Crazy Free – 2 year and 100 reviews celebration!

I love synchronicities. Here is one: Two years ago, on November 19th, 2014, I wrote the last line of Crazy Free, right here, in North Conway. November 19th, 2016, the 100th comment was posted about Crazy Free on Amazon. Another glorious 5 star review. Thank you readers. I love you!

Nov 19th, 2014, 6:17 pm
I am right now only one sentence away from finishing the first draft of my book, and I am not writing it.
The last few paragraphs I have written describe how I slept 4 miles before Manning Park because I wasn’t ready to be done with the PCT. The last sentence I haven’t written yet is the part when I actually finish the PCT.
At least, I’m consistent. So, I’m off to eat dinner, call some friends and take a bath. 

Nov 19th, 2014, 9:51 pm
The last sentence is a run-on sentence, and I like it this way.
Draft 1 is done.

Nov 19th, 2016, from Amazon.com review page
5 stars – I absolutely loved Crazy Free
by Glen on 
November 19, 2016
Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved Crazy Free. So many of us talk about following our hearts but do we really? She risked living in misery in order to find absolutely happiness and because of that we are able to read her story and, hopefully, gain some kind of inspiration. I originally bought this book because it related to hiking the PCT but came away with so much more.

YAY!

champagne-celebration

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I think I just panicked … as told to my Dad.

Here’s (slightly edited) bits from my correspondence with my Dad about what went down since I last posted here:

[…] Sorry it took me so long to answer. The past month has been a little rocky. But it was all me that rocked the boat. Jim flows on life calmly, unless he gets excited about an adventure or an opportunity to build something.

This one didn’t start like my other relationships. My other relationships started in flurries of lust and googoo-love-eyes. This one was easy, familiar, natural. It felt like a long-term relationship that accidentally started in the middle of a happily-ever-after story. I settled in the feeling that I had found “my one”. And of course, I wasn’t going to leave without “my one”, so we agreed that when the wind of migration called me south for the winter, he would make the journey with me.

We drew plans to modify the truck to accommodate two people, and I contacted Benny of Earth Tours in Sedona to see if he’d have work for me. He did. Benny had just acquired a 15-passenger van for the Grand Canyon trips. Not only I could guide, I would also train the other guides about the geology of Grand Canyon. Everything looked good ahead, so Jim grabbed a few thick boards and within two hours had completely transformed my back-of-the-truck home.

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The modifications were a work of art, but the reality that I was about to share my 32 square-foot home with another suddenly hit. I think I just panicked. You know I love and I need my personal space. That’s why I’ve been living alone in the desert all this time. Suddenly, everything about Jim was wrong. I turned into a chronic complainer. He listened and tried to help, but *everything* about him was suddenly unacceptable.

Meanwhile, the country was voting for Trump and everybody else was going crazy too. People’s fear came to the surface, people’s hatred came to the surface. It’s still going on now, but I think people are calming down a little bit, now that the first shock and disbelief has passed. In the end, what doesn’t break us, makes us stronger. I see people being now more committed to peace and loving and accepting each other than before. I don’t know what will happen with this country, but I think we will stand tall in our integrity. If people are racists and have nazy-tendencies, I would rather know about them than have it hidden.

So, the same process went on for me, internally. If I have fears about intimacy, about sharing my space, about my needs being not met, I want to know about it. Once I realized all the fears that were coming up were just that, fears – not reality – Jim and I sat down and discussed how we each felt about this journey. I believe he will honor my need for space, but for him, this is the trip of a lifetime. He has never been anywhere. He’s always wanted to see oceans, volcanoes, caves, deserts, but by the draw of life, was not able to. And here I show up, ready to take him away. It almost feels like fate or destiny – but I believe in neither fate nor destiny. I believe in choosing our path and knowing you can’t go wrong, because regardless, you’ll have an adventure, and you’ll learn things. If I go back to the desert alone, it’s the same thing I’ve done for the past 4 years. If I go with Jim … I get to learn something and grow.

