A Sad Day!

Happy Easter everyone! As we head into Easter this weekend I thought I’d take the time to put up a post before we head to the lake. Like always we will be headed out to our cottage to spend the Easter holiday with family out there! I’m looking forward to being out there with family and don’t really want to be at home in the city because we are having new floors installed while we’re at the lake.

I’m writing this post tonight with a bit of a heavy heart. This week I found out that the surgeon that’s been responsible for my care over the last couple of years passed away suddenly on Sunday night. Words don’t really explain what he did for people suffering from chronic pain over the years. Dr.K.Kumar was a world renowned neurosurgeon who had been recognized through numerous awards for his achievements in the field of neurosurgery including the Order of Canada in 2009. He will be missed by many not only in the medical community but by those of us who he has helped in trying to deal with our various issues of chronic pain. Over the time that he was my doctor he did a lot to help with my CRPS.

I can still remember the first time I went in for surgery to get my first implant. At that point I still wasn’t sure if I was making the right decision or not in getting the implants. He came to my bed before the surgery and I still remember him grabbing me by the arm and saying to me “we’re going to try give you back a quality of life you haven’t had in a long time”. Those words really stuck with me and for the first time I really saw how much he cared about me as a patient. At that moment I knew that God was putting me in the hands of a surgeon that was going to make a difference, when up until that point nobody had been able to help me at all. I had been going back and forth in my head should I do this or not. In that five or ten minutes before the surgery talking to him there was a calmness and peace that I had that this was right! It wasn’t him saying all the right things, it was the look he had and how sincere he was about what he was saying. You could hear it in his voice and see it in his eyes!

I feel very blessed that I was able to get treatment from someone with such skill and so much knowledge in his field. Last May after my most recent surgery he informed me that it was time to slow down, and that he would be retiring so he put me in the care of a new neurosurgeon. There were a few mixed emotions because its hard to leave a doctor when you know your in such good care. Sure there were times when I didn’t agree with what he was saying but I had to take a step back and ask myself who the expert was! Not me that’s for sure! Twelve hour days in surgery followed by other countless hours in his office after that showed just how much he was dedicated to his patients. I can remember my first appointment and seeing him in his office at eight o’clock at night. A doctor at the hospital I’d been seeing called him and without hesitation Dr.K.Kumar said send him down I’ll stay and see him. There was no clock in his head! It truly showed his level of dedication to his patients and the field of neurosurgery.

A couple of years ago I was hardly walking and he was the reason that I can walk without a cane today. Even though my CRPS is still affecting my life in a lot of ways he made a big difference and gave me a quality of life that I didn’t have before. When I met him for the first time that was what he said he’d do for me! He told me point blank that there wasn’t a cure for my CRPS but that he could make a difference in how I could live my life. Dr.K.Kumar will be missed!

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Seeing The Positive!

It’s been a while since my last post but I haven’t been feeling up to writing much over the last few weeks. It’s been a really rough go as of late and with my upper implant not giving me any relief, my pain levels have been pretty up and down. I’ve been having quite a few flare ups and trying to get them under control is taking up a lot of energy. My nervous system is so tightly wound up at the moment that it takes next to nothing to bring on a flare up! Add to all of this a cold that I’ve been fighting to get rid of a cold over the last few weeks and I’d say I’m not having a lot of fun at the moment.

It seems that over the last few months things have been more unstable when it comes to keeping my pain under control. With my upper implant not working properly, it’s like the CRPS is trying to gain the upper hand. Any opportunity it has to unleash it’s wrath on my body it’s been trying to take but I won’t let it win. This go around has been really tough but like all the other times I find a way to bounce back and get back on my feet. It’s exhausting both physically and mentally but the only way to win is to keep moving forward. As hard as it sometimes seems I know I’m going to win this fight because giving up isn’t an option. When your learning to ride a bike and you fall off what do you do? Get back on!

