Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Closing In: The Windows and Walls of Winter

First Snow November 2014
Approaching the Ice-olation of winter. 

I know time is running out. I have been procrastinating this task for as long as I possibly can. With a heavy heart, I accept the inevitable.

After seeing the weather report predicting days of temps below 30...even calling for lows in the teens; I chose yesterday, with a high of 61, as the last possible chance to put plastic on my windows without putting myself out of commission for weeks*. 

This year, more than ever before, this task feels as if I am sealing myself up in this space ...not just keeping the cold at bay but, essentially imprisoning myself for the duration of this unpredictable season. It would appear that this summer was not warm enough to burn away the residual emotional effects of the confining Polar Vortex. I am DEPRESSED about it. There. I said it. It's out there. 

How to cope with it....

Save (from my ginormous income) for quality storm windows that allow the sun light to get in....

Move to Panama (financed by SAME)...


The last flowers of the season. Snow is coming in...
cut these and brought them in to keep winter at bay as long as I can.

I am working on reminding myself that I am NOT powerless. 

I have preserved wild remedies to minimize my pain. Hopefully they will help. 

Like a squirrel gathering nuts, I have been collecting ideas and supplies for the making of art. My creative pantry is NOT going to be empty when the cabin fever is raging THIS year. 

Some New Things on the Shelves:
Brewing some crazy 3D ideas about Pine Needles. I have an abundant supply which, up to now, has been used only as mulch. I have also baked my Pine Cones...

New Holiday and Christmas Cards and gifts must be made. 

Creative Self-Care coping cards and similar projects to develop and share at

More Paint for Painting...MORE

Preparing for the SheilaLynnK Art Studio and BOFA event (March 21st) for SWAN Day 2015

Continue Arachnoiditis Survivor: A Portrait of Resilience Against Patient Harm in America and the rest of  The Art For Arachnoiditis Project. A project which was born of the confinement and isolation of winter 2013-2014. The First Exhibit will be at the Fountain Arts Center April 2015. The Book is scheduled to go to print by the end of 2015. 

I...We... cannot forget that this, too, is a necessary season.
There is work to be done. PAIN is not the only thing here. 
Healing, Recovery, Purposeful Activity and Connections 
reside within these walls. 
*Because of arachnoiditis my nervous system receives pain signals from cold temperatures. 
Putting my hands in cold water actually makes me feel pain in the left side of my head...this also has to do with "wires" being crossed and sending signals to the wrong places. 

When the New York heat waves hit and my friends and family are sitting around melting in temps over 90 degrees fahrenheit, I am more active and comfortable than at any other time of year.

A quick splash of cold and I simply flinch like I've just been stuck with a pin. Prolonged exposure results in increased adrenaline, shivers, muscle spasms, shortness of breath, and PAIN. This pain eventually takes over my entire body...if I cannot get warm again quickly enough it can trigger a full arachnoiditis flare. Every year I expand my strategies to keep my house reasonably and efficiently warm. I do not need it to be a sauna but, it has to be warm enough to minimize sharp fluctuations in room temperature regardless of the weather activity outside. Basic intro to this phenomenon of cold=pain which defies the instinctive intrinsic powers of being born a winter baby:

Nociceptor neuron sensitivity is modulated by a large variety of mediators in the extracellular space.[9] Peripheral sensitization represents a form of functional plasticity of the nociceptor. The nociceptor can change from being simply a noxious stimulus detector to a detector of non-noxious stimuli. The result is that low intensity stimuli from regular activity, initiates a painful sensation. This is commonly known as hyperalgesia. Inflammation is one common cause that results in the sensitization of nociceptors. Normally hyperalgesia ceases when inflammation goes down, however, sometimes genetic defects and/or repeated injury can result in allodynia: a completely non-noxious stimulus like light touch causes extreme pain. Allodynia can also be caused when a nociceptor is damaged in the peripheral nerves. This can result in deafferentation, which means the development of different central processes from the surviving afferent nerve. With this situation, surviving dorsal root axons of the nociceptors can make contact with the spinal cord, thus changing the normal input.[6]


Heat, Cold, and Pain

Hot and cold senses interact: Cold perception is enhanced when nerve circuitry for heat is inactivated

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