So, we leave right after thanksgiving together. I hope to have a lot of guiding work from January to June. Jim is a carpenter and a master builder – he creates homes with natural material, like traditional log cabins or hand-made brick houses. I’m not worried about him. He’ll find himself a project. My only lingering concern is that we’ll have one vehicle for two people, only one of whom knows how to drive a manual, so far. But I can let the Little Crazy in my head continue to rock the boat with its fear-mongering or I can choose to trust and love instead, and just go for it.

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“Shadows coming forward and forefront to be experienced and released is an integral part of the evolution process. Love will prevail. There is no other long term choice. So feel your fears and honor them. Fears will lock into your survival mechanism. It’s just how they operate. But we are not dying. We are not even doomed. We are growing, clarifying, self-defining in contrast. In fact, we might just have been gifted an exceptionally potent catalyst. We’ve chosen a shortcut, a kick in the pants of status-quo comfort. Strap on your seatbelt. Fast growth could be a hell of a ride. It’ll be worth it. Mark my words.” 

Written on the morning after the election, in my journal, to myself on the topic of my relationship. Then I heard the global news. As inside so without. 

Tinderized

It’s time to tell you this story. I was sitting on it because I’m superstitious and didn’t want to jinx the Magic. But with the Facebook photos of the truck being converted to a two-person sleeper and of cabins in the colorful northeastern woods, anybody who’d care has already figured out that this Bobcat’s on a whole different kind of adventure than her usual.

It starts with a dream, so let’s back up a bit …

Previously, on the Roaming Bobcat … I was released from the hospital with a mystery. The doctors had found no obvious cause for the belly pain that diverted me from my AT thru-hike. As Western doctors – even well-intentionned ones – are known to do, I was released with a laundry list of catastrophic potentialities – cancer, ulcer, tumor, etc – my asymptomatic mystery still could carry, and a busy schedule of ongoing medical tests I would need. A week and a half after my release, I dreamt of my Grandpa Henri. Henri died when I was 14 years old, but I never met him, and I only know what he looked like from one small photo my Grandpa Alex gave me.

I approached Henri’s casket in the dream. The family was gathered around, but nobody I knew. He opened his eyes and looked straight at me. Was this normal behavior? Maybe just some leftover nerves. Nobody moved. He sat up suddenly, pale as death, and the family ran. With both eyes still fixed on me, he swung his stiff legs over the casket and stood up.
“You can’t get up.” I told him, “You’re dead, remember? You died of cancer a while back.”
He didn’t care. He jumped out of the casket and skipped on down the corridor.
“Henri! You’re dead!” He finally turned around to acknowledge me. His face was young and fresh, full of vitality. “I chose to die back then because nothing could be done. But now there are alternative, holistic, earth-based medicines. This is a good time to wake up.”

I woke up with a knot in my throat. Was this a message? Was it saying that the pain in my belly is cancer? A flash of fear ran the length of my spine. I breathed thought it and sat with my own mortality. Relax! Henri is right, there are alternatives. I decided then that if I had cancer, I would not follow the western path of radiation and chemo. I would follow the earth-plant-holistic path. And if I failed? Then I’d die. And that was fine. In that moment, I felt such gratitude for my life thus far. It has been exceptional by my own standards. The best life I could have ever wished for. I’d want to know that my truck was in good hands and that the story in my book  lived on. Other than that, I felt perfectly fulfilled, content and at peace with what was and has been.

So it was with surprise and confused fascination that I watched myself roll over to my phone, download the Tinder app and create a profile.

tinder_fire

I don’t remember the first man that was presented. Jimmy James was the second. He looked kind, handsome, and could do a handstand. I “liked” him. In the following hour, I swiped “no” to at least 300 undoubtedly wonderful men. I “liked” two others, not out of interest, but because I felt I should at least have three eggs in this basket. But the other two eggs never hatched.

I understand that it is customary to exchange Tinder messages for a while, then move on to personal texts, eventually a phone call, and way down the line, finally a meeting face-to-face, once compatibility and sanity have been fully checked and vested. Ugh! Who has time for that? My Tinder flame’s truck had just landed in the shop, his wallet was just stolen, and his phone had just fallen and shattered. It seemed to me the man needed a break from a bad luck streak, so after a few texts, I drove to Maine to pick up Jimmy James.

