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Friday, January 2, 2015


The pills arrived today.  I hope this is truly a new beginning for my poor lungs.  They won't stop pulmonary fibrosis, but their job is to slow the process down, until a drug that stops the disease comes on the market.  I took my first pill with a Starbucks frappicino...frappicino's are kind of like champagne to me.  Besides I am suppose to have very limited alcohol intake, which is easy, since I  drink one glass of wine a month.

Also today, my night time oxygen arrived in the form of an oxygen concentrator, which is kind of amusing, since I have two concentrators in my studio and they are my oxygen source for making beads.  I wonder every day if making beads is what started all of this.  I always wore a respirator when using enamels, but many of the glasses I use have metals (silver, gold, copper and lead)  I have a ventilation fan that goes to the outside air, but the thought crosses my mind, is the thing that I love killing my lungs?  No one knows for sure what causes Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.  So is my fear unfounded or real?

Some days I think I should just stop, I'm nothing special as a beadmaker,   Then I see a beautiful bead and that impulse to go to my torch and see what I can create takes over.  It's like a siren song. Right now I'm knitting, crocheting, drawing, and planning a small quilt hanging, but my glass studio still calls my name, over and over again.

What if 10 years down the road, when I am 80, ( and can no longer hold a steady mandrel) I find out that beadmaking is the cause of my disease, but I continued to make beads.  Actually if that is true, then I probably wouldn't make it to 80.  BUT what if I stop now and find out the glass didn't cause it?  

I wonder......are there any other beadmakers out there with this disease?


  1. First off - you're nothing special as a bead maker??? I beg to differ, Ms.Harriet. You and Astrid are my 2 favorite bead makers of all time.
    Having said that, if your passion is what caused this horrid illness then I say . . . I guess I don't know what to say. If you continue to light up but with total protection, then how can it make it worse?
    My very dear friend started her new medication for HepC on 12/31 so now I have 2 friends I'll need to send positive vibes to daily. No prob - that's what friends do.

  2. I agree with Ellen, you are very special period and a special bead maker. I hope you are able to continue with peace of mind, the respirator looks amazing.

  3. Glad to hear you're making progress - it sounds like that's a good feeling.
    Making beads seems unfathomable to me... I love that you can see something, get inspired, and go create it! Artists always amaze me.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I really didn't remove my husband' comment. I was showing him how to publish one.

  6. I commented once and pushed publish, then my comment disappeared. What happened?

  7. Hi Harriet. I agree with Ellen, your beads are beautiful and definitely something special. I’m so sorry to hear about this diagnosis. As someone whose serious health issues have resulted in long breaks from the studio over the years, let me urge you to please put your health first! Forget the siren call for now, concentrate on getting stronger. Hugs.

  8. Thanks Jinx, for your advice. I can let my studio sit for awhile. My main fear is that we don't know all we should about the risks involved with working with the glasses that have silver, copper and lead in them. I have always worn a respirator while using enamels, but not while using the glasses containing metals. From now on I will be wearing a respirator all the time, but I hope that is good enough protection.

  9. You are SO something special as a beadmaker! You are one of my favorite beadmakers ever! It would be lovely to see you get back to beads even just a little - but - your health absolutely comes first and you cannot jeopardize that for beads. Hugs. -- Julie