What is it like to be a disabled artist?...
Living with a long list of health issues and being disabled on many levels.
Being a creative soul with a disability has it's own set of frustrations.
Before I was in the wonderful world of sewing, quilting, jewelry making and card making I was
a musician. I played Clarinet and Tenor Saxophone, and Keyboard.
I also enjoyed composing classical music.
Then out of nowhere I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma Stage 4a.
I was given a 50% survival rating.
Because the cancer started in my arm pit and then progressed
to my lungs causing me to be left with Lung Disease.
I am left with 50/60% lung capacity
Post infalmatory fibrosis
That awful combination left me impaired to no longer be able to play.
I became very depressed.
I remember looking online yes back in the day when the internet
wasn't quite yet so widely used. And I saw some beautiful sewing projects.
I then decided I was going to teach myself how to sew. I'm creative
by nature and I felt I needed to still be creative.
I saved up aluminum cans and bought my first sewing machine.
I live on a very tight budget with not being able to work.
I went to the library when I could and researched sewing.
Then of course after cancer I unfortunately developed some more disabling health issues
I have CRPS in my right arm and hand and on it's bad days no creating.
I have lymphedema in my legs which when it flairs I limit my sitting time.
Prior to cancer and chemo
I have Menieres disease with nasty vertigo so when that flairs
yep you guessed it no creating.
I also have epilepsy and am diagnosed with
generalized non convulsive epilepsy with absent seizures
and myolonus in my head and mouth.
I can't drive because of the menieres and epilepsy.
So unlike other artists I can't just hop in the car
and go to other events and hope to sell my creations.
I really wish I could that more. And no I refuse to do Etsy
and pay someone to sell my creations and i don't have a lot of $$$ for shipping etc.
I have to wait for weekends when my husband can take me.
Through dealing with it all I would be extremely LOST
if I could not create at all.
Creating is my passion, it's what makes my soul smile and be happy
and on the good days creating itself is my therapy!