Wednesday 2 September 2015

A brief update

Well, long time, no post!

I've had a challenging few months, cumulating in a difficult to accept, but very easy to make decision.

TL;DR: my left arm is packing up, I'm retiring.

The longer version:
For the past year or so, I've been having problems with my left shoulder, arm and hand, and in that easily done way, I've ignored it. In case you don't know, as well as having ME, I also have Poland's Syndrome, a congenital defect of the upper left quarter of my body, which means I have some missing muscles, bones and nerves. Thankfully, my heart and left lung aren't affected. I have slight scoliosis, a short arm and webbed 1" long fingers that don't move much. I've been getting pins and needles, been dropping my fork, and pain in my shoulder. I ignored it. The pain got worse until it started impacting my ability to drive, sleep and function. After X-rays, MRIs, nerve and muscle function tests, I've been told it's not fixable, take more drugs.

This has been quite hard to deal with - not the pain, but the losing function. It impacts my ability to drive, which then restricts what I can do, as I can't walk far. If I do drive, I hurt, so I have to take stupid meds, which then mean I can't drive, so I can't go out. 

I've been off work since the middle of April, and am now being medically retired, as I'm not safe to be at work on the drugs, and can't concentrate because of the pain if I don't take the drugs. My balance is affected, too, so I'm falling over a bit more.

My pension will be about half my salary, and because my condition has changed, I will receive more disability benefits. It will still be less than I currently earn, which will be a challenge in itself.

I've never lived to work, but my arm deciding to pack up on me has been very difficult to deal with. One consequence has been the loss of some things I enjoy - I can't play my guitar any more, as it hurts my left shoulder - I play left handed, have an Ibanez jumbo acoustic. It's now gathering dust. Sewing is a challenge, too - I make bridalwear as another hobby, but sewing hurts my left arm.

I'd stopped painting - mainly because I was zonked on the pain meds, but also because I felt rubbish.

I'm slowly coming out of the funk, and accepting what I can't change. I'm also starting to paint again, which actually helps with how I feel. I guess I'll just have to learn a new way of doing things, and try not to let it get to me. Next week I'll be starting the next painting, for Radiation. We've already had a conversation about my radio silence, so we're good.

I'm also going to continue my Doorways paintings; I'll be posting about them as well.

Also, commissions gratefully received!!

No comments:

Post a Comment