Above is an unfinished painting. It's the last time I picked up a paintbrush, in 2005. I was 33 years old. I started it immediately after my grandfather's death, the week I decided to change careers from computer nerd to become a registered nurse. He died with home hospice, with grace, and with his family around him.
I have his black Stetson hat. It's a little too big on me, but it's perfect.
I didn't actually consciously think about sternums then, in any of my paintings, actually. But my paintings are full of them. I love to paint bones. To me, they have always represented the structure beneath, in both literal and metaphorical sense.
My mind is full of bendy cartilage these days, and probably will be full of it for the next year.
Thus, a blog. Because people don't really do paper anymore.
p.s. This site states "Proudly powered by weebly." Weebly has nice tools for multimedia; the blog function needs work, but I'm rolling with it for the other advantages. (Dude, myspace was better.) (Shut up, I'm not ashamed.) When I first thought about doing this, it occurred to me that I might have videos of the surgery, etc. You can't do that with many other engines.
A blog about pectus excavatum, as lived by me. With some art. And some science.
I was born with pectus excavatum (PEx). This means my sternum pushes in to my chest and rests sideways, causing a dent. The cartilage that attaches to my rib ends to the sternum appear to have been built by a drunk monkey. Or more closely, a monkey on acid doing interpretive art. My chest cavity is the kind of object I would sculpt (if I sculpted, which I don't.)
I believe that this deformity impacts my heart and lungs. Some physicians have disagreed with me on that. At least two physicians do agree with me. Therefore, I'm looking in to having my chest wall reconstructed. I'm hoping this will un-squash (not a technical term) my heart, and would allow my cardiac output (that is a technical term) to normalize. For the purposes of this website, I am a patient first.
I'm a nurse, too. This likely makes me an incredibly irritating patient, because I'm reading medical journals about the procedure, recovery, and pre- and post- testing of cardiopulmonary function. I do not pretend to be an expert, but I do plan to have a solid understanding of what I'm getting myself into. But I am certainly not anybody else's nurse and not offering any professional advice on this website. I will, however post medical journal articles here that I find interesting. If you have PEx, you can actually also find them and more with googlescholar. Medical literature changes often, and there is always new data, new research. I strongly encourage you to find it. I strongly encourage you to discuss it with your doctor.
And I will also post my CT scan images, maybe the odd X-ray or pulmonary function test.
I used to call myself an artist above everything else. Underneath it all, that is always present. All of the work on this site (except for the watercolor do-dads that make up the background stuff on the site...that's all weebly) is mine.
(Yes, the web site is spelled 'PTHalocyanine', instead of 'PHTHalocyanine') (Sorry.).
Phthalocyanine noun, Chemistry 1. Also called metal-free phthalocyanine. a blue-green pigment, C 3 2 H 1 8 N 8, derived from phthalic anhydride. 2.any of the group of blue or green pigments produced by the interaction of metal-free phthalocyanine and a metal, especially copper: used chiefly in the manufacture of enamels, printing inks, and automotive finishes.
Thoracic = relating to the thorax, noun 1. the part of the trunk in humans and higher vertebrates between the neck and the abdomen, containing the cavity, enclosed by the ribs, sternum, and certain vertebrae, in which the heart, lungs, etc., are situated; chest.
Corset: noun 1. a close-fitting undergarment, stiffened with whalebone or similar material and often capable of being tightened by lacing, enclosing the trunk: worn, especially by women, to shape and support the body; stays. verb (used with object) to dress or furnish with or as if with a corset. 3.to regulate strictly; constrict.