Sunday, May 3, 2015

My Illness and A Goodbye To My DT Team

So I have these stupid chronic illnesses right that tend to get in the way of LIFE!! LOL... I have a vestibular disorder, that Dr are still trying to classify, because I'm just a medical mystery and it doesn't quite fit into there "categories" very well... But presents like Meniere's without hearing loss, a nasty little blighter, that basically gives me EXTREME vertigo, like lets chuck you on a roller coaster doing the loop to loop for hours, so bad that you are LITERALLY stuck to the floor and unable to move... oh, that's after you have FALLEN to the floor, because this hits quite suddenly many times, or you have stumbled like a drunk person.. to the floor... and then basically sat there, unmoving, except for the heaving up of what feels like all of your internal organs... lol.. as you vomit away merrily for the duration of the attack... 
Thank fully, this is how my attacks used to be, I haven't had them this bad in a while, now, I just get the room is spinning feeling, and massive nausea (or vomiting) and am confined to sitting on a couch for the day... using my walls and furniture to walk/stumble where ever I need to go, or my crutches if I need to leave the house.. Sounds like fun hey!! This was the reason I was made unable to work anymore, and left my career as a nurse and started Papercraft and stamping in the first place... 

If that wasn't enough I have chronic migraines.. both the classic, OMGoodenss, some just smash my head in with a brick, it would be better then this!! but also another lovely type, called Vestibular Migraines.. which.. you guessed it.. Gives me VERTIGO.. that awful spinning I was speaking about.. and nausea.. and ARGHHHHH Vomiting... So, as you can imagine, when you are dealing with these to nasty things.. life is pretty darn difficult... It's made me have to reevaluate my entire life and prioritise what energy I DO have each day into the most important things.. Myself, My son, the household absolute must have cleaned cleaning.. LOL.. and of course my CRAFTS!!

Sadly... when one of these conditions, or both flair up, I have to be even more strict on myself and prioritise even further what I can or cannot do.. because I need more sleep, and more rest, and less of everything else.. These conditions take a lot out of you.. Your balance is one of your executive functions, like your beating heart, or your breathing... you may not think about it, but when it doesn't function properly, your body actually turns off other "less important things" to devote more brain power to it to get it working right... So out goes things like "Thinking!!" "problem solving" "memory recall" "Speech".. yep.. my speech is not needed apparently (thank goodness I can type.. LOL Phew) So on bad days not only do I stumble around like I'm drunk.. I slur my speech like I'm drunk too... but in the end.. all of this stuff is just PLAIN exhausting... and then it throws in a MIGRAINE.. and we add Pain to the mix and I'm just a ball of stumbling, slurring, vomiting, incoherent rambling mess, with a cringe on my face, trying to get you to understand what is going on... which is why I carry medical alert info in my purse.. So I'm not randomly picked up by the cops for drunken disorderly!!

But it's not all bad... these illness have taught me to slow down my life and not take things for granted.. they have made my explore interests that I had as a child/teen , such as art, that I would never have MADE time for... and hey, I worked out I have a talent for... and so I find my curse is also a blessing... 

One of these blessing was that my illness lead my to look for a hobby... I was sick, I was now after 2 years (at that point DEC 2013) not working and it was time I look for SOMETHING for me to do at home to keep me from going insane, and my precious mother introduce me to her stamps.. little wooden blocks and a few clear ones she owned... never would I have thought that that, would have lead me researching about the culture of "stamping" and "colouring" something my Mother had NO CLUE ON... but more importantly.. never would I had imagine it would had lead me to discovering Mo Manning...

I was so mesmerised by these GORGEOUS story book type images I was seeing, images that reminded me of my childhood, and the books I used to read and LOVED.. and here you could buy rubber stamps to replicate these images and colour them in.. that was it I was hooked... From the very first image I saw... "Little Elf Fin" and to the very first Rubber I purchased... "You Are A Peach"... (along with 10 others) I knew I wanted to colour this Mans art for the rest of my life.. (yes yes.. I'm sorry Mo.. I thought you were a man.. It was such a shock to find out you were indeed a woman!! LOL) 
and this led me to facebook and finding a group all about Mo Manning, and eventually I was the luckiest girl in the world..because my work was noticed, my work, which I still think was crap!! LOL.. at the time... but anyway... when the Guest Design Team position came up.. I thought GO FOR IT!!, Whats the worse that can happen.. You get to sick, cannot do it, and thats the end of it, but at least you have given it a try. 

I was up front about my illnesses with the lovely Miz Pat, the DT Coordinator, and was so worried I would let everyone down, I just wanted to put it out there that this was the case ahead of time, so that way if the event should arise I should have to leave, it would be understood why.... 

Well.. despite the odds... That Guest position in June 2014... followed on with a permanent position on the DT team. and I was LOVING IT!!.. it was hard.. and it challenged every ounce of me.. and yes.. there were days that I was pulling my hair out, and days when I sat there colouring my card image, marker in one hand, vomit bag in the other!! :/ but I continued, to prove to myself more then anyone that I COULD do this.. and I improved and got better at my colouring, and my card making, and I got faster... but my illness didn't let up.. and there were times it was all too much and it prevented me from completing a project.. and they were the weeks that I really hurt, cause I felt like I let everyone down... particular Pat and Mo, which hurt me so much... but I kept on trudging along.

Unfortunately things were not to be however... the toll of producing all of these cards, and the stress I place on myself to do them, plus a flair up of my illness this year, and an increase in our DT requirements to one card a week instead of 1 a fortnight, sadly just became too much... and I was becoming more and more overwhelmed and colouring and creating was becoming less fun as my illnesses flaired up and I just became exhausted all the time... so I made the decision after 10months of being with the best est DT team in the world to leave... It was such a hard decision... but I learned from this illness, that it does not care what you love and what you care about... when it says enough is enough.. you need to stop, listen, and prioritise your life again... and so I had to let the DT team go. :( 

I will not give up my colouring, or on promoting and supporting Mo's Manning.. cause she will ALWAYS be one of my favorite artists as well as a friend... but for now I will take a bit of a break, and rest for a few weeks to recharge... and then get back to it all... and also look at exploring new avenues of art in the future... 

Thank you for whoever has managed to read this great big long post!! LOL.. it was not meant to be a novel, but turned into one. :)

Happy Crafting. 


  1. My daughter also suffered with chronic migraines with vertigo as well as the pain and nausea. She has had to take medical leave from college because of this. I feel I know a little bit of what you are battling from watching her. It can be very debilitating. Praying for you to get through this flair.

  2. Bless your heart! With all you're going through, you still have such a delightful humor. Take good care of yourself and let us hear from you as often as you can. Hugs and blessings

  3. Hey there my sweet friend!!! You are amaaaaaaazing!! I'm delighted that you were able to hang out on Mo's DT with us for as long as you did! Your are a talented and sweet and fun and a wee bit wacky woman...and I'm so happy to call you my friend!! Keep in touch, love!! 😎 Pat

  4. Huge hugs to you Amanda......I suffered from vertigo for 2 yrs. so have a little bit of an idea what you are going through. It is horrible! Take care of yourself.....will watch for you on FB
    Hugs, Renee

  5. I stumbled upon your website and am very touched by your story. Makes my daily struggles so small in comparison to yours. I admire you so much. Keep colouring and sharing with us your wonderful creations!
    Vivien from Singapore


HELLO!!! *waves enthusiastically* Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment!! I really appreciate it, and read each and everyone of them.. It is what gets me out of bed in the mornings!! I swear!!! :0) Feel free to leave me questions if you have any and I will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible!! :) Xo