Category Archives: Art Therapy

Interview with Pat Guerre: on Kneading Hope Organization, Rare Disease Day in DC, Scleroderma, and CRPS

Hello everyone!

Today we have a special treat as Pat Guerre, co-founder of the Kneading Hope Organization has agreed to an interview. Pat recently returned from Washington DC where he spent Rare Disease Week. We at abodyofhope blog are so grateful that Pat Guerre is opening up about his Rare Disease Day experiences, his art, and non-profit work.

I was introduced to Pat through his incredible wife, Gina Raring-Guerre, who many reading may already know. She was a member of my support group Living with RSD, and she has gone on to become a strong voice in the CRPS, Scleroderma, and Rare disease community, along with her partner and husband, Pat. I can’t wait for you to hear their story!

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Hello Pat! Welcome! It’s a pleasure to have you joining us, and filling us in on your work and latest trip to Washington.


1. Firstly, what is Kneading Hope?

Pat: I suppose I should go back a bit. In 2013, my wife Gina, who suffers from both RSD/CRPS and Scleroderma was down to a weight only someone on their death bed should be, and her doctors confirmed exactly that. Being an artist, I began painting 12″ X 12″ hearts to fill her room and share my love with her. They prescribed her medications we couldn’t afford, and her insurance would not cover them. That’s when our fundraising art project was born called “10,000 Hearts for Gina”.

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In 2016, I submitted a work to Rare Disease Art and was awarded an Artistic Merit Award. I flew to Washington DC to be part of the reception, and it changed my life.

After my trip, I decided to participate in almost all of the events that the EveryLife Foundation had arranged for the week. I listened and learned about the rare disease community and all of their concerns. I still think about those who may or may not still be with us today. I remember parents so determined, yet afraid, trying to keep a brave face to hide their pain. It touched me completely. When we walked Capital Hill, a patient I was walking with started talking to me about patients like herself, the caregivers, and why we were all there together.

I got home from that trip changed.

I decided that after years of staying home and sharing my artwork with a few, I could do more. So with my wife Gina, and a few friends we started Kneading Hope to try and reach out. We don’t target the advocacy end of things, but the patients, caregivers, and families of people with rare diseases.

We have three main goals. Number one, awareness, and funding of other issues, through the 10,000 Hearts for Gina project, of RSD/CRPS and Scleroderma, as well as other rare diseases. Secondly, using art to raise awareness of all rare diseases through an online presence and art shows. And third, figuring out how to give caregivers some kind of respite.

We are new, we are learning, and we will continue, dedicated in this work. We also send parts of the 10,000 Hearts for Gina project out to patients, caregivers, and medical facilities and their staff to make people aware. Awareness is where it begins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. How did you get involved with Kneading Hope and advocacy?

I started Kneading Hope because I went to DC to show my art. There were so many people advocating and I was inspired by their dedication. I decided to go into the community based nonprofit. We didn’t start Kneading Hope as an advocacy group, we do however believe that knowing what’s happening in that realm, can only help educate, and let people know there is hope out there. 

We feel that Kneading Hope’s purpose as well as financial commitments are better served in local endeavors and supporting other groups that do the advocacy. We advocate as individuals, and that is often a difficulty financially. But, If everyone focused on advocacy and no one went out into the community, I don’t feel people would be served as they need to be, so we are looking into community-based issues such as art therapies, caregiver support issues and respite for them, as well as art as a way to focus on the diseases and the stories behind it.

3. Why did you go to Washington DC for Rare Disease Week?

As I mentioned above, it is important to be informed, so as we go out into the community, we can let people know there are folks trying to help them. The info shared, not only on the legislative side, but also the medical and research side, is often overwhelming, but also important to understand. I also find that getting together with other organizations and networking with them brings all of us closer together to share ideas and thoughts to further all of our goals.

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4. Did you meet with anyone of interest? If so, whom? 

