My MS has progressed to the point where I am unable to use my hands and it is now affecting my speech. I am trying to find purpose in a life consumed by a chronic illness. You want to love your life, but you can also hate your life. It’s impossible not to feel overwhelmed. As an artist, I’m forced to redefine my profession each time my disease progresses. I would be a fool if I didn’t admit that I’m terrified of what MS has in store for me next.
My two wonderful sons and husband have stood by me since the beginning—they keep me going.
I started my professional career as a lawyer and after suddenly loosing the use of my voice, I began to realized how MS would affect my law practice. After surgery, I slowly regained my speech, but was never able to speak like I could before my aphasia. I loved being a lawyer. I was terrified and confused as to what I would do with my professional life.
At that time, all I wanted to do was work on issues involving the poor and vulnerable. It was then that I discovered art and stumbled into this new powerful form of expression that would allow me to devote my life towards defining a new narrative of chronic illness.
My art practice began with the films of my brain scans. They were ugly, scary and made me feel depressed. Instead of continuing to look at my scans as something negative, I began to create a new form of portraiture. I transformed them with vibrant colors—finding them beautiful and even, transformative. I’m hoping others will find them beautiful, too.
I’m now a quadriplegic with an art career and working without the use of my hands. I am always trying to find the connections in a life consumed by a chronic illness.