Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pahz Lives with Fibro and talks about photography

I have a photography blog that I had to make private... I don't update it much... anyway, let's talk about this ongoing flareup and then I'll talk about photography. Because even though I've had this stupid flareup, I've been doing things, because I have to. Well, not "have to", more like "I want to do this so much that I will crawl across broken glass to do it!" and having a flareup is painful. Maybe not "crawl across glass" painful, but it isn't a roll in the daisies either (I sure hope that isn't a euphemism for anything provocative, because the last thing I need to be is provocative). Also, I feel like I should add: "& talks about Photography" to that banner.

Let's move forward...

The pain is one thing, you know... I can deal with the pain. I can stay off my feet or even starfish myself across my bed. I can take some pain medication that doesn't really kill the pain, but makes me not give a damn about it. But the exhaustion really kicks me in the teeth. It took me three days to do my Janesville Ren Faire photos because of the exhaustion. I took less than 300 photos on both days and I should have been through them by Tuesday.

So, the exhaustion just kicks me in the back of the face, like an angry Chuck Norris with nothing better to do than pick on a short, fat housewife. Now, if we combine the exhaustion with the pain, well... that just cranks the suckitude up to eleven.

During this flareup- this flareup that has lasted for approximately 41 days now- late in the evening, I start to feel a little better and I think to myself: "Hey, maybe this goddamn flareup is finally easing up..." But then when I wake up in the morning, I'm rudely and painfully reminded that no, no... this flareup is definitely not easing up. And if I'm feeling really good about it before I fall to sleep, I sometimes get awakened in the night by the pain clenching my muscles in its grip and giggling maniacally because I dared to shift myself around in bed. The mornings have been so bad lately that I can't find the energy or strength to pour a bowl of cereal. (Special K cereal bars are helpful).

So, I trudge on, because what else can I do? I'm on that bubble of "do I bother to call the doctor and get an appointment?" because that could take a few weeks, or do I just keep soldiering on because this is just a flareup and it HAS to end...

Now, in between all these random blogs of me bitching and whining my way along, I've had a few great weekends that totally made up for the terrible and painful weeks. I had the Bristol Pirates on the Tall Ship Windy on May 10th. It was an awesome day, filled with way too many stairs on the CTA, but I made it. I managed to keep up with everyone and not die from it. Not dying is always a plus. Because if I died while on the way to the ship, I would have missed out on taking those cool photos. A week after that, I had the Janesville Renaissance Faire- an event I haven't missed since it started nine years ago. And that includes 2009, when I had my knee replacement just a scant two months before.

Those two events were awesome. I had tons of fun, despite the pain. All the walking and standing really kicked my ass all over the place, but I still had fun. I also chewed down Vicodin like my life depended on it. I also sat down as much as I could (otherwise, there would have been way more photos at the Janesville Faire). But, nothing prepared me for the awesome day I had last Sunday. Sunday, May 25th, I drove down to Chicago (my daughter, Christine, and her boyfriend Casey, came along) and- like the Mother's Day shoot, I met up with my friends at one's apartment. From there (after the ladies completed their hair and makeup), we made our way to the Museum of Science and Industry. Once there, we met up with other photographers and a few more models (four photographers and six models) and we took over the old-time Main Street and had a little 1940s Film Noir-style photo shoot. It was so much fun, but dear sweet baby Jebus, I was in agony.

I don't think that second injection from the podiatrist is working for me. My plantar fasciitis seems to be flaring again, so on Sunday, I wore my Dr Martens with a slight heel, to take the pressure of that part of my foot. And at first, it was working. But almost as soon as we hit the cobblestone street of the Main Street display, all the pain I had was in my feet. The cobblestone made it hard to walk (I don't know how the ladies did it with their heeled shoes!) and I really wished I'd worn my regular boots. My heel would have been sore, but that would have been all that was sore (I think, anyway). We were all on our feet pretty much the entire time (we were there for HOURS). But dammit, I had fun and I learned a few things (photographically-speaking). My muscles were screaming every time I moved, but I still walked along as best I could. I stood still, holding my arm up in the air while I was being a light stand. I walked around, took photos and even caused one of the women to crack up while she was trying to pose all serious-like.

My feet seemed to be the source of Hell's gaping maw of fiery pain and my body aching like I'd just used all my muscles to hold a train over my head, but I wouldn't change my day. I had fun, despite the pain. I got to spend all day with amazing and beautiful people and three awesome photographers. And with all we did all day, only one person stopped to ask us what we were doing. When we said we were doing a 1940s Film Noir style photo shoot, they asked what for and I replied: "For fun, of course!" She didn't seem to believe us, but we also mentioned that we're all friends and some of us are photographers and some of us are beautiful people... so things like this happen.

So, Sunday, we left the house at 7 AM and returned around 830 PM. (I drove home in my sock feet because I HAD to get those boots off my feet) And in between were the most painful and exhausting hours I've experienced since my first week of physical therapy after my total knee replacement. But those hours were also incredibly fun and my photos turned out amazing.

So, fuck you, Fibro. Fuck. You. You caused immense pain, but I didn't stop. You caused me to disappear to the ladies room twice to control the tears you were forcing, but I still went back out there and took photos. So have a big middle finger and a hearty FUCK YOU, FIBRO. You suck, but you can't stop me from living my life. I spent four years of my life indoors and not doing anything because of my pain. I'm not going to do that again. Ever.

And now, because you knew it was coming- here are the photos from Sunday.
~The Link to the Whole Album~

And here's a selection of photos. And yes, you recognize the models from the pirate photo shoot and various other ren faires I've photographed and they are the same people who actually ask me how I'm doing and mean it. (some of the captions are mine, some are made up by Tabitha).

"Something didn't add up... this case smelled bad, like the docks at low tide, but he knew he couldn't turn back now..."


"That dame had gams that went all the way up, the way gams do and I knew I was a goner..."

The train...

"She pulled out her compact to pause the conversation and I knew I hit a nerve..." 

The nerve...

"She was right at home in the night. Her fear was a ruse. An act that I fell for, hard..."

The night...

You can tell that they're as smart as they are handsome by the way they use their glasses.

The smart one and the pretty one

"She was waiting... and I had no idea I was the next one in her trap..."

She was waiting...

"I knew that I could be straightforward with this dame. But she moved sideways and threw me off my tracks... I was hers and she knew it."


"I thought she looked like a postcard and in that moment, I knew I wanted her to stay just so I could look at her..."


"Those lips would be the death of me and I was ready for my funeral..."

Those lips...

"Martin J. Frobisher P.I. and his plucky assistant, his gal Friday, Antsy Drew..."

(do they look familiar? They should! You've seen them before!)

Martin J. Frobisher P.I.

"I knew she was bored and like a cat with a fly, she was going to play with her prey. I was willing to be that prey..."

Her prey

"She held onto her hat as the train picked up speed and I knew I would follow her no matter how far she went..."

Her hat...

"He was hooked, caught up in her web. Poor man was a goner and didn't even know it yet..."

Into her web...

Karen, casually glamorous-

Karen, casual glamour

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