ANATOMY OF CHANGE
drawing and painting on silk, painted wood, string, a nail
“The outside of you belies what is going on inside”, is what my great friend, Vicky Watling, my art teacher at school, says about me. The pain causing autoimmune diseases began at school, but it was years later I was told that was what they are, and not emotional or psychogenic. There are thoughts that women’s pain is not taken seriously, being told to “grin and bear it”. My mother’s doctor diagnosed a bowel pain as “period pains”, whilst my campus doctor said it was a grumbling appendix. After my appendix burst, causing peritonitis, I was at my mother’s during the vacation, he had to apologise to me! I was told to bend my knees when lifting because of my bad back. But I have arthritic knees. I finally got surgery for one knee, after undergoing 7 years of useless treatment for a torn cartilage.
Because of my forename, I am only taken seriously when I am thought to be a man, but my sex is on my medical records. Medical research over the years has led to precise diagnoses, but earlier MRI scans would have eliminated unnecessary treatment, and reduced years of pain.
DESCRIPTION OF ARTWORK
Anatomy of Change is a distressed medical chart illustrating the causes and changes Paddy has had to make throughout her life to remedy the effect autoimmune diseases and other conditions have had on her body. Some images are from Paddy’s research into anatomical studies by 16th and 17th century artists, such as Vesalius and Pietro da Cortona. The circular images, Paddy’s “internal investigations”, are scans and x-rays from the Freeman Hospital.