Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Art & Healing

So many of my blog posts have been and continue to be about Art & Healing…in my life, especially the past 5 years or so, the two have gone hand in hand. I am certain that my health would be ten times worse if it weren’t for having art as my daily outlet and healing exercise.

I’ve been working small scale lately, a 4x6 ring bound journal that I made from stuff I had around the house. Just something small that I can do a whole page quickly at night before I go to sleep and it is answering my need to ‘let it all out’ for the time being while I have so much else going on.


Anyway, a few updates:

  • Richie’s Epidural Nerve Block…it has given him tremendous relief from the terrible pain he has been dealing with for weeks. He had a bit of a rough weekend as the steroids injected into the problem area first caused even more swelling before they could begin decreasing the inflammation; thankfully he had pain meds to ease him through the first few days.

Come Monday morning he woke up feeling, in his words, “like a new man,” and says his pain is 80-90% decreased already. Talk about welcomed relief. You can see it in his face. No more grimacing with every movement he makes or grunts as he tries to sit or stand. I feel like this treatment has been quite the miracle already.

  • Speaking of Monday morning, we were up and at it early again yesterday, with cardiac testing appointments for me out the wazoo!

First up was my stress test…apparently, I was already in the midst of the test before even arriving since my stress level was on HIGH and had been for days. Thankfully I had asked (ordered? demanded? pleaded?) that my husband go with me since my fear about this test was completely overwhelming me and I really needed him there with me.

 Because of my still healing broken shoulder (does this kind of stuff really happen to other people?), my stress test had to be done chemically instead on the treadmill, like I had pictured. UH, WHAT?!?! You’re going to inject me with some drug that will cause my already ailing heart to engorge with blood and then add a radioactive dye to it and keep me like this for 3 1/2 hours???? Cue my stress level quadrupling, throw in three buckets of tears and you’ll have an idea of what a blubbering, inconsolable mess I was during this crazy test. My poor doc (whose hand I crushed so severely when I was being injected that he will certainly never perform even the simplest of surgeries again) and the stress tech guy are probably scarred for life after my freak out but they’ll live.stress

It was nothing. Easy peasy. I breezed through it. Seriously, I did. The worst part was waiting around 45 minutes between scans and having to raise my left arm over my head (broken shoulder, remember?)

I freak out like this occasionally, what can I say.

Next up was the Echo-cardiogram. I had no clue what this test was going to be and, having a medical background, I really should have known but I didn’t. Needless to say, fear and stress levels had now shot back to levels in the red (can you hear the screaming WAH-UH, WAH-UH, WAH-UH alarm going off like on a movie about a submarine under attack? Yeah, that’s how I felt.)

Know what the Echo is?

Basically a sonogram of your heart. Yeah, they use a little scanning wand with a gel on the tip and use sound waves to pick up information about the heart. Want to know the worst part of this one? The gel was cold on my skin. Another freak out, although not as bad as the first by any means, to once again find out it was for no reason.

And then it was all done…except the waiting. I won’t have results from either test until tomorrow. I do hate the waiting game. It stresses me and, as you can tell, I don’t deal with stress very well at all.  I just hope that the results come back and much of my worry has been for nothing…my heart will be in much better shape than we suspect.

That is what we’ve been up to since Friday. Sorry for my absence but, as you can see, it’s been a little eventful time around here. lol

I know I’ve ranted about health stuff but I do want to share something a little arty with you all today, too.  I don’t know if you know Julie Fei-Fan Balzer but I have spent much time over the weekend losing myself in her blog and videos.  I love learning from others and I am learning tons from her (and her name up there links to her blog, btw.)

Since so many of us are Art Journalers, I thought I’d share this video of hers with you since it’s about a subject that I get questions all the time and that I love learning more about, too…lettering in your journal.


Lettering for Your Art Journal from Julie Balzer on Vimeo.

Peace & Love,


  1. Thanx, Barb. I love Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. I am so glad to hear that Richie is not having as much pain. And you may be on the road to getting the help you need to get you heart healthy. I am a chicken also when it comes to tests. I have to begin getting "Trigger Point Injections" in my neck next month. Sounds scary to me! Yikes!

  2. Oh yes. Art and healing are certainly hand in hand for me as well.

    PS. Did you get an email I sent about the community art project? I sent it to the only Barb in my gmail account, but then realized it might not be you. If it was you - I'm not harping and I respect the decline; I'm honestly just not sure. If it wasn't you please email me at PhoenixPeacock@Gmail.Com, thanks!

  3. Glad things are going a little better! Thanks for sharing the video. Hope your test results come back with encouraging news. :)

  4. Thanks for the link and the love! And I hope your test results are excellent!

  5. Thanks for sharing Julie's video. I watched it when it came out but had forgotten about it!


Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by. I am open to any comments, questions, suggestions, critiques, etc, so lay it on me...
Peace & Love,

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...