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David Lipsy
6,165 followers -
Nature Photographer, Birder, Volunteer for NH Audubon & NH F&G, and Father.
Nature Photographer, Birder, Volunteer for NH Audubon & NH F&G, and Father.

6,165 followers
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Health Report - Now and the Future
April 2nd, 2017

Hello Friends, old and new,

I have made a number of new friends these last few months, so some of what I am about to tell you may come as a shock. Those of you who have been along for the ride, well, this is probably confirmation of what you suspected but didn’t want to voice.
Please keep in mind as you read this that I am in no way accepting this as a final outcome, and will battle every day until my last.

Skip to the bottom if you just want to know my mental state.

The last report I put out was back on the 10th of January. It gave mention close to the actual cause of the issue, but since then I have learned a great deal more and figured I should share it with everyone as I have been asked many times, and said I would put another report out.
If I started at the beginning, this would go on forever. If you wish, the previous report was dated Jan 10th
For more detailed info on the fun I have had this past year, check out my FaceBook timeline and scroll down to the end of June for the very start of this years fun.
The saga starts in Concord Hospital, and ends… well, it is never going to end. Not if I can help it… not until I am old and gray. Okay…
Not until I am much older and a lot grayer.

Fast forward to today. This is what I am dealing with.
Bottom line. I can’t walk. I can force myself to walk up to maybe 100’ on a very good day, though those are rare. As I move, my legs erupt as if on fire. The pain becomes too much to deal with and I have to either sit down or take a knee on the ground.
The pain is debilitating.
I have dealt with pain for a very long time, having had my lower back fused (L5-S1) back in the mid 90’s. My neck was fused around 12 years ago (C3-C7), then two years later, (C7-T1).
My neck has lots of titanium rods, screws and a plate in it. C2, is broken in two places and never heals… if you’re out birding with me and hear a crack, thats C2 letting go again. Its painful, but subsides real fast.

The summer of 2015 I had a surgical procedure on L3 & L4. I ended up with a staff infection… my second… the first staph infection was a few years before on ankle surgery I had… but thats not part of this story.
This past June, my back erupted… I had a ruptured disk… rupturing inward onto the spinal cord.
This summer, to save lots of time, (You can scroll back and see all of the fun) I ended up having 3 separate incisions into the lumbar region of the back. This makes a total of 7 separate times my lumbar area has been cut into.

I now have a large amount of scar tissue around…. and now inside the vertebral canal where the nerves travel thru before branching out to both legs. The latest MRI clearly shows this. Doc’s say this is inoperable as it would most likely damage the nerves and I would loose the function I do have with my legs. So that is not an option.

As you might imagine, anything touching a nerve is going to be quite painful. I have this on the nerves and will have it for the rest of my life.
Yeah. It …. (add favorite expletives here)… hurts!
They have me on the max dose of Neurontin… which helps a bit… without it I would be in so much more distress. There are certain times of the day when it seems as if there is nothing at that can help me. Its not fun. At all.

I guess at this point most would just say fuck it… life's over as I knew it. For some things… it is. I am missing out on some dreamed of birding adventures… one to CA, the next to come is TX. I’m sure there will soon be one in FL and my ultimate spring time crush… Magee Marsh in Ohio for the huge influx of Warblers.
Then there are all the local hikes into see special nesting birds (sorry… secret locations) and the favorite hikes out to secluded beaches on part of Cape Cod for all my beloved Shorebirds. I can’t go along… and for good reason… My friends want to get there. It takes me forever to get anywhere.
I do not blame them one bit. Yes, it still crushes me inside… and they know it…but I am happy for them, and look forward to their return to hear all about it and see the many photos. Seriously… why should my friends suffer because of my misfortunes? I refuse to accept that. I applaud them… and so wish i was going too. Thats the toughest part of this whole thing… much worse than the pain.

We just had a visitor from the north, a Great Gray Owl. It was 1st relocated in a field that was somewhere between a half and a quarter mile hike in. I made it in… I was helped a few times by some friends who offered to carry my chair. It’s light weight… and acts as a good counterbalance to my camera on the tripod. I walk as far as I can (not far)… sit on my 3-legged collapsible chair and wait for the pain to subside…. then repeat the process until I was where I wanted to be.
I made it out to that field three times. It was well worth the pain and suffering. What a beautiful bird!

Now, I drive around to various spots, either shoot from the truck, up thru the sunroof, or get out and brace against a tree, lay on the ground, in a snow bank, whatever I have to do to get the shot.

