Finally This Crazy Weeks Over!!

Well it looks as though spring has finally arrived in my parts! Tomorrow the temperature is suppose to get up to 18 C ! For March that just isn’t the norm around here. We usually have snow on the ground until mid April, and we’ve even been known to get the odd snowstorm into early May if it’s a bad winter. So it will be time to soak up the sunshine and get out the camera over the weekend! The weather is suppose to stay warm all through the weekend, which means all our snow will probably all melt. It also means that I get a chance to shoot some pictures other than snowy winter scenes for a change.

Ok! Are you ready for the good news! As of today my all my licensing was completed and I can finally get my Etsy site set up and running. So there is a little bit of work to do but I’m closing in on the big launch date! I really do hope that some of you visit the site when it’s open and take a look at what I have to offer. It’s been a couple of weeks of headaches trying to sort through some of the paperwork to get things going but all of that is almost over. So my goal is to hopefully be up and running by the end of the weekend!!

As far as how I’m feeling, today hasn’t been the easiest of days as I’ve been having a bad day with pain in my neck from where they have placed the lead. It’s seems like as I try to turn my head from side to side it is very stiff and it’s really sore. I know that it’s from build up of scar tissue but I’m wondering just how stiff things are going to get and what exactly my limitations are going to be.

The pain level in my affected limbs remains moderate at the moment with the exception of every once in a while where it shoots up a bit. For the most part however it remains controlled. Things have been so busy as of late that I really haven’t had the chance to stop and think of what I’m going to post about this week. For tonight though I need to stop what I’m doing and take a time out for me. I’ll be adding pictures at some point over the weekend, until then I say have a great weekend!

 

Pain Won’t Make My Decisions!!

 

Sorry it’s been such a long stretch between posts but things have been busy and there hasn’t been a lot of time to write a new post. In making up for that here are a few more from my “frosty morning” series! I’ve been dealing with a few more symptoms as of late from my CRPS but the implants are doing the job they are suppose to do in minimizing the pain that can be caused as a result of those other symptoms. I’m on a real learning curve at the moment figuring out what I can and can’t do. There are days where I am still reminded that I can only go so far, my body letting me know that the pain is still there but controlled to a certain point.

In this last month after all my surgery I have seen an increase in my mobility. I’m receiving from around 50% to 60% pain relief in my affected leg, and about 30% to 40% relief in my affected hand and arm. Clearly things aren’t perfect but I’ll take the results that I’m getting! I could be receiving no relief at all so I’m very happy with where things are at for the moment. If you were to ask me where I’m seeing the biggest results I would have to say that it’s in my ability to walk better than before. I’m able to go further with less pain and don’t have to use my cane. I am only able to push so hard before my body says enough!

 

 

The pain for the most part is better controlled but I still have flare ups that can slow me down. In my opinion the implants are doing exactly what they are suppose to be doing at the moment in giving me a better quality of life. There are still certain symptoms from the surgery that are affecting me however for the most part they are very minor and aren’t bothering me like they were before.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been trying to deal with getting my Etsy shop set up and I wasn’t expecting to have to do so much waiting to get the site up and running. I’m still waiting for my business license to come through before I can get things going which I’m now being told could be 2 to 4 weeks. So frustrating!! In the meantime however I’m moving forward with different plans that I have for my business and getting things set up. Last week a huge opportunity was dropped in my lap in being able to take part in this years Cathedral Arts Festival with a friend. The festival happens every year and is a very big event in our city. So I only have a few months to prepare about twenty to thirty photos for the event, where my photos will be showcased!

I’m trying to keep how much I do under control and not push things to hard, however I’m still reminded that I need to recover from the surgery as well as manage my CRPS. On Wednesday I meet with a local organization SILC that helps people with disabilities in starting up their businesses. So they will help me in drawing up my business plan and in  dealing with various aspects of the business. As you can tell I’m not got to let my disability stop me from doing what I want to do. It’s about taking baby steps in getting to where I want to go, and I’m not about to let something called CRPS stand in my way!

Moving Forward With CRPS!!

Hi again! Well the countdown is on as we are only about four weeks away from going to Disneyland with the kids. So far we’ve managed to keep it a secret but I do have to admit it’s getting harder to keep from them. I don’t know how many times over the last week while my 5 yr old has asked “Daddy can we go to Disneyland?”, and straight faced I have to look at her and say maybe someday we’ll be able to afford to. My wife and I keep playing up all the characters and how much they like them. One thing that’s for sure is that we’re going to have to peel her off the roof when we tell them on the way to the airport.

I’m trying to stay focused this week on things other than my CRPS. My symptoms as you know have been acting up a bit, and so I’m trying to keep my mind off of them so that I minimize the effects. The pain itself is staying very well controlled which in itself is huge! As I’ve said all along it’s about taking baby steps to overcome this disability. The one thing I’m not prepared to do at this point is put a time limit on it. First off it wouldn’t be realistic and secondly it would only be putting more stress on myself! The only person who knows the timing of all of this is God and so I’m leaving it up to Him.

