Mar 21

Seize the Day

I threw up in the shower today for the second time in less than a week. I’ve thrown up more than twice, but only twice while I’ve been in the shower. A new medication that I’m taking is making me sick and it’s been tough.

A little more than a week ago I was out on a Saturday afternoon with my mom. We had lunch with my sister and we laughed and joked and traded gossip. Then we shopped. The pet store for cat food. Mom needed cream cheese & I needed mascara so we went to the grocery store. We split up to get our stuff. I remember looking at mascara, but then suddenly I was sitting awkwardly on the floor of the makeup aisle and 2 people with a bed on wheels were asking me questions. What was my name? Did I know what day it was? Everything felt fuzzy. I was aware that I should have easy answers to the questions but I didn’t. I was thinking so hard but the answers just felt out of reach somehow.

I only recall snippets. I started to really be aware and lucid once I was in the ambulance. I started to realize what had happened. Well, it’s more likely that I was told what had happened. I had a seizure. Nobody was sure how long it lasted, but it was a grand mal (or tonic-clonic) seizure. This type of seizure is characterized by a loss of consciousness and violent, full-body muscle contractions. Surrounded by eye shadow & lip gloss, I fell to the ground and convulsed uncontrollably for what felt like hours but in reality was probably a couple of minutes.

The paramedics checked my blood glucose, ran an IV in my left hand, took my blood pressure and probably a million other things that I didn’t even notice or don’t remember. At the hospital, doctors and nurses drew my blood, checked my urine & blood pressure, did an EEG to check my heart and more. After a couple of hours I was discharged. They told me not to drive or swim, and that the neurology department would call me to schedule a follow up.

The next few days were awful. I was in so much pain that I could hardly move. The muscle contractions left every single part of my body in agony. I bit my tongue so eating was uncomfortable. I didn’t do much of anything, which gave me plenty of time to think.

I had seizures in my early 20s. Not very many, but one is actually enough. I took anti-seizure meds for a long time and once I found the right combination of seizure control and tolerable side effects, I did ok. In 2012, it had been 9 years since I’d had a seizure and my neurologist suggested I stop taking the meds. He felt that it was likely that I’d outgrown the seizures. From a medical standpoint, if I could make it 18 months without meds and without a seizure, I’d be considered cured. I went well beyond 18 months and I thought I was officially done with that part of my past. Until last week.

I feel betrayed by my own brain. I’m filled with fear and uncertainty. I’m desperately afraid. I can’t drive. I’m back on these powerful drugs that make me sick. I feel hopeless. Helpless. I turned 40 the other day. This isn’t what I thought 40 would feel like.

I saw a neurologist last week and she prescribed a new drug – the one that’s making me sick. I’ve reached out to her office to find out if the nausea & vomiting will go away or if I need to try something else. I’m still only on a half dose, but I titrate to the next higher dose in a couple of days. Will these problems get worse? I’m not sure yet.

As hard as this has been and as much as I want to scream about how unfair it all is and dissolve into sobs because I’m terrified, I’m incredibly lucky. My family and friends have been 1000% supportive. My boss is super flexible & has told me to do whatever I need to do. My husband is my rock & his job is also flexible enough that he is able to leave work to drive me to doctor’s appointments and to the many follow up tests that I have scheduled. I have great health insurance and I’m able to afford the deductibles and co-pays. None of this is cheap by any stretch. I haven’t been billed for the ambulance or ER visit yet, but my portion of the MRI I had this morning was more than $500 (which I had to pay upfront without any notice, but luckily I have an FSA). That’s just one test of many. Plus the prescriptions and office visits and it’s overwhelming and endless.

I guess what I’m getting at is that this sucks. It’s been a real struggle. As tough as its been for me, I can’t even fathom how people deal with any kind of serious illness IN ADDITION to the financial burden. Too many people have to choose between necessary medication and groceries. Or opt out of costly diagnostic tests that could ultimately impact their treatment & prognosis. So as much as I may whine & complain, it’s not lost on me that I’m extremely blessed.

I don’t really have any point to any of this, but I’m a tornado of emotion and I really needed to write about it. If you made it all the way to the end, thank you for listening. ☺

UPDATE 3/23 – I heard from my doctor, she thinks the nausea will resolve itself and told me to keep to the medication plan & update her either way. I’ve been feeling better the last couple of days, so I hope she’s right! I switch to the higher dose this evening, so cross your fingers. Also, here’s a very quick sketch of me on the grocery store floor I did a week or so ago. And YES, I really was wearing my Bad Ass shirt. 😎


Feb 08

Speed Painting

Here’s a video of me painting a whimsical blue haired girl in my art journal. This journal is an altered book – an old textbook to be precise. For this portrait, I used a few different mediums – Inktense pencils, chalk pastel, and a wash of acrylic paint for the background at the very end. I hope you enjoy watching this, and please subscribe to my channel if you’d like to see more.

Here’s the finished portrait up close.

