Xmas is nearly here....again....and I clearly remember writing a pre-xmas post last year like it was yesterday. Its been such a huge busy year for me and the studio or at least it was until a couple of months ago!....
Having run a couple of promos this year I had a large number of shoots booked for the 3rd term school holidays....12 in all which seemed to be manageable or so I thought!
While shooting one of my gorgeous Jesse Brown families, about 4 shoots in (and 3 of them in Belair National Park) I had what seemed to be a fairly unremarkable fall!. I was walking backwards (a common occurrence in this job) , stepped back on my right leg , then swung around as I took a step back with my left leg only to find I was stepping into mid air and off a small bank which was just under a meter high. With the normal industry reflex move, my camera was held in the air and my left leg took the full brunt of the fall. Naturally it pretty much caved in and I assumed that from the pain and the position it was in, and not being able to move my leg or my foot that I must have broken it!. My clients called an ambulance and I called the family for help and in the ensuing half an hour I decided to finish the shoot....which was the best form of pain relief I could muster up.
After arriving at Flinders, having X-rays, finding out that I had damaged ligaments and a chipped kneecap I headed home with a massive splint on my leg, crutches and an orthopaedic appointment in a couple of days and lots of pain relief!.
That week that followed is something I will probably never forget !
Firstly, having never really hurt myself before, I just kept on working with the 'this isn't going to stop me' attitude. It was a slightly unrealistic attitude because I really couldn't do anything that required arms or legs. I tipped over or broke more cups and glasses than I have ever done before...and had the unenviable task of constantly asking for help (which I have also never been comfortable with)....I couldn't move off the couch and by the end of that first week when I did have to I would then have to howl for half an hour!
During this time I had my Mum and my husband by my side the whole time...as I couldn't safely walk without someone else in the house.
Hospital appointments were pure hell. Getting in and out of the car with a splint on is like an acrobatic trick!....going anywhere was energy sapping and excruciatingly painful and I kept wondering why everyone else looked pretty OK with their injuries. A particularly low day was having to walk on crutches from Flinders Private to the Medical centre to have an MRI and then find my way out of the building.
The following week I had 2 scheduled doctor appointments and had my MRI results on a disc that my endo printed out for me. The news was not great!
ACL completely torn, PCL partially torn, complex meniscal tear and complete deep MCL tear plus part of my kneecap torn off and my shin muscle also torn. Thats pretty much all the knee ligaments either partially or completely torn. I still couldn't feel my foot and the next day had an unusual stroke of luck
I fell down the stairs (a small set of stairs) in my house. My leg hyperextended and I felt a pop...I checked firstly that I didn't injure Mum who was in front of me and nearly got whacked with the crutch, and then that I didn't do myself any further damage. Much to my amazement I had an immediate relief of pain, my knee looked like it was in the right place for the first time since the accident and my foot was freely moving. The pain level went from 9.5 to about 5 and I couldn't believe how lucky that fall was. In conclusion I had also dislocated it and that was the excruciating pain.
It was all uphill from there...slow....but uphill!. My surgeon found out that I'd been having treatment for frozen shoulder from an injury in Dec and insisted that I get that fixed first....that took a week but worked like a charm....then I had an arthroscopic repair about 2 weeks ago to fix the side ligaments and clean out the bone fragments...and I'm assuming that once its all better I'll have to have a knee reconstruction. Its now been 8 weeks and I can get around with one crutch but am expecting a big improvement over the next couple of weeks.
It all sounds awful and Ive had to reschedule all my shoots to spread out up until Xmas...but that is not what I'm going to come away from this thinking in any way....like all horrible experiences I have learnt a lot. People are more than happy to help and I can't tell you how wonderful it has been to spend lots of time with family and friends. The company and compassion I have received has been heartwarming. To those friends who have visited, shopped, dropped around for a cuppa, been my legs on shoots, massaged my leg, and brought me endless cappuccinos and food I can't thank you enough. I've had my washing folded up, dishes done, errands run and barely a complaint from my slaves (sorry children). I've missed birthdays and funerals and every other event along the way and will catch up once I can get to the shops.....but mostly I've had to slow down and chill out. Other than the inconvenience its been a self imposed holiday on the couch...not the best of scenery but definitely the best company. I'm especially grateful to Warren and my Mum who have really had a double workload on their hands and to my kids who have had to do a lot of cooking and shopping.
A special mention has to go to Roxy who hasn't left my side for 8 weeks and has only jumped on my leg a handful of times!
After a bit of thought I've decided not to postpone my next Mitcham Square stall on Thursday 27th Nov where I'll be selling Xmas Vouchers. These will be $150 on the day and are for shoots from Jan 20th until March 20th. They are a great present for those people that have everything. I'll be manning the stall for a couple of hours so drop by and say hi.
My fine-art workshop has been postponed until Feb/March when my leg is fully recovered
I will be doing a class or 2 for school kids (over 12) in the weeks leading up to Xmas once schools out....
I'd like to particularly special thank my lovely clients who have had longer waits that usual to get their prints!
I hope the lead up to Xmas is peaceful and fun for you all
I'm pretty sure mine will be and I'll be sharing a blogpost soon with pics from some of the recent family shoots....
In the meantime take care and I know what I'll be requesting from the big guy in red
a leg please.....a working/walking leg....that would be lovely! :)
PS have to add a couple of shots of the kids who have let me do the odd arty stuff with the camera on the odd occasion that I've felt like it!