Thursday, January 17, 2013

Three Days of Drawings, Three Days of Maxing Out

It's been a rough week - work stress as usual and three doctor appointments (periodontist, oral surgeon, and orthopod). Treatment of my shoulder may require surgery but for now we're just doing anti-inflammatory stuff because I don't want to miss 6-8 more weeks of swimming. My hip will require a physical therapist - to start. Mostly, I just want to be free of the pain. Seriously, I've been running/swimming/biking in pain for so long, I can't remember a time it didn't exist. I just expect it. Bracing myself for it is now my routine. But I told my doctor today that I'm mentally frazzled, I'm losing the ability to keep a lid on my emotions about it. I hope this new regimen has an effect or I'll be begging for stronger drugs, cortisone treatments, and surgery.

The other round of doctors was for my teeth (and, as I found out today, a lot more). Before I can get my open bite fixed with braces and surgery, I have to have gum grafts to further protect my teeth and stop any additional recession. That will cost over $3000. The braces will be over $5000. And the surgery on my jaw will be almost three times more (I could buy a pretty nice car with what this thing is going to cost). We just found out that most insurance companies won't pay more than 20% of the surgery because they view it as elective surgery even though the surgeon says I need to have this done to solve the functional problems with my bite. I actually wasn't sold on the whole deal (mostly because of cost) until he delivered the kicker: almost ALL of my problems with speech, chewing, gum recession, breathing, sinuses, and general health above my neck will be solved with this braces-surgery combo. And he knew what they all were. I hadn't yet said a word in the surgeon's office when he spewed out an uncanny list of the issues I have with my mouth, my speech, my nose, and my breathing. He guaranteed he could fix all of them. He also guaranteed it would be a long process requiring hard work - but that I would be very happy at the end of it. My husband Jim seemed worried about one major thing: I will look different when it's all done. (And it does unnerve me a bit to think in the future I might be seeing a different face when I look in the mirror.) Talk about stress!

But by far, the very worst thing that happened this week was getting an email from a dear friend, a man I greatly admire and value, that he has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. That pretty much floored me. Despite his reassurance that they may have caught it in time to do surgery, I've been on the verge of tears for days now.

But I kept my commitment and found time to draw some stuff - very quickly:

The response to the cancer news - my friend told me his tumor
was the size of a nickel, so I drew something to devour it.

This was my Wednesday drawing.

And this was today's drawing, executed while wallowing in
shoulder pain from my doctor visit.

I also snapped a picture this week that I wanted to share. Yesterday while working late, we saw this looking out at the city of Cleveland from my office at the museum. My iPhone didn't quite capture the amazing depth of color, but it did well enough to show (seriously, we all stood around with our mouths hanging open - as though this was the first time we'd ever seen a sunset).

No comments:

Post a Comment