Not so quick!

Tony is doing well. He has no drips, drains etc, and can walk to the toilets and back, then have a rest. He looks so well; I can’t believe the change.

I was a bit surprised yesterday that people who also had surgery Tuesday, and don’t seem to be doing so well or had apparently bigger things done, are heading home today and he’s not up for discharge till Monday or Tuesday.  It turns out the complications were even more serious than I has realised and, combined with surgery two days in a row, it means they are much  more cautious about releasing him.

They also said because he looks so good it is easy to underestimate how much his body has been through, how deep the incisions are, and how long it will take him to recover. So, guess it won’t all be plain sailing for a wee while yet.

I remain incredibly grateful for the skills of the medical team, the caring of the nurses, and the support we have had. And for a good night’s sleep last night!

Update on Tony

I’ll keep this brief-ish, but thought I should let people know how Tony is. On Monday he had clots removed from last year’s Fem-Fem  Cross Bypass, and an artificial artery inserted from groin to knee as the surgeon felt his lower leg veins were good enough to warrant it. Surgery and recovery was about 7 hours, so it was a long day of waiting. When I was finally allowed to see him in the High Dependency Unit he looked terrible and said he felt dreadful. The staff were concerned because his foot was still cold and no one could find a pulse even with the doplar.

Tuesday morning’s scans showed a series of blockages in the new artery, despite IV Heparin.  Prior to surgery we had talked about risks, including amputation so this was scary stuff. The operated late Tuesday morning, so it was another long day of ‘hurry up and wait’. They completely replaced last year’s Fem-Fem Cross Bypass with a new one, and replaced the new artery with a different one – this time groin to mid-calf and done by cutting the leg rather than working internally. So a lot of stitches and fresh pipework.

Within a couple of hours his foot was warm and pink. He looks really well; for me he already looks better than he has in months. Incredible. The next 24 hours are still important, as he remains a high risk for a heart attack or more clots, BUT is doing great and moved from HDU to the vascular ward at lunchtime. We are so fortunate. Fortunate to live somewhere where things get  fixed, fortunate I can stay in my friend’s house, fortunate my sister came down from Auckland and stayed with me through the scary bits, fortunate Wendy will animal-sit for us, fortunate to have online people who support me – just fortunate. 

tonys hand

 

Scrapbooking soothes

Yesterday morning I was a bit miserable so spent the day scrapbooking and felt better in no time at all. I’m determined to use up all my older supplies this year, including cardstock I no longer love the colour of. I have been using paint and gesso to do cover ups, and stenciling to create new surfaces, which is all good fun. Here’s some of yesterday’s layouts. A few of these are my entries in the Creative Jumpstart 14 give-aways over at Natalie’s Studio.

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Woke up feeling weepy, but art heals

I woke up feeling weepy and worried this morning, which is unusual for me. All I could tell Tony is when things are tough, and they are at the moment, I miss having Mum to chat to. In those last couple of years she may not have followed everything I said, and forgot most of it anyway, but it was a way for me to download. It’s just over a year since Mum died and most of the time it’s okay.

I think what has upset me is it turns out Tony has been a lot sicker than we realised. Long story, and involves a medical stuff-up re some blood tests, but it’s made me anxious about the upcoming surgery.

So, had a quick weep, scared the dog my grabbing a tissue so she thought I was going to wipe her eyes, and decided the day needed to be an art one because art heals.

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missimg mum

 

Art calendar challenge 2014

When I saw the art calendar challenge 2014 at The Kathryn Wheel blog I knew I had to join in; you can find all the details by following the link. I love Kathryn’s examples and we share a name, so how could I resist! I am working on loose sheets, 2 A4 pages at a time, and will bind them at the end of the year. I’m finding my work is increasingly detailed and fussy, which is not really me at all, but I’m enjoying it so who cares…

For these pages I used Dylusions ink spray and a Donna Downey stencil, then gesso and Tim Holtz Distress Paints with one of Michelle Ward’s stencils. I used archival ink to stamp some text here and there, and to add a fine black border round the outside edge of the pages. I used the Dylusions again,with two Tim Holtz stencils, the bubbles and the stars. I cut a bunch of 1.5×1.5 squares, edged them with black archival ink, wiped gesso across the centres, and wrote in the dates with a Stabilo pen. I stamped the month and year with black Archival and some old Memory Makers foam stamps, then added some details with a White Signo pen.

January 14 art calendar

Working in my art journals

This year I am organising an art journal round robin, so spent last night and this morning starting to decorate the cover. This involved gesso, Dylusions inks, stencils and gold heavy body acrylic. Then today I have been preparing a couple of pages in another journal and, guess what? Yes, I used mainly the same supplies… I’m consistent if nothing else! I find a page that has paint, gesso and a bit of texture is often enough to get me writing, and then all kinds of thoughts spill out onto the page.

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My word for 2014

Every year I choose a word that is my keystone. In previous years I have had – mapping, balance, determined and, last year, learn. Each has served its purpose, constantly bringing me back to what I want for myself for the year, both at work and at home.

2013 was not an easy year for us; Mum died in mid-December 2012 and then Tony retired in January 2013. We both had some health issues, mine caused by an accident with a drunk driver the year before. There is some hard stuff in 2014 for Tony and me, starting with major surgery for him on the 13th of January and, hopefully, a knee replacement for me later in the year. My job continues to grow, as do my professional commitments and, as always, I want to grow my art life.

In 2013 I took an online library MOOC through San Jose University which helped clarify my values and what drives me. The word I came back to time and time again is kindness. I even spoke about kindness in the workplace at our annual LIANZA conference in Hamilton. So that’s my word for 2014. Kindness:

  • to myself
  • to my husband
  • to others in my personal life
  • and in my professional life.
    black heart edited copy

New Legato work finished

This commemorates my Mother’s birth father, Fred McKenna. Sadly, Mum never knew him, but in later life got to know her half-sisters. One of them, Margaret, provided some photos and information so I could make this piece of work, which is going to Italy later this year for the 2014 Legato exhibition in Cassino. Fred served in WWI and this year’s Legato is the ideal place to honour the grandfather I never knew.

I have been working on this piece for days; it’s 18×24″ on stretched canvas. I haven’t varnished it yet, just in case; there’s one small spot that might get adjusted yet. I have photographed the entire piece, and then there’s some close-up shots to show the details and layers. 

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