Thursday, July 9, 2015

Living with Dysautonomia and Sewing Solutions to Continue On

I feel as though I have been through a storm and am recovering from PTLD (Post Traumatic Life Disorder).

The past few months have been filled with a very long and emotional journey which as of today could finally be wrapped up and put away. I now choose to face the next journey life has to offer with new energy and a bright outlook, for I refuse to let the difficulties and disappointments of life get me down.

I just came back last from a little mini-vacation with my husband where we spent some beautiful peaceful time on an island in the Puget Sound area. This was the view from the backyard.

We were able to relax and fill our days with whatever we wanted. We visited museums, enjoyed the variety of spectacular views that the countryside had to offer, shared some delicious meals, relaxed some more and I sewed as my husband read to me from a book we are reading together. Yes, my husband reads to me. Really romantic in my view. We both enjoy the process.


I wanted to share some of the projects I have been working on, but first, I must share the back story: I have been sewing a lot by hand lately to help with some complications I have been having neurologically as of late. The past couple of years, I have been having to deal with a rather complex health issue, all complications of my genetic heart condition. I do not have heart disease, in fact my heart is "healthy" and to quote my cardiologist, my arteries are "clean as a whistle". The problem is electronic, and because of my heart choosing to beat to its own drummer so to speak, my nervous system is overloaded and causing problems with all of the areas of my body that are controlled by the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). The umbrella term is Dysautonomia, meaning "a rare disorder of the autonomic nervous system". I can lose my ability to think clearly and become very lethargic, stumble when I walk or lose my balance, have tremors in my hands or not be able to use my hands all together, have "twitches" in my diaphragm causing me to not be able to breathe, seizures, digestive issues, muscle control... the list goes on and on.

Last Summer, we went from Doctor to Doctor searching for solutions to help me to be able to simply live a life as close to "normal" as possible. We finally found a Chiropractic Neurologist that was ready to face my problems head on and help us find some solutions to bring my body back to something that somewhat resembles normalcy. We began exercises and routines to help to create new brain pathways and re-train my brain and nervous system to be able to function properly. One of the solutions we have found was for me to concentrate on actions that require me using my right hand. Sewing by hand has allowed me to focus my brain on the task resulting in being able to help control the seizures and lessen the neurological episodes that I am plagued with. So to put it bluntly, sewing is my therapy.

Enough of the story, now to the fun stuff ~

Here is a pincushion I hand pieced and embroidered a few months ago:

I used scraps that were left over from a couple of other hand sewing projects I have been currently working on.

I have 2 hand projects in production right now using Downton Abbey fabrics in both the inspiration and the making there of. I wanted to choose "older" patterns that look as though they could have been made in the teens and twenties of the 1900's in order for the DA fabrics and others that I consider more "period-esque" to be viewed as perhaps more appropriate in the production of those patterns.

The first is a hexagon flower that I have paper-pieced and placed it in a "pot" with stem and leaf. It will be a finished 10" square on point and I plan to add sashing and borders. I am considering adding some embroidery touches to the flower and leaves as well.

The second is a dresden plate with a purple center and raspberry sashing. I currently have a center of 9 blocks (each measuring 10" finished) that are surrounded by a narrow piano key sashing. I will be finishing it out to measure 7 blocks square and I will tie it all together with a 5" piano key border.

I will now go and partake in a little more "therapy" now. ~