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10/31/2010


Art Pours from my Soul • by Linda Hardy


Linda HardyMy family history is full of arthritis. For some reason I seem to have been blessed with massive amounts of arthritis that developed at an early age.

Challenges in Life
I was first diagnosed with arthritis in my knees in my early 20s. I had multiple surgeries to correct the wear and tear and stress that I had put on my body by hard work and excessive exercise. Originally I was a legal secretary.

I then had a daughter with severe respiratory disease and I went back to school to become a respiratory therapist. That lasted until I was sent home from work because of my knees and told I couldn't come back without a doctor's note. However, that was one day before I qualified for health insurance! It took us three more years to get insurance and have my knee fixed. When I turned 40 I was ready for a total knee replacement. Sadly, it was a botched job that left my leg permanently damaged. No more respiratory work.

While I waited for a revision of the knee surgery, I went to work for the school district as a secretary. Then I discovered that my spine was full of arthritis and the ligament that runs the length of my spinal cord had calcified, causing painful Spinal Stenosis.

Hitting Rock Bottom
I herniated a disc simply by getting out of bed that required emergency surgery because I lost total use of my left arm. I regained some use over the next year only to have to go through the entire process 14 months later. I lost the use of my arm for a second time and this time the recovery was not so easy and total. I lost feeling in my fingers and a good part of my fine motor skills. I also learned that the rest of my spine was in bad shape. No more secretary work because of the loss of fine motor skills and painful back. Another spinal surgery to open the canal space left my lower spine unstable.

I finally had the knee revision only to learn it could not be fixed. I live with a limp and a very painful knee.

I hit rock bottom when I applied for disability. I didn't want it, I wanted my life back. As a way to fend off the depression, I started playing with my art supplies.

A Gift from God
I literally woke up one morning with an idea and I knew exactly how to make it. I jumped out of bed (well, more like rolled) and starting making my crosses! I believe it was gift from God, I just can't even explain it.

The rest is history and another open door. I have been selling my work through friends, events and the Internet. Every day I come up with another idea, it seems like it is just pouring from my soul and I have to get it out or I will explode.

As each orthopedic hurdle arrives, we find a way to work around it, and I'm determined that will never change.

I doubt I will get rich from it financially, but spiritually I am a very wealthy woman!

Linda Hardy is a mixed-media artist. She may be reached by e-mail at lhardy2@sbcglobal.net.

Linda Hardy

Linda Hardy

Linda Hardy

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