I have been busily transferring files from my old 160GB hard drive to the new 500GB external hard drive. The old one was maxed out with no room left. I spent most of yesterday until about 2 this morning going through and cleaning up my mess and trying to organize everything. Quite a task I set for myself.

All is quiet here today. Chelcey has went to spend some time with her boyfriend today and everyone is relaxing, taking it easy. Makes it nice when it is peaceful, then I can get more things done around here.

We had to take the dryer apart again yesterday for the second time in a week. This time, the heating element went out, which was an easy fix. Just a $40 part. Better than replacing the whole machine for $300.

Which brings me to why I am really here and what I am posting about. I have been thinking about this for a while now, with much trepidation, and have finally come to a decision. Please bear with me, this is going to be a long post with a long explanation behind what is going on. I promise I will get to the point eventually, my mind has a tendency to hop all over the place like a ping-pong ball, but I will get there eventually and hopefully you will be able to understand.

I started this blog originally with the intention of showing off my scrapbook layouts, only. Then, my son put the crazy idea in my head of trying to design, telling me I could create just as well as everyone else was doing. So, I gave it a try. It has been fun, if not hectic at times, but I am sure most designers feel that way at times. It has been very rewarding also, to receive wonderful comments from total strangers for my creations. I never intended to create kits for purchase, and I am still balking at the idea.

My husband has brought it to my attention that things are starting to get pretty bad. I have not worked since March 3 of this year. In that time, I guess he has been drawing off some of his savings in order to make ends meet. Well, the savings is almost gone and I have to make a decision, one of three things has to happen. I either need to start charging for whatever I create and post on my blog, sell my brand new baby (2007 Chevy 3 door extended cab 4x4), or try to find a part-time job with an employer that will put up with my special issues.

This is where the long explanation comes in. Very few people that I associate with on the blogosphere know certain things about me, and I have kept it that way. I wanted people to know me for me, and not my issues. Only now am I ready to explain what has been going on. I will start at the beginning and work my way forward and hope that will help cut down on some of the confusion.

It all started 5 years ago when I was diagnosed with FAP (familial anondroidal polyposis). In other words, colon cancer. This kind is hereditary and passed on from mother to daughter through the generations. My natural mother died from it at the age of 45 and my natural grandmother died from it at the age of 46.

So, I went in and had surgery to remove 90-95% of ALL of my intenstines. No problem, right? Yah, that's what I thought. I spent 9 days in the hospital in utter agony. I had been gutted like a fish, after I was told it would be done mostly laproscopically. Yeah, right. Anyway, since that time, what intestines I have left have not wanted to take over the job of my missing colon, like it was supposed to. Sometimes, they don't want to work at all. Now I hope no one is squeamish, like I used to be before all of this. If so, jump past this next part. As further explanation, for the first 2 weeks, I had an ostomy in order for the intestines to heal up after the original surgery. Then, they dropped the intestine back down to where it should be and closed the ostomy back up. Sounded like an okay idea at the time, but has been nothing but trouble since. Because of that surgery, I have a 2 to 3 inch scar on my right side.

Now, I am going to hop like a ping-pong ball on to another subject, but I will get back to the original point and it will make more sense. For about 3 years after this surgery, I worked as a home health nurse and care provider, and was good at what I did. I started working at a care facility for 9 patients with dymensia, with the understanding when I hired on, absolutely no lifting. I have a huge scar from 1/4" below my sternum to 1/2" above my pubic bone. I can not lift over 20 pounds, unless I want that scar to pop. Okay, so these employers knew this. Well, needless to say, I ended up having to physically man handle a 197lb patient from a prone position on the floor back into his wheel chair, injuring my back in the process. Now, I did not know it at the time, but I had weakened that muscle wall and damaged it also. However, I lived with it for almost a year before I went in to have it checked. My surgeon sent me in for an MRI and the technician who performed it said everything looked fine. I went back to the doctor a week later, and he told me we needed to go in and do surgery. I knew that the skin over the incision had stretched and the layer of fat underneath had seperated, but according to the MRI results, it was much worse than that. I had what is called an incisional hernia, where the muscle wall totally seperates and tears the old scar tissue.

So, I went in a week later and had surgery. After I came out of recovery, he explained to me what he found when he opened the old scar back up. Apparently, the muscle had split all the way down and the intestine, that used to be part of the ostomy long time ago, had started to push through and was trapped in the split. While the surgeon was cutting around the intestine to drop it back down where it is supposed to be, he accidentally nicked the intestine and cut a hole in it, so he had to repair that. Because of that, he was not able to put the mesh in that he planned on to keep this from happening again.

