Grief Like No Other

July 21, 2014

There will come a time in everyone’s life that they will loose someone they love. It is the cycle of life, uncontrollable and probably the hardest thing that most people will ever experience. Grief is not talked about in society because it makes people feel bad. It is something that happens but society does not want to acknowledge its lasting affect. The terms, “move-on, get-over-it” are echoed from friends, family and employers. It is even being addressed by the psychiatric community in some cases as “mental illness”.

Why does society view grief as if it does not exist? Is it because it occurs every day? Something that happens that often must not be so bad, or in the least can be resolved in a short period of time. Perhaps, that is the problem. Society does not want to recognize that which can have a life long affect on the emotions and being of a person. The best way to deal with sorrow is to push it aside and pretend it does not exist. Put on your happy face and go about your business each day and you can even convince yourself that grief can be put to sleep.

There are different types of grief. We can be prepared for the death of a loved one through a long term illness or an elderly parent or grandparent. We can feel that death is a relief to the sufferer and “let them go”. No matter how we accept the death of a loved one, nothing prepares us for a life without them.

Website boards are full of memorials left for loved ones. Poems are written every day in memory of someone dear. The perspective that a person can quench their grief by ignoring it has been proven wrong many times over. The shelves are full of self-help books on releasing grief.

There are circumstances that can complicate grief. Sudden death and even the manner of death can cause extraordinary pain. Murder in particular has elements associated with it that most people never have to deal with such as, an arrest and trial that can take many months and even years to be settled. Hearing gruesome details of a loved ones demise can ring forever in a persons’ head. Nightmares of horrible crime scenes are a reality for victim’s families.

Grief like no other comes by way of loosing a child. It does not even need to be mentioned that the loss of child is beyond any comprehension for a parent. No one wants to think or talk about it, but that is not realistic.
According to the National MCH Child Death Review the mortality rate in 2006 for children under the age of 19 was over 530,000. In addition, most people under the age of 50 that die leave a parent behind. Does it matter how old a child is? Ask a grieving parent that lost their child at any age and the answer is no.

There is a shearing pain that rips through the heart when a parent is given the news about the death of their child. The soul just screams a blatant NO, and from that moment that parent is never the same person.

No program, no medicine, no therapy can cure a grieving parent. They are forever bereaved parents. People like to fix things. Family members and friends might think they need to do something that will cheer-up a grieving parent. Part of it is because they too grieve and they do not want to see their loved one so hurt. Time changes that in many cases and intolerance sets in. Complaints are heard from those closest to the situation like; “Grieving parents talk about their child too much, They have too many pictures displayed in their home, and They never got rid of things and erected a shrine.”

The question is when is the right time to put away a beloved child? When is it right for a parent to move on and remove all signs that their child ever lived? When should a parent stop talking about their child because it makes other people uncomfortable?

Try asking these questions instead; why does a grieving parent keep their child’s things where they can see them? Why does a parent talk about their child so much? Why did that grieving parent create a memorial garden for their child? The answer is simple-love.
For a grieving parent their child’s life continues in their heart. As long as that child remains there, he is still alive. It brings great joy to a parent to hear their child’s name spoken. Why? It means that they are not forgotten. The greatest fear is that their child will be forgotten by family and friends. Monuments are built to great men- that is ok. Monuments are built to honor people-that is ok. Monuments are built to remember-that is ok, but let a grieving parent build the same for their child, and something is wrong with them.

Describing the loss of a child is an impossible task because there are no words for it. The pain will be with a parent the rest of their life. They have lost a part of their life and living even one more day is a challenge. Everything becomes before and after their child. When they look at a picture they date it before or after. Moving into a new year is another year without them. Many thoughts in their daily lives bring them back to their child. It can not be avoided. It is not something that try to do, it just happens. It may become less as years roll away, but it never goes away. Professionals treat grieving parents for depression and post traumatic stress syndrome. It may be adequate to label the symptoms of grief in such a way, but it does not cure it.

