When you shop small businesses, you support neighborhood jobs, the staff and their families.
Thanks to the loyal patrons at SNB, who continued to shop small even during a pandemic, Stuart's store can offer health insurance benefits for his family and the store staff.
Thanks to SNB health insurance, I was able to have surgery to preserve my vision. Even though I work hard to manage my diabetes, nearly 50 years with this condition has brought me some of the vision-related side-effects. Thanks to all sorts of science advances there are a number of medical treatments now. Most diabetics may suffer vision complications. Diabetes remains a leading cause of blindness. However, with regular eye exams and other health screenings, many complications can be caught early and minimized.
Decades ago, my vision complications would have severely limited my ability to see. Today, thanks to laser treatments and eye surgeries, my vision is stable.
Everyone should have an annual eye exam. The delicate veins at the back of your eye can be an early warning sign of a number of medical issues. Get your eyes dilated and examined by an ophthalmologist, or at least an optometrist.
Feel like you can't afford check-ups?
You can't afford to risk your health -- especially if you are self-employed. You know it's vital to take care of the tools and supplies you need to do your work. Make your top priority keeping yourself in good working condition.
Regular medical care -- and medical insurance -- saved my sight. Not to mention a few years back when Stuart likely prevented a heart attack thanks to SNB health insurance. He payed attention to symptoms and called his doctor the same day. He got checked out and ended up checked in for an urgent cardiac procedure.
Turns out he had a "widow-maker." Look it up. Don't let it kill you. How does a fit, mid-50s guy end up with a 90% blockage in a major artery? Stress is a contributing factor to heart disease and high blood pressure. If you too are a "one-man band" running your indie-art life/small business -- stress is a big concern. For you. And especially for your loved ones. Take it seriously.
Working yourself to death is a cultural expectation that needs to be re-set.
Work better, longer and stronger through wellness.
Last year, beloved indie artist Sho Murase became a case study of a nearly-terminal health crisis striking hard. Thanks to her courage in sharing her ordeal, and support from colleagues and fans, many important lessons were shared.
You never know when a health crisis might strike you.
Get. Prepared. Now.
Did you know that in additional to Affordable Care Act plans, there are professional guilds and other organizations you can join to access health care as a membership benefit?
This link for a post on the blog has info about health insurance options for indie artists: https://stuartngbooks.blogspot.com/2020/12/art-in-action-health-insurance-info.html
This next link is from a diabetes site, but has good tips for anyone with a chronic condition trying to nagivate insurance: https://beyondtype1.org/health-insurance-guide-for-t1d/?fbclid=
Take care of yourself --- not just for yourself, but for all the people who need you.
Meanwhile... here's a bit about by surgery story that I shared on social media. I was grateful to have so much love and support. And health insurance, thanks to SNB.
Week of surgery
Feeling waaaaay better today. Recovery from eye surgery on track. Enhanced by this inspiring art gift. Sharing this peek at my jaunty Pirate look. Thank you to everyone who shops at Stuart Ng Books — through which I have the health insurance to stay alive and keep my vision.
One week post-op
Walked to eye surgeon post-op appointment and walked home again. A little over 4 miles round trip. Felt so good, though may have been a bit ambitious. Eye recovery will take about 6 weeks, but progress is excellent and I got cleared to resume driving. Need to limit exercise to walking only for one more week. For those who want the gory details, see comments. Meanwhile, here are two pics from my walk.
My main post-op symptom is bruising around the eye (mostly cleared up now) and an annoying itchy sensation that comes and goes. Turns out, the itch may be caused by the stitches ---in my eyeball!!
The stitches should dissolve on their own — over about 6 weeks! 😂 meanwhile, cold compress delivered via this plush bear first aid for kids item is a big relief.
It puts freeze-able cold pack right on the inflammation, but since your hand only touches the non frozen plush part, it’s more comfortable to use than a sack of frozen peas.
My recovery was greatly enhanced by a surprise gift from an artist friend.
For many years, I've collected coffee mugs with art images by Alejandro Mogollo.
His wonderful tributes to Hollywood icons keep these awesome ladies on the radar of fans new and old. Thanks to Alejandro's Red Bubble online store, his images are availalbe on a wide range of merchandise. Each morning, Icarefully select a mug from my collection of Mogollo icons -- picking out the famous face of a powerful woman to be my special muse for that day.
Earlier this year, I sent Alejandro a selection of reference books from my own personal library.
As a suprise "thank you" gift, he sent me a bespoke mug of his own creation. He included a special message along with his selection of strong women to inspire me.
He didn't know about my surgery.. but you can imagine my delight when the mug arrived just in time for me to use to get through my recovery. I will always be grateful to Alejandro -- and to Vivien Leigh scholar Kendra Bean. http://vivandlarry.com/about-2/kendra/
Years ago, Kendra posted a photo of herself with a coffee mug with Alejandro's art on it, including the credit for the artist! And another fantastic art-inspired connection was created.
Always share credits and links when you "like and share."
See more of Alejeandro's work here: https://www.redbubble.com/people/alemogolloart/shop
Previous posts on the blog that feature Mogollo's art:
Art is life.