Gypseed has not been on vacation, though, I did enjoy a fantastic honeymoon following a wonderful wedding, several months ago. As a woman who has worked since the day I turned 16, working – especially at a business as dynamic as Gypseed – is a passionate pleasure. As the spearhead of Gypseed, I certainly did not want my faithful clients or followers to think that I have disappeared, been kidnapped, or otherwise met some ill-final fate, or even worse yet – that I have been slacking. I also don’t often mix my business with my personal affairs, but I simply could not keep my silence any longer – for Gypseed’s sake.
After facing 4 knee surgeries in 2 years, worsening joint disease, and many more complications, in 2012 I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Spondylitis. Psoriatic Spondylitis is an auto-immune disease that causes inflammation, pain, stiffness, swelling, joint fusion, and ultimately joint destruction (if an effective treatment is not found & maintained). Psoriatic Arthritis or Spondylitis (which simply means that the spine is involved) can also affect internal organs such as the eyes, lungs, and heart, though it is rare. Psoriatic clearly implies that psoriasis, the scaly, inflamed skin condition is also involved, and many times is the initial clue in this disease. Approximately 10 to 20% of those of suffer from psoriasis can later be diagnosed with the corresponding arthritis. There is a great deal that science has learned but a tremendous amount about auto-immune diseases that remain a mystery.
The health challenges that surrounded my Psoriatic Arthritis/Spondylitis (PsA, for brevity sake), are ongoing and have been part of my life during the creation of Gypseed, the start-up, and the first 6 months of business. This is the case with countless other entrepreneurs who face a variety of similar health challenges while running a business & maintaining a family. During my honeymoon in October, it became quite painfully clear that something else was in play, and very soon after, I was diagnosed with bilateral (both sides) Avascular Necrosis of my hip joints. This occurred, in my case due to the steroids that are sometimes required to get or maintain the inflammation under control from my PsA. AVN occurs when there has been inadequate blood flow inside a bone, and the bone, or a portion of the bone dies. Aside from being extraordinarily painful, it required me to be non-weight bearing (a term I would come to truly despise).
Just before Christmas I underwent bilateral hip decompression surgery, in which holes are drilled through the femur, up into the femoral head of the hip joint. As you can imagine, this was less than pleasant, but also required my continued non-weight bearing. Now I have reached the 3 month mark of non-weight bearing (or mostly non-weight bearing) status, and that has meant that my beloved Gypseed has been dormant for that time period.
I can certainly say, that it has been a rocky road, and that I have missed my precious Gypseed – which is my passion, my creative outlet, my inspiration, and my livelihood. I have, however, had the support of great friends, family, and community who have sustained me via a multitude of methods.
Unfortunately, at this time, the decompression surgeries have not been successful. The next step is to treat the Psoriatic Spondylitis, & gain control of the tremendous inflammation that it creates in my joints. The 2 cannot be done simultaneously because PsA treatment suppresses the immune system, which is a vital part of any surgery, but is the basis for decompression surgery. Then, once the inflammation is smothered a bit, the next step would likely be bilateral hip replacements.
What this means for Gypseed is that we are able to fill orders for the 4 serum formulas that we stock, so don’t panic! It does put a damper on new skin care product development TEMPORARILY, until I am able to be back in the lab & creating new products. But, it also moves Gypseed in some exciting new directions, with new opportunities that we hadn’t originally planned, but rest assured, Gypseed will remain true to its roots, ALL Natural – Direct – Inspired – & Beautiful (just like you).
Stay tuned! You just never know what Gypseed may bring you next…..
Melissa Sparks (Rodrigo) Cope