Ramble

My stomach is the worst!

I really thought that by this point I wouldn’t be writing about it anymore.  At least, less  At least, it wouldn’t be throwing me flareups that wipe out whole days of my life every so often. 

I planned to go to my first musical event this past weekend…a cover band of a group I love, at my favorite bar.  Did I make it?  No, of course not.  Why, oh why, would my pyloric muscle ever allow such things?!  FUN?! NEVER!!

So, after feeling salty about that all day on Sunday, I woke up feeling a little better this morning, but also tired of worrying about my health.  However, I am making major health strides despite my stupid stomach.  For one, my sciatica is much improved due to the exercises I have been doing.  And speaking of exercise and diet related things, I am officially the thinnest I have ever been in my entire life.  I don’t suggest my diet of protein shakes and jello, but hey, it got results, I guess.  I do indeed fit into that bathing suit I mentioned some months ago.  That’s a nice thing.

I mean, I really still don’t give a crap about my weight but it’s nice to accomplish a goal, y’know?

And then the other health thing, in which I attempt to quit smoking.  Again.  They say the average smoker quits seven times before the big one…if that’s so I’m plugging along on attempt number five right now.  Hopefully it’s a good, long run.  In the meantime, I’m on the patch and having crazy dreams.  No, don’t tell me to take it off at night…I often wake up in the night wanting a smoke, so I have to keep it on then,  The dreams are actually mostly fun, not scary or anything, but the realism is something of a brain tease.

So, I’m losing weight and quitting smoking and still my stomach insists on behaving the way it does every time I try to do something fun.  One doc says it’s a fluke.  Another doc says it takes time for it to heal.  I don’t think either of them know what they’re talking about anymore.

I’m sitting in my desk with a pain in my shoulder as I type because I am simply not used to sitting at my desk and typing, as I have been away from the writing for so long.  My blog is in shambles, my poetry practically nonexistent, and while I did drop 350 words in the WIP the other day, that’s it for months now.  But this morning I found a poem.

Just a little something about a fish that I wrote while out one afternoon and forgot about.  Just a note on my phone, that I polished up and put into pretty words and saved in my poetry file.  It gave me a little hope, much like the fishies I wrote the poem about do.

That’s what I need to do!  Go fishing.

Anyway…thanks for listening to my ramble today.  There wasn’t much else on the agenda and I just had to get all these little thoughts out of my mind.

Happy Monday.

Fluke

So, it’s been a bit, and that has to do with only one thing, which is my stomach.  Of course.

I planned this great trip for my birthday.  My parents and sister and friends were all coming down to celebrate at my favorite place, Allegany State Park!  Camping and hiking and fishing and bonfires…what could go wrong??

Friday was ok.  I did a little fishing with Mark, then Carey arrived, and we tried to make a fire but couldn’t really get it going.  We went to bed early…big day tomorrow, and all that.

Saturday. Party day, and I spent it in the back of the cabin, vomiting.  Everyone else says they had a good time, which is helpful for my depression, but not by much.  No, that took a major hit as I laid in Olean General Hospital and realized that I actually applied for a job last week.  Like an idiot.  Like an idiot with a working digestive system.

Olean Gen was adorable, by the way.  Note that I am used to a massive city hospital with a warehouse-style emergency department that has like 62 beds.  This place had probably 12 rooms and a handful or carts, and when they told me they were very busy I was worried for a six hour wait, as per usual at Mercy up by my house.  Alas, no, that just meant they were putting me in a hall bed.  I haven’t gotten so lucky as to get a hall bed at Mercy in years!

The nurses were wonderful, and the doctor was a peach.  I am used to docs who come in and say “Here’s the thing were doing,” then they do it.  This man asked me if we could do the thing…asked me.  That means a lot, really.

Anyway, after a couple of hours and a couple of bags of saline, I was back in the cabin, sleeping.  I woke up to Carey leaving and mild nausea.  I realized I lost my sunglasses, so I drove to Salamanca and bought a new pair.  We returned to the cabin and just kind of hung around…I still felt terrible, worse as the day went on.