So enough negative for today because I don’t believe in staying in a negative frame of mind. Actually it’s morning now because there was a writers block that was going on last night so I gave up. As is so often the case with this disease you go into a mental fog a lot because of the medications and the illness itself. So rather than try and push through it, I just step back now and take a break so I don’t build up stress. So sometimes it means I have to space out posts because I’m just not clear up in the brain.

When your trying to overcome an illness like CRPS it can be so easy to only see the negative things that surround you. As a result people don’t focus on the positives they’ve got going in their lives and it prevents them from moving forward. So you see among all the pain and the difficulty right now, I’ve got some pretty good things going on in my life. Take my family for example. Before all this happened I was a huge sports person, playing sports like golf, tennis, hockey, and others. I have a daughter who shares a love of sports with me who is playing competitive soccer. Even though I can’t play the sport myself I get to live that passion for  sport through watching her play. Not only do I get to be a proud father watching his daughter play something she loves but watching her and listening to her talk about the sport fills a huge void in my life.

Recently I joined a group of photographers who post their photographs on a National Geographic site. It’s a great way to see other photographers amazing works, and it gives me some great ideas for my own work. An added perk though is that two of my photographs that I posted to the site are being considered for publication! It has always been a dream of mine to have a piece of my work published. Maybe that will happen or maybe it won’t but the very fact that its even being considered brings an amazing amount of joy to my life.

The biggest positive is that God is doing is there bringing me strength, joy, hope, and so many things as I walk through this journey!

 

 

 

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A Pain Filled Day!

Today is the perfect day to write a post seeing as I’m stuck in bed! Overnight things turned very nasty and my pain level has shot up. It’s days like this where I have a hard time because out of nowhere my symptoms explode and leave me pretty rocking in the fetal position. This leaves my wife having to pick up everything that needs to be done with the kids or around the house which I can’t stand! At the same time however I’m lucky enough to have a wife and family that understand that I need space and time alone to get through a flare up like this!

I guess I’m writing this post during my flare up because I want those of you who don’t understand CRPS or know much about it, to see just what one goes through while dealing with a major flare. When things get this crazy and out of control with my CRPS a lot of the time all you can do is hang on and go for the ride. We were out at a dinner last night and by the end of the evening I knew things were getting worse with my pain and nervous system. In the middle of the night I tried adjusting my stimulators to get things under control but that wasn’t making much of a difference. With my nervous system in pure revolt all I could do was lay in bed trying to take my mind off the pain. It might sound easy enough but when you “CAN’T” get your mind off the pain because something upstairs in your head isn’t working quite right, it all of a sudden it isn’t so easy!

It was a night of tossing and turning trying to get some form of relief that never really came. I layed awake most of the night! As morning came things didn’t really ease at all and there has been little or no relief since. I don’t know how to describe it but the pain I feel at times like this cuts to my inner most core making me almost sick to my stomach. I try to read or do other things to distract myself and take my mind away from the pain,  but it’s too intense and I find I have little or no attention span to do anything else but think about the pain. My appetite disappears and I find that trying to do the simplest of tasks takes everything out of me. Needless to say it puts a stop to anything and everything.

Today is one of those days in my fight with CRPS where you feel helpless because your unable to control what is happening within your body and brain. To most of you who are reading this the first three paragraphs are just that, paragraphs in a post that your reading. To me they are three paragraphs that I’ve had to struggle for the last six hours to put together because my thought process keeps getting disrupted. People that don’t know about CRPS or understand it, don’t realize that it’s so much more than just dealing with the pain. It’s a pain that debilitates!

The rest of my family has gone into quiet mode because when the kids start yelling, it sends my nervous system into distress and makes the pain worse. Being alone so that I can have quiet at this point is the best thing for me. If it wasn’t for my faith and having God with me at moments like this I’d probably go crazy! I’ve spent the day today laying in bed with pain shooting down each affected limb, along with spasms that are like lighting bolts. It makes for a real party that goes on within this body.