First impressions – A tall man, a peaceful demeanor, long white dreads, torn jeans, bare feet, a joyous gait, an army bag topped by a rolled wool blanket.
“Great! I just drove an hour to pick up a homeless hippy”, I though, but instead I said “Hey, here you are!” as genuinely as I could fake.
“Yay, here I am.” He walked to my truck as though he always had and naturally placed his belongings in the back with mine.
“Where are we going?” I assumed he had a plan, since we were in his town.
“I don’t know. I hadn’t thought any further than this meeting right now. We can go anywhere.”

As I turned the key in the ignition, I sensed an adventure had begun, one beyond the miles we might cover that day. The calm joy of that man in the cab of my truck – Certainty, solid ground, landmark, and a launching pad for a rocket ship combined. Suddenly all other adventures were canceled. THIS needed to be explored. And what was this? I’m not sure yet. But it’s that thing that makes you take your shoes off – unless you’re already barefoot – and run through fields in the sun, and laugh, and dance, and blow milkweed puffs in the wind. It changes the flow of time and reorganizes your life like the advanced stages of a Tetris game. It’s that thing you didn’t know you were missing in your “perfectly fulfilled, content and at peace with what was and has been” life. It makes it not okay to die. Not at all.

And it gets worse.
This one comes with two more – a two year old and a four year old. A man and two boys to steal my heart and deconstruct my well-oiled solo roaming life.

So, this is the end of this post, but the beginning of what could be my biggest adventure yet. There will be more stories. I have already climbed a physical and metaphorical mountain with the boys. Now the Cat-mobile is being converted to fit two people. Our sights are to the southwest for the winter. We have known each other a little over a month, have no money, and will be confined to a 32 square feet home for the foreseeable future.

You think I’m scared? You damn right I am. But …

“There is nothing more pathetic than caution when headlong might save a life, even, possibly, your own.”
~ Mary Oliver, Felicity:Poems.
 

 

milkweed

 

AT final debrief. And the next adventure …

I finally updated the AT 2016 stories page, linked to the menu above. Here is a prologue of sort to the next adventure …

I had the means, the time and the gumption. I was going to hike the Appalachian Trail (the AT), all 2,200 miles from Maine to Georgia. My plan was to start at the summit of Kathadin in early July and roll on down south to Georgia for Thanksgiving.
But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and bobcats … I made it to the top of Kathadin, across Maine, New Hampshire and half of Vermont. 500 miles I walked. Then I landed in the hospital. Here are the stories of my hike and its unexpected left turn –> here.

As I update this page in the fall from my temporary home in New Hampshire, I now know that the sickness that landed me in the hospital was a gift. This is still 2016. The year when I asked the Universe to “surprise me”. It might even surprise you … but hold on a little bit. The next chapter is being written, and I don’t have a full grasp yet of its extent. For now, I’ll tell you that it comes with delicious green eyes (or grey, or orange, depending on the weather) and an air of certainty, of game-change, of uncharted territory.

So, stay tuned. The adventure ain’t over yet, even if the AT is temporary (or permanently) on hold.

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AT – day 44 – the unposted story 

[I still had one story written on the trail saved in my phone.  This was the day that started it all. I hiked another entire day after that one with belly pain before deciding it’d probably be wise to exit, especially since the rotten egg burps and frequent runs to the woods I had expected never came.]

Some days, I fly 20 miles up and over steep rocky mountains. Others, I drag my sorry ass 10 miles on almost perfect level terrain of soft easy pine needles. I guess it’s called balance. 

This all started last night. I knew a big storm was coming,  and I knew a nearby trail angel offered hikers dry space in a barn and breakfast in the morning. But I was enjoying my solitude in the Vermont open forest so much that I made a conscious decision to stop short a mile from town and brave whatever storm came my way instead of facing yet another crowd of new hikers. 

