Thursday, October 6, 2011

Some Things Just Don't Last. . . .

After my "triumphant" return I have hit another set back. The past 3 days have not gone well for me and after a night of extreme pain and no sleep I have called the Dr again. I was determined NOT to go to the hospital again last night and I didn't but I am not sure how much longer I can feel like this. The Dr has ordered a hi-def CAT scan and a doppler test for me. I am waiting for her call as to when I go. It will either be today or tomorrow. I am feeling a bit defeated today and would love some prayers from those of you that are willing. Hopefully I will have another good update soon - one that is permanent!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


WARNING: This is gonna be long and full of pictures so walk away now or grab a drink and settle in

Well it’s the 1st of Oct now and I think I am going to avoid and hospital visits or ambulance rides this month! I think I am finally on the road to recovery now. I wouldn’t say I feel great yet, but I am starting to feel like ME again. And that in it’s self is a huge step in the right direction!

I saw the actual Dr at the pulmonologist office this past week. She was lovely, a bit disheveled, but a lovely person! I really feel like she listened to me and heard me. I feel like she is really working to make me better. So I have started another, stronger round of steroids – both orally and as an inhaler. I am hungry ALL of the time and have gained 6 pounds already, but if it makes me better I guess I can deal with this.

Now that you all have an update on my health I will share the rest of my story with photos for you . . .

I have started a journal about this whole "journey" I have been on this year, it is called "My Penance for Vanity". This first photo is on the opening page of my new journal. It pretty much sums up what all has been going on.

This is my dinning room - this is where I have been located since August. As you can very well see it is neither comfortable or inspiring! When I had to empty out my studio to remove the offending panels off of my bookcases the stuff had to go somewhere and this is where it all landed!

This is where I communicated from, paid my bills from and did whatever other work I needed to do - this little 3 foot space at the end of the table with a 5 year old, very slow laptop.

After removing the panels from the bookcases on the 23rd (the only part of the room that should have still been outgassing) the problem did not go away as I had hoped. You could still smell the formaldehyde as strong as ever. I was at my wits end and called Gary at work in tears and told him I needed the built in taken out too. Even though we had gone through all of the steps of sealing and painting it to prevent the outgassing I still wanted it gone. And I wanted it gone that night! So after a long day at work on Aug 31st, Gary tore out the last piece of my beautiful new studio. It was a little sad when I walked out to the trash and found it all broken up and sitting on the lawn. For fear of getting the formaldehyde into the rest of the house Gary had the forethought to remove the screens and throw it out the studio window.

The removal of the built in didn't change anything! I was devastated. I had done everything I knew to do. I had contacted everyone I could think of to get help. I had removed all of the new materials, I had bought plants, I had my window open for over a month with a big industrial fan blowing the air out the open window. And still the formaldehyde and it's awful stench remained. So on Sept 15th I got MAD!!! I was mad about everything! I was mad that I felt so bad. I was mad that my house was a wreck. I was mad that no one had any answers for me, and I was mad that my room was still "poisonous" to me! That night when Gary got home I TOLD him (not asked him) that we were going to take charge of this room this weekend. We were going to remove every single thing. We were going to wash all of he walls and ceiling. We were going to wash and sanitize all of the original furniture pieces. And then he was going to repaint the whole room. I had no idea if this would help (and neither did he) but like I told him, I don't like having my butt kicked, but if it's going to happen it's going to happen with me standing on my feet, not laying down! So that night I went to Home Depot and got new paint and some big sheets of sheet metal to put on the backs of my bookcases. I came home that night and started emptying out the cabinets and filling up my living room with the remainder of my things. Friday I had Darwin come over and break down my computer and help me move the rest of the furniture into the garage. Everyone kept telling me to stay out of there and to let someone else do the work. But I was to mad to do that. I was tired of "something I could not see" making me run in fear and feel bad. I was in the mood to fight! And that is what I did.

