Last year I had a stroke due to an autoimmune disorder, Antiphosopholipid syndrome, that I didn't know I had which gave me multiple clots all over my body. I spent nearly three weeks in the hospital and nearly died.
The stoke resulted in me having a miscarriage ( I was pregnant with what would have been my first child ) and I permanently lost complete vision in one eye as a result. I'm a professional photographer and have made a living that way for the past decade.
Even after the vision loss I have continued to work as a photographer and pushed past the depression of both the eye loss and the miscarriage. I was also told that due to my disease, I can't have kids because it will increase the risk for clots and the chances of another miscarriage are very high-- and the chances of me dying even higher.
I have pushed past all of this and continue to fight hard to follow my passion. I even went on to become a certified yoga instructor after my stroke. Yoga is honestly what kept me sane and my hope is to eventually work with stroke survivors and help them find peace with their body and a new life. I'm currently in my advanced training in adaptive and therapeutic techniques in yoga.
So fast forward to this year. A unexpected surgery, which was complicated by my disease, and the discovery that my lungs are not functioning properly due to my chronic pulmonary embolisms means I'm on oxygen indefinitely.
As defeated as I am feeling, I'm not ready to give up on following my dreams. I'm not ready to give up on being a photographer or give up on being a yoga instructor. I have worked so hard as a photographer to build my business. I will succeed even with this horrible disease. I always say that we can't control what happens to us in life but we can control how we choose to face it. I choose to face it with love and light.
Angela Michelle, Owner of Raven Red Photography