Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I wonder as I wander

JoAnn Arnold

I wondered as I wandered and I asked myself, what motivates a writer? What is happening inside when the writer can't be motivated by thought or action or imagination? I wandered through the maze in my mind trying to locate that spark of imagination, and I wondered where it disappeared?

In all this wandering and wondering, I think I found one answer though I sure there are many. But the one that seems to fit my agenda is life itself. Let me explain.

Over thirty years ago Meniere's Disease (a disease of the inner ear) entered my life. Though the Dr. put a shunt between the middle and inner ear, the vertigo episodes made it impossible for me to perform on stage. I had chaired and performed in a musical theatre group for 15 years and I loved that part of my life. But it came to an abrupt end. So I exchanged the stage for the pen and used my imagination on paper instead of on stage.

A little over a year ago the Meniere's moved to the other ear and the doctor put a shunt between the middle and inner ear, and life took another twist. Somehow in having the second shunt between my ears, my eye-hand coordination was not in sinc and I could no longer focus my brush to the canvas, and I put the canvas and paints away.

Then, in January I had surgery for breast cancer and though they caught it early, the radiation treatments affected the meniere's,causing unwanted vertigo, and the pills they gave me to kill the estrogen enflamed my RA and somehow seemed to imprison the imagination. (Needless to say I refused to take any more pills and was truly grateful when the radiation treatments ended). To add to the complications, my back decided to get involved and it's pain made it impossible for me to sit very long. It hurt to walk. It hurt to sit. Basically, it hurt to move.

The challenge seemed overwhelming and I found myself fighting depression - a side-effect of everything that was changing my life. Then, one day, I said to myself, "It's time to fight back. Get off your duff and make it happen."

I put an empty canvas on the easel, poured some paint on the palette and I spent days retraining my brain to accept the delay in eye-hand coordination. I painted a portrait of my father, who died at the young age of 58, for my mother (that was my motivation) Then I put a bigger canvas on the easel and though my back limits my time at the canvas I find myself painting again.

Then, someone told me that if I sat on one of those big round exercise balls, it would support my back while I work at the computer. I tried it and it actually helps. Cool!!

A friend suggested I see an Acupunturist for the Meniere's. I did, and after three months of the needles, the vertigo has subsided to interupted movement. It's so cool. He also gave me some drops for the depression. I didn't really believe in acupunture until I experienced it. Now, I am truly converted.

Last night I sat in front of my laptop and found my imagination stirring from somewhere inside me

So what I'm trying to say here is I'm so glad I didn't give up. I'm thankful for those who guided me to where I needed to be when I needed to be there, and I'm glad I listened. It's true that we are our own teachers. I have learned a good lesson about life, its twists and turns that help to make us who we are.

Life is good!!


Tamika: said...

JoAnn, what a remarkable testimony. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles and victories.

Blessings to you...

kersten campbell said...

Vertigo must be so terrible! I'm so glad something is helping!! You inspire us all!