Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fighting Back With What Little I Have Left

As anyone who has read this blog even once since September knows, my life has had its share of ups and downs. In the past week I have been poked, prodded, sampled, tested, wired,... all in the name of figuring out why I suffer from extreme fatigue during the day, and why I can't stay asleep at night.

After seeing my cardiologist 5 times in May, he (and my GP) suggested emphatically, that I get a sleep study done. They both were concerned about sleep apnea. Guess what? Sleep apnea kills. It can kill you quick by allowing you to fall asleep at the wheel (which I do almost everytime I drive into Ithaca) or it can do it slowly by trashing your blood pressure, adrenal system and your immune system.

I did the sleep study on Wednesday night. I won't share with you all that I have learned since then only because I am still processing it. None of it was good news. Yesterday my GP called me at home on a Saturday to let me know that my last round of blood-sugar tests came back. Looks like diabetes wants to play too.

I have tried to stay upbeat through this recovery. I have tried to keep my head up, focus on the healing and I have kept myself optimistic by reassuring myself that soon everything would be fine. I guess "soon" means different things now than it used to. So, we fix the sleep apnea (I hope to be fitted for a CPAP as early as next Thursday), then we deal with the huge weight gain since January. See if that kicks the shit out of the diabetes. If so, sometime in September, we re-run some of these heart tests and see if we can keep this body of mine from stroking out. Wish me luck till then! Here's hoping there is a night of solid sleep on my horizon. It's been seven months without a single solid night of sleep. I think they call this torture.

I guess the final question must be: What's with all the freakin' flowers if life sucks so bad? Well... if I can't jump in my kayak (abs are too destroyed and the hernia is too fragile), and I can't make pots in any serious manner... well... the options get fewer. I can sit around the house and dose myself with food, pain killers and boredom.... or I can find beauty around my yard. If I can catch even a glimpse of that gorgeous light once or twice a day, then it feels like something positive has come from the doing.

This weekend I had a chance to take pictures of Aurora with alternating grandparents. First her maternal grandmother on Friday and then Nancy's folks came over on Saturday. (That will likely be tomorrow's post.) I love working with portraiture. I find it extraordinarily difficult, but if I can make just one great image, I feel like it was worth the work. Anyone feel like they want to sit for a portrait anytime soon? Seriously. I need subjects who are willing to sit for 45min to an hour. If you're willing, I would love to give it a whirl. Location of your choosing. We can do it in the coffee shop, the gardens, the woods, the lakeside... just about anywhere you desire.

With that said... perhaps that explains a little more about why I shoot flowers. They are available when everyone else is either at school or at work. They will hold still for an hour so I can bend the light to catch just the right sparkle. And maybe, once in a while, they capture something human.


corinne said...

Alex, your photos are thrilling. Breathtaking, really. I'm so glad I got to meet you last week. I wish you the best in kicking diabetes' butt. It is evil, evil, evil and not something you want or need!

claydancer said...

Your flower images are gorgeous! I'm praying you get a good nights rest soon. Keep your chin up.

Linda Starr said...

I feel your pain, I've had to give up pretty much everything which requires twisting and bending over and the gardening which I sorely love (bad back), and can only make so many pieces of clay a day due to several deterioriating health issues. It is so very hard to change a 30 year style of life, but I keep trying. I have a few tomato plants in pots this year.

I have trouble sleeping through the night too. I think a good part of mine is the lack of previous physical activity which used to tire me enough to make me sleep. Now I take cat naps and have changed my routine. Hang in there your pottery and photography are wonderful and you're seeing the beauty in life.

-Rob, Simple Circle Studios said...

Sorry to hear about your continued medical woes. You will be in our prayers here is southern IL.
I have really been digging the flower pictures. As someone who does NOT have a good eye for photography, it always amazes me how some folks can capture an image, an idea, a moment in time as beautifully as they do, yourself included. Keep those pictures coming. And if I could talk my wife into making a trek up your way, we would be happy to sit for you...but I'm not very good at talking my wife into things.

cookingwithgas said...

Alex- I think of all you are going through and know from experience over the past two years how difficult it is.
My Mother in law is now diabetic, wanders the house at night and can carry on only 5 minute conversations before we start a new on the same subject.
All of these are the effects of 9 months in the hospital where she died three times.
I hope that for you all that you want comes back to you.
You give us all hope with your abilities to continue to look for and strive for beauty.
I am thinking of you.

Q. said...

Your portraits are exquisite. They show the person, the soul embodied. You are on a good path. Lets see about candidates( I am going to think on that). Find joy in your own backyard..grow the other Alex, the artist, the eyes.

Michael Mahan said...

Alex, lovely photos, and I admire your fortitude. Keep looking at the flowers. For what it's worth, my wife and her business partner offer an alternative to healing. It may not be anything that interests you, but I feel I should share it:

Patricia Griffin said...

Photos are stunning and reflect the light you have in your spirit, despite the illness and pain you've been suffering. Keep the light on Alex. Rainbows are coming.

Dennis Allen said...

Alex, I have used a CPAP since 2004.You will find it terribly annoying but keep adjusting the mask until it doesn't leak and stick with it.It will change your quality of life. Good Luck.