Hey, everyone! I'm sure some of you have been wondering where I've gone. I'm not dead. I'm not quitting art, drawing, animating, or anything like that. I've been taking a very long break and am slowly working on getting back into action. I'll give you a little bit of an update as to what's been keeping me away for so long.
TLDR is: I was sick for some time after burning out in college. Found out it was Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome just recently after fighting for a diagnosis for years.
Back in 2015, I went to an incredible animation college that taught me so much that improved my artwork and allowed me to get started with animation. However, upon finishing the third semester, my doctor diagnosed me with adrenal fatigue. I was struggling to eat well. I was getting worse pain in my joints. I was struggling with a severe lack of sleep due to some days being 12-14 hours of work between classes and homework/study time to finish several projects each semester and insomnia from an overactive brain, which was diagnosed as ADHD later by a psychiatrist. My doctor told me I had to quit school and recover from pushing myself so hard for 8 months. I'd been doing school while having to manage a household and care for two children (age 1 and 3 at the time). I have a husband to help me out, but I was dealing with a lot physically all while doing school. I sadly had to quit.
I thought I would go back after a few months. But, I started struggling to eat. And lost weight. And energy. Over a year, I lost 90+ lbs all from a lack of appetite from nausea and abdominal pain. Where I live, there aren't any specialists that were readily available, and some specialists over 6-12 hrs away to drive, if they even took patients. Many waitlists are years long. And, I was working with a family doctor who had no idea what could possibly be wrong with me. Everything came up negative. No Crohn's Disease, no Colitis, no infections, no insulin problems, no apparent problems with my ovaries...nothing to warrant these symptoms.
Just these past months, we were able to get some progress on my health. I was researching the HELL out of what could possibly be wrong with me. And, I stumbled upon a series of conditions that linked to much of what I've always experienced. There were tests you could do anytime to see if you possibly had one of these conditions. I performed the tests, and I knew it had to be what I was dealing with all this time.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. It's a connective tissue disorder that affects 95% of your body. Anywhere that you have organs, skin, cartilage, etc., you can be affected. My symptoms include hypermobility in most of my joints, nerve pain, stomach problems, sensitivity to medications, extra sensitivity to foods and smells, etc. The tests were simple hypermobile tests, like reaching your thumb down to your arm, bending down and reaching your hands flat on the ground without bending your knees, and hyperextension on your elbows and knees. I went to my doctor about it, and after giving her a lot of reading material and discussed it at length with her, she sent me to a physiotherapist to get the full hypermobility test. Some of my measurements were up to double what they should have been. She told me that her report would say 'Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome'.
Since then, I'm being sent to the best geneticist to confirm it. However, the waitlist is long and could take up to two years. I'm hopeful for a sooner time, but in the meantime, it's been a lot of work with past trauma I've had from neglectful doctors and my childhood family life. I'm working closely with a therapist about it all, and it's been incredible to see how much I've changed in just the last year.
I'm hoping to come back with some big projects I've had on the backburner for some years, including bringing back some favourite characters such as Jonas, Yashiri, and Ghoreaeth. I'm trying to take it in strides as to not burn myself out while still recovering from the first burnout. I'm just eager to get back drawing and will be uploading some sketches I've done and haven't posted sometime soon. Thank you to everyone who's still here and watching!
It won't be a big hurrah back, but I'll be increasing my activity here to more than just once a week to check messages.
Thanks for reading.