Two teenagers, a busy church life and a full shooting calendar has been a great blessing and distraction from what has also been a very trying time medically. It began 6 years ago with chronic pain that was never fully understood. After almost two years of constant doctor appointments, physical therapy and side effects to medications I began to treat my constant inflammation and pain with an AIP diet and dropped all of my medications. I went from daily pain and being unable to be physically active to having fewer days of pain. A year after the diet change I had a huge break through and got my running legs back.
HORAY for long run days!!
Three years went by, with pain, but at least it was manageable mostly with diet changes. Then…. then in the midst of a marathon training cycle this winter I began feeling a new pain. Being acutely aware of my body I knew it wasn’t good and went straight to the doctor. I was diagnosed with IT band syndrome. A diagnosis as common as runner’s knee. I knew there was more to it but again found myself under the care of a doctor that downplayed my pain and suggested I just ran too much.
If you know a runner you know there is no such thing as running too much!
When I wouldn’t let the issue drop because I knew I wasn’t over training (I’ve learned to advocate for myself y’all!) I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon. To make a very long story more condensed, because you really aren’t’ here for medical details! Months went by with my pain increasing. Physical therapy wasn’t helping, medication didn’t touch it, steroids didn’t do a thing and I went from being able to complete a marathon to not being able to walk a full mile without being in great pain. You must understand that I am no stranger to pain. I’ve learned to manage pain very well and, for the most part, I live as one without pain. But this new pain? I could not shake. I was on rest aside from working sessions and wedding days and even with rest I was getting worse. This is when an MRI was finally done and we learned that I have a labral tear in my hip- which explains my pain, and perhaps explains my last six years of pain! It took me days to let that news sink in fully friends!!
I am so thankful for answers and for a great physical therapist that took my pain seriously and insisted an MRI be the next step. And I’m thankful to now be in the care of a specialist of Labral Tears!!
So. What now? Why am I sharing this with you when I typically keep things professional and hush-hush about my medical journey? Well… This tear will require surgery and a long healing period followed by months of therapy. This hip issue is about to change our lives here for a few months. I will be on crutches for many weeks, unable to work anywhere from 3-5 months depending on my healing and I will not be able to tilt my hip or bend in crazy normal photographer ways as is my norm. You know I got those moves! heeheee!
I have opted to hold off on the surgery and continue to manage my pain naturally until after this wedding season ends for me in November. I value each of my clients and wish to fulfill my contracts with each one. I have been shooting and working with pain and have not had any issues delivering what I am contracted for so this will be no different going forward until the day of surgery. The only difference is in what I am able to book from November to February. I am hopeful of being back to light work in March and will try to update clients as I recover.
You can imagine there are many fears. How this will effect our family, our church, our small business. Did I mention I’ll not be able to drive or bear any weight on my leg for weeks on end?
How is everything going to work as our oldest is entering Senior year of high school.
What of my youngest who needs an active mother for her responsibilities. Not to mention Homeschooling.
There is a 70% success rate for this surgery.
Fear of the 30%.
But you know what I’ve been learning through the years of this journey? God is the giver of all things. Gifts, blessings, pain, difficult circumstances…. all of it comes from His good hands. And I am choosing to live in expectation of the growth that He is accomplishing instead of the fear which my knees want to buckle to.
I am daily choosing thankfulness.
I am daily choosing rest.
I am daily choosing joy.
I am daily choosing hope.
Hope for the possibility of a full recovery. And knowing that if I fall under the 30% I’ll still fall in soft, loving, sovereign hands.
There is so much to be hopeful for, thankful for, and so much joy to focus on. At the top of the list is understanding clients who stand beside me. Thank you to each of you for your support! I’ve reached out to all of my already contracted Portrait, Commercial and Wedding clients and have been floored with so much understanding as we get things taken care of on the business end of things. If you are reading this and were hoping for Portrait work this year, please don’t be shy and reach out to me. I am not turning work away until November and would love to have the opportunity to serve you until then. If you are planning a 2018 wedding I am booking Late Spring, Summer and Fall weddings just as usual!!