Thursday, April 24, 2014

To Hell in a Handbag

Over the years I've noticed that the circumstances surrounding my life have a funny way of dictating which path I will take, regardless of which direction I may think I want to go. For the most part I guess that it has all turned out okay. I'll admit I do tend to be a little bull-headed at times, so a higher power forcing my hand probably isn't a bad thing.

Plagued with chronic pain for the past year, I've had to reevaluate things once again. Since December I have been poked, prodded and probed more than I care to admit and so far we have determined I definitely have an autoimmune disease. Of course, being the non-conformist that I am, my symptoms do not fit neatly into any one category. For now it seems like both lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. That is until a month ago when I noticed my brain had taken on the properties of a slow-cooker. Most days I have a burning feeling along with building pressure in my head. It is maddening. MADDENING. The ENT specialist found that I have, "crazy-good, off the chart, dog-like hearing," but noted nothing that would indicate it was anything other than autoimmune issues. So I will soon add even more drugs to the fist-full of pills I am already popping every day. Of course, none of these drugs have side effects such as, "May cause extreme sexiness and euphoria."

The symptoms come and go and for the most part I seem to feel better in the evenings. I have realized I have to reconsider my work schedule. No matter that I enjoy the work, my day job at Main Street has to go. I need to rest when I need to rest and work when I am up to it. What I really need is to be self-employed. I really enjoy working with the shops and boutiques downtown. Our downtown is the third most visited venue in the county just under Klipsch Music Center and Conner Prairie. We are really lucky to have such a wonderful place for artists and makers to peddle their wares. So I've decided to become one of those makers.

I got the idea when I made a quicky diaper bag for my daughter, (she is becoming a foster parent and needed one in a hurry.)

She told me what colors she wanted in the late afternoon and before I went to bed that night I had the bag finished and ready.

Bags are fun to make. I think it might be because of the endless possibilities and fairly instant satisfaction--being a short-term project. I plan to start small, selling a few here and there until I get this whole brain burning situation under control. Eventually though my goal is to have a vendor space in one of the shops downtown. I figure if my body is going to hell, it might as well go in a fashionable handbag. 


Michelle said...

I was wondering what was up when your old blog name came up on my blogroll. I'm so sorry the doctors can't come up with definitive answers with solutions to match. Good for you for taking care of yourself. Your handiwork is so lovely that you are sure to do well finding a market for it. Prayers for your success as well as your health!

Kathy said...

Sorry to hear you're dealing with this, Christine, but pleased you've got a plan. I hope your doctors can come up with a treatment plan that works well for you.

Lynda said...

Have the doctors recommended any dietary changes? Danielle Walker wrote a cookbook called "Against All Grain". I heard her speak on a TV show. She did it for herself but has since had many testimonies of others with auto-immune diseases and allergies that their symptoms have dramatically improved or disappeared since eating as she has suggested. For you, I am so so sorry you are having to take this journey but am happy for your outlook. God is taking you down a different road for some reason and we will be anxious to hear where it leads you.

I'm gonna tell Mom! said...

ARRRGGH! I hate to hear you've been so miserable. '~kim

Christine said...

Lynda, all of my doctors agree that the diet solutions are generally not helpful.

Karen Anne said...

I hope they figure something out.

Looking at that lovely bag, I hear Etsy calling your name. Not just diaper bags, but handbags.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Love this!!! The bag part, not your health problems :-/.

Maureen said...

Ditto with the diet changes controlling or reversing autoimmune diseases. I started a "paleo" diet a year ago. Within a couple of weeks my joint pain went away. Within a couple of months I was off my asthma and allergy meds. After several months I was able to reduce my thyroid meds. I'm working with an integrative medical doctor and she thinks she can get me off the meds. Also, my blood sugar levels reduced to normal. I started with the book "Practical Paleo" by Diane Sanfilippo. Her meal plans leave a lot to be desired but the text and recipes are worth the price of the book. You can probably get it from your library first to see what you think. This diet has totally transformed my life. I have so much more energy and just feel so much better. Really, it more than a diet - it's a life style change - good to get plenty of rest. My DH and I just moved to 5 acres with plans to raise and grow some of our own food. I could not have imagined doing this a year and a half ago. My step sister was just diagnosed with graves disease and the doctor recommended dietary changes. She is now making the change to "paleo". Don't let the name discourage you. It's just eating real food. Good luck with everything!

Jayne said...

That diaper bag is adorable. I agree with Karen Anne, I think you ought to look at an Etsy shop for yourself as well. I think you'll sell a ton of these bags, no matter where/how you sell them.

I'm sorry you're having health issues. My niece Rachel has RA and some other issues and so I know it's a struggle.

Good luck with your handbags and with your health issues. I hope they figure out what's causing Slow Cooker Head.