I have basically been this way since November
of 2017. The last line of hope supposedly was a ‘Pain Clinic'. I recently went to one. I was not impressed; seemed more like a business than a doctors office. I was interviewed, everything looked at and told “you are a candidate for a Spinal Stimulator”. No injections, no… I don’t know what else. A Spinal Stimulator I found out uses wire leads that run up and down the spine itself. Then there is a control box mounted somewhere under the skin. Supposedly there is a port somewhere in your skin…
* They have no idea if this will work or not. They first do an operation and insert a ‘test unit” to see how it works for me.

So, if I understand this correctly, they wish to do incisions 8 & 9 into my Lumbar Region. They want to leave a welcome mat for infection in my back for the rest of my life.

No thank you.

I’m just fine with the agony I have… I most certainly am not willing to allow them to cause more.

If anyone reading this (if you made it this far) has experience with this, would you please add a comment or send a message about your experience?

As you can imagine, life is not good. Being alone does not help either… but I am moving forward.
I refuse to quit. I will never stop shooting until the day I take my last breath. And that is not going to happen for a very long time to come.

When I have to walk to get somewhere… I try to shut my mind off from the pain… and mentally will my legs to move forward. It actually works for a shot while… but then the pain comes roaring back and I need to take a knee or grab my little chair.

I guess no one would give me any shit if I simply hung up my gear up and said I was done shooting because I can’t walk.

No.

Never gonna happen.

I heard from my Neurologists office today. My blue permanent Handicap Parking Permit paperwork was sent out in the mail to me. The temporary 6-month tag will expire at the end of April.
I guess thats a perk, huh?

I have mentioned this before somewhere, but It is Ironic. If you look at any of the ‘about me’ sections on ViewBug and others, maybe even here on G+, I talk about how one of the things that drives me forward is to bring back images of things so many people will never get to see because they are physically unable to get to the spots I shoot in… to bring back the beauty for them and for all to see. And now, I too am disabled… and can no longer reach some of those favorite spots.
Disabled… it is a difficult word to use in conversation. It is difficult to write it in a sentence. It is difficult to even consider.

I pray that if anyone reading this is disabled, I am sorry if this hits you the wrong way. I respect you, as I have always… more than you could ever know.

Where do I go from here you might ask?

Where the hell do you think??

Into the woods… with my camera gear. A a few steps at a time. But I will arrive. Maybe a wagon with big huge pneumatic tires rigged to carry my gear, with a seat up front (and a break). Who knows what I will come up with. But I will come up with whatever is needed to keep me shooting where I want to go.

I am also considering doing a blog, some sort of HC accessible spots. Listing their condition, hitting up the jurisdictions responsible for deteriorating HC access spots and getting it taken care of.
Also finding new places one can bird or simply enjoy nature from your vehicle… where there is not 5,000 other people jostling you to get a view too.

I have to do something or I will cease to be.

And that, my friends, is simply not going to happen.

Please don’t feel sorry for me.
Please don't have pity.

There are so many people so much worse off than I am. I still get to do some of what I love… and eventually may just find a way to get back to it all.

So hang in there with me… I’m just fine.

Thank you for your time reading this.
Most sincerely,

David

P.s. Much of the time I am alone. I hate it, but thats my life. Many of you here on G+ have truly made life for me enjoyable in your own ways.
I figure this is a good time to thank you. You know who you are.
New ones materialize from time to time, some fade.
While virtual, it is still very touching to me and it does more for me than you will ever know.

Thank YOU.

Photographing the Great Gray Owl
Newport, NH 03-08-17
Photo

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My Favorite Species - BAEA

This beautiful bird was my Valentine this year. She gave me quite a nice present by being so cooperative. I was able to get many wonderful images of both perched and in flight. I was even able to get a band shot to determine who it is!

This is one of my favorite images of my favorite species.

Bald Eagle (BAEA)
Female Orange C-K
Merrimack River - Boscawen, NH 02-14-17
Photo

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April's Photo Contest Winners! - Migration Madness
Initial notice for Mays Contest Avian Love - My Favorite Species - See below for details.


1st Place - +Urszula K.
My beautiful waxwings! For robins and waxwings sake I put up with a mess crab apples make on my deck :)

Bohemian Waxwing / Jemiołuszka Zwyczajna (Bombycilla garrulus)
Mar. 12, 2017 in Calgary, Alberta.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/photo/108962605976348130635/6406385655645672866?icm=false&sqid=103277732956702856445&ssid=f259ef35-c74c-4573-bdc0-5e553764073e


2nd Place - +Richard Fischer
American Goldfinch - Male
Dade City, FL 3/31/17

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/photo/115430930123166757211/6405218392050346370?icm=false&sqid=103277732956702856445&ssid=f259ef35-c74c-4573-bdc0-5e553764073e


3rd Place - +Ridor Donn
Blue winged minla.
Shillong

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/photo/105518559361070207573/6411731056241274546?icm=false&sqid=103277732956702856445&ssid=f259ef35-c74c-4573-bdc0-5e553764073e


Congratulations to the winners! Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest. I do hope more of you participate and look forward to seeing more of everyone's beautiful images in the next contest!


