Thursday, April 19, 2018

Artist Video Receives Award by Invisible Disabilities Association!

The following video, produced by Heather Thompson, Blue Phoenix Art, will be honored with an award by the Invisible Disabilities Association for their I Am Invisible No More campaign!

The video bravely walks viewers through the medical and artistic journey of 2017...enjoy!

Resistance and Healing Art

Fractals, Flowers and Facades
Original Art by Heather Thompson, Blue PhoenixArt
20x20 Acrylic on Canvas

Today it felt challenging just to walk down into my studio space, let alone allow my hands to express what was deep within my consciousness. But this is the essence of HEALING art.  It's bold, genuine, REAL.

Over the years, I've learned that it can feel daunting, almost like resistance, when old habits are attempting to stifle my flow of creativity.  There are times of profound exhaustion right before I feel the nudge to PAINT.  Today was one of those days.

So, I bravely sat down in front of the blank canvas and allowed the color to emerge.

It's drying.
I think it might be called...
"Flowers, Facades and Fractals"
This is what my synesthesia looks like when I need to say something that feels difficult to SPEAK in words. Thank GOD for the language of COLOR.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Real Talk about Opiates and Chronic Pain

New York Times Article on Opiod Crisis

Click on the above link to read an important OP-ED piece on the Opiate Epidemic. 

We must talk about the immense suffering that will take place if this rule passes. Imagine arriving in the ER with PAIN beyond childbirth and being told they can't do anything for you. It's already happening. Most people can't imagine this kind of pain until it happens to YOU.

Have you helped an elder in excruciating pain, yet they don't meet these criteria? I have. Imagine the screaming, and feeling helpless to relieve their suffering.

Furthermore, we need to address the arbitrariness if the rule. Case in point...Cancer patients are allowed pain relief, but what about those with rare diseases that are lesser known (and therefore lesser lobbied) yet EXTREMELY painful?

Here's the BIG question that's currently unanswered....
"If you’re going to eliminate opioids, what is the treatment alternative you recommend for the millions of chronic pain patients who use opioids responsibly?”

It's time to have an open discussion.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Exploring Truth

Over time I have come to realize that certainty is the opposite of faith. The unknown - questions - mystery - doubt - suffering - these are the cracks where the light of God enters day to day living. Today I am exploring the notion that TRUTH sits alongside certainty. By definition, the human experience of truth is relative as it is observed through the lens of a person's individual perception. In my younger years, my relationship contracts with those I LOVED often required that we share the same truth and/or worldview and/or perceptions. If the other person experienced a truth that was different than mine, I needed to contort myself to suit their perceptions or risk losing the relationship. This is not authentic LOVE. I am learning that truth can be experienced differently, and genuine LOVE connects people at a level beyond shared perspectives. In LOVE, my truth does not negate that of another and their truth does not negate mine. This is the "field" beyond right and wrong - beyond duality - that Rumi speaks of...and I am learning to spend some time there.

Original Art by Heather Thompson, Blue Phoenix Art

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Integrity and the Serenity Prayer

Living with integrity requires gentle, genuine and loving attention to the ways in which my behavior impacts myself and the people around me. It means dancing in the intersection of individuality and community, where I maintain my own autonomy in the context of communal interaction.

Integrity requires discernment from a variety of angles. It means noticing the things that I need to take responsibility for, while at the same time letting go of the things that I cannot change. It means resisting the temptation to apologize for the sake of peace, if that apology is not authentic. It means relinquishing my illusion of control over people's perceptions of me. It means having the courage to examine the uncomfortable aspects of my life in an effort to bring healing to the wounds that continue to affect daily interactions with others.

Freedom arises through adherence to the principle of integrity. Perhaps that's why the Serenity Prayer is at the cornerstone of addiction recovery.

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

May God grant YOU and ME and ALL OF US the blessing of serenity today.


"Flight Paths"
Mixed Media on Canvas
PM for Purchase Information

Sunday, April 1, 2018

WOMEN Called by Angels

When WOMEN were called by Angels to be the first Preachers of the Risen Christ.

Mark 16:1-8

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?" When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you." So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Gratitude for Rib Fractures!

Here's a total paradigm shift...Yesterday I learned that I have bilateral rib fractures at the 10th ribs. One in my FLANK on the left. One above where my LIVER sits on the right. You might recall this is EXACTLY where I complained of a machete on the left at a chainsaw on the right. Two hospitalizations, endless tests, x-rays that didn't show rib fractures, and two weeks at the Mayo Clinic including seeing a rehabilitative medicine specialist, and no one caught simple broken ribs.

Last December a bone scan revealed "old" rib fractures... but when they said old, I assumed as did the doctors that this went back to my fall when I was 5 years old. No one told me that these fractures were recent. Yesterday in the emergency room when they were looking for pulmonary embolisms, the CT revealed the rib fractures and I was told that it likely occurred within the last year. HOLY COW.

So what does this mean? It means that the sudden onset acute flank pain last August was likely due to fractured ribs. OUCH. I have no idea how it happened, but that's less important than recognizing that ribs heal! YES!  Mix that with neuromuscular disease that was undiagnosed at the time (causing weird symptoms), and steroids for Adrenal Insufficiency, and you have a recipe for what's happened over the last several months.  ANSWERS! 

I could be upset about the fact that something so simple was missed. But then I reflect with gratitude and realize that had the fractures been caught right away, they never would have discovered the rare neuromuscular disease.  And frankly this is something that I've struggled with my whole life. Therefore, the journey has been totally worth it!

I've dared to HOPE this Lent.  And slowly but surely I have noticed a path emerging on the road to Healing. The IVIG is restoring my immune system and helping to heal the rare neuromuscular disease. Discovering broken bones gives us a path for healing. It also raises concerns about osteoporosis which we will further investigate. The acute foot pain at that I've been experiencing could be caused by a variety of things, not the least of which is also the potential for broken bones. So we will further investigate that. But most importantly, there are answers! And healing fractured ribs takes time, especially when you're on steroids, and so I have marching orders to be very careful not to keep reinjuring myself.

Hope. Answers. A path to HEALING. Gratitude this Easter!