C’mon Boots! Smile if you’re wearing underwear! U Dig It!

November 15, 2011

Today i went to my doctor. . . again.  i’ve been seeing an awful lot of my doctor lately and as lovely as she is i’m sick of it.  See i was having severe stomach pain and at first she thought it was my gallbladder.  So we did an ultrasound.  Then we did a hida scan just to be sure.  i also got to have lots of blood tests.  One of them showed that i had a bacteria living in my tummy (poor Artie.) This is what the creepy little guy looks like:

   His name is H. Pylori.  Apparently about 50% of people have it inside them but 80% of those people never show symptoms.  i, of course, was not that lucky.  So instead i got to start a hardcore regimen of antibiotics.  For a lot of people this wouldn’t be a big deal but i am allergic to most antibiotics.  So it was a chore to find ones that would do the job.  When we did it turned out that i was just going to have to be miserable for the 10 days of taking them.  4 times a day having to eat, take pills, and eat again with pills that make you nauseous, dizzy, and have no appetite is no fun.  Overall i ended up taking 90 pills in 10 days, just for the antibiotics.  i am happy that the black and hairy tongue that was listed as a normal side effect for one of the antibiotics never happened.

Anyway, i got through it and i’m feeling better so far.  Last week i went to have a test done to make sure all the little vermin were out of my tummy.  And today i got to go see my doctor to get the results.  Negative!

But as fascinating as this is it isn’t at all what i’m actually getting to.  While i was there i asked my doctor about my knee.  See, in 2005 i worked at my camp, it was my 15th summer there.  And that was also the summer that i went to Isle Royale.

Isle Royale is a national park on an island in Lake Superior.  We drove from New Liberty, Iowa up to Minnesota where we got on a ferry that took us to the island.  And then we backpacked and camped in one of the most gorgeous places i’ve ever seen in my life.

i was on this trip with two of the best counselors and friends i’ve ever worked with and four of the most amazing campers i’ve ever encountered and one Mortimer who had his own backpack and sleeping bag that he carried.  All of us have stayed in touch since that trip and we all still remember and laugh at our inside jokes.  These things make an already incredible trip even better.  One of the best things about Isle Royale is that there are no cars whatsoever on the island.  There is basically a whole lot of nothing on the island really.  Just nature.  So you carry everything with you.  We had water filters that we used each night to pump water into our water bottles so we didn’t end up with tapeworms or other parasites.  We ate a whole lot of dehydrated food.  And we became experts at packing everything as tightly as possible.  This is me demonstrating how to suck all the air out of the bags:

Now, one thing that is important to know is that at my camp we use camp names.  And mine is Moose.  And Isle Royale has moose on it.  And at this point in my life i had NEVER seen a live moose even though Moose had been my nickname for years.  So of course this was a huge goal.  So big that my campers made me promise that if we saw a moose i would get a moose (the one i draw with my moose signature) tattooed.

So you can imagine what it was like as we counselors were sitting in our tent the first day and our campers came running back yelling, “Moose!  A moose!  Moose!  A moose!” We all took off with cameras and shoelaces flying in every direction.  i tripped and fell.  My hand was cut open and bleeding but i didn’t care there was a moose to see!  And. . . .

A mama and a baby!  i can’t even explain how excited i was.  They were so big and gorgeous.  Later they came and ate dinner at our campsite while we were eating and we saw them playing in the water.  Amazing.  After the trip i picked at the scab on my hand over and over and over trying to make sure i got a scar so i would forever have a scar to show people that i got when i saw my first moose.  It didn’t work.  i was terribly disappointed.

On our first day of actual hiking it started raining and the first bit is rock covered in moss so it was a tad slippery.  At one point one of my campers started to slip and i reached out to steady her and ended up falling onto the rock on my knee.  It hurt but i didn’t think much of it.  We just kept going.  And the weather cleared up and later that night we got to visit a place called Rainbow Cove and our campers gave us stone massages and we watched the sunset.


A few days later we stopped on a bridge and played Pooh Sticks.

And eventually we ended up back where we started and took this picture in front of the Isle Royale sign.

Now, you’re probably wondering what all this has to do with the doctor.  Well since i fell on that first day of hiking my knee will sometimes give me problems.  Nothing terrible just uncomfortable for awhile and then it goes away.  i asked if there was anything else i could be doing to take care of it.  So my doctor started feeling around and guess what she found!

   Now, that’s not my knee but you get the picture.  Apparently when i fell i chipped a piece of bone or cartilage and it has been floating around ever since.  Sometimes it floats where it shouldn’t and that’s when it hurts.  So even though i didn’t get the scar on my hand that i had hoped for i did end up with a floating object in my body.  i’m going to pretend it is a piece of moose antler that magically appeared so i would never forget.

Normally i might be annoyed by this or frustrated but my trip to Isle Royale brings back so many amazing heartwarming memories that i kind of don’t mind having this remind me.

Anyway that’s my fun story for you today.  i hope you enjoyed it and my pictures as much as i enjoyed thinking about it.


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