The Trouble With February

Have you ever had one of those days? Well, it is one of those months. Although February is for lovers, for me personally it can be quite depressing.  My Father passed away in February, as did my Mother.

On the upside, however, it is also the month of my wedding anniversary. And let us not forget Valentine’s Day! I have been spoiled by both my daughter and my husband this month.  Although the photoshoot of my daughter was an epic disaster, courtesy of a beautiful cold front that brought  about wind gusts of 25 mph! I guess good old Punxsutawney was right!

vday kira

Bearded Dragon Tanin vday gifts


My hubby surprised me with a beautiful Bearded Dragon, and my daughter made me a beautiful card and sand art.

This February also included eye surgery. Any artist can tell you vision is pretty imperative to an artist. The neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, and arthritis in my hands can make art difficult….but not being able to see properly, well….that makes it virtually impossible. I finally broke down and agreed to have surgery on my right eye, as the cataract had made it impossible to see. I was excited but scared, as many people who have had the procedure done said the results are amazing……….

Flash forward, I am now on day 14 post op. Although I can absolutely see out of my right eye now and my vision test (in a dark room with the optometrist) is 20/20, light kills me.  Any light source, especially natural day light makes it hard to see. My lamps now have long streaks of light extruding outward. The ophthalmologist said this is normal and it may remain permanent. Evidently the foggy haze of my vision while in light is as well. The upside being colors are beautifully brighter now. I have a lesser developed cataract in my left eye, and colors between each eye are extremely different.

For example this picture I have taken, if I look at it with my left eye I see this;

cataract surgery 1

Where as with my right eye after the surgery I see clearer and brighter.

cataract surgery 2

I hope the light issues I have presently subside, as it is quite distracting and at times causes me to feel nausea; however, I can absolutely live with it. If my left eye progresses I would have to have the procedure done on it as well. I have had surgery on my right eye prior to this cataract procedure,  which may also be why the light is bothering me.  With any luck it will ease up, or I will get used to it.  Especially considering this beautiful new Canon EOS Rebel T6 is awaiting my using it!

I am hoping my art will also look better with my new eye. Especially now that I have more time on my hands……… Which leads me to my next little February blow. As I sat in recovery from my eye surgery I received an e-mail. I was being let go from the Graphic Novel and Comic series I had been contracted to illustrate. The kicker was I was being let go only because they could not afford to hire a separate formatter and decided to go with an all-in-one do it all. Lousy timing on the news as they knew I was in the hospital….nonetheless that was not the worst part. I have spent countless hours on the project and now have art I created for essentially nothing that will sit unpaid.  Silver lining however, I am no longer being bombarded 24/7 with monotonous tasks of unrealistic desires.

I love being an artist. I have heard  many times that I am living the dream….Although I am grateful for my job, I have to say my dream would be to draw, paint, photograph, sculpt, or create what I WANT and be paid for it.  Having someone say, “Yes, that looks okay, but I want this that or the other” is hardly a dream.  Working 18 hours a day,  6 days a week for a paycheck each month that is less than what most people make in three days is not exactly a dream.  It is called work for a reason.  Again, I love my job and would not want to do anything other than art for a living, however…..the present situation is hardly ideal. Kicker number two: as there are still no results on why the printing company pulled titles that I have illustrated for one company (the same aforementioned company that replaced me as their graphic illustrator) from their company sans royalties, I am still unpaid for the works I have done in 2016…….again, does this sound like a dream to you? More like a nightmare if you ask me!

Then I had to get blood work done.  I have CKD stage 3. I have been swelling up pretty bad……when I say bad, I am not exaggerating, either.  At one point I could not bend my legs! When the lab sent me my results, well, I freaked out! Mind you now, I am not a Nephrologist and really have no valid way of interpreting the results other than their guidelines within the results they sent. But according to their guidelines, my numbers looked VERY bad! So for two weeks, I sat in dread….first because of my eye and second because of those labs.  I began googling about dialysis and end stage CKD.  A good friend is about to go on dialysis as well, which perhaps fueled my fear.

Finally the day arrived for both appointments…..of course, as I said earlier, my ophthalmologist said this is “normal” with my eye.  Next,  I sat in fear awaiting my Nephrologist to enter the exam room. I had already in my mind fully prepared myself to be told my kidneys had failed and I needed dialysis.  Then…..the Doctor looked at me and said, “You are doing AMAZINGLY well!” He showed me a chart over the course of the past few years. He pointed out that my kidneys are still at 30% functionality, as they were several years ago.  I actually cried with happiness.  I am the opposite of a hypochondriac, but boy did I scare myself into fearing the worst.  After living with type 1 Diabetes all my life, I think I have somehow just assumed the worst in everything when it came to my health. I really am glad I was wrong.

February can be such a bittersweet month at times. The weather can be beautiful yet horrific, serving as an apt definition to February. I always look for the positivity in all of the beautiful blessings I have in this life and try to take everything as a learning experience.  Although I fully realize how negative my words may seem, I am actually extremely grateful and thankfully for every experience in my life.

I must say, however, I am glad it is the shortest month of the year!









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