The storm came, and what a storm! Vermont went from drought to flood warning in a few hours. The rain was so heavy and thick that it collapsed my tent immediately. I had feared this would happen. I had pitched the tent stakes at an angle through a few inches of leaves over a solid bedrock of granite. In dry weather it probably would have held,  but in that storm, not a chance.

I got out in the downpour and dragged my tent to an area with thicker leaves. There were no loose anchoring rocks anywhere in sight, but eventually, after the n-th collapse, the tent finally stayed up. I was soaking wet by then, and still needed to hang my food bag up in a tree. Lighting crashed just over the next hill. I quickly coiled my bear line for the throw and found a worthy tree. The first two branches broke under the weight of the wet food bag – a nice full bag replenished that morning in Hanover – but the third one held. I was very pleased with myself – I can take care of myself in the wilderness. Yay! – and crawled back into my then still dry home.

I slept on and off,  woken up often by some of the loudest thunder I have ever heard. The clashing traveled from one side of the sky to the other, creating shock waves that shook the ground under my sleeping pad.  I had to contend with the usual tent leaks, and kept count of the time between lightning and thunder to gage the storm’s proximity. The closest it got was 3 seconds,  so still about half a mile away.  I don’t worry until it’s less than 3. I felt safe, in spite of the situation.  

I awoke this morning to clear skies, a dry pad and quilt (my sleeping bag is off to Western Mountaineering for refluffing of feathers – that’s another story). But, by my feet, my pack swam in a inch-deep indoor lake. The area had been level and dry the night before, but leaves cannot be trusted to hold up weight. Everything aside from my pad, borrowed quilt and the electronics in a ziplock bag was dripping wet. I sat up to assess the damage and was immediately shot back down by a sharp pain in my lower right belly. 

My brain quickly ran through its experiential files. Period cramp? Nah, too localized. Muscle cramp? Nope, too internal. Well then, I guessed I was in for some fun times ahead – rotten egg burps and frequent runs to the woods. I have a pretty good guess which of the water sources did it too. The stagnant one below the beaver dam, right after the steep uphill where I lost half my own body weight in sweat,  and 9 miles away from the next water source. That one.

This isn’t my first sick belly rodeo. I don’t filter. I treat my water by loving it. It works 99% of the time. I have long ago accepted the consequences of my unusual choices.  

So I started the day in pain,  with a pack heavy with wet gear. My pack belt occasionally unsnapped, forced open by the growing girth of my bloated belly. I just walked slower and focused instead on the beauty of rural Vermont, its sugar maple forest,  little barns and open fields of wild flowers. I was slow and bloated, but not unhappy … Until I climbed down the bank of a stream, slipped on rocks and landed smack on my tail bone. 

That pain was so intense that I laid right where I fell for a minute, with tears in my eyes and both shoes in the river – damn it, those were my dry socks! A moan escaped my lips, the polite emissary of a rising flurry of curses. I kept them all in. A family of day hikers with kids was approaching. 

“Are you alright?” The mom yelled down from the top of the bank.“I don’t know yet.” I crawled back up to her on all four and asked her to look down my pants. Nothing broken, she said, just a bit of blood from a cut right on my tail bone. “You’ll probably have a bruise.” Yep.  I expect it. 

I slowed down even more after that. Bruise in the back, bloat in the front. The forest was still beautiful. I was still mobile.  

A few painful slow miles later,  I came upon Sweet Toots, Monster and their dog, Beast, in a river. 

“It’s only going to be a 9 mile day,” Monster said,  “but we’re going to camp right here.  Look! There are pools where we can bathe!”

Good enough for me. The water was frigid, but it was nice to get the sweat and blood off my body. 

Sweet Toots (the man of the couple) built a fire,  and Monster (his wife) recounted how they met in China, where she once ran a sex toy import business. I was full of questions, and, in the back of my mind, grateful to the slow miles for the opportunity to camp with these two.

So, overall, I think this day still comes out in the positive. Now, I’m not sure how I’m going to sleep. My belly wants me on my back, my tail bone won’t have it. Also, there are mice here. I haven’t had to deal with mice in a while. 

