MRI’s & Inspiration for Stitching

MRI’s & Inspiration for Stitching

Yesterday I had to have an MRI because I’ve been getting headaches that often wake me in the middle of the night. I was quite sure I was fine, but it’s a precaution and being an adult and all, it seemed the responsible thing to do. So off I went feeling I’d prepared myself adequately. I don’t care for small, enclosed spaces, so I knew I was going to need to practice breathing and asked for something to put under my knees so my back didn’t begin to hurt. I believed I was on top of the situation and lay down, dutifully putting the ear plugs in and began counting my breath. Except once I was in the machine, I could feel my jaw shaking. As in uncontrollably and I was so freaked out that my jaw was doing this weird thing that I seemed to have no control over, I became convinced that it was so bad it would make my head move and ruin the imaging, which only made it worse. It took everything in me to breathe in and out, count my breath and eventually my jaw calmed down.

The upshot of the whole thing is that I’m fine. Perfectly fine. My neurologist called yesterday evening to tell me all looks well, “for someone your age” which of course gave me pause. “What does that mean?” I asked a bit defensively. He explained that you expect to see a few tiny white dots in “someone my age” and that this is also common in those who experience migraines. Evidently I have a couple of those white dots and also a tiny cyst, which is not in my brain at all, and is about 4mm. So another MRI in about a year to make sure that doesn’t grow. All in all the news is excellent and blood work is all good too. Whew. I knew I was as healthy as a horse.

After I returned home the skies opened up and the rain came down like some sort of end of the world scenario. That was when I decided to do a livestream, which you can see here if you care to.

And then I had to do a lot of work on my website, so I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening writing copy, learning how to input new workshops into my workshop schedule and create images for the workshops.

Every now and then when I needed a break I’d work on the piece below, which I’ve fallen in love with and that is inspired by plant and human cells. Pinterest is great for finding amazing images of organisms, cells and plant life that have been put under a microscope. I have a whole board where I’m saving such images.

This piece I’ve added some of my hand dyed t-shirting to and then stitched on top of it. It’s very relaxing.

My mother and two of my brothers are scientists: a chemist, an astro physicist and a bio-chemist. I was never very good at science, but I do love looking at the microscopic images of organisms and cells. They are things of such exquisite beauty.

The photograph below is of a coronary blood clot, horrible, but if you remove what it IS and just view it as an image, it is incredible.

Coronary blood clot. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a blood clot (thrombus) in the coronary artery, showing red blood cells (purple) in a fibrin mesh (threads). Magnification: x2500, when printed 10cm wide.
This is a microscopic image of a cactus (I think). Amazing.

Which took me to viewing images of brain cells. Talk about inspiration!

Microscopic image of neurons
Amazing, right?!

There is beauty in just about anything if looked at through a different lens. ❤️

In Answer to, “How Are You?”

The headaches begin with a tightness. It’s like a shadow, looming just to the side. I can feel a tingling behind my eyes, at my temples, a scratchy sensation at the back of my head. It’s similar to when you sense someone’s looking at you before turning to meet their eyes. This is when I pull out the ice pack, the neck pillow, rub tiger balm onto my forehead and temples and turn the lights down. Waiting. Waiting. Will it get worse or can I ward it off? I breathe in slow rhythmic breaths. I center my energy and try to relax. I lean into the pain. I try to find its center and breathe into it.

Two days ago I had four or five hours without any pain at all. Amazing! It was a beautiful few hours. I couldn’t believe I’d spent most of my life without pain. Without headaches. Without fear of when or if, just living my life. Pain is like that. Suddenly it’s here and if it lingers or worsens we do our best to adapt and adjust while trying to find the source. Was it something I ate, drank or didn’t eat or drink? Am I feeling more stress than usual? I turn to google: “what to do when one gets a headache?” “What’s the difference between a migraine and a headache.” I read up on the various horrors that may or, usually, may not await. Meditation, medication, massage, acupuncture, get my vision checked, go to the doctor, check, check, check, and on the “to do” list.

Meanwhile life goes on. Right now the pain isn’t bad. It’s a 1 on a scale of 1-10. A few days ago it was at a 7 or even 8. We’re not supposed to talk about this publicly. We’re supposed to be stoic. We’re supposed to remain silent. Expressing this sort of thing is a sign of weakness. We can’t let anyone know. It shows we’re vulnerable. So we say nothing. People casually ask “how are you?” We’re just being polite, we don’t really expect the truth. If we answered truthfully that question might not get asked so casually. So we say, “I’m fine. Thanks so much for asking. How are you?” Politeness wins out and we have done our part to maintain the fragile equilibrium of societal niceties.

There is something unseemly about writing about this. Particularly as the pain is slight and manageable right now. And anyway I don’t want people to worry. It’s probably nothing. Headaches are like that, they evidently can come in clusters and it’s often finding a way to break the cycle that does the trick. I’m sure I’ll be fine. Still I will call my doctor and get a vision test today.

That’s how I am today. How are you?