Went home early Monday morning, felt like death.

Tuesday, back at Mercy.  The usual question presents itself: when are you getting your surgery?  Dude…I DID.

On Friday I was feeling much better and went to the doctor.  They tell me, it’s a fluke.  They tell me it was stress-induced.  Prescription:  less stress.  Ha!

I feel ok now, but it was a huge blow to my mental health, not just physical.  I am still upset, because last week I put out an application for a job, and that’s a really big deal for me.  To think that I am still battling this full-force is just not acceptable.  I have been waiting for it to be over for so long.

But maybe it is.  Maybe, doc says, when I come back in a few months I won’t have had any problems, and they will declare the surgery as working.  I just have to cut down on the stress.

Oh, if only I knew how.

Recovery, Day 7.

I haven’t blogged in a bit because I haven’t been able to sit at the computer for a bit.  I got sick exactly two weeks ago, my gastroparesis throwing one final tantrum that lasted several days.  Then, one week ago, I awoke sick again and even more terrified than usual, because I had plans that day.  Big plans.

When I started vomiting blood, Mark suggested I throw in the towel and go to Mercy hospital to get checked out, but I wasn’t going down that easy.  Instead, I called my surgeon’s office, retching in the poor nurses ear, and asked what I should do.  She called me back and told me to go to Sister’s hospital ASAP.

The relief felt in that moment was almost as good as the relief felt when the anti-nausea drugs kick in.  My stupid stomach would NOT ruin this for me-but I knew it was going to be hard.

When I got to the hospital, they took me right away to a room and got me setup.  I knew I couldn’t get the “good” meds, the kind that calm me down or make me sleep, because they would interfere with the anesthesia.  So, they gave me one of those sea-sickness patches you put behind your ear and a dose of Compazine.  It didn’t work.  I sat there and waited for surgery, puking the entire time.

When they got me down to the OR, it was clear that the attending’s were not used to a “visibly” ill person in the room.  Everyone kept asking if I was okay, and what I was there for, and if it was related to the vomiting.  “I’m fine, I have gastroparesis, the surgery will help,” became my mantra.  They kept telling me that once the anesthesiologist came down, he would give me something to calm me.  It never really happened, because I blew my IV site right before going in, in classic Brigid fashion. 

They put me on the operating table and put a mask over my face and told me it was oxygen.  It smelled like perfume.

Then, it was over.

I woke up back in the prep room with an excruciating pain in my neck.  That turned out to be a central line, because they never did find a vein.  My stomach hurt, but no more than it had prior to surgery when I was sick, so it wasn’t my main focus.  The nurse with the ice chips was.

I spent the night in total pain until they gave me a shot around midnight and then I slept until six.  After meeting with a nutritionist, my doctor came in to tell me all was well and I could go home that night.  Originally I was supposed to stay longer in the hospital, so this was a delightful sur[rise.

I went home to recuperate, and I was thrilled to be able to have something to drink finally.  Alas, no food.  No food for two weeks, while my stomach heals up.  Then soft food for two weeks.  June can’t come fast enough.

No exercise for a bit, and recommendations fo rest.  I took to the couch with my protein shakes and Gatorade and recovered.  A week went by.

It’s hard for me to believe that it was two weeks ago when the flareup first started.  It seems like it was only a few days.  I am eternally hopeful that was my last episode, at least for a good long while. 

So, it’s now a week after surgery and I feel quite good.  Better every day, actually.  I am hoping that once this recovery process is over next month, I am able to return to living a life that I have missed.  I miss going to bed at night without a contingency plan.  I miss waking up in the morning without nausea.  I miss eating foods I love, or drinking a beer.  I don’t think I want too much, just the ability to enjoy a few things life has to offer that I have been missing out on.

