Since it's (mostly) not a mystery anymore, I thought I'd share.
So sometime around mid-october I stopped being able to draw. No real warning... I was just working on homework one day and it felt like my arm had seized up. Cramping from my shoulder to my hand. I suddenly couldn't lift my hand above my waist, hold a pencil, turn a steering wheel. It lasted for about three days. I had figured I over did it and that resting it would fix it right up. So I dropped all side art that wasn't for school and it seemed to work until I got my final project assigned in December. Two days in, it happened again, except this time I lost feeling and strength in that hand and it didn't go away with resting after a few days. My Doctor wanted me to drop out of my classes immediately. I finished my two final project pages with some combination of my left hand and a pile of four pillows with my left hand supporting my wrist to try to avoid extra strain.
To shorten a really long story, the next two months were a bunch of tests, physical therapy and being told to give up drawing (At least for the time being) I couldn't really do it without triggering some of the worst pain of my life. I did the steroid pack, the cortisone thing. Heating, icing, estim, massage, exercise, gabapentin, acupuncture, diet changes, sleeping changes. I dropped out of all my animation classes and I'm slogging it out in online GEs this semester because of the sheer amount of time I've spent in appointments and not being able to draw, still :/ I dropped out of all the stress I could. So a temporary hiatus from fandom became a more permanent one.
Final pile of diagnoses:
My neck has straightening and stair-step listhesis with disk degeneration which contributed but was not the cause which was...
My shoulder (after the cortisone) has rotator cuff tearing, a lambrum tear, bursitis, tendonitis... basically when I move my arm over my head it sounds like snap crackle and pop all at the same time *shudder*
My arm has bursitis and tendonitis going in all of the major joints to my fingers from compensating for my shoulder.
And a case of systemic inflammation. My body is not happy and is not healing well. (I have the lovely gift of plantar faciitis which also resisted the cortisone and now I'm getting tendon scrapings done on it and yes, it's exactly what it sounds like.)
So far through this experience I've learned two things.
My joints are all apparently hyper flexible which makes them more susceptible to injury and overuse.
I have something called Fibromyalgia. Which is hard to explain except to say there are points on my body where you could touch lightly, but if I wasn't looking, I'd swear you were digging your finger in. It also disrupts sleep, fatigue, headaches... It was like everything I'd ever had was in that brochure.
Current status is. Still no drawing. :/ I can do like 20 minutes a day if I've done nothing else. My last art was two straight weeks of that.
Still going to PT to try to avoid surgery, as that would take me out automatically another 4 to 6 months. They are talking about taking out my bursa and I'd rather keep all my parts if I can, tyvm ^_^
I've still got a nerve conduction test coming up to see if any nerves are damaged in my arm. (definitely have some nerve damage in my foot)
But I will say the PT is paying off. My shoulder is feeling so much better now. It was just constant pain all the time and it's now only hurting when I move it or overuse it (overuse is hardly any right now, sadly)
And now just rest.
So there's the explanation for my hiding. I AM dead this time. For real. But hopefully I'll return soon with good news.