I can’t and don’t want to paint sitting down but I might have to if things continue as they are. If I am really absorbed in a painting, I can’t stop. I want to go on and on for hours or all night. I fear losing my train of creativity. There is the issue, however, of back pain and sore feet. Even my calves feel the burden of standing for so long. I also move about the studio retrieving certain colors or brushes. It all takes a toll. I tried massage therapy and it worked for a time, but the discomfort always came back, plus it was expensive as I needed it quite often. Would I have to resort to sitting and making only small works of art. It seemed an impossible solution.

After abandoning the massages as they took a lot of time out of my day, I went to a physical therapist recommended by my doctor. I didn’t need surgery or any dire treatment, but simply some exercises to loosen the muscles in my legs and feet. Most of all I needed to rest these muscles by taking breaks. When I work in the gallery, my part-time job, I can’t sit down at any time unless it is for lunch. I was indeed in a quandary to say the least. What was I going to do? I think it would be to suffer in silence. I asked around including family and friends and they all said, don’t work so hard. I was not going to heed this advice. It was counterproductive to my nature. When I am compelled to paint, I must proceed at the moment when inspiration arrives. What would you do?

The physical therapist was of help as the exercises worked to an extent, but the best part of our collaboration was that he recommended compression socks that nurses wear. These are for both men and women, and anyone who stands on their feet on the job. Nurses are known to have long shifts so I asked someone I knew to get more information. You can buy them in a medical supply store or online in any size and color you want. They are made from a nice, luxury fiber that stretches to fit the foot. They are super comfortable and move with you through your day, providing a nice, light massage-one you don’t have to pay for. You can wear them with any type of shoes from oxfords to sandals or you can wear them alone. This was how I used them when in the studio. Why wear shoes if you don’t have to. After a day or two, I can pop them in the washing machine. I have several pair in case I am not in the mood for laundry. I am so grateful for the good advice and am no longer surprised by the amount of time medical professionals spend on their feet.