Creepy Crawlies and an Update

In honor of Halloween and the fact that it’s been over a month since I’ve posted anything, I thought I’d go back into my archives and post a couple of super creepy spider pictures. For those that are scared of spiders, I’m sorry! But I’m fascinated by their minute details.

This image is from April. We spotted a number of tarantulas around the property this past spring and this one was just outside of our garage. I would not be brave enough to hold one, but I love photographing them.

The Eyes are Watching

New Braunfels nature macro insect spider arachnid tarantula photographer

Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/9 | 1/500 | ISO 1600

This image is from August and was a total disgusting creep out moment for two reasons… 1) Jenny was sitting on a chaise lounge by the pool when her husband, Chris, said, “Um, Jen? There’s a big spider on your chair!”… and 2) It was a wolf spider momma carrying hundreds of babies on her back. Which we discovered accidentally when trying to relocate her and the babies jumped off and scattered. Ewww! Notice she’s missing a leg? That was not from us, I swear!

Carrying Her Young

New Braunfels nature macro insect spider arachnid wolf photographer

Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/9 | 1/250 | ISO 1250

It’s been a little over four weeks since my last major surgery. I’ve had so many kind messages, calls, gifts, and support that I can hardly keep track. Physically I’m healing well, despite a few complications in the beginning. We never did find a source for the fever that I ran from day 5 through day 15. The CT scan and ultrasound showed a large mass of fluid near the vaginal cuff… they initially thought it was a cyst on my right ovary. The day of the ultrasound, I started bleeding bright red blood very heavily. It scared me. Sometimes the sutures don’t hold (hello, bad connective tissue, ugh) and a tear in the vaginal cuff could be catastrophic… like intestines falling out of my body. So it was a scary day. But ultimately, the docs figured it was that mass of fluid draining, a large hematoma. They will repeat the ultrasound at my 6-week checkup. Since then no major problems except for the expected constipation.

Emotionally, I’m not doing well. I’d like to say that I’m optimistic and grateful that I’m healing well, but mostly I’m just tired, emotionally fragile, discouraged, and finding myself withdrawing from the world. I don’t think I’ve gone a full month from blogging or shooting since starting Elusive Tranquility back in 2007. I’m not bouncing back quickly, I have zero stamina, I HATE being dependent, and I find that if I open myself up to actually being vulnerable and asking for help, it doesn’t go the way I think it will. I can feel myself getting depressed and know I need to ask for medical help, but I’m too overwhelmed. I can barely get the barest minimum done each day. I started driving about a week ago, so I can plan on running one errand a day, then spending a couple of hours in bed recovering. I’ve gained a few pounds, I’m craving ice cream 24/7, and Curtis and I grow more and more distant with each other. Anna has had the WORST year ever. I’m sure some of it is from my surgery and me not being as available to be a good mom, but some is also from teacher conflict. I’ve been fielding phone calls with her specialists, tweaking her meds, and calling meetings like crazy.

Usually, I try to find something positive on which to focus and I can do that. The love and support from my family and new neighbors has been wonderful. My mom, husband, and kids have all been taking care of me. Everything from running errands, cooking, childcare, you name it… they’ve done it. My mother-in-law, Judy, came down from Ohio for two weeks sacrificing her vacation and a week of pay, to help out. She shopped, cooked, and took care of the kids and we were so grateful for her help. I was pretty sick those first two weeks and we really needed her. My neighbors, wow… beautiful gifts, some hand-made, food, emails and text messages checking in every couple of days… some of these wonderful people I haven’t even met in person yet. I am blown away, truly, by their graciousness and kindness. I can’t wait to feel better to return the love. Dominic has been extremely mature with his start to 6th grade. They are doing some testing to see how better to support him and he’s only had a couple of principal visits. I am SO impressed with this kid. He’s making new friends, loving theater arts, and getting great grades.

Going through two major surgeries (actually three if you want to get technical) in the space of three weeks is not something I would do again, but it’s done and I’m getting better every day. I look forward to picking up my camera, capturing more of my kids’ lives, and sharing more creepy crawlies with you all soon.

Happy Halloween!

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