I have to say that this is kind of a funny question to me as I grew up in Los Angeles and have met many famous people. Both in film and music, so I have been raised to just realize people are people. It takes a lot for me to consider someone a person of importance, yet this year, as well as last year, I did feel there were people of importance I met.

Last year, it was Representative Brownley of California’s 26th district. It was amazing. As we talked I learned that she had recently lost a colleague to Scleroderma. It was a very close emotional conversation and she has been a close ally to the rare disease community since being on Capital Hill. That was impactful because she understood, at least half of, what Gina and I have been through.

This year was a bit different. There were two guys there who suffer from Freidreich’s Ataxia who were involved with a bike race called The Ataxian, which we watched the documentary of. These 2 guys, Kyle Bryant and Sean Baumstark, accomplished the impossible. They, along with 2 other team mates, did the Race Across America and rode 3,000 miles in less than 9 days.

Pat pictured center with stars of “The Ataxian” documentary

Their inspiration, motivation, laughter, and caring for everyone, was the biggest interest for me. It is folks like this, that unless you are familiar with their disease, you would never know about. They, and what they are doing, is why I go to DC. There are countless others that are of interest, and inspirational, and so full of ideas, courage and hope, it makes the whole trip worthwhile.

These along with the researchers, people in academia, as well as all others, including the artists at the Rare Artists Reception, are truly the ones I am most interested in and their stories, struggles, and determination to make a change. They far outweigh any person you might think is of interest on Capital Hill.

They are what keeps me going.

 

5. What was the highlight of your DC trip?

I honestly have to say that I always walk into situations with an open mind, not knowing what to expect. I think one thing will stand out, and yet it’s always something else that gets me. This trip was no exception. There were 2 things that really grabbed me that I can say were highlights.

The first was the Conference and discussion on Genetic research and Gene therapy at the NIH (National Institute of Health). Though Gina’s diseases are considered autoimmune diseases, the topics the panels spoke on were incredible. The speed that the research is advancing in is amazing and I was happy to see that one of Gina’s diseases, RSD/CRPS, is actually being studied at the NIH. They are looking into its genetic markers. It is very upcoming research and it seems the possibilities of early detection, possible treatments, and possibly cures, are on the edge of being discovered.

The second, was after the NIH conference, walking around the mall, in the rain, and happening upon The Disabled Veterans Memorial. Though it is intended for disabled war vets, the words written on that memorial spoke volumes after such an intense week. Two of my favorite quotes I read that night were, “It’s not what you have lost that counts, it’s what you do with what’s left,” and “We start by not thinking so much anymore about what we have lost. You must think about what you have left…and what you can do with it.”

 

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Disabled Veterans Memorial Plaque

 

6. What is something you learned in Washington that will likely impact your work this year?

I remember my first conference last year in DC. We sat at a table, and a gentleman named Tony Pena, who was the Vice President of Cure AHC asked if we were new to the conference. He obviously knew we were new there, as I was like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming car. He so gently said that everyone would guide us through it and not to worry because they had been doing this for years, and they still didn’t know everything.

 

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That is what makes being there so important. Every year there are new issues. New legislation. New ideas. And most importantly, new people. Yet this year I learned more than anything- we can’t do this alone. We all need to work together, collaborate, support and hold each other up. I truly felt this year, that all of us are not a rare disease community, but rather a rare disease family. We all have our own issues, but together, speaking as one group, we are truly a force to be heard. Our needs are not individual, but are all important and need to be addressed as one voice because it is hard to ignore one disease or the other when we all speak as one.

 

7. In Your Opinion, what is the greatest challenge the rare disease community or patients with rare diseases face today?

I have to say that the challenges are great and cannot be addressed with one simple answer. There are over 7,000 rare diseases and over 30 million people in the US diagnosed with a rare disease. Some have large groups of people affected, still less than 200,000 (in each condition), and some with only 3 or 4 people per condition. This causes some major hurdles and challenges in the rare disease community.

