Good morning and happy Friday! Life really is what you make it and not just some inspirational quote you see on social media. At least it works for me as I do not wish to push my beliefs on anyone. This morning I just completed a full half-hour in the pool. My physical therapist is working with me to get my core strengthened to help alleviate the weeble-wobble feeling I get when I am walking. Someone, please invent wheelie-bars for people like me!!! I don’t understand the process of the laminectomy as it as been almost twenty years since my surg tech days and I really never scrubbed in for any ortho or neuro surgeries as those were considered off-limits to us students. Part of me wanted to bust open a medical book and start dissecting the parts of the surgery that I had. The best way to explain it is like from my belly button up, everything feels normal. However, everything below my belly button seems foreign and I am slowly getting reacquainted with this new body and it’s split personality. Sometimes when I am listening to music I just want to get up and dance and sometimes I do. Most of the times my dance numbers are limited to less than 30 seconds but have been getting longer each day. Also, I am getting better at standing up and working at my computer. I can stand for about 5 to 6 minutes and honestly, if this is what playing a piano feels like them maybe I should start studying piano as I really would like to learn at least one musical instrument in my life time. To you my fellow Cauda Equina Syndrome survivors, I see and read about your pain and I hope that you find something that means something to you, something that helps you forget about the pain. Something that helps you forget the pain even for a little bit. This may only be true for me but joy and laughter are the best pain killers that anyone can peddle. This may be why I am so focused on music as it does bring me joy and is sometimes very soothing. I wonder if these artists know that their words, chords and melodies set off emotions and memories. That sometimes they inspire us to move and dance and exercise. All these thoughts that rattle around in my 49 year old head as I work on my two projects, take random photos like the ones I took this morning and focus on my recovery.
It feels so good to be able to swim back and forth doing the breast-stroke. Today I also started including freestyle laps. Once upon a time, 1984 to be exact, I joined the Duarte Parks & Rec swim team. I still remember Herman our coach and his porn-stache. I still wish I had a photo of him.
So much was going on the summer I joined swim team. It was 1984 and Los Angeles was hosting the Olympics. That is where I met a few people that luckily for social media we arre still in contact. Afternoons during that summer were filled with 100s, 400s and the dreaded 1600. I think the 1600 was 81 or 82 laps in that 25 meter pool. Sometimes when we did something that the coach did not like he would make us tread water in the deep end with our heads and hands held out of the water. If one person failed and their shoulders and head went below water the coach would add on a minute of tread time. I thought about those times today as I tread water as exercise and not as the punishment that it once was. Honestly, during those punishments I used to daydream about being a water ballerina as synchronized swimming was getting popular during that time. Funny, now I look back at the time as a great prep for what was to happen in my life. It taught me to keep my head above water but have good time doing it. During my swim this morning I was thinking about the two times that I took my camera into the Fantasy Springs Event center without a press pass. I have been studying the photos lately because on September 1, 2019 I will go to the ticket booth and pick up my passes. This time I get to take my cameras in and get to shoot without worries of getting tossed. I almost forgot, The Boss- Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band came to the Los Angeles Coliseum for four nights in 1984. That was my first ever concert. No wonder why I was hooked. That concert lasted 4 hours and to me, it will never be long enough.
The above photos were shot at the Jason Bonham Zepplin Experience (Evening) 8.3.18 at the Fantasy Springs Concert & Event Center. Our tickets were in the 9 rows from the stage. I was able to sneak in two lenses. The above photos are not edited except for some cropping. The area I was sitting in was packed and when people would stand up I couldn’t get a clear shot. No worries though as this was me just practicing until one day my dreams come to fruition. When I am out shooting I like to get clear shots of the musicians hands and of the instruments. Also, I really like shots of the bands interacting with each other. Good band interaction usually makes the sound so much better. All of these photos are straight out of my Nikon. Could they be better, yes, of course. However, for a novice such as me, I think I am heading in the right direction.
Oh yeah, all these photos are taken with my Nikon D3400. Yes, I am using a camera that has been called non-pro, starter camera, blah blah blah. The only thing wrong with that camera is that the user (me) needs to tighten up my cleaning and care of my equipment. So far I have noticed in my getting to know my Sony A7 (mirrorless and full-frame) is that I have to make more adjustments that seem foreign to me when peering through the viewfinder because I am looking at a digital picture of what I want to shoot not the actual subject. It is almost like I am looking at a TV monitor. All this means is that I have to practice each and everyday. Also, coming up in September is the last time that Sarah Winchester will be performing at the Lit Lounge with the band Country Nation. She will be focusing on her own project and I look forward to hearing more. Hopefully, I will be super strong and will be able to move around the floor and get some great shots. I really can’t thank her enough for her support as well as the bands support. Speaking of Sarah, I am still not happy with the last shoot. I wasn’t ready for it both physically and mentally. If all goes well I may have one more shot at trying to get a few portrait and art shots.
Time to get back to my projects as I took a small needed break to clear my head. Now to focus on that and writing my story for the pain project. I really don’t want to focus on me, I would like to find an artist that I can feature. One that is using art as way to outshine the pain. I know that person is out there. All those photos, the ones from before and after my surgery helped me forget about my pain for little bit. I know people that I am acquainted with one FB and IG don’t see me as disabled and that is how I want it to remain. I am not my illness. I am Michelle, wife, mother, gramma, melophile and aspiring artist, nice to meet YOU! By the way, What is a Dixie Chicken? Sorry, having an ADHD moment…
To you reader, thank you for getting to the end of this therapy session. Smile, laugh be wild and free! Adventure awaits!!