(Also, I wanna know how much I’m going to weigh at the end of this, because this is definitely the most intense diet I’ve ever been on.)

24 Days

Quick background for the new reader: I have severe gastroparesis.  This means my stomach doesn’t digest food properly.  I have been living with this disorder for about five years or so, though I’m sure I had a milder form for many years prior to my docs finally figuring it out.  Maybe around age 25 I started throwing up, usually after eating too much…even though “too much” was hardly anything.  It wasn’t until I had my gallbladder out in 2016 that things got really bad.  They thought that was the culprit; they were wrong.

Anyway, five years ago, there was one solution and it was a major surgery to put in a pacemaker and it was in Cleveland.  No, thank you.

But time went on and things got worse.  Fortunately, science also progressed, and other options became available.  Mind you, there is no cure.  There is only treatment.

The best treatment, according to my surgeon, is a gastric bypass.  However, I just don’t weigh enough.  That was a truly bittersweet appointment.  Sad because I can’t get the surgery, yet thrilled because for the first time in my life a doctor said the worlds “you don’t weigh enough.”  The pacemaker option still exists, and is now right here in town, but involves several surgeries for the rest of my life to replace the battery every few years.  So, no.  I’d rather not.

Finally, we have the pyloroplasty.  This involves the pyloric muscle at the bottom of the stomach that in is charge of opening to the intestine.  Essentially, they cut it open and make a permanent hole, so it can’t clamp shut on me and prevent stomach emptying.  These were my options, so I went with door number 3.

Doc said he would set it up for the end of March.  Well, that came and went and I called the office, and the nurse there set me up with April 29th.  So, there it is, my surgery date.

I am currently waiting as I type this for the hospital to call me back to set up both a Covid test and pre-surgery screening. 

After the surgery I will be laid up for a little bit.  I will be on a two-week liquid diet followed by a two-week soft food diet.  Then, hopefully, provided all has healed correctly, I will be able to eat regularly for the first time in years.  (Also hoping after the diets to fit into the bathing suit I bought last year that was just a size too small.)

Am I nervous?  Very much.  I don’t like the idea of surgery, even though it will be laparoscopic and probably not much worse than getting my gallbladder out.  I more so don’t like the idea of being in the hospital afterwards, especially in a time when I can’t have a bunch of visitors and such to cheer me up.  I hope everything goes smoothly and I am out of there quickly. 

Then, recovery, which is always worse than actual procedures, but hey…I’ve done worse.  When I had my left eye done, I was on my stomach for an entire week….24 hours a day.  It was agony…but I did it.  I can do this, too.

So, in closing, I finally am starting to see a faint light at the end of the tunnel.  I am going to hope and pray very hard that I do not get sick anytime in the next 24 days, either.  (Although, it would be sweet to tell the staff at Mercy about my imminent surgery.  They would be excited for me.)  I am just dragging myself to the end of April, hoping that May brings me better feelings.

I mean…it has to, right?

Complaint Form to the Universe

I would love to update you on some thrilling adventure I have had recently, or new thing I have discovered, or adorable anecdote from the kiddos.  I would love to tell you about my writing endeavors, and my fishing encounters, and my glorious days of feeling well and wonderful.

I ain’t got any of that.

I can’t tell you how many times I was in the emergency room last week.  I don’t remember.  I know one day it was twice…so that was two craploads of drugs pumped into me that made me completely forget the following day.  And on Sunday night, I found myself trapped under plastic sheeting as they put in a central line, after two hours of trying to find a vein that hadn’t scarred over.  Yesterday I felt better, but also generally like someone hit me with a truck, and then kicked me in the chest for good measure.

I had great plans for this weekend and I was sick the whole time, which sucked because we had the girls and I promised them we would go fishing.  Instead, I was sleeping or puking.  It’s things like this that take a mental toll, too, because then you feel like a disappointment to other people.  Like, my mom made this lovely Irish breakfast for all of us Sunday morning and I immediately vomited it up, thus ending what looked like it might have been a good day.  It’s just depressing.

