Aug 4th

2011

August Updates & Wallpapers.

Rio Grande, NM. 2011. Size: 1920×1200
Click the image to access the larger file.

What an amazing 3 months. It’s now almost 15 weeks since my accident, and there have been times I didn’t think I was ever going to walk again. I’m still nervous. But I have hope. My casts are off, I’ve been off the sleeping pills and pain meds for weeks and finally sleeping through the night. Until Tuesday I’d taken a couple dozen nervous first steps without crutches. After wondering, at points, if I’d ever walk again, those dozen first steps and few more since then, were amazing. They gave me hope.

On Tuesday I was cleared for 100% weight-bearing on both feet, which means I’m now walking. It’s a sore, nervous, and painfully slow walk, but it’s a walk all the same. I’m now, as of today, 3 months post-op and should be in full-time rehab as soon as space becomes available.  I’m  using a cane part-time for small distances, though walk with a pronounced limp. I’ve always been a fan of Dr. House, so now all I need is a Vicodin addiction and I’m nearly there. :-)  A second surgery in October to shave off some bone, and pull a plate and some screws, should help with the limp and make walking less painful and limp-y. It’s been a hard three months, at times I didn’t know if I had the strength to do it, but I’ve had more time with family these last two months at home than I have in 20 years put together. I’ve had time to write, to connect with friends and readers. I’ve taken in a few great exhibits at the National Gallery. I’ve learned to slow down. And I’ve learned what I’m capable of.


Updated: I shot this this evening with my iPhone while taking a short walk. Wanted to include it here, if for no one else but me :-)

I wanted an adventure when I set out this year. What an adventure it’s been! I’m still not out of the woods, but I’m getting there and Jessie should be waiting for me when I am. She’s meant to be coming north on a flat-bed trailer, thanks to a friend in Atlanta, and will get dumped on Jeffrey Chapman’s lawn for a week or two, and just as soon as I can, my Dad and I will do the 4-hour drive together and bring her home. Then we’ll fix a couple things, get her licensed here in Ontario, re-fit her with some better gear and after my travels this fall, and a month in Africa in January, we’ll be back out there. For the first time in months it feels possible again.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons through this but none more than the incredible capacity to endure, and thrive, through things I never thought I’d be able to endure. I’ve had moments of unbelievable pain, and nearly unbearable humiliation. There were nights I’d cry myself to sleep because it hurt so much. There were weeks when the only way – and forgive me for the details – to go to the toilet was to hang, after an enema, from a bar over my bed, perched carefully, with a broken pelvis, on a bed pan, and hoping to God I could make it happen, while the other two men in the same room suffered through the change in air quality. Sadly, I listened to Cee Lo Green on my ipod during these experiences, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to listen to him again. But add sh*tting while hanging from a bar to my resume.  :-) There were times I lay in bed unsure I could do it all for one more day yet alone one more week or 3 more months. But if we choose, we can thrive even through the trials. Whether we can or can’t get through struggles like this is up to us. Whether we do it with a sense of humour and taking joy in the moments, whether we do more than just survive, but thrive, that too is up to us. I’ve learned I like a challenge and the more I’m told I can’t, I do. The more I’m told I won’t – even when it’s my own voice doing the telling – the more I know I will. Because you and I, we’ve got one life, and I’ll be damned if I’ll choose to lose one moment of it to misery or self-pity, if choosing to be happy and to make it through, is up to me.

But I didn’t do it – am not doing it – alone. I know I’ve said it before, but you all never cease to amaze me with your generosity of heart. Thanks for being with me; you’ve all filled my inbox, blog, Facebook and Twitter streams with encouragement. Thank you. I’m indebted to you for your kindness. You’ve walked a long hard road with me and I’m grateful.

Comments (50)
  1. August 4, 2011 at 6:40 am

    I am doing my woo hoo dance for you ( it’s not a pretty sight cuz girls got no rythem)! I’m so happy to hear about the great progress you have made!

    You are always in my prayers!

