I'm just about out of spoons, dear friends, and need a bit of help to regain function and get back to work.
As many of you know, I've been dealing with the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia, as well as depression and anxiety, since I was a teenager. In 2016 I was also diagnosed with a connective tissue disorder, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, hypermobility type. https://www.ehlers-danlos.com/what-is-eds/
Miniature painting has been my means of support for years. To make it a profession also involved a great deal of work with camera and mouse and keyboard. It's constant strain on hands and neck, no matter how ergonomic my workspace and posture and practices. Years of just 'dealing with' pain, before I knew about the EDS issue, have resulted in connective tissue damage and hypersensitized nerve pathways. And now the pain and loss of fine motor control have become incapacitating, not just while working, but in the simple tasks of daily life.
At the beginning of August a new pain management doctor finally suggested trigger point injection therapy. Shots of lidocaine and cortisone in the worst areas of my neck turned out to provide extremely effective, long lasting pain relief. True pain relief. I stood at the checkout counter in the doctor's office and cried as the lidocaine took full effect, it was such a surprise and a shock for that constant hurting to be just...gone.
But it's time for a second round of injections in my neck. And the pain relief in that area made it clear how bad the pain in my hands has become, despite treatment with several medications, heat pads, diet, supplements, and a regimen of stretches and gentle exercises. Injections ought to provide some degree of relief there as well.
My insurance only covers a small percentage of this treatment (still $1800 from meeting that dratted deductible). The reduction in function this past year has exhausted my savings. I have no assets, nothing left in my model collection to sell. And I'm not sure I can manage to finish the couple of outstanding commissions on my table, let alone commit to new work, without some adequate pain relief and time for physical therapy to help rebuild damaged tissues without triggering new pain pathways. $800 would cover this month's insurance premium and estimated cost of TP injections in multiple areas. Anything, of course, would be a help.
I would be so happy to get back to making weird pretty stuff for collectors again.