Archives for category: body

I’m worked. I have a decent amount of mental energy and upper body strength left, but my lower body hasn’t been this exhausted in a very, very long time. Admittedly, I tend to have a weak lower body, but a five hour hike (75% of it with a 20+lbs pack with lots of uphill stair-casey single track and scrambling) and lead-climbing for almost nine hours of non-stop movement really tested my physical limits.

The shitty thing about climbing is always the approach and the descent. Unfortunately, whether you’re a large-framed 6′ tall male or a small-framed 5′ short female, the minimum amount of gear required to climb safely is the same. And carrying gear is a part of climbing. I was lucky today to have a partner who was willing to swap packs after I’d finished testing my physical limits, so I got to max my body out in my fun(??) experiment in seeing how fatigue, hunger, exposure to the sun and wind, and a demoralizing one-hour off-trail detour affected my head game once on the crag.

After years of needing to coddle my body, I’m extremely happy with how well I coped physically. I successfully led and multipitched for the first time with my also-learning partner with minimal verbal guidance from below. I never felt unsafe until the surprise rattlesnake encounter by our hike leader on the hike out. I’m writing this after getting home and going to a social event, while not having a headache. It still feels borderline miraculous to have a body functioning this well.

Trip summary: We should have been much more prepared for the strenuous hike, navigating, and having enough sustenance. But I’d consider it a personal success and I think a group success in how we overcame obstacles and worked as a team.


I asked the most wonderful ER nurse (that’s you, Mattie!) before surgery exactly where the appendix was and she pulled up some images on Google for me. I didn’t know this, but it’s just a tiny little thing that hangs off the large intestine where it meets the small intestine. My first reaction was, “Ugh, look at it hanging out there like an asshole waiting to wreck you.” I think she was amused.

I’m back home now, minus an appendix, plus three small holes in my belly. I’m trying to avoid funny stuff on the internet because laughing hurts, so I’ve had ample time to practice and read and play the uke and do some Sudoku. A four-week recovery is a bitter pill to swallow for someone who likes to move, but if the body commands rest, I can’t argue too much. Off for another nap!

(Title reference here)

I fell on a stabby California shrub a couple weeks ago while dirt biking and got a couple splinters. I removed some, but there was a piece lodged pretty superficially, but far into the wound that I could see moving under my skin, but couldn’t remove. I waited for it to come out on its own, but after the wound oozed for a bit, my arm decided that it was content to be part-tree and it healed over without ejecting the foreign object. (BA! PA DA DA! BA! BA! PA DA! Foreign oooobject!) It got itchy and felt hot to the touch and a physician-coworker said something about potential necrosis so I made an appointment at my GP.

“I’m not convinced there’s something in here. It just seems a little inflamed. I want you to get an ultrasound to check for a foreign body before I cut it open.”
“Well, there was definitely something in there two weeks ago and nothing came out and then it healed over. Is the ultrasound in clinic or the lab next door?”
“No, you’d have to go over to the hospital and then come back.”
“…Can you just cut it open and dig around?”
“Well.. If you’re sure…”

And so, she numbed up the skin, cut over the bump, immediately found a twig under my skin, and removed it. I think this is the first time in my life that I’ve ever had stitches. Not bad for considering the moderate amount of risk I’ve added to my life through my hobbies for the last ten years.

As my doctor stitched me up, she said, “This is a peaceful way to start my morning! That was the easiest extraction I’ve ever done!”

After my years of care at my doctor’s office with unsolvable medical maladies, I’m more than happy to be the easy case of the day. And that is the boring story of how I wound up with stitches in my arm.