Monday, January 18, 2010

HERSTORY: Seeing Yourself in a New Way

From the bitterness of disease, man learns the sweetness of health.
       - Catalan Proverb 

I am preparing a new patient packet for my new endocrinologist.  She is located only 2 miles away, and she has been vetted by three other Cushies in the area.  So, I sit here at 3 am gathering my photos, lab results, letters, imaging reports. I decided to rework my photo summary.

I always find the process of summarizing my life in photos very discombobulating.  I see images of myself, and I wonder where that person went.  It makes me very sad.  I see the weight pile on, especially during the 2000s, and it is hard to distinguish the person I am from the body that traps me.  I find that it is not as much about the weight that I've gained and my drastic change in appearance--as evidenced clearly in these photos--but it is the life that has slipped away over the years as time progressed and I became more sick. I feel like a remnant of my old self.  I am hoping that soon, I'll be able to rejoin the trajectory of the exciting life I was building before Cushing's struck my life with such a vengence. Of course, I know that while detoured, my life will soon snap back into the part of my trajectory that was meant to be.  Lucky for me, I will be bringing my husband and miracle baby along for the ride. 

~moxie melissa

To make my photo summary, I used Google Picasa.  It is very easy.  
  1. select the photos you want to use in a collage
  2. upload them into a new album and name it 2010 Cushing's collage so you can find it later
  3. one by one, open each photo. 
  4. crop each photo to include your face from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin. this will make all the photos look uniform as well as focusing on the drastic changes of your face.
  5. place the photos in chronological order by dragging and dropping them into the right order.
  6. hit the collage button at the bottom toolbar, 
  7. select the type of collage, then same size photos.
  8. select create collage.  
  9. eliminate any distracting colors by making the entire collage black and white. There is a button on the left panel.
  10. select the width between the photos and background color. I like a small width with a black background. I think it makes the photos pop.
  11. Add text for the dates above each photo.
  • put your cursor on the first photo in the college. click on top of the photo.
  • go to the icons on the left panel, choose the big T for text, type the year. 
  • use your cursor to reposition each text box to touch the top of each photo in the middle, so it would all look uniform. Just drag and drop. 
  • Repeat until you have a box for every photo.