From pain to painting
I Found Pain Relief in a Pot of Dirty Water
The last four years have been a journey through pain. When I was diagnosed in 2020 with severe (left) and moderate (right) osteoarthritis in my hips, it came as a complete surprise. Mainly because the pain I’d been experiencing was in my lower legs. Of course, as soon as my GP told me, my focus went from my legs to my hips. It’s funny how suggestive the brain is regarding the source of discomfort.
Anyway, without going through the whole thing, I had a total left hip replacement in April 2022. Then went through another thirteen months of excruciating agony as the right hip deteriorated at 100 miles an hour. To the point where standing up became nigh impossible. I put extra strain on my back by leaning forward over my crutches to try and alleviate the pain in my hip. I couldn’t exercise the left leg properly in order to build on the work already done. I became a virtual prisoner in our home from around November 2022.
So my activities were limited to what I could do sitting down.
And that’s when I discovered the distraction-filled, therapeutic qualities of art play. I’d neglected my art for a couple of years but had stumbled (not literally cos that would be bad) across some urban sketch videos and grabbed a pencil to try it out for myself. The urge to draw and paint again was irresistible.
I wanted to be upstairs as it was closer to the bathroom, so after the first hip op, my lovely partner helped me set up a little workstation in the bedroom. I could write, read, crochet, draw and paint. I had an almost proper studio downstairs that I shared with the dogs. It opened onto the garden and it was so lovely to spend time there… but bathroom.
I selected some basic art supplies from my shelves and he lugged it all upstairs. I arranged everything on a fake Ikea trolley so it was all within reach. It made me feel better immediately.