And then comes Monday, wherein I had plans.  I have reading to do.  I have writing to do.  I have work to do.  But I can’t do a thing.  I can’t sit at the desk long enough, or hold the mouse even, because my arms feel like they weigh 6000 pounds.  The bruises in the crooks of my elbows and on my wrists are aching with each word I type.  The only reason, and I mean the ONLY REASOIN I am even sitting here right now is because I am clinging to a tiny shred of normalcy, and in this moment, that would be my blog.

Today is the one-year anniversary of my grandfather’s death, by the way.  It was a terrible week that I wrote of in detail, and this year has somehow simultaneously flown and dragged without him.  Today we are going to the cemetery to place a wreath on his grave.  I haven’t been to it, yet.  The only grave I visit is Ka, so this is one of those milestone-style things for my anxiety.  Thing is, it doesn’t seem such a big deal to me, at least not as it was a year ago when they went to the cemetery after the services, and I went back to my Gram’s house instead. 

Because, you see, I’m stressed elsewhere.  I’m anxious in other areas.  I’m depressed in a different department.  My stupid, stupid, STUPID stomach.

But soon…soon the phone will ring and I will answer and it will be the scheduler for my surgery and they will tell me help is on the way.

Until then, I’ll dream of the things to come, like not getting sick daily or ending up in the ER monthly because they’re going to blast a hole through my stomach (I mean, that’s not the technical procedure, I just like to tell people that.)  Like the fact I’ll probably lose some weight during my subsequent liquid diet and fit into the bathing suit I bought last summer that was just slightly too small.  Ooooh!  And, of course, once it’s over and I am healed, I am GOING TO CLEVELAND TO SEE SAHAR.  That, of course, is the endgame.

So yeah, this blog entry isn’t much more than my complaint form to the universe, but in case you haven’t noticed, I don’t exactly shy away from the realities of chronic or mental illness, and the stomach issues coupled with the depression it has caused is really weighing on me right now.  I’m not going to sit here and pretend it’s all rainbows and butterflies, because it isn’t.  It never was.  But, some days, like today, are tolerable enough.

Little Miracles

It is very early in the morning.  Or very late at night.  Time has lost all meaning to me over the past few days, if I’m honest.  I was sick again yesterday, and took another trip to the ER.  It was quick and I was home in my bed before I knew it, which was good, but then I pulled another night of wacky sleep.  So, here we are, nearly 4am and I am starting my blog instead of my coffee pot, hopeful that I can get another hour or two before taking Mark to work.  I don’t see it happening, though, as I am wide awake and also, a little scared to go to sleep.  It’s when I wake from sleeping that I get sick, so when I wake up well, I don’t want to go back and see what happens.  Sleeping at night alone makes me nervous…I don’t need that stress in the wee hours of the morning.  I would much rather embrace that time…I showered, I made tea, I watched my shows, and now I’m working on my blog.  I will go to bed early tonight, but I will not be sick today.

On Tuesday, something cool happened.  I posted my page for the AFSP out of the Darkness walk.  For the new reader, this is a charity that is very close to my heart.  I am pretty sure this year marks my tenth of participation.  I started going because my friend Beth was interested and asked me to come with her.  It was kind of weird at first…there were so many people who were sad, but they seemed to be celebrating as well.  It was a juxtaposition I became interested in.

Over the years, it grew from a few dozen folks to a few hundred, maybe even a thousand or more.  One thing they used to do was read a list of names of people who had committed suicide in the community.  They stopped once it got bigger.  That seemed sad, to me.  Last year, due to the pandemic, there was no walking.  Instead, Mark and I went down during an appointed time slot to pick up my t-shirt and some other goodies, and have our picture taken (below.)   I had raised 500$, in partial thanks to an anonymous donor.  Which brings me back to…Tuesday.