The 1st thing that comes to mind for me, is diagnosis. With our country being so large, and so few experts in any one field of rare diseases, it is a critical need to get proper diagnosis. This is often the most difficult task as far as the medical end of things go. Doctors may not be aware of a disease and misdiagnose it. Patients that do have doctors who know and admit it is beyond their knowledge may recommend the closest experts, although those experts may have no idea of the disease. This can go on for years with diagnosis after diagnosis and never actually getting to the actual diagnosis.

Early diagnosis and proper treatment, if there is any, is critical for health and quality of life. One must remember that with over 7,000 rare diseases, only 5% have FDA approved drugs or treatment. With that being said, early treatment of the symptoms can help tremendously.

Next is the size of the patient pool of any 1 rare disease. It is not hard to see how breast cancer gets huge publicity and funding and something like Pemphigus or Alpha 1, or even GoodPasture Syndrome is not ever heard of in the main stream. There are hundreds if not thousands of diseases that no one has heard of. Awareness of diseases is of the utmost importance, in my opinion, because the more people that are aware of it, the more they can gain support, and those willing to fund research.

 

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8. If Someone reading would like to get involved in rare disease awareness or chronic illness advocacy, how can they get plugged in?

There are many great organizations that do advocacy. On the rare disease side, NORD (National Organization of Rare Diseases) is an amazing group. There is also Global Genes and The EveryLife Foundation that do great work. Many individual groups specific to a disease are often great resources as well. Many of the issues these groups advocate for can have incredible effects for many diseases, not just rare diseases.

I also would say that getting involved with a support group, whether online or in your community is also beneficial. I actually got involved because someone sent the info for the Rare Disease Artist’s contest which I had never heard of before. Through that interaction, I was exposed to so many amazing groups.

If you are so inclined, form your own group and research state or federal issues. Spread the word to those in your group/s. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to ask other groups that you may not be affiliated with. Most people are more than willing to give you info or advice. I always say that the worst info or advice is that which you are not aware of.

 

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Disabled Veteran’s Memorial

 

9. What can the average person do to help make a difference in policies effecting health?

From my own interactions with people in congress and their staff, as well as on the state level, it is actually reaching out to them. I used to think writing a letter and never getting a response meant it was forgotten, but after talking with these folks, you learn that they are dealing with hundreds of issues. You need to let them know, or remind them, as they will say, the issues are real and need to be dealt with.

I am a big proponent of the Rare Disease Legislative Caucus and would love to see every senator and congressperson in Washington become a member. Not only will it show how important the issues of the rare disease community are, it will also show how a bipartisan, bicameral committee can get together. Write a letter to your senator and congressperson and either thank them or encourage them to join the caucus. It is growing and is impressive. The link to see if your senator or congressperson is on it can be found here http://rareadvocates.org/rarecaucus/#tab-id-1.

 

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10. What is your next venture?

Since Kneading Hope is a new venture, we are looking to expand our reach and impact. For the first time, we will be showing the 10,000 Hearts for Gina project and raising funds for 2 organizations. We are also trying to start up a couple of small local programs. One will be involving art therapies, and for the other, I have started attending a caregiver support group to find out how we can offer respite to caregivers and meet caregiver’s needs. This is an important part of our work.

We also intend to work with another organization to start an online gallery, and perhaps curate art shows of work from all aspects of the rare disease community to raise awareness through stories and works, as well as raise funds through awareness and research projects.

 

11. What would you like to tell us about 10,000 Hearts for Gina?

I just want you all to know that this has been an incredible journey. I have been at it for 5 years now and could never have imagined where it has taken me. It is something I share with everyone. I really think that doing something bigger than you ever could imagine is what it is all about. Sharing the works with patients, caregivers, hospitals and doctors has been about the most emotional thing I have ever done and will continue to do through Kneading Hope.