The best thing someone can do for a grieving parent is to let them know they remember their child. Call them on the holidays; call them on birthdays and yes, the death anniversary. Give them pictures and relate memories that you have of their child. Donate to a charity in their child’s name. Most important, hug them, love them and cry with them.

Self help organizations have proven to be beneficial for grieving parents. One organization is the Compassionate Friends. It is a worldwide organization that started in the 1960s in England when a chaplain introduced two grieving families. It has since grown to include 50 chapters in the world and over 600 chapters in the United States. Other organizations are Healing Hearts for Bereaved Parents, Share Organization and Miss Foundation.

It is hard enough for a parent to loose a child, but when family and friends avoid them because they do not know how to handle the grief, it adds another loss to their already broken heart.

Grief Watch: Support Croup Listing
http://www.griefwatch.com/support_groups.htm

The Compassionate Friends
http://www.tcfofbrevardnc.org/tcf/home.htm

The National MCH Center for Child Death Review
http://www.childdeathreview.org/nationalchildmortalitydata.htm

(c) 2014 Vickie Van Antwerp

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The Making of An Antique

July 21, 2014

Oh how we love our antiques, we eye-ball them with the greatest intensity. We study the sculpture of their design, the quality of the material, the absolute exquisite craftsmanship. Oh yes, we love our antiques. They can stir pleasures, desires, memories, and overt emotions. They are priceless in time and soothing to the soul.

As I tour the antique stores and gaze at the Patty Playpal dolls and reminisce, I am caught off guard by the actual notion, that I too am an antique. I was there when Patty made her debut, I was there when the Mickey Mouse Club took center stage and yes-I was there when Davy Crockett made his coonskin hat a household name. At any time during my rifling through the antique shops, I can find anyone of the many items that I or my friends, played with, or listened too, or watched on TV, (in black and white) or saw at the drive-in. (which by the way, drive-in speakers can also be found).

So as I gaze in the mirror, looking for virtues that will carry me back to a time when my skin was smooth and soft, wrinkle and sag free, I wonder how this antique will stand up to time. The image that sees me as I am can count the wrinkles and each gray hair and probably attest to how each one got that way. It’s funny how the mind doesn’t seem to think of ourselves as an antique. We are the same that we were decades ago but with an enormous amount of wisdom and a testament to a life that has hit some rocks along the road.

The best I can do is recall the road that brought me here, making this journey worth while and the things that helped me as I grew. Those things, beside myself, that are now antiques and some almost forgotten. You know; ladies hats with fish net and alligator handbags, real silk stockings, Buster Brown shoes, paper dolls, cap guns and Jerry Mahoney. Don’t forget the things that made life a little easier; Trolley Cars, water hand pumps, and how about the backyard outhouse and chamber pot?

The antique stores are full of memories for those of us that could sit on the shelf as a star witness to the making and breaking of many a product that we now call-an antique. So the next time you browse through a fine antique shop, think about the people that made and used those items, the hands that held them and the eyes that gazed on them and the delight that some things brought to a child; that was probably us.

I don’t think I can look through an antique shop again without recognizing my place among the many wonderful items that stretched our imagination and brought us joy, and if I am lucky, I will get to take one or two home with me and let it reach far into my memory and take me back to a simpler time.

(c) 2014 Vickie Van Antwerp


Illness Caused By Clostridium

July 21, 2014

Clostridium is a bacterium that comprises the species perfringens, tetani, botualinum, and difficile. The clostridia can be deadly, comprising some of the worst diseases that the medical community encounters.

Food borne botulism, the technical name of the disease, is a very dangerous food poisoning that can be found in canned food that has not been properly prepared. Most incidences are attributed to home canning, but foods produced commercially have been know to cause outbreaks. It can be found in canned foods including vegetables, tuna fish, chicken, luncheon meats, ham, sausage and lobster. Symptoms include double vision, slurred speech, weakness, paralysis and eventual respiratory failure.

