Things Remembered #HAWMC

Today I start the first day of the Health Activists Writers Month Challenge. I didn’t find the challenge until yesterday so I’m a few days behind but decided to challenge myself to get back on track with my writing. Todays topic is what is an item you have kept with you that reminds you of an important time in your life. The question then asks was why does this item remind you of that period of your life? Not an easy question to answer because that requires going back over the last 30 yrs or so and trying to remember everything good, bad, and ugly! One thing however really sticks out because it means so much more now since my being diagnosed with my CRPS.

When I was in my early twenty’s my father gave me my first 35mm camera! Do you remember those? Those were the cameras that you actually had to put film into, and then after the pictures were taken you had to get the film developed. I’ll always keep that camera because its so much more than a gift. Who knew that receiving a gift as simple as a camera could mean so much down the road. At the time that my father gave me the camera he knew just how much it meant to me. If he were alive today I’d want him to know just how much that camera has been responsible for saving my life! How do you ask?

When I was at my darkest moment after being diagnosed with CRPS, I was having a hard time finding myself while I was in those greiving stages that most people go through when facing something of this magnitude. My independence and confidence had been stripped to the bone, and I wanted desperately to get that back but I just didn’t know how I was going to do it. In so many ways I just wanted to do something that would give me that independence back, and give me the confidence that had been so badly shaken. Photography had been a passion of mine up until all of this had happened. I had all but cast it aside however because I never thought I’d be able to continue it with only the one hand. Several people suggested however to use my passion as a distraction from the pain.

                      Then one day I happened to be going through some of the cupboards and I came across that amazing gift that it had all started with. It was as if it stirred something in me that nobody else could! I know that sounds crazy but its the truth. The memories of getting that first camera came rushing back and it was at that point I made the decision to find a way to pursue my photography. After a few disscusions with people I managed to modify a new dslr camera so that I could get back out doing what I love. A year or two later and now I own my own photography business. I’ve kept that precious gift however because its had such a meaningful impact on my life.

There isn’t a day that goes by when I’m out shooting photographs where I don’t think about what that gift meant to me!



Adapting To A New Way Of Life!

I had intended on posting a few days ago but once again things are a bit on the crazy side and I’m trying to get my basement finished sometime before summer. The restoration company that’s doing the construction is taking their sweet time in finishing the work they need to do. They came Wed of last week to start the framing but then Thurs decided not to show. What made me even more frustrated was that I had called to see where they were and nobody even returned my call. Late in the day I finally did get a call saying they would come Friday. What I wasn’t expecting was that they would show up and do a half hours work then leave! Talk about frustrating!

My pain levels have been up and down over the last couple of days but at the same time I’ve been under a lot of stress so I have to expect things will be a little worse. In a week I’ll be headed to the surgeons office to see how things have been healing over the last few weeks. So far things seem to be doing well but it’s just a really slow process. I’m trying to take things easy but that’s easier said than done because I have lots of winter clean up to do, and I can’t afford to hire everything out. As those of you who are dealing with disabilities know, you become dependant on others to do so much. It’s a constant reminder that your life has changed and you have to work hard not to let it affect you.

Depending on so many others is hard for us and for a long time you may have to rely on those people around you. The hardest part is accepting that help and for the longest time I didn’t want to take it. Once I did though it helped me focus on getting better or adapting in ways that I needed to in order to make life a little less complicated. It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life because you’ve lost your independence and some of the things you need help with really frustrate you to the core. With my hand being affected I can’t move the fingers on my left, so when it came to cutting up my food I just couldn’t do it. My wife and I would be out to dinner and I’d have to pass her my plate and have her cut up everything. Another in your face reminder of the change that has happened. The good news though is that over time I’ve learned to adapt and for the most part now I can do it myself! It’s about giving yourself time to adapt and making small changes in your life. You can and will regain some of that independence that you lost, it just takes a little time.

As we head into summer this is the time of year where there are lots of outdoor jobs that need to be done. My list of jobs for this year is long and a large amount of those jobs are too tough for me to do. My outlook before would be just to put those jobs out of my mind because I couldn’t do them as well as it would be far to expensive to higher them all out. This year is going to be different though because I’m going to find ways to adapt to do those jobs. I have the confidence now in that I can overcome any obstacle that’s put in front of me. It might not be that its done the same way but I’m going to do them again!

So you might be a little on the frustrated side at the moment but never lose hope. It just takes a little bit of time and effort on your part to adapt and gain back some of that independence that you’ve lost.