Projects and Brain Cooties

My Medicine Dan book edition is finally finished! I fully completed them on Saturday. The only little thing I’m waiting on is two Plexiglass box replacements, which are on the way. No biggie.

I took some pictures of the finished product and threw them up on my website. Now, people can buy them if they’d like. I’ve sent one to Vamp & Tramp, my booksellers, and shipped the one I presold. I’m also holding back two for my solo show at the end of the year, and three are up for sale on the site. I decided to keep the #1 book for myself.

By Sunday, I was on to the next project: Sangoma’s Toetem. I’d already been working on it while waiting for various book supplies, so I’ve had a head start. I still have a ways to go with the engineering of it, but the basic arrangement of the stuffed animals has come together.

I only have to address some issues at the top with the dinosaur’s mouth. It needs to come forward more and jet out past the frog’s face a little more. There will be a line coming out of the dinosaur’s mouth, and a stuffed fish will dangle from it.

Until I get back to all that, I’m embroidering little tags on muslin that will hang from various spots on the sculpture. I’m fittin’ to make ten with different words on them, like hope, heal, forgive, self-care, protect, rest…etc. They look very rough, and I like them that way.

I have a few concerns about putting the whole thing together when it comes time for installation, but with Hannah’s help, I’m sure all will be fine. Maybe “trust” needs to be one of my words for a tag.

You’d think all this business would be decluttering my mind from all my complicated mental issues, but not really. I have to be incredibly engaged in the moment for that to be true. Otherwise, I’m left to my own bipolar devices. Or rather, my complex PTSD thoughts in overdrive.

I’ve been reading a pretty good book by Bessel Van der Kolk entitled The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. There was a bit in there about how a patient of his had to work around the clock in order to cope with her PTSD. It was the only way she didn’t have to think about her past trauma of ongoing childhood sexual assault, but it turned her into a workaholic and shut her down to experience her present life or any real joy. She was disassociated from her loved ones and relationships and was dealing with a lot of depersonalization.

Reading that really hit me. Not that I’m not aware that this is me, but there was something about reading it regarding someone else that made me feel such sadness and empathy for them. How horrible, I thought. It’s really too bad for them and too bad for me. Hopefully, reading more of the book will help in some way.

In the meantime, I’m feeling both mentally and physically shitty. My last couple of blood tests keep showing elevated lymphs and white blood cells with high c-reactive protein, all pointing to an infection or inflammation. My new Rheumatologist says it’s probably just because of the pain I deal with. She didn’t seem alarmed because my lupus is in remission, so she kept my meds the same.

I go back to the cardiologist on Thursday for the possible adjustment of those meds, which I think he will tweak since my resting heartbeat has not changed. Or maybe not. My blood pressure is a bit better; my heartbeat is just still crazy fast.

As far as all of my brain cootie meds, I am reluctant to fuck with those. That’s always a nightmare. I’m on so many. I don’t want to be on more of anything. I don’t want to go through another change. However, I should probably contact the brain cootie doctor and tell him what’s happening. Dang.

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