  2. Andy Wilson

    August 4, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Keep it up David. I’m sure you will be able to come through. I’m certainly hoping to see some of those picks from Cambodia and Laos with the x100. I suspect there will be an added dimension and depth to them. You are, of course, paying back the encouragement you are receiving with inspiration. Way to go! Don’t stop! :)

  3. Jim

    August 4, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Gear is good. Vision is better. Spirit is best.

  4. Basp Uant

    August 4, 2011 at 6:59 am

    Rehab!!! lots of stretching….the muscles will get stronger with time, important to stretch (slowly) all these ligaments and tendons and the muscles themselves. This plate on a ball exercise, do it a lot, doesnt take much room…
    I was in a similar situation (2 broken feet, 2 months wheelchair and a few operations) doctors told me i would not be able to do many sports properly and that somethings would hurt like hell… well it does sometimes, when my feet get cold, but i can don anything i was doing before, some of it i have improved….ok, there was lots of room for improvement in these things, but still.
    the problem that are recurrent, when i go running on trails, in sand or snow, very uneven terrain, the tnedons/ligaments in my feet get stretched a lot and the next day i limp….but that and the cold pain is it…One thing once i got out of bed too fast (not so long after the last operation when i could start walking again) and my feet were so stiff that i just fell down, did not see it coming, i just stood there laughing my heart out for a few minutes while stretching my ligaments/tendon (never know the difference) and then got up limping still laughing…
    So stretching is very important, muscles come naturally, stretching nt as much…
    all the best and good luck with the rehab!!!

  5. JacquelineY

    August 4, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Great news that you are walking on your own again! You’ve come so far.
    I know you still have a lot of work ahead of you but you’ll be back out on the road for new adventures before you know it.
    Sending you happy, healing thoughts.

  6. Robyn

    August 4, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Am glad you are back up on two feet. I am sure you are feeling great about that. Congrats! As usual your high spirits and tenacity never cease to amaze and inspire me. Wishing you the best.

  7. August 4, 2011 at 7:25 am

    This brought a huge smile to my face. Can’t believe it’s been three months. Here’s to many more steps!

  8. August 4, 2011 at 7:28 am

    David, Hats off to you! You have walked such a similar path to my 21 yo son who had a stroke out of no where last year. I have been his caretaker and as I read your story, I hear many of the exact same fears he had. We just finished a long painful year of physical rehab. But its all back, the walking,the talking, the processing and all… Our bodies are so amazing -so filled with healing power. Just before the stroke my son was heading to the pro golf tour. After year, he golfed for the first time yesterday:) Believe in full recovery, the doctor told my son thats why he beat all the odds… he willed it so, so David, will it so :)

  9. Daniel Dunn

    August 4, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Keep it up David. I really appreciate your spirt in getting through this ordeal, and with a smile on your face. Your on the right path, way to go!

  10. August 4, 2011 at 7:43 am

    You got it going on David duChemin :) I am so happy for you!

    You climbed this mountain well :)

  11. August 4, 2011 at 8:05 am

    That’s great news David! What a ride for you, and you managed to keep a great attitude about it. That’s what I love about reading your posts. Keep it up!

  12. Jan

    August 4, 2011 at 8:08 am

    You have no idea what kind of inspiration you are to me (plus other readers, I suspect), but keep it up, David. Your sheer determination, the ability to be real and your humor are qualities and lessons that every human could learn from!

  13. Chris Ogden

    August 4, 2011 at 8:12 am

    David I am very glad you are turning the corner to feeling almost normal. With your positive can do attitude you will have a faster recovery than anyone could predict. I am rooting for you.

  14. August 4, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Great to hear you’re back on two legs, and inspiring to hear of your determination and inner strength to get you through.

  15. August 4, 2011 at 8:22 am

    David. Your story is so strong,.. it realy makes me humble and ashamed over my own doubts when I let MY lifes obstacles rise to uncontrolable dimensions.

    Thank you for continually sharing all your experincec and thoughts with us all. It has tremendous impact.

  16. August 4, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Great news. You have more strength than me, I don’t if I could handle that.

  17. Janelle Robinson

    August 4, 2011 at 8:55 am

    David. I’m so happy you are through the darkest of days and on your optimistic and courageous path to healing!

