Sunday, August 23, 2015

Looking For A Job..or....Spare Me From The Mold

this is not me but it looked very similar
So, Thursday I went to the doc and sat for 2 hours while they jabbed me with needles all over both arms.  Some of the results were very surprising, some of them not so much.  First off, grass is about my worst allergy.  Several types of grass too; rye, bahia, june, timothy and bermuda.  Second worst was molds of various kinds, including penicillin, which I had been told long ago but was not sure of.  Then came, dust mites, chicken feathers!, and cat hair.  Foods that I reacted badly to was malt, yeast, soy, tomato (crap!) and peanuts.
My allergy doctor is pretty sure that at least some of my joint pain/ exhaustion is due to these allergies.  I've also had problems with my throat swelling so much it was hard to eat and various other similar things.  I did also get the results of the X-rays that were done back in May and they said my hands and lower spine looked fine but my feet had a lot of evidence of "cartilage-loss" arthritis.  So, no wonder they hurt like hell sometimes.  Basically then, my whole body is in a huge state of inflammation and it's bad enough that it's gone into my bones in some areas.  My ENT feels it's pretty bad and is treating it fairly aggressively.  So, this means 2 types of allergy meds and customized drops under my tongue 3 times a day.  After 4 weeks I'll go to shots (not under my tongue tho!) and will eventually probably have to learn to give myself the shots.  And...to remove myself from the offending particles as much as possible.

Now, with grass, I don't even know how this is possible other than I don't cut grass anymore.  Which I don't anyway; Jack does it willingly but I can't really even help anymore.  I have to wear a mask in and around the chicken coop and don't let the girls sit in my lap much anymore.  Apparently, chicken dander is a lot like cat dander and I also reacted somewhat to cat but nothing to dog!  Chigger was relieved.
My diet will obviously switch around a little too.  I won't be adhering as strictly to the no-starch thing but some of the new restrictions do overlap, like no yeast or malt, because those things are in many baked goods and so on.  But I can eat sushi again!!!  just with no soy sauce.

The bad thing is the mold and for reasons most people would not think.  Pottery clay is FULL of mold.  The type I reacted the worst to is also in garden soil and compost piles.  So, this puts a big crimp in things.  Basically, I need to find a new source of income and get away from clay.  And no, it's very difficult to wear a good enough respirator while throwing and doing clay work.  Plus, it's just an process of elimination.  I need to remove myself from it to see what happens so I can verify that is the culprit.  I also need to support myself financially while I do this.  A number of people have kinda poo-pooed by decision to leave clay but I said, after a while and you are hurting SO bad and to the point of having to inject yourself with drugs on a regular basis...it's just not worth it anymore.  There is LOTS of other art I can do and if I may say so myself, I'm pretty darn good at some of that other art.

I will not go back into construction field work either.; my feet and back cannot take that stuff anymore but I might do something related.  I'd love to do more restoration work and I've talked about that before.  There is also sales of construction materials, job photography, quality control etc.  I'm really open to a variety of work possibilities.  Just got to get out there and see what's available.  I also have to stay in clay long enough to do the show next month that I was accepted into but I'm going to see if I can back out of the one in November I am also scheduled for.

So, I finally feel that maybe I am getting somewhere.  I do have some real issues with real arthritis but hopefully, some of this is brought on by these allergies and can be corrected.

9 comments:

ErinFromIowa said...

My goodness! You found out a wealth of information. Yes, an artist is an artist. :)

Sixbears said...

At least you have something to work with now. Knowledge is power. Good luck!

JO said...

