in my last post, i mentioned that i was still having trouble breathing and i had put a call in to my doctor in the hopes of getting in to see him and find out what the hell was going on with me.
they were able to fit me in later that afternoon, and i found out some very interesting things...
first of all, surprisingly enough, i do not have allergies! ha!
all my life, i have had such bad sinus issues i just assumed i had allergies as well.
my doctor informed me, and i have the paper work to prove it, that most people in new orleans register about 100 on the allergen level tests.
i am a 6.
but..............what i do have or, rather did have, was an allergic, asthma-like reaction to an outside substance.
translation: resin. bad.
yep, the magic sculpt i have loved does not love me.
i have suspected it might be at the root of my breathing issues for a few months, but i did not want to admit it.
between the baby powder i was using to keep it from sticking to the table and the odor of the resin itself, my lungs just had enough. and to top it off, i also got a nose-full of pencil shavings that same day when i emptied the pencil sharpener.
so, he described my lungs as being similar to getting a bruise: it is going to take a while for them to heal.
he gave me a treatment at the office and a prescription for a rescue inhaler, just in case.
but, his main advice was give up the resin, and if you can't wear a respirator when you work.
he told me of another patient who works with wood, and has the exact same problem. this work is his livelihood, as sculpting is partly mine, so the man has to wear nose plugs AND a respirator in his own studio.
now, that is devotion.
unfortunately, i am NOT that devoted.
it was recommended that i take some time off from sculpting to let my lungs heal up.
i have done that.
and in that time, i have thought about how to proceed with my art; with my sculpting.
what do i do? do i buy a respirator and wear that thing all the live long day?
do i cut down on the powder and see if that was the trigger?
do i go back to paper clay?
give up sculpting completely?
all these questions.
surprisingly enough...i didn't freak out at the prospect.
i thought i would, but i didn't.
i have my painting and i have my jewelry, and i have the paper clay. it's not like i can't go back to using it. but, i wanted to be sure it was something i was comfortable with.
i think it would be an easier decision if i hadn't heard from several people that my new work with the resin was my best work yet. how do i deal with that notion? how to i just go backwards? will it be possible to continue in a forward motion if i go back to paper clay?
can i use the resin just for detail work?
all these questions are still milling around in my little noggin, mostly unanswered at this point.
i just can't seem to make a decision.....
i have a piece for a show 3/4 of the way finished sculpting wise.
i will finish it this weekend with the help of a mask.
i hope i can do it. i'm kind of scared.
but i really want to finish it.
after that, i just don't know.
i think i am going to spend the summer painting and making jewelry.
i might pull my paper clay out again and see what i can do, but i am not sure at this point....
this has all been a little painful to absorb.
but, i suppose i don't have to make a decision today.
it feels good just to talk about it a little bit....
maybe the answer will come to me when i least expect it.
have a fantastic rest of the week and a great weekend!