    You are a healer for all of us with your words of strength, determination and spirit. We are there for you, just as your words have brought us all insight and gratitude for the healing power within all of us.

    You are an inspiration to everyone. You will prevail and Jessie is there waiting for you!

  18. August 4, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Way to go David! You’re on your way out of the dark tunnel and into the light beyond. It was (is) courageous of you to share your dark journey, but healing as well, it seems.

    It’s hard, if not impossible to “put yourself in someone else’s shoes,” even presumptuous, but we (I) do wish for you a continued and speedy recovery so you can get back to where you should be, on the road, camera in hand!

    I continue to enjoy your books and find inspiration within them. Thanks for that.

  19. August 4, 2011 at 9:11 am

    David. This is fantastic news, really great to hear the progress you have made. Praise God.

    Looking forward to hearing about your adventures with Jessie.

  20. August 4, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Go you good thing! That’s brilliant mate. Really happy for you. Here’s to moving forward :-)

  21. August 4, 2011 at 9:44 am

    This is great news! I know you’ve still got a long way to go, but this is a milestone, and I know you’ll handle the rest with the same grace and determination.

  22. August 4, 2011 at 9:58 am

    This is really great news, David. I think I speak for everyone when I say we’re very happy you’re back on two feet and we’re all looking forward to hearing about your coming adventures with Jessie.

  23. Bob

    August 4, 2011 at 10:45 am

    great news…keep on keepin’ on!

  24. August 4, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Great news David. I like the sound of 100% even if it’s only weight bearing and not 100% better. The latter will come I’m sure.

  25. August 4, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Awesome stuff David! Glad to year you are ambulatory again…despite the caveats. Keep at it you’ll be off on the road with dreams of adventure…the original kind you had in mind…in your head in no time.

  26. August 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    So happy you continue to make good progress. It is amazing what the human body can put up with, as I’m sure you know all too well now. Keep up the healing!

  27. August 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Best foot forward David. Well, the best you’ve currently got ;-)

  28. August 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I have started to follow this blog only recently, before knowing about your accident in Italy. The reason for starting to follow it was books I have read written by you, that I really liked. The same can be said about the blog. I like your generosity when sharing ideas about creativity and your approach to photography – and of course your pictures. But now after having followed your rehabilitation and struggle to get on your feet again, I am more impressed than ever. Of course the saying is that whatever doesn’t make us weaker, makes us stronger, and in this process you have certainly showed so. In addition I am amazed about your honesty and your humble approach to the whole process – and the willingness to share it with an open heart. I don’t want to make a hero out of you, we all have positive and negative sides to our character, but it’s been an inspiration to follow you, not only photographically speaking. I wish you all the best with the continues rehabilitation and healing.

  29. August 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Great news, your recovery is it way. Your courage inspired me and your positive attitude is impressive and is your best medicine i’m sure.
    Wish you to recover quickly and get back on tracks.
    Michael.

  30. August 4, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Thank you, David, for helping us all enhance our vision. While painful, perhaps, this experience will reflect something new in the next stage of your work. Be assured of on-going prayers for your healing and recovery. Come visit Chile! I’d love to show you around!

    Fr. Chris

  31. Steven D

    August 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Great news, David! I pray that you, and those around you, can see the power of Grace in our lives. Lean on that Grace, David, and power will be given to you to continue to be strong and graceful yourself about your situation, as you have been so far. Know that many are praying for you, and THAT’S great medicine!

  32. August 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Great to hear all the positive news. The battle is tough but it is worth it. Thanks for keeping us all updated and know that our prayers are with you through this.

  33. August 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Keep the updates comin’ David, we’ll keep cheering. You’ve been nothing but honest and inspirational all in the same breath… congrats on your recovery :)

  34. Gary Halby

    August 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    David,
    You keep inspiring with the way you have gone through this unexpected event. I am sure you will come through this and keep doing great work. I hope to see you when you get to NY. It would be my pleasure to spend some time with you and share war stories. All the best and quick recovery.
    Gary Halby

  35. August 4, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Great new David, we’ve all been cheering. Rehab will be hard but the result worth it.

    André

  36. Nancy Johnson

    August 4, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    God bless David. Great to be part of your progress!