Another food borne bacteria coming from clostridium is perfringens. The bacterium causes toxins that grow to high levels causing food poisoning. Cooked food that has been left out for hours is usually the host. It is most often found in institutional settings like schools, cafeterias, and hospitals, often attacking meats and gravy. Food poisoning caused by perfringens usually starts with diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain

Clostridium tetani causes tetanus due to a puncture wound or a trauma that leads to tissue contamination. The contamination invades the body and can cause cardiac failure in approximately 55 to 65 percent of those infected. A vaccine is available for tetanus. It is usually given in childhood and every ten years. It can also be administered at the time an injury occurs.

Perfringens that causes food borne illnesses can also cause another deadly illness called gas gangrene. Infection of a wound can lead to death within one to five days. The disease is often fatal. Gas gangrene infects a wound immediately causing the surrounding tissue to die. It may turn black or a dark green color, and have a foul odor. Fever and pain will develop around the wound and may be the first indicator. Amputation is a normal course of action to keep the infection from spreading. It is also treated with hyperbaric oxygen, and chelating agents. Antibiotics are used but not always successful.

The c. difficile bacteria produces two toxins that are usually eliminated by the normal bacteria in the intestines. When someone takes antibiotics it can destroy the normal bacteria that lives in the intestines and the toxins can grow. Onset is exhibited by diarrhea and abdominal pain. Fatality rates are 27 to 44 percent if not treated.

FDA: BBB-Clostridium perfringens
http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FoodborneIllness/FoodborneIllnessFoodbornePathogensNaturalToxins/BadBugBook/ucm070483.htm

FDA:BBB-Clostridium botulinum
http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FoodborneIllness/FoodborneIllnessFoodbornePathogensNaturalToxins/BadBugBook/ucm070000.htm

Southern Illinois University Carbondale: Medical Microbiology
http://www.cehs.siu.edu/fix/medmicro/clost.htm

(c) 2014 Vickie Van Antwerp


Dementia Or Something Worse

July 21, 2014

I received a frantic phone call one day from my mother-in-law. She was crying and hard to understand. I was finally able to calm her down enough to find out that while paying her bills she became so confused; she didn’t know how to write the checks. She asked me to come over to her house. She only lived about 15 minutes away so I hurried over and found her sitting on the couch, eyes red and swollen and a dazed look on her face. This was not the first time that she became confused.

I suggested to her that I would come over every month and write her checks for her. We could sit together and enjoy a cup of coffee and some good conversation while we did the bills. She liked that idea and so we wrote her bills together each month.

In the midst of her confusion with the checkbook, she began to feel very insecure and asked my husband, to become her power of attorney. He went to the attorney with her and they she added him to her checking account in case he needed to pay bills for her. This all took place during the summer and we thought things were working out fine but, the beginning of December brought a new symptom that landed her in the hospital. She awoke one morning so dizzy she could not stand. Her doctor admitted her to the hospital for tests. She stayed in the hospital for several days, but nothing was indicated that could explain her symptoms. She had treated with medication for her usual aliments of high blood pressure, angina and arthritis..

Christmas Eve was always spent at Mom’s. The entire family would gather and the grandchildren would open presents frantically until there was no room to walk. Mom would have a spread of deli delights for family and friends that would drop in. Later in the evening, the family would gather around and sing Christmas carols. As we sat around the dinning room table I looked over at Mom and she looked so frightened and confused, as if she did not know any of us. Her lips moved to the music, but her mind was not in the room. Before we left, we got her settled on the couch and she seemed to be a little more alert. Fortunately, her oldest son lived with and would be there if she needed anything.

Sometime in January, Mom had an appointment with her gynecologist. She had a hysterectomy thirty years before but kept up with annual visits. Mom was very short, only four foot eight, yet she weighed over two hundred pounds. When the doctor examined her she told her that she had a very large mass that she could feel across her abdomen. She wanted her to have an ultra-sound immediately. She never indicated what it might be, but as people usually do, we thought the worst.