Should be another interesting night. 

Lights out. 

Xox.

The Bobcat. 

Vermont, the beautiful. 

VT – day 1.  

Well, folks, I just moved to Vermont. 

My hospital room has been looking more like an executive’s office this morning. I’m up, in no pain, unplugged from the IV, eating solid food and I have pants on. There’s been an almost constant parade of people with paperwork in and out of the room.

J.R. from financial assistance visited.“Are you moving to Vermont?” “I can, I’m mobile.” “Good. I looked at your file, with your income (royalties from Crazy Free), you qualify for Medicaid.” – So, that’s it. This entire hospital bill, all associated follow up meds and the upcoming colonoscopy are covered. See Dad? You worry, and I tell you it’ll all work out, and it always does. 🙂

I also had the visit of Virginia, the hospital dietician. Get a load of this … I’m on a restricted fiber diet for at least a month. The anti-Melissa diet, only grain products made from white or refined flour, and as little vegetables as possible. The irony makes me giggle whenever I look at the list of food I can and can’t have. Thank God it’s temporary. If I’m gonna be moving to VT, I want to be able to indulge in all its farmers markets.

The transition/release facilitator lady was here. She is going to find me the most alternative, health-based doctor in town (Rutland). This will be my doctor when I get out of here. I don’t know what she heard out there in the corridors,  but she came in very excited to meet me. She said I’ll just love Vermont in the fall and that Rutland is a very progressive town. I guess I’ll find out. I only had time to see about one city block of it before I landed here.

Lisa the social work had to wait a bit – I almost need a secretary at this point! – but finally got to see me. She’s arranged for the last of the antibiotics to be ready at the pharmacy when I get out of here. She says I should have no problem finding work as a yoga instructor here. Two friends of hers just opened a cross-fit gym. They have a team training for the Spartan Race. She gave me her number and invited me to come and check it out when I’m all better. 

Doctor Bruce was in also. She said we might never known what I had, but all my ongoing lab cultures will be forwarded to my doctor in town, now that I’ll have one. 

And finally, Lynn, my friend Brian’s mom, who is a nurse on the 3rd floor, came by. She’ll be taking me home tonight and keep me until I get a ride to my truck, which should be later this week when my North Conway Elves come to get me. In the meantime, Lynn said I’m welcomed to use her truck for my errands. I think Brian is concerned about all the embarrassing childhood stories his mom is about to share with me. But he’s too far (on the PCT) to do anything about it. Bwaahaaaha 😁

Seriously! Why wouldn’t I want to stay in this lovely town of delightful people?  

Maybe this all thing – walking the AT, getting a bellyache, landing in the hospital, etc … was just a ploy to get me to Vermont. And North Conway is still only 2 hrs away.

So, here ends this section of my journal, and the next adventure begins. 

Thank you all for being by my side in spirit and through the electronics during this most strange of adventures. You sure know how to make a Bobcat feel loved. ❤

Xoxoxoxo. 

Rutland … for an undetermined bit. 

AT – off trail day 5 – Move to Vermont?

The nurse in charge of nurses just visited, she wanted to know how her staff is doing.  I gushed goodness about them,  of course. On the way out she said “You look way too good to be in here!” 

I feel as I look.

The doc came by yesterday and said I’ll most likely be able to get out Monday. They still dont know “who donnit”, but I’m improving by leaps each day, with only a little pressure left in that one abdominal spot.  I’ll still have to take antibiotics for 2 more weeks after I get out, and I’ll need a colonoscopy after the treatment is over. He made me promise I’d get one, looking me straight in the eyes for signs of evasion. That doc sure figured me out fast.

I promised, but also explained my financial situation. He said “I understand you are mobile and can live anywhere. If you move to Vermont, our social worker, Kate, can set up a full coverage medicare for you and you could have the colonoscopy done here.”

Well, why not? Vermont is a beautiful state and I’ve liked everyone I’ve met from here … Mmmh. Wouldn’t that be a twist in the plot?

