Getting old sucks

Well I have been sort of quiet lately. I had not been working much and kind of depressed. I have been in chronic pain for about 3-4 months. Severe pain for about two. I have had intense tennis elbow and actually contemplated cutting my arm off a few weeks ago.


Tennis elbow sounds like a weenie affliction until it happens to you and completely halts your life! I had been trying EVERYTHING and nothing seemed to work: Massage, acupuncture, cupping, cortisone & steroid shots, ice packs, ice baths, heating pad, compression arm band, magnets, anti-inflammatory meds, a TENS unit, Chiropractor, etc. My whole forearm became a complete knot, and I was freaking it would spread to my wrist and hand next; my right hand. Sleeping was impossible. Which of course lead to me being in a crap ass mood. And then I was frustrated that I could barely do anything for myself. I could not lift canvas, could not photograph, grip anything, twist (like a screwdriver), hammer, carry my purse, pull a trigger (like windex), hold my dogs, etc. I cannot even blow dry my hair, which means my hair looks like “the rats have been sucking on it” (as my Grandmother would say) – and you can imagine how that can make a girl feel after a few months. I was supposed to have renovated and painted my studio a few months ago but stopped after painting the floor and patching the walls in the gallery room. I physically could not finish. I had a few painting commissions I needed to complete and had to force myself to work an hour at a time here and there. The only thing that helped me forget I was in extreme pain – was good ole Pinot Grigio. But I was not interesting in becoming a self-medicating drunk. I already have too many alcoholics in my life as it is.

It was not until my massage therapist was doing some traction on my neck when most of the pain temporarily went away in my arm/elbow. So then I had an MRI and it showed that I have a bulging disc, arthritis, bone spurs, and inflammation in my neck which was causing all the arm/elbow pain. I had not really told too many people and decided to lay low because I was feeling so depressed, negative, and helpless. I felt full of excuses. I can’t stand people that seem to constantly have something wrong with them (their health, relationships, lives, etc)…..and I felt like I had become one of those people.

But as of THIS week I have finally gotten to a point where I think I am going to live! The chiropractor saved my life. I felt great for a full 12 hours after my first visit, and could finish up some painting that day. I have been receiving regular neck adjustments, elbow/shoulder adjustments, neck traction, and electronic stimulation for few weeks. And massaged all those knots and scar tissue out of my forearm. I still have localized elbow joint pain, and weakness but it feels like it did 3-4 months ago – not a month ago when I wanted to dip into some old wisdom tooth pain killers and cut off my arm. I was able to paint a few hours today. I have been trying to finish up some work that I started in February/March! I was even able to do some yoga a few days this past week. I did some meditating and decided to will away the pain (it did not work, but still willing) I had to force myself to take it easy. Which was/is hard because I have deadlines, and hate to ask for help (or cant) I have been tinkering around the house and spring cleaning (big time), I have also been concentrating on potty training Lola. There were a few days I wanted to drop her ass off at the Humane Society, but thankfully that passed as well.

I’m traveling to Boston tomorrow. I feel guilty because Im finally feeling well enough to start working more and I’m skipping town. So hopefully I can use this time to search for inspiration.



Filed under Artist Ramblings

4 responses to “Getting old sucks

  1. Oh I can so relate to this!! But we must just ride it out and keep creating , I love your work, and I don’t love many abstract painters work but I see glorious lusciousness in your colors and the movement in each piece!!

  2. I can totally relate to this also! I moved to Mexico, from Canada, to live my dream of being an artist. To live in surf, sun, and sand, and to paint. I was painting like crazy! I rented a fabulous, open air studio space and was in heaven! Amazing things were happening! Then I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and everything stopped. Everyone I know was saying, how this “unfortunate” diagnosis would make my paintings even more amazing, but it didn’t. I was paralyzed. That was July 2013. It is now November 2013 and I am still paralyzed…by fear, by cancer, by chemo, by hair loss, by radiation, by everything. Thank god, I had a ton of work done before the diagnosis! My paintings are the only thing that are paying for my treatment at this point. I love your blogs, I love that you say what you feel, I love that you swear, I love that you call it as you see it! You give me hope that I will paint again after all this bullshit is over! Your work is brilliant and inspiring.
    Thank you.

    • Casey Matthews

      Thanks for your kind words Tracy. You need to hang in there! I’m sure that you are tired, but I know this can be such an amazing, enlightening, clarifying experience for you. You should paint through the Cancer and use it as a chance to see your work shift. You can’t let the sickness steal your creativity as well! Your art will be so healing. Good Luck!

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