The theme for Mays Photo Contest is:
Avian Love - My Favorite Species
Share with the Community images of your very favorite bird!

(For me it's the Bald Eagle!)

Thank you,
David Lipsy
BoaF Photography Community

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My first ever Loon in flight image.
Their take-off runs are quite noisy and long... it's no wonder they must have water to take off!

Common Loon
Turee Pond - Bow, NH 04-12-17

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
ISO 640, f/6.3, 1/1000th Sec., 500mm
Hand Held, Cropped for Composition.
Manual Mode, Partial Metering, Auto White Balance
Edited in Photoshop

#birdsinflight
+JanGlasziouRainbird
+Birds In Flight +Andy Brown
#hqspbirds +HQSP Birds curated by +Andy Brown +Dilip Mundkur and +Ian Calland
#BTPBirdPro+BTP Bird Pro . owned by +Nancy Dempsey ,curated by +Lynn Wiezycki
#Birds GALLERY - Curated by:
+ Heinrich WAGNER
+ Susan WILKINSON
+Birds4All #Birds4All curated by Walter Soestbergen and Ricky L. Jones.
#PhotoManiaUSA is curated by +David Pilasky, +Marjolein Schat, +Kris Rowlands & +Dorma Wiggin
Photo

Post has attachment
My first ever Loon in flight image.
Their take-off runs are quite noisy and long... it's no wonder they must have water to take off!

Common Loon
Turee Pond - Bow, NH 04-12-17

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
ISO 640, f/6.3, 1/1000th Sec., 500mm
Hand Held, Cropped for Composition.
Manual Mode, Partial Metering, Auto White Balance
Edited in Photoshop
Photo

Post has attachment
My first ever Loon in flight image.
Their take-off runs are quite noisy and long... it's no wonder they must have water to take off!

Common Loon
Turee Pond - Bow, NH 04-12-17

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
ISO 640, f/6.3, 1/1000th Sec., 500mm
Hand Held, Cropped for Composition.
Manual Mode, Partial Metering, Auto White Balance
Edited in Photoshop
Photo

Post has attachment
My first ever Loon in flight image.
Their take-off runs are quite noisy and long... it's no wonder they must have water to take off!

Common Loon
Turee Pond - Bow, NH 04-12-17

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
ISO 640, f/6.3, 1/1000th Sec., 500mm
Hand Held, Cropped for Composition.
Manual Mode, Partial Metering, Auto White Balance
Edited in Photoshop
Photo

Post has attachment
My first ever Loon in flight image.
Their take-off runs are quite noisy and long... it's no wonder they must have water to take off!
They are currently migrating inland from the coast.

Common Loon
Turee Pond - Bow, NH 04-12-17

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
ISO 640, f/6.3, 1/1000th Sec., 500mm
Hand Held, Cropped for Composition.
Manual Mode, Partial Metering, Auto White Balance
Edited in Photoshop
Photo

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Coming At You

This image is a good example of how using your vehicle as a blind works quite well. I was sitting on the roof of my truck over the sunroof. Even though I was pretty much fully exposed to the Beaver and other creatures I photographed, they consider me a part of the truck if I don't move around too fast.

A Beaver patrols the waters of Turee Pond
Bow, NH 04-12-17

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/1000th Sec., 500mm
Hand Held, Cropped for Composition.
Manual Mode, Partial Metering, Auto White Balance
Edited in Photoshop

#Animals
#HQSP +HQSP Animals
#BTP +BTP Animal Pro
#PhotoManiaUSA is curated by +David Pilasky, +Marjolein Schat, +Kris Rowlands & +Dorma Wiggin
Photo

Post has attachment
Coming At You

This image is a good example of how using your vehicle as a blind works quite well. I was sitting on the roof of my truck over the sunroof. Even though I was pretty much fully exposed to the Beaver and other creatures I photographed, they consider me a part of the truck if I don't move around too fast.

A Beaver patrols the waters of Turee Pond
Bow, NH 04-12-17

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF 500mm f/4L IS USM
ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/1000th Sec., 500mm
Hand Held, Cropped for Composition.
Manual Mode, Partial Metering, Auto White Balance
Edited in Photoshop
Photo
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