‘I can get my life back’ health beat | Health Advice

Over 500 black Sharpie markers. Fifty foot swath of white cloth. Forty hours a week for over a year.

That’s all it took for Laura Clayton to create her two artistic renditions of Noah’s Ark, exhibited at ArtPrize, the Grand Rapids international artist competition, in 2014 and 2017.

But there was another important element in his art that he took lightly.

A healthy right shoulder.

When she fell in 2020 and injured her shoulder, it forced her to put her art on hold. Now, after surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, she’s back — with her eyes on ArtPrize 2024.

“Now the pain is gone, I feel like a free bird,” Clayton said. “I’m so glad I can move and use it.”

and that’s all Kendall Hamilton, MDwith an orthopedic surgeon Spectrum Health Medicine Group Orthopedic & Sports Medicinelike to listen.

“She’s doing excellent,” said Dr. Hamilton. “I think he’s one of the success stories. I’m glad we’re able to intervene at a time when someone is in so much pain, to take steps and ease the pain so that he can do those things.” be able to return what he likes.”

minimally invasive

Clayton’s health journey began in the spring of 2020, when she collapsed at her home in Comstock Park.

She landed on his right shoulder. Having broken about a dozen bones in his entire life, he was pretty sure he didn’t break anything.

Clayton said, “I thought, ‘Well, I haven’t broken a bone, so I just hurt a little bit,'” Clayton said.

So she lived with it. For a while.

“It just never got better,” she said.

She struggled with the pain for nearly two years, until February 2021 when she finally went to a doctor.

Conservative treatment with injections, anti-inflammatory drugs, and physical therapy didn’t work, so the doctor referred her to Dr. Hamilton.

“It just got to the point where she was unable to work and enjoy her hobbies,” Dr. Hamilton said.

An MRI revealed a torn rotator cuff, with both labral and bicep tearing.

On June 6, 2022, he underwent surgery to repair the damage. Doctor performing outpatient procedure Spectrum Health South Pavilion Surgical CenterUsing a minimally invasive arthroscopic technique.

This means a quicker recovery with less inflammation, less blood loss and less pain, Dr. Hamilton said.

Two days after surgery, she began physical therapy twice per week at the MVP Athletic Club at Spectrum Health Facility in Rockford. She then switched to therapy once a week, and in September, her doctor allowed her to exercise at home.

Dr. Hamilton said he tells patients to plan for six months to recover after rotator cuff surgery, but Clayton is premature.

“I’m really glad I’ve got this back, so I can get back on my other project,” she said.

creative spark

Clayton has already clearly envisioned his new project in his mind. It will be the final part of a trilogy that he started with pieces displayed at ArtPrize 2014 and 2017.

The first, made with black Sharpie markers on a 65-by-10-foot piece of white cloth, depicts the various animals gathering in Noah’s ark. Called “Noah’s Ark: The Promise”, it was exhibited outside Bridgewater Place for ArtPrize.

In the second installment, “Noah’s Ark: The Gathering,” she used black Sharpies and 50-by-14-foot robes, but featured Noah bringing a variety of dinosaurs. It was displayed at Z’s Bar & Restaurant.

The third will be his most ambitious yet—a 3D piece called “Noah’s Ark: The Flood.”

This time, she’ll be using colorful Sharpies. She hopes to incorporate sound and lighting effects as well.

Her friend, Donna Jaeger-Brauer, plans to sew animal figures that will protrude from the piece.

Clayton works on artwork on a 4-by-8-foot piece of steel on the floor in her living room. Sometimes, she mistakes permanent ink. She lets them act as a creative spark.

“I didn’t fret,” she said. “If something happened, I just say, ‘I wonder what’s going to happen.'”

Self-trained, she has always loved art.

“My mom saw that I was good at art when I was young,” Clayton said.

She has already purchased the white cotton material for the final art piece.

“Now I have the rest of my life to keep a strong hand,” she said. “I can get my life back.”

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