It has been an honor to be able to share some love, light, and hope through the work. Sometimes it is painstakingly difficult as every work brings thoughts of those suffering, those lost, and those who haven’t been diagnosed, but it is all of them, and their strength, that keeps me going. It truly is their project, whether they know it or not.

 

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Would you like to leave us with anything else?

I just want to tell everyone that you matter. Your voice matters, so never be afraid to speak up. Kneading Hope is dedicated to doing what we can for as many people as we can so please reach out to us if you have any requests or ideas. We are building this organization and want your feedback. Also, if you know someone who is down and out and could use a little light, love, and hope, don’t be afraid to ask us to send them a heart. We will try and get out as many as we can under our circumstances. Sometimes it might just change someone’s outlook and let them know they are not alone in their struggles.

***

Please support Pat and Gina Raring-Guerre by following and liking their pages, and thank you for sharing to help them spread the word!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KneadHope/ 

Instagram: @KneadingHope1

website: kneadinghope.org 

email: info@kneadinghope.org

Donate to Kneading Hope 

Sale on RSD CRPS Awareness Apparel!

I first began making shirt designs when the people in my RSD support group were distressed about medical staff touching or grabbing their painful, swollen limbs. I’ve experienced the same issue with doctors, nurses, and out in public. The first shirt was really a collaberation with many other women and men seeking a solution to this terrifying issue. This was the first design, and there are a few others which are similar. 

Since then, I’ve been adding different items to the shop bit by bit over the years. I hope it will raise a little awareness out there!

There’s usually a thread of playfulness running through my designs. Pain isn’t silly by any means, but how we present it can help others absorb it better.

  

The designs in the shop are either for people with Chronic Illness, or inspirational quotes. 

I’ve been creating more items with quotes from the blog lately. This is my favorite so far. I like to wear it when I’m going through an especially difficult time, as a reminder to myself. I think this slouchy, batwing fit looks great on every body type, too. 

Zazzle takes care of payment, printing, and shipping, and the proceeds I receive as a designer go toward rare disease research like RSDSA or NORD. You can customize anything you see. The shirt designs can be printed on many other items, and the quotes displayed on tops are not limited to women’s, or any particular style. They are only displays. 

There’s a sitewide sale this week! Just in time for RSD Awareness Month! Pop by, and peek in!

 https://www.zazzle.com/mixypixie/products

If you have a suggestion for a shirt or item, please comment below or email me at abodyofhope@mail.com 

Self Portrait Chronic Pain

“Life on Fire”

These are 2 self portraits expressing the neurological and autoimmune disease RSD, also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

“Outer Smile”

There are those who wonder why those of us confined by pain and illness choose to continue a life suffering when all has been done, and there is not much more to do than to try to make us as comfortable as possible.

Most will never know as much torture as those who live with chronic neurological disease. But to be miserable, to be a victim in your spirit, that you must fight with every effort. 

It may take all you have and more, but you are indeed needed in this world. Never, never give up.

Dear friend, never lose faith that your life purpose for being on this earth is so much more powerful than your pain. 

I believe in a loving merciful God who lends strength when we get to the end of ours. 

I fight to survive, to choose life every day when my body begs the opposite. I want to encourage you today to take on your battle in your own life.

Hugs gentle warrior. 


Please share below how you continue to press on despite seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Nerves in Nature: Exploration in Photography #1

 

This is an exploration of the human nervous system through nature photography. 

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Smoke Tree Leaf by Joe Petersburger

 

These sprawling, spindly shapes repeat throughout the universe.

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Red Coral, outdoorphotographmag.com

I wondered if it was a coincidence, and if not, what the commonality was…

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Lightning, Smosh.com

Transfer of energy. 

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Tree Branches, Mythology of Blue

Whether inside the body, in the soil, under the sea, or above the heavens, the mirroring shapes are performing similar tasks.

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Plant Roots, Theatlantic.com

And like an artist whose work shares similarities across her pieces, so does the Creator’s design.

***

Please do share your insights.

Spoonie Mario, Level up!

