-abdominal pain (I've had endometriosis forever but I have been free of that pain most of the time for a few years); getting a pelvic ultrasound in a couple weeks (I've had ovarian cyst issues before and it was thought by a gyn I went to years ago that I had PCOS - polycystic ovaries - which would explain some of my weight issues)
-cold all the time (thyroid? this started in July when I was in the hospital, I don't know if it's related to chronic issues or new meds......it's so hard to tell, but I used to get hot a lot as, after all, I'm overweight and I live in Florida, but now, I carry sweaters with me everywhere and frequently have the air conditioning turned off)
-hair falling out and being more dry than usual (Lupus? Maybe I just need a haircut!)
-fatigue (but not really much worse than usual; I've had fatigue forever - CFS, Fibromyalgia, then diagnosed with Sjogren's, then diagnosed with Lupus and Sjogren's along with the Fibro)
-insomnia (my lifelong battle against this never ends and I will probably never know why)
-feeling weak and shaky (blood sugar? I have prediabetes)
-pain in neck and shoulders (but this is not worse than usual and I see a chiropractor intern twice a week for free because the college I work for is associated with his chiropractic college, and this helps a lot! I get laser treatment and this electronic machine called IFC which is like a stem machine, not sure exactly how to explain it but this has always helped me, forever, as I used to go on and off to physical therapy for years and they did that machine there too on my trigger points. They also did massage at the PT place when I went, but I stopped going because Medicare limits the amount of PT you can get a lot. Chiro does adjustments on my neck, and my back which actually helps even though it used to terrify me)
-lack of appetite (this is not a problem in my opinion but it exists, which is odd, possibly due to my newest antipsychotic, Saphris, which I love)
-I can't remember the rest. I can't remember anything anymore.
Also, mild auditory hallucinations have returned, so I might have to go back to the secondary antipsychotic, Trilafon, in addition to the Saphris, but I'm trying to stick it out and avoid that as I get akathesia worse from being on two antipsychotics at once. Home health nurse told me weeks ago to go back on it, but she doesn't come anymore; that was a temporary thing, and I didn't really want to be on it.
I started doing my own art therapy after I got out of the hospital in August. I had no TV, and I found that this gave me extra time to be creative. Now, I do have some TV because I have this cool antennae my friend gave me that her husband mounted on my wall for me and it gets lots of channels (for free, no cable!), however, I don't watch a lot of TV even though I have it.
The first project I made was for my sister. It was a composition book, decorated, full of positive words cut out of magazines to increase her self esteem and help her depression. I doubt she read all of it, but I enjoyed making it for her. It took forever - like two weeks - to fill up the entire book. But it was easy to do, and it gave me something to do in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep.
The second project I made was for me, a journal book full of helpful quotes. I cut up a book I had of meditations by an organization called Messies Anonymous. I cut pages I liked out of some Al-Anon books I have, and an old book of meditations for women I have. I cut out stuff from SARK books which I love. And then I got the rest of the quotes, which I wrote in colored pens, from an old book of quotes by women I've had forever, and an old desk calendar of quotes by women. I decorated it with really cool and pretty stickers I picked up at Michael's art/craft store, Dollar Tree, and Walmart (I hate Walmart but sometimes it's useful). I showed it to my therapist and she adored it! She said she'd love a copy for herself. So then I got this idea in my head that I was going to make these and give them to people, or even sell them. I bought some scrapbooks from Goodwill's thrift shop for about $2.50 each and planned on filling them up. I just haven't gotten the time to start on that yet. It's going to be a lot of work and it's kind of complicated because I don't have Microsoft Word on my laptop, and my laptop is having issues right now. Also, I don't own a printer. So haven't gotten to that project yet.
The third thing I made was a plaque for my brother with his version of the Serenity Prayer on it, "Dude, Grant me the serenity to accept the shit I cannot change, the courage to change the shit I can, and the wisdom to know the difference". He loved it! I got the plaque from Michael's, painted it, and used stick on letters. Also added some Winnie the Pooh stickers (reminds me of the Tao of Pooh and my brother likes Winnie the Pooh). I wish I had a picture of it to show you.
The next thing I made was a plaque for myself. I need to take a picture of it and post it here. It's painted yellow, and says "Daisybee" on it. It's decorated with stickers of daisies and bees! I love it. It's for my bedroom.
Then I thought about starting an Etsy shop. A nurse in the hospital suggested that if I like doing crafty stuff, this would be a way to make some extra money. Now, I'm no professional artist by any means of the imagination, but I do like making things. I have - throughout all my many psych hospital stays over many years - always loved, loved, loved art therapy. I was in a hospital in Virginia around 2000-2003 a couple times where they had this wonderful art therapy program and that is where I learned decoupage. I make boxes every so often and give them to people. I did it last year for Christmas for a bunch of people. It's fun and I enjoy it. I paint the boxes, decorate them with various things like words from magazines, stickers of letters, tissue paper, pictures from magazines, etc. And people like them. Years ago when my mental health housing agency held an art fair for clients to sell their artwork, I made some and sold them. One person paid me $20 for hers.
So, I went and bought some discounted art supplies. I started by making plaques. I have only gotten far enough to make two so far. One I am going to show you here:
This started out as a plain piece of wood shaped like a Daisy.