I wanted to share an ongoing project that I have been working on. It's part art journal, part self-help, and part proof that it's all real. This past July, my 83-year old grandmother underwent major emergency surgery. From there, she had many other serious complications, including both a stroke as well as another major surgery. She spent the summer and fall being shuttled back and forth between the hospital and a skilled nursing facility. Finally - with the help of home health care - she is back home.
My grandmother has lived with my family for 11 years now. Up until July, she had been very independent (with the only thing she was unable to do was drive). In a way, we were roommates. I was never her caregiver… more just a chauffeur to and from her regular health checkups. That whole 11 years, I knew that we were lucky. Unfortunately, the comfort in that knowledge never led me to prepare or research the what-ifs. What if my grandmother needs more care at some point? What if something happens and I’m forced to make major decisions? Hindsight being 20/20, instead of focusing on all the what-ifs, I decided to live in the moment, really study it.
The days, weeks, and months spent at the hospital/rehab provided a real learning experience. I realized that the best way to handle (or at least get through) the situation was to simply allow it to happen. Learn from it and record it. So far, my record of this experience has turned into an observation/identification journal. The hospital (and medical world in general) is like another planet. I’ve had to learn its language and culture… and I’ve been able to illustrate my entire trip. They've become real post cards from an alien planet...
I have recorded each journal entry on Instagram. Go and click through and say hello - Planet Prick