• Misty Gage

Challenges of Change

It's amazing to me, the things we take for granted. Our health, our loved ones, the sunshine, any number of small things we need every day to be who we are. And more amazing still is how one little change and impact us so deeply and challenge everything we know and love. I've been struggling with such a change over the last year and no it's nothing dramatic like losing a loved one or being given 6 months to live. It seems small to most, including myself, when compared to what many others are facing but we each have our own lives and challenges. We can't compare them to those of others or devalue them because they seem so insignificant when compared to other trials. Every struggle shapes and defines us no matter how great or small and every choice has a consequence.

When it comes to my job, I am a merchandiser. It's what I do; I'm good at it and for the most part enjoy doing it. So last September when the position I've been waiting patiently for came up I, of course, jumped for the opportunity. Little did I realize there was a lot more to it than I'd bargained for. What my job now entails is running the entire replenishment process at my store including unloading trucks, setting numerous planograms and building countless grids. Incredibly physical work especially with a team so tiny we barely have enough man-power to get everything taken care of.

Not only did my new position take me further away from my creative passions, strip away hours of my precious time and add mountains of stress to each of my days it also revealed something deeper I was completely oblivious to. Shortly after taking my new position I began experiencing excruciating pain in both of my elbows that radiated up to my shoulder blades and down into my fingers. Holding a paintbrush, grabbing a dish, lifting a box, driving, basically everything involving my hands and arms became nearly impossible.

After several months of struggling I was able to save enough money to see a doctor. The unofficial diagnoses is that have a carpal tunnel, tendinitis and possible nerve damage in both of my arms. How in the world could it have gotten this bad simply over night! I'd had no indication anything was even wrong before I'd started my new position. I was bewildered and horrified. Granted I haven't had the money to do all the testing they want me to do so we can get an official diagnoses but the doctors solution was to quite my job immediately and stop doing everything that hurt.

As fairytale come true as that sounded there was no possible way I could survive without my meager income, bills had to be paid. So I followed her only other suggestion and strapped on full wrist and elbow braces and went back to work. I now where them 90% of the time and am still struggling with pain though it's gotten easier to manage. Thankfully there are some days it barely bothers me and I'm able to enjoy what I love again.

Even in the worst of pain I refuse to give up my dreams and my passions. I won't let this slow me down or take away my dreams. Not crafting is like not breathing for me. This situation's brought into focus just how much I rely on my arms, hands and fingers for creating a life of happiness; things like most people I've taken for granted all of my life. I'm so very thankful for every second I'm still able to write, paint, assemble and create and will continue to do so for as long as I am able.

'Til next time,


P.S. On Facebook? Look me up at www.facebook.com/creativelymisty

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