Did I mention at all I’M HAVING A BAD DAY! I don’t want people to feel sorry for how I’m feeling in any way! Rather I want people to know that I draw strength from times like these. I am not weak but strong and will fight with all my heart and soul to overcome adversity.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Keeping It Real!!

Hi again! It’s been a little over a week trying to put this post together, needless to say it’s been a lesson in frustration. With the increase in medication for my pain I’ve found that concentration for any period of time has been more difficult than usual. It doesn’t normally take this length of time to put together a post but I’m struggling at the moment. I’m in defence mode trying to get everything under control to be more comfortable. At least until I have my surgery to replace the stimulator that isn’t really working. I wanted to include a few more trip pictures so enjoy as you read through.

Up until the last couple of months my CRPS has been under control the best it can be given the nature of the illness. The last few months have without a doubt been more difficult however and my pain has become more difficult to manage! There is hope though because I can get back to where I was after I have the surgery. Yes! There is a long recovery but I’m refusing to believe that I’m going backwards rather than forwards. God is with me and encourages me every day when I need it the most. Over and over I’ve faced adversity through this illness and every time God helps me get through it. Like a boxer who gets knocked down but refuses to stay down, I bounce back up on my feet and get back to the task at hand.

None of this would be possible without God encouraging me and strengthening me as I go through all of this. The long nights like tonight where it’s 3:00am and I can’t sleep because of my pain are hard to deal with, knowing that I need to get up in the morning to be able to function with the rest of the family. Faithfully though He gives me the energy that I need to get through the long days and long nights like these. To be blunt nights like tonight suck! But I know that I’ll come out just fine on the other side because I’m not alone through this fight. On nights where things get like this the emotions of what I’ve had to walk through on this journey come right to the surface. As like so many other times though God always brings peace over me when I need it the most.

DSC_9253I guess the hardest thing about flare ups like tonight and several times in the last week, is being reminded of just how quickly things can change with CRPS. You don’t get to make a lot of choices when it comes to the illness itself but you can choose how your going to let it affect you. I’m not going to lie! Trying to put my thoughts together for this post has been brutal! I don’t know how many times I just wanted to give up, the fight inside me though said not to give up and to push through.

My intent tonight wasn’t to write something that was a real downer but to give you a snapshot of what I face daily while living with CRPS. Some days I feel fantastic for a person who’s living with chronic pain and others not so hot. I don’t think this blog would be real unless I gave you some of the bad with the good. Your emotions are constantly being played with, and there isn’t a day where I don’t have to ask God to bring things back under control. On the turn of a dime things can change with this illness and you have to be ready at all times to fight more than you’ve fought in your life. My fight right now is preparing myself for the surgery that I have to face once again. Knowing the increase in pain I’ll have to face and the healing time honestly makes me want to cry! I don’t want to go through that all again but know it’s necessary if I want to get the pain under control.

When your living with an illness like CRPS sometimes just finishing what you started is a big accomplishment! Tonight I did just that!

 

 

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How Does Temperature Affect Your CRPS?

DSC_9221-e1393642044450This weekend the temperature is suppose to fall to a balmy -59 C! Something is just so very wrong about that! There is cold and then there’s ……… ! Sorry no words can really describe weather like that. My plans are to stay inside and try and stay warm. My CRPS isn’t liking the extreme temps this winter and this weekend I’m sure will be no different. Not having my upper stimulator working properly isn’t helping matters. I’ve had more flare ups in the past few weeks and need the stimulator fixed asap! Any time spring wants to show up is fine with me. Apparently however the groundhog saw his shadow so six more weeks of winter it is! Yipeee!!!! Can you tell that it excites me. No wonder I found myself going through my pictures of Hawaii this week. So here’s a few more for any of you needing to think warm thoughts!

