• Lynne Sealotus Edmonston, Un Furl, pastel on canson paper, 2020

Lynne Sealotus Edmonston |  Student Reflection

My drawing was created in response to a story told to me by ‘Rudge’. Rudge had spinal problems from birth that created many physical health challenges for over 70 years.

Other issues that contributed to Rudge’s hospitalisation were associated with too many prescribed medications and this is symbolised by the compartments inside the fern. It resembles and represents her pillbox. I have included her favourite colours of green with healing soft pink and white misty clouds. Placed below is a cosmic view of the universe that reminds her of her whereabouts in space and time.

At Cabbage Tree Island where Rudge grew up, you will find the fern growing in natural profusion. I responded to her words, by unravelling her past, by feeling and listening to her story. The baby ferns first leaf is Rudge as an innocent baby reaching out to us in trust. She now gently unfurls into a better future filled with good health, a powerful voice and hope.

Patient Story |  'Rudge'

I was really tired and sleeping all the time.  I have diabetes and neuropathy; I experience what feels like electric shocks. I was overdosed on a drug called Lyrica (pregabalin). Initially, I was alright but the dose was increased. I felt crook and didn’t know why. I was sick and kept falling over. I ran out of puff. I collapsed at the club and was taken to hospital.  I went into hospital at the right time as I was feeling like I’d just about had it, and ready to give up.  The doctor in hospital was really great and I felt in good hands.

I am feeling a lot better now, got a bit of my energy back and have lost a lot of weight. When I was really sick, I could not take my little dog for a walk or drive a car.  I am now back to doing that.

Advice to others: “I never have been good with fancy words… if you feel you are looking for a gumtree in a car because of how you feel with medication, jump up and down and speak out about it”.

Diabetes mellitus:

Diabetes occurs when there is too much sugar in the blood. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin whereas Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes insulin resistant and gradually loses the capacity to produce insulin. Multiple complications from poorly controlled diabetes include cardiovascular and nerve damage.

For more information on Diabetes, visit www.diabetesaustralia.com.au

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