When the results came back, the radiologist identified the very large mass in her abdomen as her uterus. We knew that wasn’t correct and so did her gynecologist. At this point the word, “cancer” appeared and we followed the next steps to a sure diagnosis without hesitation.

For the next month, Mom was bounced from one doctor to another. Her primary sent her to a general surgeon who suggested that her belly was full of fluid and if it were cancer it was very bad. He sent her back to her primary. Her primary checked her again and sent her to an oncologist. The oncologist took a blood test, checking her for ovarian cancer with the CA-125 test. As we sat in the examining room, Mom joked and laughed about her belly being so large with fluid. The doctor returned with the results and the protein was very high. He concluded that she did in fact have ovarian cancer. The entire ordeal of going from one doctor to another was exasperating for her because she did not remember the visits. When she was confronted with the news that she could have cancer, she acted surprised, as if she was hearing it for the first time. When the oncologist told her she indeed had ovarian cancer, she said that no one had mentioned it before and she began to cry. By the time we got home, she was fine and did not remember the visit.

The one thing that added to her confusion was the fact that she had a total hysterectomy twenty years earlier. She thought that meant her ovaries and tubes had been removed. Since her short term memory was all but gone, the truth wasn’t in her mind long enough to sink in.

The oncologist sent her back to her primary and he told the family he was going to enroll her on hospice. What we thought was a case of Alzheimer turned out to be end stage ovarian cancer.

She finally understood. Her short term memory loss did not take over, this time it was all real. It was still a shock to us all because she never had any pain in her abdomen. She gained a great deal of weight that turned out to be fluid. She complained about her legs hurting but she was carrying a lot of weight for her small frame so we thought nothing of it. Her mental symptoms gave rise to the thought that she was suffering from dementia. Her primary physician never suspected a thing. When the doctor checked for dementia, he said she was fine. This hidden disease was racking her body and we didn’t know it. Hospice arrived on Friday, February 25, she died on Monday.

According to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, ovarian cancer is called the “silent killer” because by the time it is diagnosed 75% of women will already be in the advanced stages. Some early symptoms include; bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty
eating or feeling full. Later, there may be an urgency to urinate, fatigue, indigestion, back and leg pain. A genetic predisposition to the disease can be an indicator for a more prophylactic approach by your doctor. Make sure he/she is aware of your family history.
Some of these symptoms mimic a dozen other diseases which is why it is difficult to diagnose.

What steps can be taken to diagnose this disease before it reaches an advanced stage? Aside from a pelvic exam, we can insist on two other tests; the CA-125 blood test and a transvaginal ultrasound. Some physicians may not want to order these tests, but if you feel something is wrong, insist on it. A pap test does not diagnose ovarian cancer.

National Cancer Institute: Ovarian Cancer
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/ovarian/

Medline Plus: CA 125
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007217.htm

(c) 2014 Vickie Van Antwerp


Arthrodesis

July 21, 2014

Ankle fusion is also known as ankle arthrodesis and is a corrective measure to increase the mobility of the ankle. It may also decrease the amount of pain that is experienced. Arthritis is one cause of severe pain and immobility. It can relate back to an old injury that has caused the arthritis to set into the joint. Whatever the cause, fusion may be the best treatment for some conditions.

Conditions
You may find your condition among the list outlined here. Requiring ankle fusion can begin in childhood from a fracture of the lower part of the tibia (leg bone) or the talus (ankle bone). The joint can eventually deteriorate from osteoarthritis.

Cartilage deterioration can immobilize an ankle from moving freely. The constant friction of the joints moving against each other can cause the soft tissue known as the synovitis which is very painful.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition of the immune system that causes inflammation and eventual deformity in joints from bone deterioration. Ankles are affected as well causing instability and keeping mobility to a minimum.

Surgery

Orthopedic surgeons perform ankle fusions. During surgery the lower part of the tibia and fibula leg bones are shaved and smoothed during surgery. The upper part of the talus is also shaved and smoothed. The bones are cleaned with a saline solution, careful not to leave any bone fragments.

