Wednesday, August 11, 2021

A Lean Mean Year And Yet...

 And yet I am very glad to be here, thanks to the modern medicine and hospitals and hospital staff. I suffered a heart attack on the 1st of August and had very few of the signs of heart attack. My blood pressure had been reasonably good up to the event ( I had even given up red wine eight months ago and those of you who know me well know of my fondness for a glass of red wine) I was feeling ok, I had been walking a bit less than normal ( the weather has been cold cold cold and wet), my diet is reasonably good ( a bit too much cheese but I eat few sweets) but there is a family history of heart disease on both sides of the family.  On the 1st of August my daughter was staying with me, we had gone for a coffee in the morning and then went to the gallery at ArcYinnar to see Linda Ellery's excellent exhibition  which I had helped hang on the Thursday. I had a bit of left arm pain but put it down to muscle fatigue from hanging said exhibition. On driving home we decided to go for a walk. We had started walking when I started to feel really unwell ( I don't often feel unwell) so much so that I said to my daughter perhaps we need to go to the hospital? ( I am also aware of the heart history of my family) so we did. The triage nurse had me whipped in there like lightening thank goodness, even though my blood pressure was not abnormal and I had no chest pain, and I was not breathless. Enzyme tests confirmed that indeed I was having a heart attack. Latrobe Regional Hospital does not have a cardiac unit yet, so they stabilised me for transfer me to the Alfred in Melbourne and an angiogram to see what was going on. There was narrowing of one artery in particular so they placed stents in that artery- the other artery passed the stress test and the third artery goes nowhere??. I was very glad not to need surgery but now I do have to take medication ( I was on none before this event) I was out of hospital the next afternoon. Thank you to all the staff at Latrobe Regional Hospital and The Alfred and my hat off to all nurses! You do a wonderful and difficult job and in these Covid times even harder with all the gear you have to wear all the time!

I am back home now and feeling  reasonably good. My daughter decided to stay on for the week I came home which has been lovely, even though she works from home in her day time job. It is lovely to have someone here when we are yet again locked down ( that has now lifted a little for regional Victoria). I live on my own so lock down is difficult- especially as the only person I see during lockdown times is my elderly mother whose physical  condition is slowly but surely deteriorating since her stroke and who  like many of her generation refuses to entertain leaving her house despite the fact that it is becoming difficult for her to be there even with all the help and assistance I have been able to organise and the meals I cook for her. I also live and hour and a half from where she lives so it is not so easy to be there  and I still work full time in my business. I am not yet old enough for a pension and because I have been self employed for the last 25 years of my working life earning what a textile artists earns and raising a family on those earnings there is no super annuation to fall back on. I think there are many women around my age in the same position and many more who are homeless through no real fault of their own.

There is no doubt that Covid has played havoc with my income these last 18 months like it has for many people with a micro business- it is not easy to get the financial support that seems to be available for bigger companies- you can't actually go on job seeker as you are a business owner and not actively seeking work. I decided last year that rather than jump through the hoops of Centrelink I would try and tough it out myself somehow- I am fortunate I own my house, but there are expenses involved in living in a house and well utilities need to be paid and I need to eat ( a bit less cheese than I have been 😆). 

Just about all teaching events I have been booked for over the last year have been cancelled due to lockdowns, all exhibitions that I attend have been cancelled so I have turned to the on-line versions of what I do. You, the on-line community have been incredibly supportive and for that I am extremely grateful but nonetheless my income has been heavily impacted. I do grow a lot of my own vegetables and with spring coming my garden needs a lot of work, all of which I have to do whilst also continuing to work. My compost bins need turning but I am not supposed to do anything too heavy for awhile.

Like many I have struggled with this sixth lockdown here in Victoria- we lockdown hard to save lives and to prevent people getting sick with this nasty horrid virus which claims victims amongst all ages. People do complain but as far as I am concerned anything that saves lives is worth  the inconvenience of lockdown. There is an ethical question which I have not heard addressed adequately to counter those who claim their individual rights are too impacted ( have we forgotten what ethics are) which is when do my individual rights outweigh the rights and safety and well being of the community of which I am a part ? The answer is they don't if I am a part of the community .

I decided to stitch the linocut printed panel of this bird and stylised flowers inspired byt Florentine fabric from the sixteenth century. I am using mainly backstitch.

And so I try and stitch and keep working. I am making a new design for a poppy inspired tifaifai for the book which I am supposed to be working on. Meanwhile I keep getting distracted with more pockets and pods and another bit of hand stitching to ease ther anxiety as i now contemplate this next phase of my life. Walking will definitely be a part of that and we have been walking this week in the little bushland reserve near to my home and sadly  cheese will be a lesser part of my existence.

A "bush" pocket. The other night whilst my daughter and I were binge watching The Cook of Castamar on Netflix I was delighted to see the cook wearing a "pocket" in one of the scenes . My pockets are for sale for $125.00AUS inclusive of postage . Email me if you are interested. ( the pockets in my previous blog post are for sale also)

I have decided to run another Pods, Pods, Pods class for 19 September 2021. The last pods class brought up some delightful variations. Details of the course are in my previous blog post as well as a Paypal button for payment for the class which you can find here.