Thursday, March 15, 2012

Monday Fun

Blue Nosed Trolls

A "Sunrise Cut"

Lisbeth clowning in my studio on Monday. Lis missed a couple of Mondays in a row due to seizures, but has been back the past two weeks. Her participation level in an art activity varies depending on her clarity that particular day. She comes to see me straight after her therapy appointment with Stephanie Cimmet, and this week she was eager to show me the two paper cuts posted above that she made in her therapy appointment. The week before she was less clear but able to cut some simple heart shapes in my studio, and sat entranced as I dropped colored inks across their surface, folded them in half, then opened them up to reveal butterflies, and blue nosed trolls...
Great fun.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Playing with Color and The Big Cut

Percolating with ideas for Lisbeth's big new cuts. I'm particularly keen on this design...
Wouldn't these make great tiles? Or fabric squares...
I pulled my palette from a couple of photos of bouquets from last summer's flower gardens...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Brother Alec

Lisbeth and Milkweed enjoying a visit from Brother Alec (Lis-ism) who now lives in Long Beach. Alec has been in Maine for ten days and flies back to California today. Lisbeth will miss her "little" brother. Sometime when I have more skin on (this has been a particularly rough week for Lisbeth) I will write about my experience of the difficulties faced by siblings of children with special needs. I could write volumes. But not today. For today I'll just say that there are indeed extreme challenges for these siblings, and in living with a "special" brother or sister, they become deeply wise.
Lisbeth and Alec in 1987, before Lisbeth's illness.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Marked Improvement

With the Risperdol decrease, Lisbeth's paper cutting is getting more and more fine tuned, more like the way she used to cut. These days she prefers to use a pizza pan to trace the circle for "the giant snowflakes." Even the simplist of these cuts would make beautiful tiles, or striking fabric designs. I'm planning to create some new fabric soon on Spoonflower, using some of these "new cuts."

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Crayon Valens

Lisbeth and I made some crayon "valens" (Lis-ism) in my studio yesterday. Then Lis decided to make "a cut" from the colorful waxed paper, too...

She calls this cut "The Wedding One" and, "The Lips...." :^D

Friday, February 3, 2012

Of Potatoes and Flower Angels

Flower Angel, cut February 2, 2012.

One of Lisbeth's exquisitely intricate mandalas from around 2006.

Lisbeth working on a "Potato One" for Little Milkweed in my studio yesterday.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, Lisbeth's capacity to cut her paper designs has been markedly compromised, and we're not sure why. Did she simply outgrow her interest? We all move on to new pursuits. Is she developing dementia? Her neurologist thinks not, and that her difficulties have more to do with her meds. But which meds? She takes three anticonvulsants. Or is it EPS, a side effect of the antipsychotic drug, Risperdol? Her psychiatrist is not convinced because she's been on Risperdol since 2001. Why wouldn't the EPS have shown up sooner, is his point. But does it take years to develop? So many questions.

Meanwhile, Lisbeth is on day three of the second Risperdol decrease, and is enjoying a really good patch. She's upbeat and clear, and according to her house manager, Rhonda Curit (who just this minute phoned me), is sitting in Rhonda's office contentedly cutting more detailed snowflakes. (Yay!) Lis likes to work in Rhonda's office (which is in Lisbeth's house) because Rhonda will often sit and cut snowflakes with her. It's a quiet space with few distractions. Fingers crossed, getting Lisbeth off the Risperdol is making a difference. Fingers crossed, we don't have to replace it with another drug. Fingers crossed, and a Flower Angel wing and a Potato One prayer...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

How She Is

Lisbeth in my studio, admiring her latest "cut," a butterfly...

Butterfly Cut, by Lisbeth

We have started the second decrease of Risperdol this week. I am hoping that as we move this drug out of Lisbeth's system, her hand tremors and joint pain will be greatly reduced, and that she will be able to cut her snowflakes again with the same level of detail as in the past. I have been worried that Lisbeth's brain is deteriorating, and that this is the reason she can't "make the cuts" (Lis-ism) like she used to. I voiced this concern to her neurologist at her last appointment. Dr. Henninger admitted that adults like Lisbeth with a TBI and uncontrolled seizures will often develop dementia in their 30's and 40's, but she suspected this decrease in hand coordination had more to do with her meds. I believe it's either that or the EPS. Or both. To quote my therapist friend, "You can have ticks and fleas..."