Blue Haired Girl


Jan 01

New Year, New Journal

First of all, Happy New Year! I think lots of us were ready for a fresh start, or at least something that feels like one. Here’s my little family this morning celebrating 2017:


I’m starting a brand new journal for the new year. I usually just keep on trucking through whatever book I’m using but it just so happens that my current book only has a handful of pages left anyway. Since it’s a spiral bound book, I’ll just yank the blank pages out and move to another book. But what book?? I had a couple of things in mind to use that I thought I might get as gifts but I didn’t, and I didn’t really have a back up plan. So now it’s January 1st and I’m in a full on panic! More on that later. For now, here’s my current (well as of yesterday?) journal – #17 in this never ending series. I started this book on August 1st, 2016, so it’s been with me for a solid 6 months.


NOW WHAT??? I’m starting to hyperventilate because I don’t have a plan! I have some options. First, I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a loose leaf journal for literally YEARS. Basically, I’d have my choice of paper every day – I could use any size, color, weight, etc, and then use a 3 hole punch to bind the pages into a regular old binder. I have everything I need right this second to make this happen. This feels exciting because I can use whatever suits me – a take out menu from the place I had lunch could be the day’s canvas. On a particularly boring day I could use a small piece of paper so I don’t have the pressure of filling a large page with literally nothing. I’d probably only do single sided pages for this which would also give me more flexibility in the materials and techniques I use – I’d never have to worry about markers or paints bleeding through to the back side and I could use staples or brads whenever I like. The downside here is that as exciting as this feels, it’s TERRIFYING for some reason. It seems crazy and scary to go along willy nilly with no idea what paper I’ll use and to not have an actual “book” with pre-determined pages. Part of me thinks that being scared is all the more reason to DO IT. I’ll never grow as an artist if I just keep doing what feels easy and comfortable, right?? So much easier said than done, though. I may still do this, and if I do, I’ll commit to at least 3 months so I can say that I’ve properly tried it. I think that’s enough time to experiment and either get comfortable or realize that it just isn’t for me.

I also have a spiral bound book I got at a thrift store. It’s brand new, and exactly the same size as the book I’m using now. It’s got a creamy, very toothy paper that’s pretty heavy – almost card stock. I did some media tests on the very last page and it’s nice. Very little bleeding and nice texture. But fairly boring and safe.

So as of writing this, I’m undecided and super stressed. What do you think?? Any suggestions or advice?


Nov 01

Inktober 2016 – All the Sketches

Here’s a quick little video I threw together with all of my sketches for Inktober. I hope you like it!


Oct 14

Inktober – 2 Weeks!

Here are the latest drawings for Inktober. 🙂

11/31 Birdy #inktober #inktober2016

12/31 House #inktober #inktober2016

13/31 Pumpkin #inktober #inktober2016

14/31 Blue Girl #inktober #inktober2016


Oct 11

Inkin’ up the Place

A few more drawings for Inktober. Enjoy!

5/31 Pizza #inktober #inktober2016

6/31 Kitty #inktober #inktober2016

6/31 Betta Fish #inktober #inktober2016 #fountainpen

8/31 Pancakes #inktober #inktober2016

9/31 Picnic #inktober #inktober2016

10/31 Tea Super quickie cuz I'm not feeling so hot. #inktober #inktober2016


Oct 04

Inky Animals & Awesomeness

Inktober does have a list of prompts, but I decided to go it alone and just draw whatever I felt like drawing. That has turned out to be mostly animals so far! Here are my next 3. Mostly drawn with my Lamy Joy fountain pen and Noodler’s Heart of Darkness black ink. I added a bit of colored pencil as well. I hope you like them!

Lion 2/31 #inktober #inktober2016

3/31 Awesome #inktober #inktober2016

4/31 Ugly Pup #inktober #inktober2016


Oct 01

Inktober 2016

I’m participating in Inktober this year! It’s a challenge to create an ink drawing every day during the month of October. I probably won’t post the drawings here every day, but I’ll update once a week or so. Here’s my first, a bunny I drew with my Lamy Joy and Noodler’s Heart of Darkness ink. Cheers!

1/31 Bunny #Inktober #inktober2016


Sep 03


A good friend of mine plays guitar and drums & invited me to record vocals for one of his songs. So here’s our cover of Gigantic by the Pixies. I’ve always loved Kim Deal, and I’m not too sure I did her justice, but it sure was a blast! Enjoy!



Feb 29

Bear Ears and Beers

I’m taking an art class to learn how to write and draw comics. The first assignment was to draw a 2 page autobiographical comic. TWO. PAGES. That seems like so much. I looked through some of the other students early submissions and they were REALLY great. I’ve been so stressed out and nervous about this and I wasn’t sure what to do or what to write about and I don’t know how to draw comics and I’m not a good enough artist and what am I doing in this class in the first place and WHEEEEW. So much inner critic monkey on my back. I finally shoved a banana in his pie hole to shut him up and got to work. This is not the greatest comic in history, but I’m very proud of it. I thought it was going to take forever, but once I had my ideas together and actually got to work on it, it flowed. I definitely need some work to get my narrative to be more compelling and cohesive, and I need to practice using space more effectively, but overall, I’m happy with how this turned out. I hope you like it, too. You can click each page to see the larger version.

SCAN1356 SCAN1357