Spoonie Mario Brothers

I hope you are leveling up today despite the evil critters coming to get you and attacking your body. Don’t you wish there were some extra mushrooms or flowers around in the chronic illness game?

10,000 Spoons, if Only… Why The Chronically Ill Love Spoons

Disability Won’t Take my Passions Away

If you have a passion for something that you can no longer do because of physical impairment, do you truly stop loving it? Then why do we say: “I used to love to…”?

This is one of the most heart-wrenching parts in coming to terms with disability. When you go to say or write the thing you’ve always loved to do, and you realize it is suddenly in past tense. It doesn’t stop twinging your heart each and every time you have to say that you USED to love hiking or taking long road trips. But you come to terms with saying it in past tense. I did. Reluctantly, my old life of passions and dreams were exchanged for my new life of “used to love” and “always enjoyed”. One by one, I locked away those pieces of myself I no longer had physical access to.

Then, a few years ago, my health became much worse. I went from moderately mobile with chronic pain to bed bound with a variety of chronic illnesses and chronic pain conditions. Now, I’ve found myself cutting out all of the rest of life’s pleasures from the list of things I love. How can I say, “I used to love music” or “I used to enjoy singing” or “cooking used to be one of my passions”  when these are all lies!

The truth is, I am still passionate about all of these things! Just because I cannot participate in them actively, does not mean the joy has not remained. In fact, when my brain condition and ongoing migraine becomes insufferable, even with no sound tolerable, getting lost into a silent song within myself has at times been my only reprieve from the unrelenting pain. My instruments now live in cases in shelves above my bed, or tucked away in closets. My voice has not echoed against the wall in song for years, but every day an instrument plays… A song cries out loudly inside of me. A different arrangement every single day, melodies no one hears but myself- and this music will not stop just because my ears cannot tolerate sound! No pain, no disability, no illness or mental destruction can take that music away from me.

Just because parts of my flesh weaken, and I am forced to make adjustments and accommodations to that- doesn’t mean that my passions and loves should crumble along with my flesh. There is nothing wrong with how much I desire. I refuse to shut parts of myself off just because I might FEEL more to live with passion.

Even though I can no longer cook, do I not still love it? I don’t need to be standing upright at a stove or walking the isles of a grocery store to envision a new recipe. I can visualize the food in front of me. I can imagine the flavors of a recipe in my mind’s eye. Is this not the passion for cooking still alive inside of me? Even when my POTS makes eating the last thing I want to do, I can still escape my pain through the simple joy of imagining myself cooking. Why would I ever say “I used to enjoy cooking” when that zeal continues to live strong inside of me?

Though pieces of my body may break, though my mind might continue to slow, though things I am able to do may drift away from my grasp, I choose not to allow that which I love break away. I choose to hold my passions that much closer to me.

And for those I let go so long ago, I would like to reclaim them. I ask that in comments, you consider reclaiming some of your own that you know you will always love forever.

-I have always loved to travel.

-Hiking is a love of mine.

-Dancing will always be one of my passions.

Your turn.

Thank you to artist Fensterer for allowing your artwork, “Lost Between the Sounds” to be featured. This was the only image I could imagine for this article, as his powerful work helped inspire it. Check out his other powerful images at DeviantArt.

How to Create a Simple Word Poster

Since sharing my original posters, I’ve been asked how I created them. I know many talented artists and writers who would benefit from adding their own quotes or artwork to a “meme,” so maybe I can help with a basic poster-creating tutorial using a free online editor.

Both Pizap.com and Picmonkey.com are good examples of free editors that give the option to edit an existing photo or to create a blank poster from scratch. Depending on which online editor you are using, the technique is often quite similar. Here I will show you how to create a simple poster using Pizap.com since it is the most basic free online photo editor I like to use.

How To:

-After choosing whether you are editing an existing photo or creating a new poster, make your selection of size.