My plan thus far is to retreat from here to The Bobcat Rehabilitation Center in North Conway, NH (i.e. my truck). I’ll have paperwork to fill and phone calls to make. Just a bit of adulting, not too much. I’ll also need to rebuild. Get all sorts of good bacteria back in my belly, healthy food in my system and get my legs moving uphill again. 

The AT’s on hold for now. I’ve got too many unknowns, financial and otherwise, to know yet what I’ll decide about it. I’m pretty confident I’m no longer thru-hiking it, but I might still catch the Smokeys in the fall, maybe Ashville to Georgia, or maybe I’ll go back to Sedona, or elsewhere, or stay in North Conway, or move to Vermont. 

The antibiotics have eradicated all former plans. Blank slate … reset. Not a bad place to be. Not a bad place at all. 

From here … Infinite possibilities

Sunset through the window of the room at the end of the hall, on the 5th floor of the Rutland Regional Medical Center. My home for a week.

AT – Off trail day 4 – Dr Mustard, in the kitchen, with the …

Good morning world! Its sunny, bright and warm in the room at the end of the hall,  on the 5th floor of Rutland Regional Medical Center. 

The IV was moved again – my hand couldn’t take the amount of substances injected, especially after the spine-arching painful dye for the CT scan traveled through. The IV is now on my left forearm  (4th location!) and my right hand is free again for writing. Yay. 

Yesterday, I had 2 CT scans (for a total of 3), 4 more blood cultures, 2 more blood tests of other kinds and  1 stool culture. I now have 3 doctors working on the case, including the general surgeon (because if the antibiotics fail, I’m going under his knife) and a newly hired specialist in infectious diseases, in case I have something of the sort. 

The CT scan shows a large inflammation in the lower right corner of the abdomen.  “The kind that would cause massive pain” the doc said – why yes, that would be the kind. Behind that,  a bit of the appendix pokes into view and it looks fine. Usually, with appendicitis, the whole thing would be inflamed, so it doesn’t look like appendicitis, but they can’t rule it out either, because they can’t see it. If it were an inflammation of the colon (forgot the name), the antibiotics should have cleared it by now, so it might not be that, but they can’t rule it out. If it was cancerous, an abscess or tumor, the sides of the inflamed area would have a definite line,  and they don’t see that, but they can’t rule them out either. I could just have an atypical one of any of those.

The blood cultures show nothing yet, but they’ve only been brewing some for a day, some for two, so nothing in there yet, or at all. Same with the stool culture. 

My blood count is normal,  vital signs of a healthy person,  still no other symptoms except for a bit of diarrhea – but then my last solid meal was roasted corn on the cob, cooked over a fire in a lookout cabin on the AT, 5 days ago. 

If it’s Giardia or another water-borne diseases, I’ve got none of the symptoms. It’d be a very atypical one, but again, they don’t rule any of them out.  

So, that’s that. Until they know, they feel the best course of action is to keep the drip of antibiotics going and keep looking. 

Meanwhile, I am actually doing much better.  I can sit up by myself,  move around, and no longer need help to the bathroom. Talk about an exercise in vulnerability and trust. Nothing like a bit of pain to drop all “I can do it myself” pride. 

The nurses and nurses aid have all been exceptional angels of love, respect and patience. Each comes with a precise unique mix of qualities they all possess. All are professional, efficient, caring, comforting, etc. but draw on these qualities in various ways. In short bursts of visits to change IV bags or take vital signs,  I get glimpses into their world.  Here, it’s all about the patients,  but outside, they are mothers, wifes, girlfriends, mountain hikers, motorcycle riders, maple syrup fudge recipe inventors, travelers, with a whole spectrum of adventure dreams and plans. My surgeon is a mountaineer and climber, waiting for his kids to be old enough to become his rope guns. I imagine not everyone gets to find out all these juicy bits, but I’m curious, and my backpack with all my gear (brought to me from the Yellow Deli Hiker Hostel by Trail Angel Tom yesterday – thank you!!!) sits on the chair reserved for visitors,  first in view when you come in the room. It’s a great conversation starter, that’s why I leave it there. 