Fusions are accomplished with screws that secure bone between the joint.
External fixation places pins through the joint that are attached to an external plate. The plate is removed when fixation has been achieved.

Complications

Any anesthesia can be a risk, especially general. Vessel and nerve damage can take place causing permanent damage. It can leave the patient with less mobility then before surgery.

Infection can develop in the wound causing more surgery to drain the infection.

Union deficits can occur such as an imbalanced union of the joint or no union of the joint.
Both can result in more surgery to correct the problem.

Recovery

The average recovery time includes 12 weeks using an ankle brace. After the brace is removed physical therapy follows. To assist with weight bearing and comfort, your physician may decide to order a shoe device.

Tips
Search for an orthopedic surgeon that is qualified. Check credentials on the state medical board website.
Do not bear weight on the joint after surgery until instructed by the surgeon.
Report any inflammation of the wound immediately.
Contact the surgeon if the joint slips, is weak or misaligned after healing.

Mayo Clinic: Ankle Fusion Surgery
http://www.mayoclinic.org/ankle-surgery/anklefusion.html

The Foot and Ankle Clinic: Ankle Fusion
http://www.thefootandankleclinic.com/ankle-fusion.htm

Orthogate: Ankle Fusion
http://www.orthogate.org/patient-education/ankle/ankle-fusion.html

(c) 2014 Vickie Van Antwerp


My Dragon Slayer

July 2, 2014

Will you be my dragon slayer Lord
Take this grief and make it a servant instead
Cause my heart to lean on you and not be afraid
Carry my spirit above the clouds with you
And never let me doubt your loving arms around me

You can be my dragon slayer Lord
Keeping the grief in a place where it belongs
Never forgetting where it is, but at your side
I can stand in the face of the dragon
And know that my Lord goes before me

You are my dragon slayer Lord
Cradling me in your arms of comfort and mercy
Lifting me up from the ground and placing me by your side
Where I find peace and warmth in your light
You are my dragon slayer Lord

(c) March 2012 Vickie Van Antwerp


Remembering Elvis Pressley and Joy

August 18, 2013

HPIM0834This past week, a celebration took place at Graceland to honor the life of Elvis Pressley who died 36 years ago on August 16, 1977. Thousands attended the event that has been a tradition every year since Elvis passed away. People from all over the world make a special pilgrimage to honor the man known as the King of Rock n Roll.

People of all ages listen to Elvis Pressley’s music as it continues to be played by DJs all over the country. The fan base of this legend is faithful to keep his memory alive. Their faithfulness has transformed Graceland from his home to his shrine.

It is not unusual for shrines to be built to honor special people. We have the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Memorial, 911 Memorial, and Holocaust Museums. These places are visited by millions every year and what they take away from their visit is a sense of knowing the person or people of whom they just honored.

Not much hoopla is given to everyone. Ordinary people leave this earth without being noticed by the press but broken hearts are still left behind. Parents that loose children anguish over their deaths and sometimes become desperate to keep their child’s memory alive. Some will create memorial funds, foundations and gardens. If you see a sign on a road in your neighborhood with a name on it that says Adopt a Highway, it is most likely the name of someone’s child that does not want him forgotten.

A problem faced by most bereaved parents is that people can understand the creation of memorials and foundations because most of the events surrounding those efforts are conducted once a year, but what becomes unacceptable is a daily mention of the deceased child’s name. It is at this point that parents experience the backlash from well meaning people that their continued mention of their child is just proof that they have not moved on and need to just let it go.

Why is it that we can run to Tennessee to see a mansion owned by a rock star on the anniversary of his death but not mention our child’s name without repercussions?
Why is it that we can honor those who died on 911 and build memorials, but to talk about our children is off limits? There are cases where workers complained about parents who talked about their deceased children and were fired for disrupting the workplace. Complaints have been levied against bereaved parents because they had their deceased child’s picture on their work desk and it just “freaked” people out. Work place incidents of insensitivity toward bereaved parents are an everyday occurrence causing some to quit their jobs.

