Four weeks ago today, I was in and out of consciousness, terrified that my life would never get back to what it used to be. The impact of what I experienced on my face especially made me think I may not even be able to see again, or hear again. Right after the crash, I didn’t know if I even had anything on the right side of my face… it was surreal and terrifying. I thought my life and career could BOTH be over. So many thoughts, SO fast. My hand was HUGE and swollen, it definitely indicated something was broken…but somehow it wasn’t. My face? Yeah that was (and is) fractured three different ways. My knee was huge and swollen. My right hip was busted and covered in a bruise the size of my head. My right foot was in so much pain I kept falling over trying to take a couple steps. I was just a shell of my tough former self trying to do the smallest tasks and Mike had to help me shower while I bawled through the seatbelt burn pain, had to help me get in and out of bed… I wasn’t independent and I don’t do well with that. Somehow, I was still okay through all of it and it got way worse before it got better. But it did get better.
Thank you God for that because yesterday, I felt the joy and wholeness that I experience from shooting weddings and I needed that. My body definitely needs more time to heal, but you also can’t just sit around and rest… that’s not part of a healing process with these kind of injuries. Your muscles and bones don’t appreciate being still and it doesn’t help the healing process to do nothing. We shot for nine hours yesterday and we did SO well hanging in there — I didn’t even feel like I thought I would until I got out of the car at the end of the night to walk into the house…you know that feeling wedding photographers? You shoot ALL day long on your feet and then you sit to ride home and you try to stand up after that glorious window of rest during your commute home or to the hotel, and your feet kind of don’t want to work haha!
I hit my cheek bone one time during the reception and felt sick but I sucked it up. I brought a wrist brace and that helped support my hand and my new Foto Strap helped a lot, too! If you know me, you know I never use a strap on my camera anymore, but I definitely need to give my hand a rest from carrying that heavy camera and lens all season this time. The only thing that was tough was hearing Mike on the dance floor over the music because unfortunately the hearing in my right ear isn’t doing too great right now. It always sounds muffled and I’m trying to work through that, eager to get to the ENT appointment hopefully sooner than later.
All I keep thinking about right now is how undeniably happy I was to be there yesterday. My worry was that my injuries would take away my ability to feel natural while shooting but that didn’t happen at all. In fact, my mind and heart fell into a familiar ebb and flow of rolling with the punches, handling the hustle and shooting through continuously and doing what we do. Having you there, Mike Hedgepeth, made everything so much better, too. I felt safe and at home with you by my side while shooting. I felt taken care of and I appreciate you carrying everything and lifting things when I couldn’t.
Thank you Lord for protecting our family, thank you for letting me be filled with joy and ambition yesterday shooting the wedding of a couple with a truly incredible story and who inspired me in so many ways. That wedding will forever be a reminder of how thankful we are to be okay today. I will never take this beautiful job of documenting lives for granted, it’s such an honor Mike and I are thankful to experience.
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