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.