So, now I get back to where I was. I had this surgery done a year ago this last September. Since then, I have had nothing but trouble. The muscle wall is trying to seperate again. Also, because of this surgery and the aftermath following, I lost my job where I was working at the time. They started out very understanding and sympathized with my predicament, but I still accrued too many absences to be excused, so I was notified that I had basically terminated myself due to Job Abandonment, when I was on medical leave of absence. The reason being, after the surgery in September, where he nicked the intestine, scar tissue grew around that sight and has developed into a partial intestinal blockage. Nothing can be done about it, either. If I have surgery to have it taken off, chances are, the scar tissue will develop back worse this time. So, I live with it. I won't go into all of the gory details, just that it is not a whole heck of a lot of fun.

Now, I know that this doesn't really sound all that bad, but couple that with Malnutrition from Malabsorption, because the intestines don't always want to work properly anyway, and you have a sure fire recipe for disaster. Because of the malnutrition, I have what is called failure to thrive syndrome. I can not get enough nutrition into my body to sustain me, so some of my organs are starting to go downhill, namely my liver. Some days are better than others, but some days it takes all I have in me to get up out of bed, I am so weak and the muscles in my body are atrophied. I have also developed osteoporosys in my neck and upper back and now found out that it has also triggered Rheumatoid Arthritis in my whole body, but mostly in my spine. This is a constant source of pain for me now and why it is so hard for me to do a lot of the things that I used to love doing.

I applied for Social Security Disablility, but was deemed that my current issues are not severe enough to limit me from working. I have worked most of my entire adult life, am a very hard and loyal worker, so there has to be a really good reason for me not to work. I am not lazy and stay at home because I choose to. I stay at home because it is safer for me to. Because I have no intestines, I lost the ability to fight off infection and contagions. All of those good microbes are gone. Didn't know that until it was too late. Haha.

Okay, so, I am sure a lot of you did not need to know a lot of this. I apologize. Really, I did not mean to dump a lot of this on you. But, it is my way of explaining why I am going to try to do what I am thinking of doing so that no one will get mad at me when I do.

My initial plan is to offer any upcoming kit designs for free for a limited time, a week or two weeks. Then it will be available for purchase only. Not sure how I am going to do that. I need to do some researching on that subject. I really don't want to have to do that, but my husband is pushing really hard. He says that my designs are good enough and that if someone wants them, they can afford at least $1 for them. I am not sure I agree.

It is either that, or I give up on designing and my blog, walk away from it all, and try to find something outside of the house to make money to help keep our household together. I don't want this to be about money. I love creating and designing for fun. To be honest, it probably saved my life a few months ago, and I don't want to lose that aspect of it.

So there it is. I have laid it all out on the line and bared my soul for everyone to read about. Please be gentle with me. This has been a very hard decision to make and I hope that everyone will understand.

For the time being, you will notice up at the top I have added a donation button. Now, I want you all to understand. I am not asking for charity. All I am asking is, if you like and enjoy what I have created so far, please make a contribution to the time and effort I have spent on creating those, so that I can continue to design and create. That is all I am asking, that and your patience and understanding with me and my special circumstances.

I have lots of ideas and plans that have not come to fruition, yet. Real life continuously seems to get in the way, but I will get there eventually. This whole situation has been weighing heavily on my mind and contributed to a lot of the depression I have been battling, a little less than valiantly, lately. So my creative juices haven't been flowing very well lately. I have a lot of catching up to do with my CT's, as well as my own designs.

Okay, I am going to end it here for now because I just can't think of anything else to say, other than thank you for your time and reading this very long post. I really appreciate those that have taken the time to leave wonderful comments, it makes me feel so much better about what I do. I will be back later on a little less serious side. TTFN.

2 comments:

Tracy said...

Dawne, Sweetie, I had no idea it was as severe as that and anyone who reads your post and thinks it's not much to worry about is, frankly, not reading it all!! My Love and Blessings to you and don't worry about those who begrudge you making a dollar or two from your designs, they aren't worth the worry and stress!!
Bug Huge Gentle Hugs My Sweet Friend!!
Tracy XXX

Tirza said...

Dawne, I knew that there were problems, but I didn't realize that you had such serious medical issues. With my background in nursing, I do understand what you are talking about. Has no doctor spoken to you about TPN through a subclavian line? It would provide you with the nutrition you aren't getting. As for SS, try again. With your problems, you deserve to have disability.

Yes, by all means, charge for your work. It takes much time and effort to do design. And think about going into a store. I'm sending you an email.

 

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