Hospital Stays, Photography, and the Ocean Breeze

I can now say I’ve been to Mexico!

In December I booked a spot on the Tornado Hunter Mexico photo tour and I was so excited! Greg Johnson, the Tornado Hunter, is well known for taking tornado and storm pictures but he also teaches photography workshops and has done several photo tours or retreats. The trip included a stay at an all-inclusive resort at Akumal in Quintana Roo, Mexico. During the trip Greg would be teaching photography workshops and would be available to help everyone improve their photography skills. There were also a couple of days set aside to take the group on excursions off the resort to photograph some of the cool places Mexico has to offer.

In January, my friend Adrienne who had just started her own film company with the intent of telling peoples’ stories asked if she could join me on the trip and follow me around with a camera documentary-style to capture my journey as her first big project for her new company. I, of course, was all for it! We have only been friends since the summer but we instantly connected (even though she is about ten years older than me) over our similar tastes in film and photography and our fiery passions for the things we love.

The two weeks leading up to the trip now make up one of the most stressful and frustrating periods of my life. About two weeks before we were supposed to leave on our adventure I was hospitalized with a lung infection and a very low blood oxygen saturation level. I immediately reverted to the old blind determination I had used every time I was admitted to the pediatric ward when I was growing up. But in the back of my mind I was extremely worried that that would not be enough to pull me through this in time for the trip. I had been feeling pretty down for about a month beforehand – I had been in kind of a slump mentally. So, going into this infection, I already wasn’t my usual self as far as my head was concerned and now I somehow had to garner all my willpower and kick the infection to the curb in a very short period of time.

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To Be Free

I was encouraged to post this to my blog by someone I met last summer who has quickly become an important person in my life – the sister I never had.

I want to preface this by saying that I have Cystic Fibrosis (CF) which is a genetic lung disease for which there is no cure. CF is a suffocating disease – both literally and figuratively. My life has always been restricted and dictated by CF. My physical activity is limited and I have no idea what it’s like to fill my lungs with a deep breath. I have a routine of medications I have to do in the morning and the evening and there are numerous appointments to go to. There are various pieces of medical equipment that have to be cleaned, maintained, and replaced and a never ending list of prescriptions that need to be refilled at the pharmacy.

I had a sort of epiphany recently that allowed a few things in my life to fall into place and make sense to me like they never had before. Continue reading

An Ode to Vancouver

I fell in love last June. I fell in love with the ocean and the mountains; with the breeze off the water and the green of the red cedar trees; with the brick sidewalks of Gastown and the view from Prospect Point. I would go back today. I never would have left if I’d had my way.