I posted all my info for my new fundraising page, and then took a little nap.  When I awoke, I had an email from the AFSP, saying that I had reached my goal of 500 bucks.  Um…what?

I set the bar high this year, because it was my tenth year.  Did I think someone would come through with the whole thing withing two hours of me posting?  No, I did not.

I sort of should have, though?  Like, this isn’t new.  Someone has been making large anonymous donations for years.  I don’t know if it’s the same person or different people, or what.  I have no idea who this mystery giver is.  But I love them.

I love them because I think they know me, and I think they know my struggle.  I can’t imagine anyone just donating large sums without knowing me, if I’m honest.  This person must be in my atmosphere, and I wish I knew who they were.  Alas, I respect the anonymity they want to keep, and I am forever grateful for their support.

Now, I’ve reached my goal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still donate, of course.  I just won’t be pushing it much, which is good news for your social media feeds.  I am hopeful that this year there will be actual walking involved, too.  I try to stay positive with these thoughts, because someday everything will go back to normal.  In the meantime, there’s still little miracles, like anonymous donors and waking up feeling well.

Oh!  Also, in this time-suck of a week, I had a poem come out at Cabildo Quarterly that you should definitely check out!

Hospital Haziness

I have had many fears over the past couple of weeks about going to the hospital.  For one, I don’t want to be exposed to Covid.  Secondly, I don’t want to take up space and resources from those that have it.  Third, change terrifies me, and it seems like every time I end up in the ER there is some huge change happening.  And on top of all this, I have been living with the worry that I will not be getting my surgery any time soon, as all elective surgeries have been cancelled.

So, when I woke up sick at six am yesterday morning, I held my ground.  I took some Compazine and Bentyl and Xanax and tried to get the storm to pass, but sometime around 11am, there was blood in the vomit, so off I went.

I was the only person in the waiting room.  It occurred to me that perhaps others were avoiding the ER, too.  I was momentarily grateful, as my name was immediately called and I was registered right away.

They put me in a room.  A doc came in with a med student.  A quick exam, and three shots in the arm: Compazine, Ativan, morphine.  Some blood work, and Xray, and then to a chair in the internal waiting room with a nice heated blanket and two women watching soap operas.  Sleep.

Awake.

Moved to another room.  Given papers, told to leave.  Out the door and into my mom’s car and home again and then back to…sleep.

It was probably the easiest ER trip I’ve ever had and for that I am super grateful.  But then there is the leftover haze the next day, as I sit down to type my blog, and I can’t seem to remember what I had to say.  That’s the worst part, even worse than my sore esophagus.  Still…

In the past week, two people I know were diagnosed with Covid, and one had a major scare that turned out to be something else, thank God.  And that right there: “thank God it was something else,” is the problem.  It is the perfect illustration of why Covid is so scary; we will always be rooting for the lesser of two evils, and Covid is the supreme evil of the moment.

They talk a lot on the news about people who won’t wear a mask, and their arguments are pretty hypocritical at most times.  But I look around and I see way more people volunteering to do so than not, and that gives me hope. 

I have diabetes, so I am high-risk for Covid.  I’ve worn a mask since day one.  I will continue to do so well into the future.  I intend to get the vaccine when it is available to me.  When I see people eschew the science because of their so-called “personal freedoms,” all I can think is “wow…that asshole wants me dead.”

I don’t know.  Maybe it was the 20 years of Catholicism that taught me the whole “do unto others” song and dance, but I just don’t see why grown adults are behaving like petulant children.  I can’t get sick, guys.  I am sick enough.

So, my ER trip went better than expected, but only served as a reminder that this thing is serious.  And people are acting like it isn’t.  I mean, I’m not perfect.  I try to follow the rules as best I can but I have certainly slipped up.  But I’m trying.  Some people aren’t even doing that.

I know this blog was a little all over the place.  I’m a little all over the place, still floating on that hospital fog and definitely needing a couple more hours of sleep.  But if you take nothing else from this post, take this: wear your damn mask.

