Collection Postponed

This is the first time I’ve been forced to postpone a collection release. Here’s why its happening:

Many of you know I have a neurological disorder called Chronic Migraine. Specifically, I have about 29 days per month with head pain, and many of those days require medication so that I can keep working. However, in late July, something changed.

My meds stopped working as I was accustomed to.

I would take them and the head pain would come right back, within 4-6 hours. This wasn’t usual at all. They used to work for 24 hours or more. And that’s not the only change that has occurred.

I was noticing that when I stood up or changed position quickly, I was hearing a loud heartbeat-whooshing sound in my ears, and my heart would pound very hard. It felt like I was running a race. Sprinting. But in fact all I was doing was getting off my couch to pour a cup of tea.

Not soon after, I began to experience significant stomach pain and nausea after eating, followed by other unmentionable gastrointestinal symptoms.

All of this has been incredibly destabilizing to my daily life. I feel exhausted from pain and a racing heart and have to sit often to reduce the discomfort. Lying down feels best. The situation is so impactful, I will not be able to go on my yearly backpacking trip. If you are familiar with Tarot, it's a true Tower moment, which coincidentally, I pulled on August 14th.

If you are here, reading this, there is a good chance you know how much time I put into my jewelry making business. It’s a lot. I’ve tracked my hours with an app before and I put in at least 8 hours per day. Sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly excited about a collection, I’ll put in 10-11 hours.

The long-houred workflow that I use has resulted in my being able to make huge collections of commissioned jewelry. Over and over again for years.

That came to a abrupt halt about two weeks ago when I found myself lying in bed, with a migraine, dizzy, and breathless each time I stood up to use the loo. Which was often because of the stomach problems.

Here is what I know for sure:

  • My head pain has increased to a daily occurrence and isn’t responding to medication
  • I’ve developed postural orthostatic tachycardia
  • My nausea has increased
  • Stomach pain has influenced my ability to eat

I have a doctor appointment next week and she is going to run some tests. I also have an appointment with a neurologist in October.

Until then, I have no idea what to expect. Because I just keep getting worse, I have chosen to delay the release of the Amber & Turquoise Collection.

I know many of you are here because you want rings made in your size and just for you. Thank you for coming to me for that. I love making you all happy with silver and stones. But I cannot, in good conscious, take deposits for customs with all of these health challenges going on.

Thank you for understanding and I promise to be back at it as soon as I feel better. For now, I am going to work when able and only make Ready-To-Ship jewelry. This will allow me to work when I feel good and lay down when I don’t. I’ve even set up a cot in my studio so I can rest when I need to.

Reach out with any questions you may have, as I will still be talking with you in Direct Messages and in comments. And I promise to send an email when I’m feeling better and again able to create big, bold pieces of jewelry made just for you.


Denise Rathbun

Hi Rachel
My heart hurts for you and I’m praying things will get better for you.
My daughter is 27 and suffers from POTS daily due to an undiagnosed Lyme disease since 11th grade in High School.

Over the years she has changed her diet to gluten free and eats like a bird through the day.
Water is her only beverage and keeps her legs above her heart when sleeping.
Hopefully you will be back at your bench soon.
You are a warrior and will beat this.
It sounds like you are doing everything you can to handle this.

Good Bless

Shannan Skidmore

Such beautiful work can only come from a beautiful soul. May you find answers and some relief from the pain you’re experiencing.

Marsha Wilson

I cannot imagine dealing with all the pain you are experiencing and the frustration with your medication no longer being effective. I hope your doctor can give you answers and a plan going forward. I know that all of us who already own one of your spectacular creations or hope to want you to focus on your health and well-being. We’ll be here whenever you feel it’s time. Wishing you relief and comfort!

Pamela Sampel

Rashel—I’m super sorry to hear this. I know another woman with POTS and it’s no joke. I’m so grateful you are taking care of yourself and working to figure out what the root cause of the changes are. Know that many of us are rooting for you and hoping and praying the path to recovery is speedy and easy. Big HUGS to you and Doug as you navigate this medical terrain. Xoxo

Jennifer Mueller

Sending so much love and energy and healing. I’m so sorry this is happening. Living with an “invisible” illness is already exhausting – and now this new unknown is awful. The Tower is actually one of my favorite cards – and perhaps reversed is a good sign that there is an answer coming. Take care of yourself. That’s the most important thing right now. Much love. (@rottenlittlemonsters)

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