A group of women were sitting around during their lunch break talking about their children. One lady mentioned that her daughter just started dance classes. Another mother chimed in and said, “My daughter Joy took dance too. She was so good at it.” The other mother continued on to say how her daughter loved the color purple and she just re-decorated her bedroom in purple. Others began to discuss their children and their favorite colors. Finally, Joy’s mother said, “I remember Joy dancing at her first recital. She smiled the whole time through her routine.’ The other mother’s looked at each other until one of them said, “You know Mindy, maybe it’s time you move on. You should see a counselor to help you get past your daughter’s death. Talking about her all the time will not bring her back.” Needless to say Mindy left the room in tears.

Think about what took place and ask yourself these questions; if you lose a child, do they cease to be your child? Why is it wrong to talk about them? If you think that every parent should “move-on”, what is the time frame; two months, six months, one year, more? How long would it take you to stop talking about one of your children if you lost them? How long before you could put away your memories and not celebrate your child’s life? How long before you think the pain and anguish of losing one of your children would cease?

Bereaved parents were once you. They are parents that never thought they would have to bury their child. They don’t ask for your pity, just understanding that you recognize their need to breathe their child’s name, and have someone listen to the stories that are now tucked away in their hearts as memories.

Every person’s child is worth remembering just as much as rock stars, politicians, or victims of mass tragedy. If it is ok to talk about them, it is ok to talk about Joy.

(c)2013 Vickie Van Antwerp
Supplement:

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Forgotten Pain

February 13, 2012

A prose for the bereaved mother.

 

Remember childbirth? The sheer pain and agony of bringing another human being into this world can only be described as anguish. It gave new meaning to the word , “pain”.

Soon after you looked upon your child; your gorgeous little cherub, and all the pain, all the travailing was gone with one glance. The pain was forgotten.

A day came and a new pain emerged, but this pain was in your heart. It came so fiercely, so violent, that it took your breath away. Anguish, I think they call it. A bereaved parent knows it as the worse pain you can ever imagine. This one gives new meaning to the word, “pain”, for sure.

In the depths of your anguish you can rest assured because just as your birth pains are forgotten, so will this pain be forgotten in the blink of an eye, when you see your child once again.
(C) 2012 Vickie Van Antwerp
 


It’s like it just happened yesterday.

February 8, 2012

I remember when my cousin suddenly lost her son. She lived over 400 miles away and I did not know her very well. She was 18 years my elder and I had not seen her in at least 15 years. My mother called to tell me the news. She said, “Margie has lost Danny. He died in his sleep.” Danny was not much younger than me. Being a mother I could only imagine what my cousin was going through. I felt so helpless but I wanted to help in some way. I sent her a book on grief and a card with my condolences. From that day I felt a special bond. I spoke to her occasionally on the phone. I did not bring up the subject of Danny because I did not want to upset her. We just talked about small things.

Many years later, Margie lost another son, this time to cancer. She had three boys, two were now gone. We spoke more often this time. Before she lost her second son Glen, I asked her how she coped with the loss of Danny. Little did we know at the time she would relive the nightmare again. She said to me, “Its like is just happened yesterday.” Her sorrow was fresh every day. It did not loose its grip.

A few months after Glen died, I told her I was attending a candle lighting service and that I would light a candle in memory of Danny and Glen. She was pleased.

The night of the service I spoke with a man from the church my husband and I attended. He had lost his daughter 20 years before. He was there to light a candle for her. He said, “It’s like it just happened yesterday.”  Twenty years and his sorrow was still present. He told me that his daughter’s room remained the same as she left it. To a person that has not lost a child, it would appear that he was stuck in grief out of choice. For parents that have experienced the same loss, it is a story of love and honor.