So Saturday, when Gary would have preferred to be golfing (or laying on the couch, both of us were really sick with a nasty cold on top of everything else) he started washing walls and painting. I really wasn't sure if this was going to help, but I needed to be doing something to change all of this. My hope was that I would seal the formaldehyde in with the paint???
My Mom & I hung out in the garage scrubbing down the furniture and doing some other things while Gary painted. Sunday (when Gary would have preferred to be golfing and watching football) we headed back up to Home Depot for a new light fixture and a few other supplies then came home and cut sheet metal and attached it to the bookcases and hung the new light fixture. Now it was time to put the furniture back in the room. All of my furniture is modular so I decided to reconfigure the whole layout of the room. We got it all in and then Darwin came over to set my computer back up. By now Gary was done - he headed over to Darwin's to watch the game. The room was looking good and surprisingly enough, it smelled pretty good too - it just smelled like fresh paint. But with my new configuration of my furniture it left me without a work space. So Mom and I headed to the store for a new kitchen table. Of course it wouldn't fit in my Honda so I had to interrupt the game and make Gary come get it with the truck.

Just to remind you of what my studio looked like in January when I remodeled it the photo above and below is what it looked like BEFORE.

Here is my newest version of my studio. The layout is totally different and I must say I like it much better. I lost alot of storage and now my master closet is full of all of my photo boxes and scrapbooks, but all of the necessities are here. And that is what's important - right?

I love the addition of the warm wood to all of the black and white. I love that all 4 walls are black now (before I had left one white wall for my Mom). I love having the extra room to work on that the table provides, and I love that it faces the doors instead of facing the wall. And I love the new lights on the wall.

The curtains got a good washing too. I had to throw out my chair cushions because they smelled. So I had to steal 2 throw pillows from Monkey's room for me to sit on until I can get new ones.

It took a few days to get everything loaded back into the room and set up in a usable way but I think it is finally finished. Just tonight we did the last paint touch-ups and hung my big white frame over my desk. (if you look on the bottom shelf in the photo below you can sort of see my journal that I made. Of course it matches the room - still having a problem with vanity I guess?)

I tried so hard in my 1st remodel too get rid of or at least camouflage all of the plastics - sadly that can't happen in this version. But I think I can live with it. I need to figure out some artwork to put over the door so that I have something inspiring to look at while I create.

This is behind my table and has all of my papers in the cabinet, and all of my most used embellishments and tools right there handy. No getting up - I just have to spin around in my chair. This set up really limited my space for all of my treasures that I like to keep out. I picked a few of my favorites and packed up the rest. But it still makes me feel good to see it all up on top of the bookcases.

I really like the look of the sheet metal on my bookcases, but it makes for some crazy reflections when you take pictures of it. This is quite a change from the (stinky) beadboard that I originally had put on the backs. Today I made new labels for all of my containers and I really like how they turned out (I used the new Teresa Collins Cricut cartridge).

Well that is the end of the studio tour. It is not perfect and there is still a slight scent of the formaldehyde still, but it's not too bad and I am hopeful that it will be leaving soon.

While my studio was all tore up and I was going crazy feeling bad and just laying on the couch, I decided I could do a little painting on the family room floor while I watched tv. So that's what I did, I painted 4 of these little wooden desks that I had built for me last year and then I altered them up with the new G-45 papers. I cannot tell you how good it felt to do something creative! And I think they turned out pretty cute too!

This is the inside of the desk and a couple little goodies I made to go with them. Two of these are Christmas gifts for my Granddaughters and I am selling the others.

I had cancelled a couple of my classes because I just felt so bad. My last class was only 3 hours long and I was dead before class was over. But I am feeling recharged and enthusiastic that things are going to be better, so Friday night I came up with this idea. I had so much fun making it and this will be my next class - it is already on the books and the sample is in the store already! I hope I will see some of you at this class on Nov 4th (the day before my birthday)

Once again, I have to say it felt so good to create something! I have been wanting to make a book sculpture similar to this for 2 years now - I finally did it! This book is really solid, you can not close this book or even turn a page!

If you made it this far, I applaud you, I know this was long! But I have been asked so much about an update and I just didn't have anything positive to say - until now that is. In my last post I mentioned that I would post again when I had pictures to share or good news to share. It's that time! I have pictures and good news!

I hope you all have a fantastic week! Thank you to all of you that have been praying for me (don't stop) and that have called and emailed me to wish me well. It has meant the world to me! See ya soon. . .