  37. Shari

    August 4, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Thinking of you from Vancouver. Just cycled around the seawall today counting my blessings after two bouts of cancer. Good news from you is another blessing. Come back soon!

  38. Colleen

    August 4, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Unbelievably happy to hear you speak! Silence for more than a few days unnerves me for you. All sounds quite grand and I am delighted to hear of the steps … Keep on …

  39. Gino Eelen

    August 4, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Good to hear progress is under way David. Hope it moves a little faster every day :-)

    I love that iPhone self-portrait – it would actually be a great wallpaper as well. The Rio Grande image is beautiful, but way too dark as a desktop wallpaper for my taste (I prefer light an colourful wallpapers – I had your Africa images on my laptop for months on end)

  40. Duncan Bell

    August 5, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Woah woah woah! You mean you’re up and walking? Ok, then the love gets turned off David. What’s to feel sorry for now?

    Oh no, hold that, I see a cane in the right hand. Ok, you get a little, iddy little bitty piece more lovin’ and THEN it’s turned off.

    Enjoy it while it lasts bucko, I’ll be hating on you the moment I see unsupported bipedal movement!!

  41. David

    August 5, 2011 at 7:38 am

    LOL. Thanks for the chuckle, Duncan. I’ll brace myself for the loss of your love, but don’t blame me if I sabotage my recovery a little just to hang on to what we’ve got for a while longer. Desperate times, desperate measures. :-)

  42. Duncan Bell

    August 5, 2011 at 11:16 am

    ;-)

    German offer still stands.

    Keep on keeping on buddy.

  43. August 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Hope you kept a check list of these milestones… it is likely pages long by now… helps us all keep the minor inconveniences and miscomforts in perspective…

  44. Eric N

    August 6, 2011 at 7:04 am

    reminding me of a saying:
    Some things I don’t do, Some things I won’t do, there’s nothing I can’t do.
    I’d say keep plugging along, but I don’t think you need others to tell you that. Thanks for everything, you are an inspiration.

  45. August 6, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Happy to hear about the progress. One bit more of independence.

  46. Debbi Koplen

    August 6, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    David, you amaze me that you are already 100% weight bearing 3 months after that accident! I know every step hurts but WOW you are up and cleared for rehab!! Continued same good luck to you in rehab and the upcoming surgery, which should be a piece of cake compared to what you’ve had.

  47. August 9, 2011 at 4:05 am

    Hands down, you’re the most inspiring person I’ve ever come across. Thank you a million times for making life somewhat more manageable, thinking not only of what you’re going through, but HOW you’re going through it – not even mentioning your insane pictures, which probably are what got me interested in photography in the first place. Keep it up. You’re going to be more than fine, you’re gonna be great, man (but of course, you already know that). And again, thank you. If I were religious I’d pray for you. Now I’ll just settle for hoping things’ll get easier for you with all my aching heart. The world needs beauty; your pictures are beautiful; hence, the world needs you.

  48. David

    August 9, 2011 at 4:45 am

    Thank you, Lisa. What a beautiful note to wake up to this morning. Your hopes mean a lot to me.

  49. kim

    September 6, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Great pictures!
    I saw this website and thought it looked good, their running a contest for photographers each week and I think your images could do quite well. It’s completely free and you can enter as many images as you want. I encourage you to check it out at http://www.pixoto.com – and then tell me what you think.

  50. October 13, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    […] Producing Fugly Posted in: Creativity, Soap Box|By: Corwin|October 13, 2011No Comments In March 2011 I joined David duChemin for an 11-day stint on his epic road trip and I brought along a DSLR camera – I had never used a camera like this before. When using a camera I am normally unfocused, flippant, and uninspired. So, on this road trip I decided to explore my creativity from behind the lens; I wanted to practice the art of making photographs. The wrestling match that ensued between my muse and a piece of digital equipment was a wildly tormenting experience but I loved every minute of it—or should I say, I embraced it with a moderate amount of maturity. Here’s an ugly picture I took of the Rio Grande, New Mexico; to see David’s picture of the same place at the same time, visit PixelatedImage.com/blog. […]