I know! I know! I’m from the prairies and I’m not suppose to complain about the weather because this is a part of life here but sometimes you reach a breaking point. I think I’ve reached it! This will be one of those winters where we set a lot of heating cost records. Not to mention how the weather can change the life of a person living with this illness. I’ve spent a lot of time indoors this winter. I usually try and get out to do some photography over the winter months but it’s just been to cold not to mention that the camera equipment doesn’t like to work.

So I think two paragraphs of ranting about our weather is good enough and that I need to move on to something else. I’m worn out this week and trying to find energy to do the things I need to do has been a real effort at the best of times. I had planned to give my website a bit of a facelift but I just haven’t felt up to doing it. So I apologize and hopefully in the next few days I’ll begin work on that. It’s been a while since I’ve done anything to my site and so I’m feeling the need to make a few changes. One of the changes I’ll be making will be to overhaul the links to other CRPS sites. So if you know of any good ones that you’d like to see me put up on my site then please email me the links.

DSC_92261The main focus of this blog has always been to tell my story while living with CRPS and to encourage others that we can get through this together and by supporting one another. That will always be the way I focus my content on this blog however I need to do a better job at mixing in more content that speaks to CRPS and the specifics about the illness itself. I’ve always felt however that it’s important to let the professionals do the speaking about CRPS itself, so that I don’t misinform people about our illness and chronic pain in general. So I’m still thinking about how to add that content into my posts. Lots of small tweaks are on the horizon so keep checking back. If you have any suggestions about things you’d like to see added to my site then please send me an email with your ideas. I’ve even thinking about adding a section to my site to sell my photographs where the proceeds would then go to CRPS research. I’m still very much in idea mode at the moment!

On the surgery front I’m still waiting to get a date that they will fix my upper implant. For the time being I’ll increase my meds to try and get me through. I’ve also increased the prayer asking God not only to give me strength to keep fighting but to heal my body. Well the kids are needing some daddy time along with my amazing wife so I’d better wrap things up for today. Stay positive and keep fighting!

 

 

 

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A Hard Week!

This week has been one of those weeks where you just want to put it all behind you and move on! I kept finding that I was transporting myself back a few short weeks to when I was on the warm beach in Kauai! There wasn’t any stress and everything was moving at a much slower pace. I’m including a few pictures in my post today to try and take me back in time. This week the stress level along with my pain has reached the critical level once again! I don’t know quite what set things off but over the last couple of days I’ve been having a really hard time controlling pain. I’ve spent most of the weekend trying flat on my back trying to quite my angry nervous system!

So why was this week one of those weeks? I went to see my new neurosurgeon about the problems I’ve been having with my upper implant. One thing led to another and to make a long story short I’m going to be having two more surgeries. The lead that goes in to my spine has shifted and so a new lead has to be put in in order for the stimulator to work properly. We’ve tried over and over to fix things through different programing but it just isn’t working and now we have the reason why.

DSC_9240In order to manage the pain I’ve had to increase my medications and hopefully in a few days things will stabilize. This is the unpredictability of CRPS at its best and the reason you don’t know how things will be from one day to the next! I hope things settle down quickly though because our kids started their week break from school on Friday and I want to get out and spend time with them.

At this point in time it would be easy to get down and say just take it out already! However I’m not willing to give up on something however that in my opinion works! Even though it’s been several months since the stimulator has worked properly it was giving me some relief in the hand. What people need to understand is that the stimulators are not a cure. They are a way to control or manage your pain better and I sometimes think people forget about that. Even though my hand doesn’t get the same relief from pain as my foot, it was working well enough to take the edge off as I like to say. The stimulator helps to manage the frequency of flare ups and other symptoms that I suffer from.

If I can reduce my pain meds enough so that I’m not walking around in a constant haze and so that my nervous system is a little more under control all the time then those are successess in my opinion. In no way am I saying that the stimulator will work for everyone but if your left with no choices then what do you do. We all want a cure for CRPS but at this point there isn’t one, and sometimes I think it can be easy for people to jump right over what’s right in front of them. What I mean by that is people often focus on the things that are out of their control instead of things they are in control. Your time and energy needs to go into managing your pain not focusing on when a cure might come.

