It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything… In truth, it’s been a long while, and for many reasons. Most people go through a period in their lives at some point that takes them off-course. Sometimes it’s a little bit, and sometimes it’s a lot. Some may wrap it up by saying “It hasn’t been my year” or something to that effect. Regardless, this truly hasn’t been my year. It all centers around an unlucky series of heath issues. I’m not even sure how I feel about sharing everything here but I will anyway, as life’s too short to hide what’s important.
I’ve been a successful wedding photographer, father and husband, with life seeming suspiciously fun and easy. That was until one year ago when a tumour was discovered under my ear. Note, the tumour was not really the problem, and I’m not going to mislead anyone in my writing; I do not have cancer. The problem was that even though the likelihood of this type of tumour being cancerous was very low, it was amazingly the exact same thing that my uncle had two years prior; the same tumour in the same spot, even being told the same thing about how low risk it is by the same doctor… The problem was that my uncle’s ended up being cancerous, and I watched him die four months after his was removed. Needless to say, this created a new health anxiety complex for me.
I worked through the summer shooting weddings, then had the scheduled surgery in September. After almost a month of waiting for the results, I finally got the confirmation that I needed; the tumour was benign, and I was healthy…
… Until November of last year, when a strange new ailment developed; a prostate infection. I was given a couple of weeks of antibiotics for it, but it didn’t clear up. I had constant pain and discomfort “down there”. My doctor setup an appointment with a urologist… Which the earliest they could see me was almost 8 months away – May 28th, which still hasn’t arrived as of my writing this! What a joke.
After about a month and a half of suffering, I decided to see a private prostatitis clinic downtown. The doctor who saw me was encouraging at first, ran some tests, and I was hopeful. Then in late February, the prostate symptoms hit a steep turn for the worse. I had constant bladder pain and couldn’t be more than 10 minutes away from a washroom. Not doable for a wedding photographer.
The prostate specialist decided to put me on an antibiotics cocktail, which is where my real problems began. Two weeks of Zithromax, combined with two weeks of Clavulin, staggered with two weeks of Macrobid, adding in two weeks of Ciprofloxacin, with two weeks of Doxicyclene…
…All of the sudden I noticed I wasn’t right. I was having vision problems, pain in my joints, dizziness, headaches, and major brain fog.
We pulled the plug on the antibiotics, and I was told I’ll be fine in a week. One week later I was in the emergency room, wondering if I was going to die. All tests normal.
After a month of decline, I decided to see a naturopath, who said I have systemic Candida from all of the antibiotics. The treatment is a long, ridiculous diet that consists of only lean meat, greens, nuts, some oils, and water. Not good for an already underweight man. As I began the diet, things failed to improve. In fact, the opposite; I hit an even further decline. I was at the point of being unable to get up, function, think straight, take care of myself -or worst of all – my kids. I didn’t have anything left. I felt disabled. I wanted to die.
Days went past, some better than others. I stuck to the diet and dragged myself to do just about anything that let me feel even a touch of normalcy. I managed to get through a couple of engagement shoots, and received positive feedback on the results. I began to think about the future, and my own strength. Could I ever return fully to what I was?
Today I still wonder if I’ll ever fully recover from this. I will say one thing; The only way to know is to pick myself up and give it everything I’ve got. This is where I begin again. This is also the reason that I have decided not only to blog again today, but to begin with a very special blog post. Tim and Natalie are not your ordinary couple. Tim is not your ordinary groom. I was thinking about him today, and thinking about the challenges he’s faced. The bottom line is that he’s faced them. I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know him, and believe me when I say that anything that you take away from knowing Tim is a positive thing. I can’t compare my challenges with his. All I can say is that I’m not disabled. Tim is not disabled. The only thing that disables someone is when they give up. I’ve watched Tim celebrate some of the greatest things life has to offer. With Natalie by his side, he’s one of the most enabled human beings I’ve ever met.