Pure Emotion

Art Heals

By Hannah Sucsy

Photos courtesy of Teascarlet Fine Art

I sat on the edge of the bathtub, grateful that finally, after six weeks, my incision was healed enough to submerge in water. I turned and set my left foot in the water, and then put my hands together under my right leg, just above my bent knee. With no help from any of the muscles in my right leg, I picked up the deadweight limb, pivoted the rest of the way, and placed my right foot next to my left in the warm water. Once able to hike and play ultimate disc and go for long walks with my kids, I now had this lifeless weight. So much of my quad had atrophied that I could overlap my fingers on each side as I encircled my thigh with my hands. I grasped the side of the tub and lowered the rest of my body into the warmth.

It was March 2016. The previous month, I had traveled from my home in Bonners Ferry to a Seattle hospital, where my pelvis was sawed apart and put back together with screws to realign my hip socket. The procedure is called a periacetabular osteotomy, for the purpose of correcting hip dysplasia. Throughout my youth I had significant pain in my back and legs, and at nineteen I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease. But my hip dysplasia was not identified until I was thirty-four years old.

That was after my third back surgery in late summer of 2015. At the time of my hip surgery, my kids were twelve, ten, six, and five years old, and my marriage of almost fourteen years was under strain. The recovery time was supposed to be moderate—walking and fairly functional by six months, and full recovery in twelve months. I was no stranger to pain or to physical therapy, but when a month had gone by since surgery and I still had no feeling in my quad, I was sure I would never be able to walk again.

At a follow-up visit, it was confirmed that the nerve had been nicked when the incision was made, and complete recovery was uncertain. That was a dark and lonely place to be in. What was I supposed to tell my kids when they asked, “Mommy, when will your leg be all better?”

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Hannah Sucsy

About Hannah Sucsy

Hannah Sucsy aka Teascarlet, lives in Bonners Ferry. She has exhibited work internationally and has collectors across the country, but prefers to focus on interpersonal connections through her gallery. In addition to painting prolifically, she also is dedicated to nurturing creativity in others, particularly youth. See her work at teascarlet.com.

5 Responses to Pure Emotion

  1. Carolyn Birrell - Reply


    What a lovely, raw tribute to life and the human spirit.

  2. Arline Williams - Reply


    Love her and love her work. What an inspiration she is to many.

  3. Lillian Rennie - Reply


    You’re an amazing and inspiring, fine human. We love your Art and your company. Thank you for so generously sharing your journey with us all!

  4. Alison Henslee - Reply


    Hannah is immensely talented!! I’ve observed her personal and artistic growth from that first painting hung as a married mother to the brilliant artist/business owner she is today…it’s been incredibly inspiring to witness.

  5. Dawn Wagner - Reply


    I had no idea you had gone through back and hip surgery. Have you read or seen Frida Kahlo’s story? It reminds me some of yours, in that she painted her pain. You are a wonderful part of our community and I’m enjoying the times when we share our passion!

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