Giving up on managing my pain isn’t an option! It’s a daily struggle with this illness. The last four or five days I’ve been in a war with my CRPS trying to get things back under control. At this point in time there’s nothing I’d rather do than climb out of my skin. So what’s more important? Getting all those symptoms under control or worrying about when a cure will happen. I’m not saying finding a cure isn’t important at all because we need a cure in the worst of ways for my sake and everyone else out there. What I am saying is that it’s a lot of hard work to manage your illness. You have the choice to either do that hard work or wait until they find a cure.

Every day I make that choice to do whatever I can do to improve and decrease the pain. Some days it works and some days it doesn’t but at least I’m trying to improve my chances at a better quality of life! Every day God gives me the strength and ability to put one foot in front of the other to continue on. Some days are harder than others and sometimes I wonder when this crazy journey as I call it will end but He always renews my strength and strengthens my spirit. This past week has been one of discouragement but I’m choosing to move forward and not let it slow me down.

 

 

 

 

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Changing “I Can’t” to “I Will”

When I last updated this site I was in Kauai on holidays basking in the warmth of the sun! There are so many highlights to a great trip. The best part about getting away on this trip however was being able to slow down and forget about the pain and the daily grind in fighting this illness. The amazing scenery that surrounded me couldn’t have served as a better distraction! For the first time in who knows how long I was able to get lost in my photography, and through the course of this post you’ll see a small sampling of the photos that I got while I was there. Somehow I managed to take over 800 shots while there and I probably could have takenDSC_9207 more.

While we were away I was able to stay pretty active although by the end of our stay I was starting to feel the affects of the increase in amount of activity. When your on holiday there is so much you want to get out and do as well as see. So although you tell yourself that your really relaxing and that you can take things easy, your always end up doing more than you think! I managed to pace myself through the entire trip but it still took a lot out of me. The hardest part with our trip I’d say was the travel to get to and from Hawaii. The hours of flying and the pressure changes on my affected limbs made my pain more of a challenge to deal with. This is a life with CRPS however and you can’t let it stop you from trying new things or getting out and being as active as you can.

Over my time away with my wife I had time to reflect on how things have changed since my diagnosis. The biggest change of all however is in my mindset and how I look at everything differently from when I was first diagnosed. Over the seven year span since first being diagnosed my attitude has gone from “I can’t” which then turned into “I’m not sure” to where I am today which is “I can”. It isn’t easy and every day is still a challenge but I take on each day as a new challenge and that I’m going to push just a little bit harder and find something positive to take away from it. God has truly transformed the way I think about my life and how I choose to live it. My body may not be the same but my mind is still mighty and powerful and can be used to accomplish so much!

Am I passionate about finding a cure and getting the use of my limbs back? Absolutely! What I’m not willing to do however is sit around feeling sorry for myself and waste the next twenty years of my life in the process. I believe God has challenged me to work within my disability and live an amazing life, and that through this disabilty will come amazing things. My story is still playing out however and so as much as I’d like to tell you how it’s going to end I can’t right now. I’m sure I have more challenges and struggles to face in the months and years to come but it’s all part of God’s greater plan in my life. I know in my heart that He’s using the positive and the negative to grow the faith I have.

