HNY to all my readers

Happy New Year to everyone who reads my blog. It’s a good point at which to say thank you for reading. Production of blog posts has been somewhat sporadic of late, to say the least. Fact is, 2015 has been a very difficult year for me, and it’s been a struggle to keep up with the stitching, never mind blogging about it. I’ve referred in previous posts to on-going problems with neck pain, but have not recounted anything like the full story (fear not, I’m not about to recount it now – you’d be bored sick). Yes, the neck pain is a continuing hassle, but at least it goes away for reasonably long periods from time to time. A worse problem is the one of continuous pain in my jaw which I’ve had for the last 18 months. Thinking it was likely to be a dental problem (I get lots of those and I’m used to dentistry) I’ve had huge amounts of dental treatment during 2014 and 2015; unfortunately, none of the many procedures has alleviated the pain one tiny bit. I finally went to see a specialist in November, a maxillo-facial surgeon, and he pronounced the problem to be Atypical Facial Pain (or he said it could possibly be Atypical Neuralgia). These are chronic pain problems that take some shifting, and can plague people for very long periods. Sigh.

It’s taken me a long time to get any perspective on this problem. The fact that I can step back a bit is thanks to the medications prescribed by my GP which, since late September, have ensured with some reliability that I get a reasonable sleep for around 7 hours per night. Previously, I’d been getting by on around 4 hours per night which was making me very crabby indeed. So, thank you doctor and thank you drug companies (not something I’d often say in respect of drug companies, but credit where it’s due, I suppose). Mostly, of course, the problem and its effects are entirely negative, but I can see that feeling weak, ill and vulnerable is actually quite good for a person from time to time. I now, in retrospect, very much appreciate having had a largely pain-free life. I’m in awe of people who cope with acute and chronic pain problems. One of the textile artists I most admire is Emily Barletta and I was reminded recently of something I read about her having suffered much pain and illness from an early age. You can read an interview with her and you can see some of her marvellous artwork, if you’re not already familiar with it, via her website. Her work is wonderfully inventive, surprising, colourful and altogether delightful. If you’re not aware of it, I feel very pleased to be able to put you on to her.

I’ve finished Cochineal Dream III and will post a photo shortly. I can’t seem to take half-way decent photos with flash, and I’ve developed the habit of photographing work outside. There was a brief period of brightness this morning but I was busy doing something else so didn’t grasp the opportunity to photograph outside. And now it’s gloomy outside and will soon be getting dark (it’s 3pm here in the North of England and bad enough. I don’t know how the Scandinavians and others in latitudes even further north cope with this). And it’s rained and rained for what seems like months. The flooding here has been very bad indeed. I’ve not been personally affected because we live on higher ground, but people living near rivers have not been so fortunate.

So, more soon, I hope. Thanks for reading.

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