Monday, June 30, 2008

Bad Knees and Photography

Bad knees and photography don't go well together. I spent 21 years in the US Navy, much of that on sea duty aboard submarines. Those years of climbing vertical ladders and standing for hours on end on steel decks left my knees in less than ideal condition. Of course, packing on the pounds after I retired hasn't helped much either. But, other than stiffness and the occasional arthritic flare up, I've been able to enjoy walking, hiking and photography with no issues.

For the last couple of weeks, however, my right knee has really limited my mobility. I didn't injure it, but suddenly it began hurting intensely - to the point where it was affecting my ability to sleep and inducing muscle spasms in my leg. Kneeling was virtually impossible, and I had to resort to using a cane to walk any significant distance.

Fortunately, I was able to get in to see my doctor the day I finally decided that it wasn't going to get better on its own. His diagnosis was gout! Gout? Holy Cow. My aunt and mother had gout and always talked about how painful it was. I know understand their pain. I'm currently on very strong anti-inflammatory meds and painkillers, but honestly, they don't help much. I just hope I can get this under control soon because we have our annual 4th of July cookout/party this Friday and I have several photo shoots I want to do over the next couple of weeks, and for anyone that has ever shot with me, you know how much I love to kneel and get low on the ground for a photo shoot.

Lately, it's been tough to even play with my granddaughter, and chasing her has been nearly impossible. Still, I can pick her up, hold her and hobble slowly over to the tree to let her climb. I better get this under control before the next two come along at the end of the summer, or I'll be in real trouble.

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