I see the nurses the most,  but really, everybody that has come into my sphere has been absolute top-notch personel, from the transport-technicians who gives me bed rides down to the CT scan room, to the cleaning ladies, to the handsome green-eyed maintenance man who came to unclog my toilet – right, because I totally want to meet handsome men while wrapped in a saggy hospital gown, with dreadful fever bed hair! Luckily, he was also very efficient,  and out of here in two flushes. 

I’ve also had the visit of the hospital dietician – how cool is that? This hospital has a dietician! She came to enquire why my tray of mostly sugar and high fructose corn syrup water was returning to the kitchen intact. I told her that it seemed to me the last thing my body needed right now, it the midst of this epic fight to heal itself,  was nutritionally empty substances I don’t trust or usually consume. Now my tray comes with hot water, herbal tea, wedges of fresh lemon and chicken broth. 

So, overall, I’d say life is good and getting better!

Thanks again for the deluge of love and support. I am sure it’s helping, in one way or the other. 

The last solid supper – the night before I got off trail.  

AT – off trail day 3 – the mystery thickens 

This will be a short post.  They’ve moved the iv to the top of my right hand,  which makes doing phone things difficult.  

A doctor was just in here. The massive antibiotics they have me on seems ineffective (so far). Still in pain, but better than yesterday – yesterday was epic! Now I’m spiking fevers. So,  they don’t know what I have. But kudos to the doctors here for how hard they are working on it. They’ve checked for tick-born diseases,  bacterial infections … several blood tests, urine tests, etc. and now back to the CT scan in a few minutes.  I have no symptoms aside from the pain in the one spot in my belly.  

I’ve just been sleeping a bunch. I even finally befriended the incessantly beeping iv machine. I’m hurt but not unhappy. Just having a very different kind of experience than what I’m used to. Also, I can see mountains out the window (I’m on the top floor). And the moon was full last night and hovering right there.  The outside world is not too far.

Thank you for all the love making my phone buzz like mad whenever I turn it on.  

Xoxoxoxo 

AT – Off trail day 2 – The facts. 

WordPress alerted me that a whole lot of you have visited my site, looking for info, I surmise. 

I’ll write the full story when I’m in less pain and have a little more perspective.  This is just a bottom line of facts.  

I got off trail two days ago because of increasing pain in my lower right abdominal area.  I figured I’d better be in town if the apendix was the problem. I landed at the Yellow Deli hikers hostel, in Rutland VT, and slept for about 18 hrs before deciding to go to Urgent Care.  Urgent Care took one tap at my appendix and sent me to the Emergency Room. Nice people too, didn’t charge me for the visit (I have no health insurance), and the doctor gave me his cell number in case I need anything. 

I spent all afternoon yesterday in tests. CT scan, blood,  urine,  etc. The verdict is that it is most likely not the appendix,  but an inflammation of the lower colon.  Pain is the same, and the usual method is also surgery.  The doc said that, at this point,  if he was to perform surgery, he’d have to remove a big chunk of my colon,  so instead, he’s bombarding my body with antibiotics for a few days and hope that does it.  The pain is pretty intense. I think my pain scale went up a notch. I get morphine at night. 

Silly and Long Spoon, two nobo hikers I just met, and Angel Tom “plans too much” have been visiting me.  And my friend Brian’s mom, who happens to be a nurse here (what are the chances?) visited too. Tom said he’ll come back later with Miss Janet. Not how I thought I’d meet the famous Angel Miss Janet, but pretty cool still. Trail family is the best! Thank you all, trail family or not,  for your love and support!

The doc said I’ll be here a few days. I don’t know how long.  I talked with the financial dept. They said they’ll work with me to get me the most financial assistance they can. 

I’ll decide what to do about the AT when I’m back on my feet.  

That’s all.  The iv machine is beeping again,  driving me bonkers! 

Love to all. This is just an experience among many. I’m feeling good mentally. Xoxoxoxo 

The beeping nemesis.