An up-to-date post. All medical I’m afraid*. My basic conditions lurch on, with the added thrill of extreme knee pain. I took myself to my dermatologist who, searching from scalp to foot, found lots of things going on. Seborrheic Dermatitis at one end and Athletes Foot at the other – rather proud of that – having a normal thing that normal people get. The only time anything Athletic will be associated with me (though I won a medal for the slow bike race in primary school). She also confirmed that my hair is falling out good and proper – not the usual vanity ‘my hair is falling out’ ‘no you lose X amount per day…’ type thing. So I have many unguents and creams to apply, and she did a blood test.
My bowels were working really well – post ‘something shoved up there’ – and I decided to adopt a squatting position on the bog to help. I’ve not invested in a ‘Squatty Potty’ yet, but used some boxes I had available. But a day in bed and without food has put that back to ‘trying to shit bricks’. I really, really want it to go back to the 5 days where I didn’t have to help myself poo. Yes, it was annoying going more than once a day, but I felt better. My skin was definitely better after the chemical clear out. I may investigate monthly doses of laxative to keep it going. Not harsh, just a regular, light dose to keep things going. I’d like to restore my general body function, and getting my anus and bowels to do what they’re supposed to would be a start.
The first of my two annual sore throats appeared – I always get one in January and then either in September or later. This one was presaged by sore glands and coughing. It’s not developed fully yet, or it’s going easy on me. But it’s done its usual wonderment of making my pain go away – so I’ve had 3-4 days of not being able to swallow, but being able to walk…. fucking immune system. I’m still feeling heavy of head, and I’ve been producing solid lumps of mucus the shape of brains…. zzzzz
I have been making myself eat. A potato a day. With beans, veg and yesterday some meat. I’ve got to eat and not just crap. The percentage of crap is quite high still, but I’m not getting hung up on it. Speaking to my bereavement councillor made me realise that circumstances came together to make me get upset about being the size I am. Well, upset about being me, in fact. I’m open to self-harming behaviour, but I’ve never had an eating disorder. However, I believe I definitely passed into the territory. And, I could easily have gone very far down. But, my body having so many other things wrong has saved me. My joints take any chance they can to fail, and exhaustion/ depression is my constant, but it can easily rise – I have to eat to stop these things from really getting a grip. I may want to abstain, I may enjoy not eating and throwing food away, but the big important bits of my body cut out before I can really get into trouble. I suppose I’m lucky. Now I’m going to look into, properly, cooking things I want to eat, and using my wish to control everything, to control that.
*I was lying, here’s the art bit:
I went to an exhibition of Rachel Whiteread sculpture. In the UK, Whiteread is famous for casting the inside of a 2 story house in concrete in the 1990’s. Internationally she’s known for creating the Holocaust memorial in Vienna (apt to be reminded of it at this time of year). Most of her work is casts of objects and many people dismiss it, or explain it, as just casts. Anyone can cast something. Anyone can make a mould… Well apart from that not being true there is the question of what she casts and how. That is where the magic happens, that spark and flitter of chemical reaction, that makes her work art, and Whiteread an artist. Much of her work is negative space made solid. Air, made solid. Things you can’t see and feel in normal circumstance. And then there are the materials she chooses. Her famous house was concrete – was because it was torn down by the local council the same year it were finished. English councils are so forward thinking when it comes to preserving art and heritage… Many of her large works are plaster or concrete through necessity – she wants them to last I imagine, and these materials do. Also they capture enough detail to satisfy her. But there are also magic objects in shimmering resin, benign wax and vast coarse papier mache- the inside space of a hot water bottle, the negative space under a desk and below a chair – that fit together to leave the ghost seat of a sitter. These objects I found unexpectedly tender. The life-size inverted staircases were an exciting jumble of jagged shadows and types of grey. Constant changes in scale that are not dictated by how much money she has to make a work (the destroyed House was an early work) but by her interest and imagination.
It was a very satisfying show, I am glad I dragged myself to it – made the effort. If you don’t know her work, I suggest you have a look.
This is the show I saw: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/rachel-whiteread
Oh, and I found myself very drawn to her works on paper. They are not just working drawings for sculptures, but interesting experiments in themselves. Though not listed, I think she may use gesso (plaster made of chalk and rabbit glue) and Snowpake (TM) in her works. Their texture was shiny, shiny opaque pools with delicate colouring. I returned to them 3 times. Only the hot water bottles (Torsoes) and jelly-like resin houses and stool spaces got more of my attention. Next time I’ll post some images….