Crohn's Disease Awareness · film photography · Film Processing · health · life · mental illness awareness · Photo essay

A Doctors Visit on Ilford XP2 400

Previous articles explain why I like to take a camera with me on a doctors visit, so I thought I would share a roll from one of those trips. This particular visit was shot on Ilford XP2 Super 400 through the 35mm Voigtlander lens on my Leica M2.

I had intended on pushing this roll and rated it at 800, but I forgot to process it that way. Lately, I’ve been feeling under the weather, and overwhelmed with keeping up with developing my film, blogging, and making videos for my channel. When I went to process some of my color film I totally missed the message printed on the box to remind me that it was to be pushed.

This “accident” though, demonstrates the tonal range of this film because even though some of it is under developed, the photos could still be salvaged. However, it did add a bit of grain and contrast.

My Visit on Ilford XP2 400

I have to have an injection every 56 days to keep my immune system suppressed in order for it to not attack my digestive system. In the past, I have been on several different injections for Crohn’s Disease and all of them either stopped working or my body developed an immune reaction to them. One reaction even put me in cardiac arrest and closed my throat. To say the least, I have PTSD from that experience.

Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400
My Injection sitting on my night stand

As a result of my past reactions with medication, I have my latest medication administered in a doctor’s office, just in case, instead of at home.

Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400
Frankie wishing me good luck

I am always super anxious before these appointments, so bringing my camera with me keeps my mind off of it until it’s time to get the injection.

Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400
Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400
Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400
The Waiting Room (Underdeveloped on accident)

What Lies Within

I love to people watch when I go to these appointments, not because I like to be nosey, but because there is so much to be learned from the people who sit in these infusion rooms, some of them every single day. The first medication I was on 10 years ago was a 4 hour infusion, so I often sat in the chemo room for hours watching many people pass through.

Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400
Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400
Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400
Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400

The Infusion Center

There’s so much happening in the photo below. I shot it from the hip so the composition is a little off. There are wigs on display in the background, probably for chemo patients. On the television is a neutral program on HGTV and usually ignored by patients in the room. The silence in the room is strong and only broken by the sound of the TV or a nurse talking to a patient.

Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400
Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400

One man seemingly calm, was reading a newspaper, and was sat not too far from a couple. The man in the couple was in distress and moaning, which deeply hurt me to hear. Then you have the man with his feet up. You can tell he’s a regular, and must be coming for treatment often. These people are always known by their first name with all the staff.

Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400
Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400

I have watched these types of rooms since I was diagnosed 11 years ago. I have often been the youngest person there, and probably the most afraid. One thing I always pick up from the people at these appointments is their bravery and strong constitution. You can see it. I wish I had that.

Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400
Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400

After my injection, I always feel hugely relieved. I took photos of the building as I left, glad to be leaving on my own accord and not in a stretcher this time.

Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400
The Doctors Office
Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400
Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400
Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400
Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400

Watch Your Mental Health

Very often mental health is neglected when dealing with an incurable illness. The main focus has to be eradicating the disease. The trauma, anxiety, and degradation of ones confidence is often overlooked. That’s your job. Make sure you keep an eye on your mental health, because no one else will.

Leica M2 Ilford XP2 Super 400
Leaving the doctor

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11 thoughts on “A Doctors Visit on Ilford XP2 400

  1. Great photos and explanations. It shows that something seemingly mundane like a doctors visit can be mean so much in so different ways to different people. And you are totally right…we should not forget mental health…it is as important as the physical sort.

    1. Thank you. Yes that is exactly what I was trying to convey with this article. I wanted to raise awareness for Crohn’s disease and what I go through personally but I also wanted to show what other people suffer through every day with other illnesses like cancer by pointing out patients that are regulars and things like that. I’m glad someone understands what I was going for 🙂

  2. “Make sure you keep on eye on your mental health, because no one else will.” Man, that’s the truth! Especially when you make the rounds of new specialists, etc., and they do an evaluation and try to say you don’t need what’s been working for you … eh. It’s enough to drive ya crazy. Anyway, I love your “shooting from the hip” in these situations. Shows the reality. Thanks!

  3. Is that Bob Ross photo journal? It really fits in with your under-developed “happy accident”. Stay safe Aly.

  4. The window shot is especially nice capturing the shadowy indoors, (nice composition) and the over exposed trees through the window add a surreal and graceful effect. Very nice Aly.

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