Nothing

What shall I blog about today?

The obvious choice is the election, until I looked at my calendar and realized I will be blogging about that next Monday.  Then I thought about writing about writing, of course.  But I recently wrote about Preptober and my future poetry path.  So, I figured I could write more specifically about NaNo, but then looked at the calendar again and realized I’m starting my weekly updates on that next Thursday, anyway.

I scrolled Twitter for a while, hoping to find an interesting question or topic.  Unfortunately, today is a PitMad event.  This is a complicated thing to explain but the basis is that you pitch your book via tweet to editors and agents.  So, my feed is clogged up with book ideas…some are great, but there’s not a lot of varying topics.

I could write about my weekend.  On Saturday, I took L fishing, and it was the first time we really hung out one-on-one.  At first, he seemed bored, but once we found some fish hiding under the dock, he got into it.  On the way home I mentioned an action scene in my novel that I am planning, and having some trouble with.  We spent the next hour or so discussing weapons, stealth tactics, armor, etc.  It was good bonding time, and it thrills me whenever the kiddos take an interest in my work.

On Sunday I woke, sick.  Off to the ER.  I don’t remember much…it’s all foggy.  I know that the intake nurse said “Hey, I heard you are an author” and I said “Yes I am!” and then threw up.  I don’t know how she knew that.

Bernie picked me up after a few hours and was told to take me home but then I found out that my people were all at my mom’s house: parents, husband, Kev, Sharon, and L.  So, I demanded she take me there.  She bought me a smoothie from McDonalds that I drank while everyone else ate chili, and then drove me home.  I think I may have dozed off at the table.

Today I feel good.  Healthy and happy and doing fine.  Except for I don’t know what to write about.

They say when you are in such a predicament, that you should write about exactly the dilemma: that you are stuck, or wordless.  This was my attempt to do that.  I don’t know that anything really came of it.  I do know that after today I am booked up on blog topics for the next couple of weeks, so that’s a satisfying feeling.  This?  This is just filler.

And as always, Happy Monday.

Camping, Take 2

Last year, we took a family camping trip.  Me, Hubs, the kiddos, and my parents.  My mother fell down a slope and broke her ankle.  This resulted in her and Dad heading to the hospital, while Mark and I patrolled four kids who were detoxing from electronics.  It was…rough.  So initially when I got the idea to go camping again, I was a little wary.  This time it would be just me and Mark…what if something goes wrong?

I pushed this thought out of my head with other thoughts, like “you have done nothing this horrible boring summer” and “the nearest hospital is only 19 minutes away-you can drive that while sick.” 

And so, I planned a camping trip for the two of us for our anniversary.  We are very excited.  We have never gone anywhere together.  10 years.  Nowhere.

We have been across state to visit his family a few times, but all our time was spent with them.  We had no honeymoon, no vacations, no weekend getaways.  This will be our very first, and here’s hoping it’s not one of those things we probably should have done before we got married.

I have two worries.  One is that I will get sick.  The other is that I will fight with Mark.

Now, sick or injured, I have an emergency plan, and a backup emergency plan, and I am confident in my current health.  No flareups for six days now, and that’s a very good sign. 

But, Hubs…

I love my husband, but he has a frustration issue.  Even small frustrations have triggered anger and rage.  He works on it, so now it’s mostly just big things that set him off (well, and video games…though we could debate whether that’s a “big thing.”)  The problem is, I have a rage issue myself, so when he gets frustrated by, say, A VIDEO GAME, and yells and throws a controller, my initial reaction is to throw something as well because I am angry that he is throwing things.  Yes, I see the insanity in that, but it is what it is.

I am afraid we will, say, set up an air mattress, and one or both of us will get frustrated, then enrage the other somehow, resulting in me throwing his belongings into a creek.  Or vice versa.

We rarely fight, but this is the one thing that makes us blow: both being frustrated at once.  It is rarely the other person, it is almost always the situation, but then we of course turn on each other like wild wolves.