That's a lot of allergies. It would be hard to give up so many of the things you enjoy so much. But after the allergies die down maybe you can try one thing at a time to see what happens. Even if you could wear gloves to throw the clay dust is still in the air all around you. I wish you the best with the newest findings and meds.

deborah harvey said...

thought there was gluten in there somewhere!!
kills the knee joints. [affects the bowels ,too].

soy sauce: gluten free tamari sauce in grocery store
also bragg's liquid aminos--delicious much like soy sauce.

also soy sauce made entirely from actual soy-- get ours at the korean grocery store.

i have all your allergies. keep windows closed to reduce grassy influx.
we change the air filters at least every three months.

we have a lot of cats. i keep the bed covered or they will be on the warm spot you leave. also, i don't know if you have ever bathed a cat. cut their toenails first!!

you don't have to give up animals. it just calls for more hand washing. we have 13 cats so i know whereof i speak.
up here the allergies are such that this year i am taking the shots 3 times per week.
doc says the late cold spring caused everything to bloom close together and this is ragwed season in spades.

glad you are sorting it out. i promise you will feel much better.

look up gluten foods. there are lists on the internet. gluten is in some odd places that you would never suspect.

could you rent your studio to aspiring potters?

money in and nothing wasted--just a thought.

so glad you are on the road!!




Hermit's Baby Sis said...

Wow, Annie - some answers is always a good thing. With my food allergies, most of them were things I didn't like anyway, so no problem. After 3 months or so, when my system was clean, I began to introduce a few of the ones I do like (chocolate being the biggest!)to see how much, if any, of it I could tolerate. Worked for me, but I have very few inhalant allergies, unlike you.
Good luck - It will be worth it in the end when you can feel better!

Ed said...

As I told you before, I had one of those tests done and was allergic to many of the same things, dust, chickens, molds, penicillin, etc. Being that I lived on a farm with dust, chickens and mold everywhere, I thought they would put me in a bubble. Back then however, they just told me to avoid them as best as I can. I pretty much just ignored them on everything except the penicillin which I still dutifully list on allergy forms. I always feel that if they were to test all those things on everyone else, pretty much everyone would have them listed as allergies.

But at the end of the day, I don't feel like you obviously feel so you have to do what you have to do to get to feeling better. Although it would be hard, I think I could kick yeast out of my diet as long as I could still make breads with other rising agents.

I have another artist/potter friend whom I've know for decades that has put herself through a simply life by being a job photographer. She pretty much just does school pictures for several months in the spring and then just does the occasional request like senior picture or family picture etc. It leaves her with eight to nine months a year to do as she pleases as long as it doesn't cost a lot. She has NW Arkansas covered but perhaps you might find something like this down in your neck of the woods.

edifice rex said...

Hey Erin! Ya! let's just hope it helps!

Hey Sixbears! thank you!

Hey Jo! Thanks!. yeah, it's a lot but I think if I can get away from clay and clean my system out I may not have to be so strict on some of the other stuff, like you say. It's just a new adventure for me as far as making a living some other way. I don't mind.

Hey Deb, I do not have a problem with gluten; my allergy is MALT and SOY, with a few other things. I believe I stated that I never intended to give up my animals.

Hey Sis! thanks! yah, I believe I will be able to tolerate some of the other stuff, like the chickens and some foods and such, after I get away from the clay and get sorted out. I hope!

Hey Ed! Well, i've had problems with allergies since I was young, but it never really affected me badly until I guess I just saturated myself, basically, in one that affects me the worst. I think once I'm out of clay, maybe the others won't bother me as much.
Interestingly, when I was right out of high school, and even my senior year in high school, I worked as a school photographer. I didn't do the portraits though; I did the activities like homecoming, ball games and things like that. I enjoyed it really and would probably enjoy it more now. My brother also worked for this company for much longer than i did and still has connections, so that might actually be a possibility. Mr. Miller, the original owner, has passed away but I believe his wife still runs the business.

byGeorge said...

Seeing that ARM I choose to just hang on to my allergies! I do know tomatoes harm me and probably a thousand other things. I could easily eat tomatoes several times daily - love' em. Had no luck growing them this year. All turned out to be tiny cherry size and split before ripening. Doggone it!

Sure hope you get all your problems and issues cleared up and you find different work that you are just crazy about... of course, big $bucks goes without saying.

Sissy

byGeorge said...

I left comments. Didn't show up. Too weary to try again. Sorry, Annie.
Sissy