I’m still dealing with some pain as a result of the surgeries but for the most part I’ve gotten over most of it. I’ve been dealing with some pain in my neck where the lead has been placed, but am being told that I’m just going to have to get over that. I’m also dealing with some pain in the area where they implanted the second battery, and my neurosurgeon said he would look at that in three months. Overall though I’d have to say that I’m feeling better than I did before surgery. Now it’s a matter of adapting to life with my implants and all that comes with it.

The hard part is getting through all the surgeries. For myself I had to go through five surgeries in order to complete the double implant. At first I was all stressed over what life would be like with them, but I’ve adapted now and it’s pretty easy. The batteries I have in me are rechargeable and so once a week I watch a favorite show for about an hour and charge myself up. My body has adapted quite well and I really don’t notice the stimulation now. If I turn it up then I do, but what works for me is turning it on low and running it all the time. The only real negative is carrying my remotes around with me, and trying to not forget them anywhere!

It hasn’t been easy to get to this point in my journey. There have been more ups and downs than I can count, and there were all kinds of times where I said I can’t do this anymore. You have to find something from within and for me that was focusing on God and trusting Him to get me through all of this. I truly believe that slowly day by day He is restoring my body and my mind. I now know that I will come out on the other side of this illness and that my life is going be so much better than when all of this began. Things aren’t perfect and there’s a long way to go but progress has been made and so I keep moving forward in faith!

Having A Bad Day!

I have to say I’m sorry about not staying on top of my posts the last week or two. There has been a lot going on, and I haven’t been feeling as good the last couple of days. Today the symptoms seem to be getting worse and so I’m trying to take things a little easier. Days like today are the ones I wish others not affected by CRPS or chronic pain could understand. I go through all this surgery to get relief from the pain and yet the beast rears its ugly head yet again!

Don’t get me wrong the neurosurgeon was pretty straight forward to tell me that I would still have my bad days, I would just have a little more control over them. It’s just that I’ve been doing much better, and then you get slapped in the face out of nowhere by the pain and symptoms that have changed your life over the last 6yrs. I’m in those trenches fighting a war that I refuse to lose. Over the last couple of days my ability to focus hasn’t been as good and so it’s been slowing me down.

Even trying to focus on my photography hasn’t been easy and I need to find a way to regain my motivation. So tonight I’m posting a few more pictures to inspire myself. It’s been snowing the last few days, and so it hasn’t been that easy to get around to take photos. So instead I had to dig into my archives. I’ve been spending a lot of time going through them recently so I hope you like these shots. The first shot was taken up at our family cottage on Vancouver Island.  There are such strong family memories associated with this place. I get homesick just thinking about it! I also included one that I took on a trip in northern Saskatchewan with a friend. The reflection off the pond was amazing however there was only time for one shot or be eaten alive by mosquitoes! I couldn’t resist the shot below of the kittens. I was on a walk and stumbled across them. I only hope the eagles never saw them!

As I spent time looking through all of my photos I was reminded of what I love about picking up my camera. It’s about looking at something and seeing the photo before you even pick up the camera, then making that shot come to life. Well I must have written the same line about three times over, and so I’m thinking that instead of getting to the point of frustration that I should probably just end this post. I hope to see you all in a few days when I’m feeling better

 

Small Victories Are Big Victories

Hi again! The last couple of days have been nothing short of frustrating, as I’ve been trying to deal with the person who has had nothing better to do than bother me with the numerous spam comments that they’ve been sending my way. It took me about three days to find the hidden comment that my spam filter missed, and for that matter that I missed as well. Do they not have anything better to do!! I was at a point where I thought I was going to have to turn off my comments to stop the spam but all is good. I hope none of you received any spam from me as a result and if you did I’m sorry! Like I say the problem is fixed.

So tomorrow I see the neurosurgeon to see what type of progress I’m making with my recovery. All things considered I feel pretty good. I’ve been having some increased pain in my neck and in my lower back where they internalized the battery but things overall have really settled down over the last couple of weeks. I can honestly say that I feel like I can put the surgery behind me once and for all! Now I just have to continue to heal. I’m not done yet as there is still a long way to go but the hardest part is behind me, and I feel like I’ve won a small part of my fight. Besides I have to keep making progress because in about 6 weeks time I’ll be at the “Happiest Place On Earth” with my family. We are surprising my daughters with a trip to Disneyland! They won’t know until the day we go and with each day it gets harder not to tell them.

I have to be ready to walk the grounds of Disney with my family so I have a lot of work to do to strengthen my leg. If you had asked me a year ago if any of this was going to be possible, I would have had a lot of serious doubts in my mind. These implants though have made all the difference in the world, and although things may not be perfect they are a whole lot better. I can’t begin to tell you the emotion that is built up inside over being able to do this with my kids. The psychological impact of this is huge, as I’m able to take back a piece of what was stolen so many years ago.

Nobody can really say how much my health will end up improving, or how much function I will get back in my limbs. What I can say though is that there’s improvement and that’s something to get excited about. It’s a huge answer to prayer because I’m beating something that doesn’t have a cure! Once again I am being rewarded for placing my trust in Gods hands. Where there was once fear in my mind there is now strength! It used to be that there was all kinds of doubt as to my abilities, and now I feel as though I can do anything that I set my mind to!