But I have high hopes, because mostly this does not happen at the same time.  I can talk him off a ledge.  He can talk me off one, too.  But if we’re both pissed, just stand back.  And hope we’re not pissed at you.

So I’m going to be well and I’m going to have no relationship worries because I’m going to have a perfect trip because we deserve it, damnit.  10 years with this guy!  A miracle, I tell you.  I will be sure to tell you about it when I get back.

Here’s hoping no one falls down a slope. 

(That last lines for you, Ma.)

Hubs and me, doing what we plan to do all weekend…only not in the middle of the city.

Life and Death and Fishing

As previously mentioned, I have been super sick this month.  I don’t know why.  I have been doing all the things I am supposed to have been doing, and my mental health has been great.  So what the what, gastroparesis?  On Friday, Hubs and I are going camping for our anniversary.  I am determined to stay well and be well for this event.  Problem is, the worry of getting sick stresses me out, and stress makes me sick. It’s become a pray and hope scenario.

Every day that I wake up feeling well, I consider to be a tiny miracle.  If gastroparesis has taught me nothing else, it is to savor each day and try to make the best of it, because a lot of the time my days get ruined.  I have a new outlook on life itself, which is causing me to be grateful for the little things.  I am always looking for silver linings in the chaos, and this is the biggest one:  my appreciation for living.

One of the things that I have done to help my physical and mental self is take up fishing.  I got my license in May and Hubs bought me a pole for my birthday, and I have been taking quite an interest in it.  My favorite part right now is learning the different types of fish.  I literally knew nothing about fishing at all; Hubs has a basic knowledge, but nothing fancy.  So, we have been teaching ourselves as we go.

One of our learning helpers is a fisherman/YouTuber by the name of Leif Steffny.  He has a show called North West Fishing Secrets, and we watch it every week.  His M.O. is to catch some fish, and then cook them up shore-side.  It combines Hubs love of fishing and cooking, so it’s our #1 YouTube video experience.  We have learned a lot form him, because he talks about fishing as though he is talking to someone who is new to the sport, like us.  He is always sure to explain everything he is using and doing, and we learn something new each week. 

Now, one of the things we learned, as this gentleman both catches and cooks his fish, is how to kill one.

It looked really easy: you just bonk it on the head, but the reality is a little harsher, to me.

I caught a trout this weekend.  Not a big one, but big enough that he managed to swallow the entire hook right down into his stomach.  There was no way to get it out; he was bleeding.  We could cut the line and let him die in the water.  We could leave it and let him asphyxiate on land.  Or we could bonk him on the head. 

I held him in my left hand while Mark did what had to be done.  It looked so easy in the videos.   But then, I felt it…shaking and shivering my hand, spasming because it was dying.  It was maybe three seconds, but even that felt too long.  I ached for that fishie.

When it stopped moving, I dropped it to the ground.  Mark told me his death wouldn’t be in vain…we couldn’t eat it, but he would take it home and show me how to gut and filet a fish, and at least it would teach me something, I figured.

But I can’t forget what it felt like in my hand.

K told me she wants to go hunting someday and I grimaced (this was the same day as the fish.) I never wanted to go hunting, because I can’t imagine killing Bambi.  (Plus, the hating guns thing.)  But apparently I’m fine with killing Nemo?  Or am I?

I’m not going to give up fishing because the joy and health it has brought me far outweighs that sad moment with the fish in my hand.  And that’s kind of how I feel about most of my life right now.  I’m not going to let my good days get ruined by the weight of the bad ones.  I try very hard to make each moment count, now, in a way that I did not do before, and that is very important to me.  The moment with the fish was devastating, but the fact that I was out in the sun with my husband and daughters was the exact opposite.  It was rejuvenating and wonderful and healing.  That little fishie didn’t make it, but I was okay, I was still breathing, and I didn’t feel the pain of a hook in my belly, for the first time in a while.