So on the point of not wanting to sit around feeling sorry for myself I challenged myself while in Kauai! I wanted to go zip lining while we were there. When your living with a disability the first thing that goes through your mind is that there’s no way I’m going to be able to do this. With one hand and one leg I shouldn’t be able to do this right! I had to use my mind to overcome the odvious and not allow it from stopping me. All it took was a little digging into finding the right company that would work with my disabilty and I was able to have the experience of a lifetime. Dangling from a wire 250ft off the ground is an experience let me tell you! Your brain is going to try and tell you when your dealing with a chronic illness that there are lots of things you can’t do! I refuse to let my CRPS make all the decisions though and won’t give up trying to bring about positive change.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again! Don’t let CRPS stop you from doing the things you want to do. Expect that your going to fall sometimes but know that you can always get back up. The illness we live with is cruel and causes so much pain and sadness in a person’s life. I don’t want to be that person! Somewhere deep down there’s happiness and a great life awaiting you. You just have to say a little prayer and find it! I’ll be posting more pictures when I get finished going through them.

 

 

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Pushing the Borders!

After a really long trip we finally arrived at our little island paradise. Even though my wife and I were exhausted from a long day of travel when we arrived at our cottage we had rented we knew this was going to be something special. It was late at night when we drove in but you could tell as you were driving in that you were in the middle of a lush green tropical paradise. With the time change it was about 3am our time when we got to bed so the first day yesterday we were pretty tired. My body is trying to process and deal with a fare amount of extra pain but I have some great distractions to keep me busy, and to keep my mind off the pain. All the flying and the pressure changes have caused some extra swelling and I’m sure it will take a few extra days for my body to sort things out.

Nothing could prepare me for what we saw the next morning as we saw our surroundings for the first time in daylight. No wonder they call this island the “Garden Island”! I can’t begin to put into words how lush and green everything is. All I can say is that my camera is going to get a real workout while we are here. I have to say it was worth bringing all my camera equipment with me. With the two of us being pretty jet lagged we decided that the first day we’d stick to driving around to get our bearings as well as take in some of the amazing sites and beaches along the way.

I started writing this post the other day but the internet connection in the place that I’m staying was having connection problems so I couldn’t continue! So here I am a couple of days later a bit more refreshed and over the jet lag. We’ve spent the last couple of days touring this amazing island seeing so many great things. We’ve even had the chance to go snorkelling a few times which was high on my list of things to try. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to do it because of my disability but with a little adaptation we made it work. All it took was a life vest so I could float and when I needed to move somewhere my wife was there to help me swim. There was a sense of accomplishment to just getting in and trying! Too often people say “I can’t” before they even try doing something. The way I think of things is that you try first and then your justified in saying that you can’t.

Without a doubt my pain level is up and down at the moment but I’m making sure that I take things easy and that I don’t push to hard. The hardest thing at the moment is trying to get my body onto the proper schedule. With a four hour time change my body starts needing my meds at all the wrong times, so it’s taking a little bit to adjust. What’s very nice here however is the constant temperature. Without the drastic swings in temperature it makes the CRPS easier to manage. Maybe I need to move!!! Wouldn’t that be nice!!

With yesterday being such a busy day I’m feeling the need to slow things down a bit. So today we’re going back up the east side of the island to visit some of the local markets and to watch some of the amazing surfers on the north shore. The forecast today is for 40ft to 50ft swells so I hope to see some great surfing and get some great shots as well. Well I guess it’s time to get out on the next adventure so I’ll update again soon.

 

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Holiday Time!

Here I am again except this time it’s Thurs night and it’s the eve before our trip. If I could sum up how busy the week has been the one word I’d use is insane! Ever since the weekend it’s been none stop and my body doesn’t react very well to all the extra stress. I’m dealing with quiet a bit of extra pain at the moment but I know when I get on the plane tomorrow all that extra stress is going to fall off. Although I still have one big hurdle to get through and that’s all the travel. It’s going to be one very long day tomorrow and I only hope that I have a good pain day.

The last couple of days my symptoms have been a bit worse and I really need something to be done with my upper implant. The good news is that today I got the news that a date to see the surgeon has been booked. The week after we get home I’ll be going to see him and hopefully move to a surgery date after that. At least there is a little forward progress as I can’t keep going without something being done. Over the last couple of days I’ve been dealing with a constant dull headache and I haven’t been as sharp mentally as I know I can be. When things get like that I know the CRPS is trying to wage a war, so I know I have to push back twice as hard to win the fight.

