This project was created by 2016 Stanford Medicine X ePatient Delegate, Cara Gael O'Regan, as part of the ePatient Storyteller Track.

This project was created by 2016 Stanford Medicine X ePatient Delegate, Cara Gael O'Regan, as part of the ePatient Storyteller Track.

bgw for Medx

Artist's Statement: I am an artist, health advocate and podcaster who has lived with complex chronic illness, and the chronic uncertainty that comes along with it, for more than two decades. As someone juggling multiple invisible illnesses, much of my work has been about visibility, and making visible what has previously been unseen. In my attempts to seek diagnoses and validation, I have used many of the quantitative symptom tracking apps that have been available for iOS in recent years. The Instagram account, @bimpsegetsweird, is my attempt at qualitative self tracking to better capture my quality of life, which has too often been underrepresented in other self tracking data.

Below is a curated gallery of 30 images from the project, and you can read a more in-depth discussion of my considerations, process, and insights from the project in this blog post.

To see other examples of these themes, as I have explored them in my artwork, my portfolio can be viewed on bimpse.com. Last year my painting, Syndrome, was published in the Fall 2015 issue of The Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.


Click through read a more in-depth discussion of my considerations, process, and insights from the project

Click through read a more in-depth discussion of my considerations, process, and insights from the project

Explore Cara's other projects for the 2016 MedX ePatient Storyteller Track

Process: I start by using the Snapchat selfie camera, sometimes purposefully breaking the filters to create a distorted effect. I then use a combination of several different apps and filters to experiment with manipulating the photo, until I get a result that feels representative of my current physical and/or emotional state. All images are created on the iPhone 6S.

Photo Manipulation Apps: Shapchat, Prisma, Trigraphy, PhotoToaster, Bazaart, Ultrapop, SuperPhoto, Defqt, GLTCH, and Glitch Art
Tracking Apps: Instagram, Migraine Buddy, and Clue

Insights: In some ways this project has been as much about affirming my own experience to myself than it is about communicating with anyone else. It has been quite interesting to look back at my summer, which has been a particularly difficult one symptom-wise, and see that experience represented in a visual way over that period of time.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this project has been the response I've gotten from other people. I have gotten a lot of interesting interpretations that had not occurred to me previously. For many people the pain and discomfort conveyed in the images seems to upsets them more than it upsets me—and I'm the person who actually lives this every day.


Gallery


or explore Cara's other projects for the 2016 MedX ePatient Storyteller Track