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Big Deal, part deux

August 31, 2013

Today was my second and last ‘big deal’ day of filming.

I slept a bit last night, but woke up too early feeling poorly.  All of my joints were inflamed, my head ached, and my cold symptoms were returning.  I determined to have another good day, despite how I felt.

The woman responsible for this project saw that I was struggling last night and this morning.  Before filming, she gave the crew (and me!) a firm talking to.  She let them know that while they were sitting between takes, I was running around staging the next shot.  She asked the crew to do all of this for me and keep me in my chair.  She asked me to comply.  This was so kind and so thoughtful, and it made me angry.  I wasn’t angry at her, I was angry at this stupid disease.  I am 44 years old and should be able to walk from one table to another to pick up props for the next segment!  Truth be told, this morning I was nearly grateful to stay seated.

Filming started slowly.  We were doing a lot of technical shots.  There were many short takes and directions to “hold your hand at an angle” so the camera could get a better shot.  This took several hours and during all of that time I could barely move my fingers.  I don’t think my pain and discomfort showed, but it was a tedious and uncomfortable process.

By lunch, we were barely a third of the way through our shooting schedule.  I was really frustrated because the technical shots were taking so long.  I think the crew was worried about my health, but I was just frustrated about the work.  I plodded on and a few hours after lunch I began to feel better — a lot better.  My joints didn’t hurt as much and my fingers loosened up.  Eventually, the tedious technical shots were finished.

The last segment was a fun one.  I was well-prepared and excited about it.  The filming worked beautifully.  Most of the shots were done in single long takes.  The project sponsor and crew were interested in what I was doing.  They thought I had some innovative and clever ideas.  That’s always nice to hear.

We finished late, but less than an hour late.  My overall physical condition was so much better than it was this morning.  As frustrated and upset as I was at mid-day, I was surprised to be so positive by the end of the day.

I learned a lot by doing this project, but mostly I learned that the hard and frustrating parts are hard and frustrating and that the fun parts are really fun.

I packed up my suitcases of outfits and supplies, grabbed some dinner, and am now back in my hotel.  A few of my joints are still inflamed, but most of my disease symptoms have gone away.  Otherwise I am tired, I have a decent headache, and my neck is sore from turning at odd angles for the camera.  I am pretty pleased with how this project worked overall.

I will fly home tomorrow and have a few days to myself before taking off for the next city.  I hope I can catch up on my rest and avoid getting sick(er).

Relapsing Polychondritis surprised me again today, but this time by leaving me alone for the afternoon!


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