 

I stood beside my husband on a December night and we lit three candles, one for Danny, one for Glen and one for our son Craig. It was no wonder to me now why I felt a bond with my cousin. Maybe my spirit knew then what was to come, maybe not. Craig was found in his apartment by a close friend. He had been there for days. He was 33 years old and his father and I were over 600 miles away. The nightmare began in 2006 and it has not ended.

I was on the other side at one time, trying to comfort my cousin, not knowing what to say. I know now, and wish I didn’t. I did not want to join this group of people that have to learn how to live without their child. I found that it is not about moving on with your life. It is not about leaving things behind. It is not about letting go. When you loose a child, those things don’t happen. Grieving a child leaves you empty.  There are no words, there are no poems, no songs, and no books that will make you feel better. The pain is so intense that you think it will kill you.

I have moments when I can see my child so clear in my head. I can touch him and kiss him and talk to him. Maybe someday, those moments will not hurt like they do now but for now, when they come, every time they come, it’s like it just happened yesterday.

(c) 2012 Vickie VanAntwerp


CHOOSING PAINT FOR A CALMING BEDROOM

November 8, 2011

INTRODUCTION

If you are planning to decorate your bedroom but are not sure what color scheme to use, consider choosing paint colors for a calming bedroom effect. Wall color can possibly help you sleep better. According to All-Home Décor, emotions that are evoked by blues and greens create a sense of serenity and peace because they are associated with nature. Blue affects cravings for less food through its calming nature.

Plan your bedroom design before searching paint and accessories. If you are not replacing any furniture decide on a color change. Wood furniture looks different against a blue wall then a white headboard. Another consideration is how the lighting in the room can change the hue of colors.

COLOR CHOICES

The goal is choosing paint colors for a calming bedroom. Start with the planning design. Pick up color cards in blue, green; the two main calming colors. Use grid paper to draw a layout of furniture in the bedroom, including where you plan to place any lighting fixtures. Decide where the focal point of the room will be. When you walk into the room, what catches your eye first? This is your first impression and can set the mood for the room immediately. Poorly placed furniture can have an effect on the mood. Too much furniture can make the room look cluttered and set off an imbalanced feeling. Test the furniture placement on the grid sheet for the best layout.

Experiment with the colors from the paint cards. Look at each one for a few seconds and record your feelings. Which one gave you a calm, warm feeling? Which one do you like best? This should help you to narrow down the colors to use. Light blue walls give the appearance of expansion to a wall, according to Dream Home Decorating. If you have a small room, light blue can make it appear larger. Blue also cools down a room. Hot sunny rooms benefit from blue walls but north facing rooms that get the cold winds of winter will require more blankets.

The color green has the same calming effect as blue but it is harder to achieve. Dream Home Decorating suggests using green hues mixed with other colors like grey and pink to give more depth.  Avoid solid dark green colors around window trims. The green trim can appear fake against nature’s scenery. Test lighting against color swatches in different areas of the room to see how the colors change and where shadows are cast.

CONCLUSION

Choosing paint colors for a calming bedroom effect depends on the room, lighting and your taste. Experiment with color swatches. Some stores will give customers a small amount of paint to help them decide on the right color. If you know you are going to paint the wall, use the color samples on different areas in the bedroom and check lighting and furniture against the colors. View the colors during the day in sunlight and artificial lighting at night. Add colors that you plan to use with the wall covering to see how they blend. Plan on a new bedspread and curtains that include all of the colors used to make your bedroom a calm and relaxing room.

 REFERENCE

All-Home Décor: Psychology of Colors Choosing Color for the Bedroom

http://www.all-homedecor.com/color/bedroom.htm

Do It Yourself: Popular Bedroom Wall Paint Colors

http://www.doityourself.com/stry/popular-bedroom-wall-paint-colors

Dream Home Decorating: Psychological Effects of the Color Blue

http://www.dreamhomedecorating.com/psychological-effects-color-blue.html

Dream Home Decorating: Psychological Effects of the Color Green

http://www.dreamhomedecorating.com/psychological-effects-color-green.html