to paint now. I’m going stir crazy. My mind is scattered–all over the place. I probably need Adderall or something. I don’t know.

But like I said before (I think?), I did set up a small space for myself in my dining room for small watercolors. They have to be small because my reach is still so limited. I still can’t work at my drafting table because I purchased a big plastic mat for the surface and it came rolled up in a tube. So I’ve had books on it for days, and it’s still not flattened. Almost. 

I think I’ll do a few more small watercolors and try to go back to painting for real next week. I’d want to work on one of those five pieces I prepared before my surgery. They are calling my name! Which is what, by the way? Oh yeah, “Carol.”

I’m thinking about posting old works in progress on Instagram. All I ever post there are finished pieces of art, but maybe I need to break that up. I have a ton of images from over the years and wonder if that would interest people. So, perhaps I’ll try that. Just thinking out loud here.

Oh, I applied for another artist’s residency. It’s the one that takes place inside the Joshua Tree National Park. They only pick two artists a year for it. My chances are super-dooper slim (to none) that I’ll get it, but I wanted to apply anyway. I plan to apply for a couple more residencies by the summer, which begin in the fall. Those are in New England, and they are pretty prestigious. My chances are no good for those either, but I guess it doesn’t hurt to try. Well, it kinda hurts, but I get over these things eventually. 

In the meantime, I am doing a “home” residency for the remainder of the pandemic. It’s actually an official one called the Crisis Residency Project, and many artists are involved. The artwork of the participants get posted on their Instagram feed, and they conduct artist interviews. It’s pretty cool, and it is giving me the motivation to work. Isn’t that all that matters? 

2 thoughts on “Motivation

  1. Kate Riley May 6, 2021 / 12:24 am

    Love you Carol! xxx

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