-Then, you will select a color from the palette. When choosing a background color, remember that your text will overlay whatever color you choose, so you likely want to go with either a light or dark color. You can always experiment, so don’t stress. Have fun with it!

-I then chose a frame for my poster image by selecting the square frame icon at the top of the screen. Pizap has a wide variety of frames to choose from- especially in their “Simple” category. Here you can see I chose soft white scrolls to frame this image.

Slide 1: This is the first screen you will come to. Click on the box where it says “Canvas Color” and a color palette will allow you to choose your background color.

Slide 2: Notice the square frame icon is selected above to display the frames. Then I chose the “Simple” frames collection.

Now I will choose Text by clicking the “T” at the top of the screen. Write your text in the white box and it will appear in the text box on your poster where you can move it around by clicking and dragging. When writing text for posters, I recommend using several text boxes so you can arrange your words easily inside of your poster. With longer quotes, you may also want to use a couple different fonts, so getting used to typing only a few words in each text box will help in your designs. I encourage you to play with your fonts and sizes, but **make sure you click “OK” each time you are done editing each individual text box.** I tend to spend most of my time on a poster arranging text and experimenting with fonts.

-On the bottom of the screen, you will see 3 boxes. One is your text color, one is “Glow” or backlight, and the other adds color inside your textbox. In Pizap, it automatically backlights the text for you. It’s a good idea to un-check the “Glow” box to experiment with the way it looks or view your text with different colors backlit. My image I am creating is without any backlight or “glow” added.

-To add a Filter or Overlay, select the wand icon at the top of the screen. There are several to choose from, and each filter will make the image look completely different. You will enjoy layering filters over your photos also. Just remember that they do layer over top of one another, so make sure to remove each one after viewing it on your image. There are filters in the frames section as well.

Pizap tutorial slide 2

Slide 1: Notice where the text box is, the font selection of Chantilli, and the font size. Below, I can change color of my text, and when I’m done typing each section of text, I click the blue “OK” button.

Slide 2: I added an “Overlay” or Filter I found in the frames section (see frames icon selected above?). You can also access more Filters by selecting the wand icon. As you can see, Filters change the whole look of an image.

Pizap tutorial slide 3

Slide 1: Here, you can see I changed my font as well as added 2 butterflies from the “Stickers” section. I clicked on the Stickers or embellishments I wanted, then clicked to drag, and used the prongs surrounding the butterfly to make it larger, smaller, or turn in any direction. Notice above, the Heart icon is highlighted to access Pizap’s stickers.

Slide 2: All done! I finished editing my poster, clicked “Save” at the top of the screen, and was sure to choose the “download to my computer” option during the saving process. It also asks if I wanted to share on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites.

You are altogether beautiful my love, there is no flaw in you. #verse #beauty #love #quote abodyofhope.wordpress.com How to make a word poster tutorial

Completed Poster using Pizap

I suggest getting acclimated to a simple editor like Pizap if you are interested in making posters with more sophisticated software later on. You can do so many things with free photo editors when you allow yourself to play around freely and experiment. At first, an editor might seem to be limited in options, but if you look with a discerning creative eye, you realize how much you can do with your images.

Pizap has a great frames selection, especially in their “simple” frames set that other editors might ask you to pay for. And Pizap also allows you to cut images out of other photos and insert them into your poster. I also like their large selection of filters, and I’ve noticed they’ve recently added more since reconstructing their page. When you connect your facebook or Twitter account with Pizap, your friends who create with Pizap can also like and comment on the images you create.

If you have been interested in creating a poster or editing an image of your own, I hope you try playing around with a simple editor like this one. I’d encourage you to first “Edit” a photo and play around with all of the tools available to you, lay text over top of it, try filters, etc. And then, try creating a poster from scratch with your favorite short quote. If you do, make sure to download your image to your computer and email it to me at abodyofhope@inbox.com. I’d love to see your creation!

