Six Years

Today is the day.

It’s the six year anniversary of the car accident.

In some ways the accident seems like a lifetime ago.

Mainly because I try, if I can help it, not to think about the actual day it happened.

I also try not to think about the first six four years post-accident.

Or any of the surgeries.

Or, or, or …!

I try to block it all out.

The accident, the eight surgeries, the pain, the disability, the loss of my life as I knew it – every bit of it.

It has been an interesting year.

There have been victories in this last year.

(And setbacks too.)

A year ago I was taking photos again, but every time I did, it would require at least several days to recover.

Sometimes “recovering” from an hour or two of shooting would take a couple weeks.

Now, on the six year anniversary of the accident, I find myself with a camera in my hands more days than not.

(Newport Beach – One Click Photo)

I have more photography work coming my way than I can take on with my injuries,

But each month I find I’m able to do just a little bit more than I could the month prior.

I still have to “recover” from the pain flare-ups my arm causes,

But I’ve made progress in “managing” the pain.

Except for the days when I haven’t …

And there are still way too many of those.

Last week, Dr. Painless summed up my life this way,

“The pain would be manageable just so long as you never moved again whatsoever.”

Exactly!

Thankfully, I have a pain management specialist who understands I don’t want to spend the remainder of my life sitting on a couch watching TV.

Also?

He doesn’t want a life of “doing absolutely nothing” for me, any more than I do.

The Neanderthal is helping me too.

I’ve gone from six days per week of physical therapy (at one point) – to one or two days per week, currently.

The Neanderthal has worked with me to manage life with just my left arm and hand.

He’s had me bring my camera into therapy and worked movement-by-movement with me on ways to make photography easier on my damaged body.

My right (dominant) arm is never going to work normally again.

I will live with high levels of pain always.

With the help of a lot of people,

I’m learning to manage the situation as best as it can be managed.

Pain is a horrible companion to share your life with.

Disability is easier for me to live with than Pain is.

But I’m grateful.

I’m finding ways to do more in spite of Disability and Pain every day.

I have my bad days.

I have moments when I feel frustrated.

I have days when the pain I experience is overwhelming.

There are times when I get tired of fighting.

As some of you know first hand,

It is a constant, exhausting, fight to live a life filled with severe pain.

But, overall, I now have a sense of progress.

It isn’t easy.

In fact, it’s damn hard.

But still,

I’m able to do more than I could a year ago.

If I wasn’t so stubborn, I never would have gotten this far.

It’s a journey I wish for no one.

And yet,

It’s worth the fight.

16 Responses to “Six Years”

    • Suzanne

      Yes, I will. But there are days when it is really a fight.

  1. Missy

    The fact the I now think of you as a photographer, not as an accident victim, is a testimony to all your hard work and determination. Congratulations!

  2. Linda

    (((hugs)))) and admiration for you my friend. I have been following your journey for several years now and I am so proud of you and of what you have and continue to, accomplish. You inspire me to be a better person and I thank you for that.

  3. Nancy P

    You are such an inspiration! I wish for you continued better days.

    • Suzanne

      Thanks Nancy. I’ve come a long way, and I plan to keep going forward!

  4. Ammie Bowman

    You are my hero. I am so grateful for you and your talent….I always look forward to your beautiful work and the smile my heart wears with every click. Thank you for sharing all of you.

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