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.
I’m not normally one for pink, or flowers, but at the moment they make me happy so I’m going with it. This is a progress shot from a journal I’m working in as part of an art journal circle. Dylusions sprays, Distress paints, various stencils and gesso.
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.
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.
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.
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