If this tutorial helped you, let me know in comments and I will do a second one on how to edit in Picmonkey.com

"Children see magic because they look for it" quote. How to create a word poster. aBodyofHope.wordpresscom

Photo edited using Pizap

It's like 10,000 Knives when all you need are some SPOONS. #Spoonie #Chronicillness How to Make a Word Poster aBodypfHope.wordpress.com

10000 Spoons Poster Made on Pizap

Shattered: Art and Coping

In the last 2 years I have learned more about digital art and adapting my creativity to technologies I can participate in with my new health challenges. It’s unfortunate that many artists still don’t recognize digital art forms as “real art.” If you are one of those artists, I encourage you to reconsider by taking the time to evaluate mixed media further. I’ve always loved working with my hands and being artistic, but when my CRPS pain condition went from my leg to also causing problems with my head and brain, ongoing migraine, intense eye pain, sensitivity to light, passing out disorder, heart, etc., it has kept me from participating in the arts like I used to. If you are an artist or crafter, you may understand the need to move around while doing your work- this I can no longer do.

I belong to a group on facebook called Chronically Inspired that encourages people with different types of disabilities and limitations to use art as a coping tool and provides a supportive sharing community. The group has helped motivate me a great deal; I feel the projects themselves have been therapeutic in my mood and overall recovery. Because of this group, I feel more free to share my work and I’m excited to show this piece to you, kind readers!

I created this project for Nervember/ Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Awareness Month. It was inspired by this awesome piece of art by Rosalie Gascoigne called “Party Piece” from 1988 (as seen below). She cut and pieced together reflective road signs- I loved the idea.

To begin my project, I created an InfoGraphic (a digital image conveying information) that both met the needs for my project as well as expressed information about CRPS/RSD for Awareness. Surprisingly, my infographic as seen below was shared and displayed by many people throughout November even though it was only created to be cut up. I used Picmonkey.com for the first time to create this poster.

CRPS Word Poster | November art projects article #RSD #CRPS #Nervember #spoonie #awareness #arttherapy #

CRPS Word Poster

Lastly, the most fun part, was cutting up the above poster and piecing it back together. (I used both Picmonkey.com and Powerpoint.) I knew it would be a tedious project, but I didn’t realize it would be so cathartic. I was cutting into pieces a poster I had spent time making look visually appealing- now it was a mess in pieces all over my computer screen and I had no idea how to reassemble it. The assemblage took so much longer than the above poster, it’s much less visually appealing and makes a lot less sense- yet the effort was so much greater. It reminded me of living with chronic illness.

RSD/ CRPS, and chronic illness cuts us into pieces, too. We have to rebuild our lives and figure it out as we go. Hopefully, we make sense of it along the way. It may not look pretty or make sense to others, but that’s ok. It probably won’t look the same as before, but we can make something new and special once again. I hope this piece is a reminder of how far you have come in making a way on your own fractured journey.

My favorite part of the finished piece is that new words and meanings emerged- if you look closely, you may find some new meanings of your own within the mess. Enjoy looking!

"Shattered" Poster CRPS RSD | November art projects article #artherapy #spoonie #chronicpain #crps #rsd #pain #art #collage #assemblage

“Shattered” Poster CRPS RSD

Thank you for allowing me to share my work with you. My 2 posters I created are free to be shared or Pinned. 

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HEALTHY LIFE & SUCCESS...

Fightmsdaily

Living life with a chronic illness is definitely not easy. But I do my best to push through all the barriers this illness puts in front of me! In my heart and mind, I believe maintaining a positive outlook on all situations in life will carry us through to much better times! I hope you find the information that I provide both helpful and inspirational!

Miss Diagnoses

Life with assorted ailments

Pain Management Specialist in San Diego & La Jolla

Pain Specialist treating Intractable Pain & Treatment Resistant Depression

Twilight

( writer )

#OneGoodThing Daily

Surprising silver linings in caregiving, food, art, style, travel, and more!

Sue Spitulnik

Creative Lady

Doss Doc's

Father Figure for Hire

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