Hypothyroidism, I hate you.

This is totally unrelated to anything jewellery, but as it is MY journey, and MY blog, I thought “what the hell” and decided to do a post on this to help me process all this bullshit anyway.

So, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism last Friday, 10th June, 2016. That’s a date that is now firmly embedded into my memory. I’m also severely anaemic. Go me, right?!?

I knew there was something wrong over a year ago when I started to feel really tired. Not just “tired-from-a-long-day” tired, but “I-think-I-might-actually-die” tired. It’s the kind of tired that sleep doesn’t fix. I could sleep for 18 hours, get up for two and then go back to bed because I was so drained. I put it down to stress from my job which at that point wasn’t going well at all because I was taking too much time off, and my boss freaking hated me and I hated everyone.  So, I napped when I could, took more time off, drank more coffee, and just sucked it up until I couldn’t suck it up anymore. Now I realise that none of my issues were stress related, but they were all down to this bloody disease.

Disease. I hate that word. Can we call it an affliction? Condition? Something that sounds a little less….deathly. 

Anyway, I should be relieved. I finally have an answer to why I’m so damn tired all the time, or why my hair is falling out, or why I have awful fluid retention that sees my feet swell so much I can’t wear shoes, or my headaches, muscle cramps, joint pain, dry skin, tummy problems, God awful periods (which increase the amount of blood I lose which in turn makes the anaemia worse, which then makes the tiredness worse!), memory loss…..the symptom list is huge. I did feel like I was losing my mind for the longest time. Between the mood swings and the massive weight gain I just spiralled down further into a depression that was being FED by the hypothyroidism symptoms.

My whole life has to change because of this stupid diagnosis. God, I can’t even have COFFEE anymore because caffeine, sugar and dairy are bad for someone with this stupid disease  affliction…condition….thing. And I’m on lifelong medication which requires constant supervision by my Doctor.  It wasn’t even until I picked up my prescription that I realised this isn’t something you can just throw meds at and be okay. My prescription was for 200 pills. That’s 200 days of taking medication. That’s until December. Every day, until December, then it’ll be off to the Dr for more medication for another 200 days…then another, then another….

So here I am, a fat, asthmatic, anaemic, thyroid dysfunctional 38 year old who now has to live and work around a body that just doesn’t want to get out of bed unless her levels of TSH and iron are normal. I hate this. I want to scream and throw things but I’m so tired I can’t even do that. So here I sit at the computer at 3.27am because even though my body is screaming at me to sleep, my mind is racing. I’m scrolling through websites like “9 foods to avoid when you have hypothyroidism,” “Hypothyroidism: Symptoms and Treatments of Hypothyroid Disease,” “8 Surprising Symptoms of Hypothyroidism,”  (which by the way aren’t so surprising when you have it!) and I’m feeling alone, overwhelmed, and scared.

I’m seeing the Dr again next week and have to have more blood tests. Better get used to being a pin cushion again, huh?
Until next time, friends.

xoxoJacquiV2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting something new

0f1fc38e4b5987e76a0158912049db84

Yesterday I realised, somewhat reluctantly, that my Facebook page was just well and truly dead. I have over 450 likers on it but interaction was near zero, and I had pretty much had enough of the struggle. Even the promise of giveaways wasn’t working to bring people in. So after sitting through a three hour webinar hosted by the amazing James Tuckerman and understanding that my page was definitely in the Facebook Valley Of Death, I decided to start all over.

Gulp.

Now, this isn’t easy. I’ve done it once before when I went from my old business name to Seven Oaks, and I never really recovered and the numbers were never as good again. Doing it again was scary as hell. But, I remembered what James said, “people relate to people, not businesses” so I took the leap and started my new page. It’s not 24 hours old yet and I have over 50 likers so far. Not bad, right?!? I’m actually really happy with that progress!

I’m actually a little bit in love with it. It’s pretty. It has good content so far (considering it’s still a baby), and I’m hoping that it will go far.

Change is scary.

Embrace the hell out of it.

 

xoxoJacquiV2

 

Image1

When Is Art, Not Art?

Adobe Spark

I’ve been doing this jewellery thing now for about 5 years. I’ve been wire weaving since late last year, so not long in the scheme of things. As part of my journey I’ve become a member of many Facebook groups to learn, network and just meet other artists. They’re also fab for inspiration and help. I’ve found most of them to be very supportive, welcoming and warm places, which is great.

Unfortunately though, someone is inevitably going to screw it up. Way back when, I had someone pretty much tell me that my beading work was inferior to her wire weaving because it wasn’t truly handmade and wasn’t artisan because “it’s the equivalent of a kid’s macaroni necklace.”

Wow.

I did have some people tell her off and remind her that unless some thought and design prowess went into my pieces (or anyone’s strung designs, actually) that yes it would look like a kids pasta necklace, but since some knowledge of how colours and shapes work together, and how to balance the piece so it was aesthetically pleasing (not to mention a little knowledge of the technicalities of making a piece that won’t just fall apart) all went into these designs, her point was moot.

The next few years went by fairly uneventfully. I think I actually ended up blocking that woman and just got on with what I was doing, always looking up to the artists I met online who were doing the most incredible wire weaving work. When I finally worked up the courage to try wire work and discovered I wasn’t actually awful at it, I continued to look up to those artists. I still do. I find their work absolutely mesmerizing,beautiful and incredible works of art that I would be so proud to be able to create.

Then it happened. I read a post from someone who creates gorgeous wire jewellery, and she was saying that she has a “friend” who makes silver soldered rings etc and sells them for upwards of $800. This “friend” has told her that what she does isn’t “real” jewellery and that she’s wasting her talents working with wire.

Oh. My. God.

What the hell?!? In my naivete I actually thought that wire weaving geniuses like this lady would never, ever be the target of such snobbery and downright meanness. But, being the person I am, I want to find the “why”of his behaviour. What on earth would possess someone to be so….uppity?

I can understand that a customer might perceive a silversmith’s work to be far more valuable than wire (especially copper wire), because the materials are so much more expensive and it requires specialist, expensive tools. With wire weaving, you just need a few basic tools and a whole bunch of patience.

Wire weaving has been around for thousands of years, but I do know that many of my customers hadn’t even seen wire woven jewellery until I started doing it, so could this attitude be borne of a lack of understanding of the medium? Maybe the guy doesn’t realise that we start with a few base wires and then weave metres and metres of super thin wire around them, and then shape it and sculpt it into beautiful pieces. Maybe he doesn’t understand how much thought and planning a piece takes (or how we have to think on our feet if a wire goes and breaks on us mid way through the design).

Maybe he doesn’t understand the time a wire woven piece can take to create.  A bracelet can take me up to 6 hours to weave, sculpt and form. Sometimes longer, if I’m honest…because I’m still learning.

Or you know what? Maybe he’s jealous. Maybe he knows all this stuff but can’t or won’t do it himself.

It was the comments on the post that got my attention though. Here’s a few examples:

Just make the fart noise with your lips

Wrap on, fellow wrappers

Opinions are like asses, everyone has one!

Enjoy what you do, smile and say ‘that’s nice’ and keep creating. (I personally LOVE the Mrs Brown reference, here!)

If we create, we are artists

In any case, we should be building each other up, not tearing others down. I don’t understand metal smithing so I keep my trap shut about the medium. When does my idea of what art is become unworthy of the title “art” because it differs to what you consider art?

Love,

J