Recently on the Neat and Tangled Blog, the owner Danielle shared a story about her father suffering from a horrible condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. It sounds so debilitating and I even saw a documentary about it last week on tv. Its something you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Danielle ran a challenge 'Crafting for Compassion' where she wanted you to share your story of something your going thru and winners would have donations made to those charities etc. I desperately wanted to join but when I went to link my card the link had closed. I've thought about it the last few days and thought why not share my story anyway, it may help someone else!!
Around 6 years ago I developed the flu, it wasn't pleasant but nothing out of the ordinary and last around two weeks. A week later I got the flu again, this time it really knocked the wind out of my sails and lasted two very long weeks. As it started to go away I noticed pain in my arms at night, which progressed to my whole arms, back, legs and feet. After three weeks it was so excruiating to get out of bed my children had to pull back the covers for me and I would have to crawl to the bathroom as my feet hurt so badly.
I battled this for weeks thinking it would go away but eventually went to the doctor. After many tests they found I had developed Fibromyalgia and Reactive Arthritis. There was no cure and they think the bouts of flu I had triggered my bodies nerve system response.
Fibromyalgia is where your nervous system attached to your pain response goes into overdrive, meaning the slightest touch to my body is painful. The reactive arthritis caused my joints to swell which triggered even more pain. Its a painful 24hr a day, 7 day a week condition that also has affected my cognitive abilities (I have the worst memory ever to the point where I come out of the supermarket and can't remember where my car is AT ALL) and some days I'm so tired I don't want to move.
It took around a year to get back to around 85% normality with my body and after trying many horrible drugs over the years I now have a pain medication that works for me (to a point). As strange as it sounds I find moving helps the most and my gardening work is painful but I love it so much its worth it. If I sit down, even for 1 minute, my whole body seizes and I look like a 150yr old woman getting off the couch.
Its affected my life a lot and even though I'm very active with my children, there are some days I just can't do some things, which is heart breaking for me. However, its not going to kill me and there are much worse things out there in world (such as CRPS) so that's what I tell myself every day. And there is always that slight chance that it might just go away, which has happened for some people. So fingers crossed!!
So that's my story!! The invisible condition, that's literally a pain in the ass!! If any of you reading this have 'Fibro' I'd love to hear from you and my email address is on my contact page or leave a comment. And if you've made it this far thru the post, thank you very much!!
I thought after all this 'serious talk' I better reward you with some rainbow colours:
One of my wonderful 'so fiddly it drives you insane' designs!!
I cut a panel of Strathmore Bristol Smooth CS the same size as my card front and blended Distress Oxide inks 'Picked Raspberry', 'Wilted Violet', 'Spiced Marmalade', 'Mermaid Lagoon' and 'Cracked Pistachio' over it. I think flicked it with lots of water and removed with a tissue.
Once it was dry I die-cut it with the Neat and Tangled 'Polygon Cover Plate'. I rubbed a piece of Glad 'Press n Seal over the back of it before removing from the die to keep the pieces in place. I then added another piece to the front, removed the back one and the fiddling began!!
I took off the die frame and glued it to the card front. I then randomly chose pieces to either glue into place or pop up on foam tape. I also left some out so the white could show thru. The Neat and Tangled 'Celebrate' die was die-cut 3x from black CS, glued together and then to the background die-cut in white CS. I also stamped the 'you' from Neat and Tangled 'Celebrate' with Versafine black ink and heat embossed with clear powder. These were adhered on the card front and also glued on some clear sequins from Neat and Tangled too. I also added LOTS of Glossy Accents to the 'Celebrate' to make it shine!!!!
I'm going to link this to the Simon Says Stamp - Wednesday Challenge where their theme is 'Make your own Background'.
Whew, I think this is the longest post I've ever written, so thank you so much if you managed to not fall asleep before the end. I really appreciate you all and card making has brought me so much joy at a time when I could have easily fallen into a huge hole of depression. Who knew card making could be so life changing??????