I've been meaning to update this blog for the last four weeks. But I've been so bloody busy! Why's that? Because I've been made "official". I'm now one of the faire photographers (there's a team of us). Basically, I'm doing everything I've always done- taking photos of practically everything, including the jousts- but now I get let into the loop on special events and now I can say: "I'm working here!" and mean it.
But, let's us get to the important fibro stuff... After opening weekend- which was an experiment in HELL for pain- I didn't have a huge flareup of pain. In fact, it wasn't even the pain that bothered me. It was the fatigue. The exhaustion just kicked me in the side of the head and wrestled me to the floor. I was so tired that I declared every day a nap day. The experiment in hell for pain was in my feet. I wore the wrong kind of socks, which caused me all sorts of discomfort. "Wrong kind of socks?" you ask. Yes. I wore some that were supposed to help with various foot issues. The problem is, they have a lot of Spandex in them.
These socks, actually. (mine are black and pink). And they're good socks. I'm wearing a pair right now with my Doc Martens hiking boots. But on a day that was 90+ degrees with high humidity, they were the worst thing ever to be stuck wearing for 14 hours.
And now that we're going on our fifth weekend of faire, I've learned a few things... one, wear good socks. As close to 100% cotton you can get. Two, even if I'm in pain from wearing leather shoes and walking all weekend, I still need to force myself to wear shoes at home on Monday. Even if I'm not going anywhere. Last year, I'd spend all of Monday and most of Tuesday wearing slippers and whining about how much my feet hurt. This time, I get up, drag myself around- whining as much as possible, of course- and I put on my hiking boots (I have shoes that I wear specifically for the ren faire, because they look almost period-correct... ALMOST). And I recover much faster.
I still whine as much as I can, of course, because goddammit, I have a chronic pain disease.
Now, that's not to say I haven't had a few bad days. I always have those. The days when even my clothing hurts my body. I hate that feeling- when I put on otherwise comfortable clothes only to have the fabric feel like hot sandpaper or that the pressure of the fabric against my skin feels like a painful bruise.
In fact, I schlepped my ass around the faire all day on Sunday in the throes of a flareup. But, I took Vicodin every six hours and I split my three muscle relaxers a day evenly instead of taking one in the morning and two in the evening. That seems to help. (and my doctor said it was okay to do so). I also sit down as much as possible, because I wouldn't be me if I wasn't putting my butt down on a flat surface on a regular basis.
Now, to end this on a happy note, here are a few of my 365s from the faire.
Opening day was so hot that at around 130 PM, I had to loosen the laces on my bodice. And around 4 PM, I had to take it off entirely. I hate walking around without a bodice at faire, it feels wrong, but hey, when you reach that point, you gotta do what you gotta do.
This is "Don Eduardo de Valencia" (I call him Vince, because that's how I met him last year).
Here I am with Kyle ("the one with the eyes"), and Duchess. It was her birthday! And we're at the end of the day, near the gates.
It has taken me three years to get this shot. "Lady Gwendolyn" (Tricia) is sneaky and always seemed to disappear before I could get her in my 365. She makes horse tack. Age of Equus is what she calls her leather work.
This was taken last Sunday. I'm with the "Lord Mayor of Bristol" and one of the Bristol Buskin Frolic guys (I don't know his character name!) and together, they call themselves "The History Bluffs". We did an impromptu photo shoot after I shot the historical costume contest. And then I had them be in my 365 with me (Duchess- from the other photo- was my human tripod. She's another Bristol photographer). This would be the day that I muscled through a flareup all day.
Do you see a theme with those photos? I mean, aside from my silly hat (hey, I made that hat! Second hat I ever tried to make).
I'm smiling. A real and full smile. (even with Vince, where I'm so exhausted I wanted to fall down).
No matter how terrible I feel, I always smile at Bristol.