Our trip to Hawaii couldn’t come at a better time, as I know my body and mind can use the distraction. I’me really hoping that I’ll be able to distract myself  taking in the world class scenery and better yet capturing a few world class photos along the way. The last time we were in Hawaii I wasn’t able to snorkel because without the use of my hand and foot I can’t swim. This time I’m going and my hope is that we’ll do something called snuba which is a combination of scuba diving and snorkelling. It is a perfect fit for someone with a disability and allows me to not have to miss out. I always look for ways that I can modify my holidays so that I can still have a good time and not have to sit on the sidelines all the time.

I get a feeling that this is going to be one of the best holidays yet and what makes it all the better is that I get some alone time with me wife. Living with CRPS can grind away at a relationship and cause a lot of extra stress. You have to take time out every so often to build each other up and take back what CRPS try’s to steal. So I’m looking forward to a lot of great laughs and quality moments together. Well it’s almost midnight and I have a long day ahead of airports and planes so I’d better get some rest. I’ll try to put up a post while I’m away along with a few photos. For the most part however my plans are to leave most of the technology behind. Talk to everyone soon!

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! This year for New Years we decided to see a movie with the girls followed by dinner ordered in! My youngest daughter has been sick with bronchitis and and has an ear infection so we decided not to do to much. Any way you look at it though it’s been great because we get to be together as a family spending lots of time together.

Christmas was a lot of fun even though I had to manage a few flare ups over the coarse of the week. I just focused on staying on top of the pain and not letting it get out of control. It was great spending time with family, and getting away and not having to go to a doctor’s appointment was even better. I was also reminded about how blessed I am to have the amazing family that I do. We are a large family and we had a total of 39 people at dinner! I always go into dinner not knowing how my CRPS is going to be affected but this year went pretty well. The weather smartened up for Christmas day and we were able get outside with all the others in the family and enjoy some skating on the lake as well. Well in my case I watched! Great food, great conversation, and great company it doesn’t get any better than that.We really do have the best Christmas’s in our family!

For the most part the holidays have been really quite and so that helps with the CRPS. Visiting with relatives and family has been just the right amount of time so that my flare ups have been held to a minimum. In other words I’ve managed to make it through another Christmas season. It might sound like a sigh of relief that I got through the business that this time of the year brings but it really isn’t! It’s just what life has become now and building in all the skills to manage day to day is just a part of my routine. It took some time but now those tools have just become second nature and I don’t have to think about them. If I feel as though a flare up is about to start my mind automatically goes to what I have to do in order calm my nervous system down.

This winter has been extremely cold here on the prairies. It seems as though we’ve had a few days here and there where the temperature hasn’t been -35C. I’m sure there are those of you who suffer from CRPS who can agree with me when it comes to the cold. So in a couple of weeks I’m looking forward to taking in some much needed warmer temperatures! That right two more weeks until Hawaii!! That’s right 15 days until we touch down on the tropical paradise of Kauai! Time for some much needed alone time with my wife and to relax and do whatever we want. Now if you ask me if I’m looking forward to the travel side of things I’d give you a different answer. Going through airports can be tricky with all the metal and wires I now have in my body. Often I tell security not to waste time and load me in to the body scanner so as to speeds things up!

Kauai is one of those places that I’ve always wanted to photograph so needless to say the camera gear is going with me. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to get the camera out so what better place to get back into it! It’s a perfect start to my photography portfolio for 2014. Between surgery and a basement being renovated last year I almost feel as though last year was a lost year when it comes to my photography. I look forward to spending more time shooting and developing my skills, trying to keep my mind away from the pain. For Christmas my wife gave me a fantastic present of a two day workshop to Greg Johnson the Storm Chaser. If you’ve ever seen his photography it’s amazing!

I should probably wrap up things for now so Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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