Archive for medicine

Amy Oestreicher: Gutless and Grateful

Posted in art, medicine, theater with tags , , on March 5, 2016 by shewalkssoftly

This is a bit of a deviation from my typical posts, but story is very close to my heart. I don’t often talk about my chronic illness on this blog, but I’ve been ill for over 20 years, culminating in total incapacitation.

a3

Amy Oestreicher has come through the profound darkness of a truly unbelievable illness. She’s an artist, actress, musician and motivational speaker who has alchemized her challenges into all kinds of profound, creative outlets. Her story is the quintessential Hero’s Journey and (as a soul sister whose guts have also exploded on numerous occasions) I’m grateful to her for publicly spreading the positive messages I’m still too ill to do myself. We are all about, as she puts it, “finding beauty in the detours!”

a1

a2

I encourage you to search through all of her projects, but if you’re able, please check out her one woman show, Gutless and Grateful (coming to NY on 3/11, for my local friends!). Amy is infectiously sweet and positive. I’m grateful to have met this ray of light!

Amy Oestreicher

Passed the Halfway Mark!

Posted in announcement, cats, medicine with tags , , on February 29, 2016 by shewalkssoftly

When my dad began a fundraiser to save my life, I never in my wildest dreams believed that a little introvert who has been largely unable to communicate or set foot outside the house for years due to illness could have friends and strangers from all over the world rallying for her like this. We’ve passed the halfway mark, and I’m unbelievably grateful!

g

Feeling triumphant…

tumblr_muxba4VPOR1rd8qzho1_1280

I’ve spent over 20 years flailing around in a medical system that could not (or would not) help me…and there is finally hope that I can make it. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for making this possible. PLEASE keep this link circulating!

Survival Quest!

Posted in announcement, medicine with tags , on February 8, 2016 by shewalkssoftly

It’s been a long time since I’ve given a health update on this blog because I’ve wanted the focus to be on interesting and entertaining content. But the truth is, I’m quite literally in a fight for my life.

My amazing father created this page, which gives a great summary of the story and status:

Help Bring My Daughter Back to Life

GFM

As I said to some of my friends recently, I love this planet…I know some really great people on this planet…and I’d like to stay on this planet a while to make, do, and help things. The medical system gave up on me for 21 years, then miraculously diagnosed me, then found a cure, then denied me the cure. Time is now of the essence.

__by_blackfurya-d5qh69d

I know times are tough, so no pressure to donate. If you feel comfortable doing so, it would really help to share the link via social networking (and/or personal email if possible since things get lost in the FB shuffle). If you do donate, please make sure I have your mailing address. When I’m able, I want to send a handmade/written token of gratitude to everyone who helped make my recovery possible!

Much love and thanks…

Help Bring My Daughter Back to Life

Dr. Mutter’s Marvels

Posted in Books, macabre, medicine, oddities, wish list with tags , , , , on December 10, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

If you’re looking for a holiday gift for lovers of oddities and medical marvels, Dr. Mutter’s Marvels might be perfect.

dr_mutters_marvels_book_1

The book is a mesmerizing biography of the brilliant and eccentric medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country’s most famous museum of medical oddities.

Even having been to the museum a few times (it’s an incredible place), I still don’t know very much about Dr. Mutter himself. I’d definitely like to read this. Have you been to the museum? Read this book?

Dr. Mutter’s Marvels

Museum Oddities

Posted in antiques, craft, oddities, sculpture, skulls and skeletons with tags , , , , , on November 14, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

I first posted about “exploded” articulated human skulls years ago during Ryan Matthew theme week, but here is another fine example from Brian Kubasco (aka Museum Oddities).

11_854116c5-5dcc-4d14-96e8-93589f15fe83_large@2x

6_a2a461e9-ddf2-4e01-a2d3-6c5be31a1813_1024x1024

Kubasco is a sculptor specializing in masks, props, reproductions, prosthetics, character design, creatures, monsters and figurines. His website is a combination of personal creations and intriguing artifacts.

For example, here is a 1930’s dental phantom with five gold fillings and removable teeth.

9_92aca225-f0d1-43bd-a80f-00cc5a394a4e_large@2x

And here is a creative variation inspired by these models:
2_db5bfb2c-221b-47ec-b6f7-679e9f70df5b_large@2x

There is some really great stuff on the site. Have a look at Museum Oddities.

Twist of Lyme: My Diagnosis at Last!

Posted in announcement, medicine with tags , on April 24, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

lyme-disease-bacteria

Anyone who has followed this blog for a while probably saw me allude to my failing health. What I’ve represented here in the occasional post is not even the smallest fraction of my daily experiences. I wanted this site to be about creative discovery, not my own maladies.

Another reason I was not so forthcoming: I ran the gamut of dozens upon dozens of debilitating symptoms, but an actual diagnosis beyond my myriad nutritional/hormonal deficiencies, strange blood anomalies, and seemingly discrepant individual conditions eluded every practitioner.

After 8 years of crippling pain, 70 different specialists, countless hospitalizations, hundreds of tests, medications and supplements, wacky alternative remedies, a host of complications in every system of my body, losing my ability to walk more than a few steps, type, speak/chew (due to jaw pain) and just about any other function required for daily life…one doctor solved the mystery two days ago.

I have late stage chronic Lyme disease.

I belong to the largely invalidated subset of patients that has had Lyme for so long (possibly 27 years!) that it no longer shows up in bloodwork; it hides in organs, tissues, and coagulated deposits. My doctor was savvy enough to examine a sample under a microscope himself, after many negative standard labs, and sure enough…he saw classic Lyme spirochetes (which I got to see squirming around on video of my own cells. Not the ideal home movie, yet somehow vindicating). They are kind of disgusting, but under extreme magnification look like they’d be delicious with butter.

I’m hovering somewhere between shock, regret, anger at the treatment I received during my past decades of suffering, and full-on Parasite Assassin/Lyme Advocate mode. As days go by, I expect to embrace the latter as I embark on a lifelong course of supportive care designed to keep the parasites at bay. These buggers damn near killed me…but they did not.

Spirochetes, your days in this host body are numbered.

Oddities Store

Posted in antiques, creatures, medicine, oddities, taxidermy, vintage with tags , , , , , on February 18, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

If it has “oddities” in the title, there’s a good chance I’ll go down a massive rabbit hole exploring it. Thus, Oddities Store was an enjoyable find indeed.

I desperately need these:
Vintage_Pharmacy__98858.1411717521.1280.1280

They have bisected animals…
mummified_pig__14285.1411717787.1280.1280

Bell jar skulls of all sorts…
3d_skull__75203.1411717235.1280.1280

Fish sticks (literally):
Taxidermy_Fish__99558.1411717257.1280.1280

Diaphonized beauties:
Diaphonized_Animals__35060.1411716822.1280.1280

Skulls on plaques:
os1

Lovely shadow boxes:
os2

And…Lung Salve!
os3

Browse the rest of the collections at the Oddities Store.