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Thread: There's more to life than hunting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    There's more to life than hunting

    I'm not sure why I decided to lecture people about the value of good health. Maybe it's just boredom from being in the hospital and a lack of a good hunting story from my season to share.

    Over the last 6 months leading up to when life threw me a bit of curveball, I was distracted by what felt like insurmountable levels of stress. At the time, I felt like I was the master of avoidance, and I felt like this was the best way of coping. I paid very little attention to what my body was trying to tell me as time went on, and I'm since paying the price of playing with fire.

    Aside from the obvious, that being high levels of stress and anxiety, I was so determined to build-up my physical strength from last year for the backpack hunting I so much enjoy. I used this goal as a bit of an out though, to help me ignore the more immediate aspects of my health that I should have been addressing. For example, when I was tired, I pushed further and harder and started taking more and more workout supplements, despite struggling with sleep and it didn't take long for my sleep troubles to progress into complete insomnia. There were many days where it was all I could do to find the energy to get up off the couch, and on the rare occasion when I did sleep, I'd hit the gym or try to get back out hiking to avoid thinking about anything else.

    Aside from not sleeping, the nausea that was probably attributed to a lack of sleep, at least initially, became debilitating. As time went on, I recall complaining about how nauseated I was all the time, but I would try to avoid thinking about it or the cause of my stress that started all this. Instead I'd have a glass of wine and at times make room for self pity. Towards the end of deer season, I remember there being days I no longer wanted to go despite having the flexibility of an open scheduled that most hunters dream of having. I was just too tired. I wasn't even excited when I got a beauty of a blacktail come November, and barely had the energy to butcher it.

    Over the winter and leading into the spring, on days where I managed to get outside to scout or for a short shed hunt, I felt my body being depleted of every ounce of energy. The more and more I drained myself, the more nausea I experienced. On short hikes, I was sweating profusely for seemingly no reason at all, and sometimes so clumsy I kept my Inreach in sight never mind at hand. I continued to push myself though, even on days I no longer even wanted or had the physical ability to go, thinking it was good for me to get outside or that I would enjoy it once I got moving and help me to avoid dwelling on my anxiety and stress. In hindsight, it seems obvious that something was seriously wrong, but at the time this wasn't obvious to me.

    Well I'll be damned....... 6 months after the onset of my stress and the progressive worsening of my symptoms, I ended up in acute liver failure. I somewhat remember my breaking point at the end of April, when I spent two full days in bed after a couple attempts to look for a yogi. When I had gone out looking for a bear, all I could do was take photos and videos because I didn't have the energy to process an animal never mind pack one out. Anyways, after two days in bed, when I managed to get myself up, I couldn't stand well but I somehow got myself downstairs and onto the couch. I thought, well shit..... I'm sick.

    There is a bit of time in there that in my mind, is still unaccounted for. I know I drove myself to the ER at 230 in the morning but I started to hallucinate at some point and I'm still starting to realize that some memories are false memories from when I was admitted. I remember the doctors showing me how jaundice I was, by pulling down my eyelids. I was shocked. But I also remember finding a cute puppy on route to the hospital...something that never happened. After conducting a plethora of tests, I was advised that I was already in the advanced stages of liver and that they would do their best to find me a donor. But how could this be? I mean, I'd been tired and nauseated and surely if this was true I would have detected this???? I'm not a complete idiot. Well, avoidance doesn't pay off and I now realize it never will in the long run and the news from the doctors seemed to spiral from bad to worse over the next 24-48 hours. The internal medicine specialist was corresponding with the transplant team and I remember her saying that neither her nor my GP had ever witnessed such extreme liver enzyme levels before, like they were impressed by my body's ability to survive or something.

    I truly knew I was in trouble a few weeks back and it's now the 20th of May and I'm hoping I will be going home. My liver is still failing with enzyme levels well beyond what is considered manageable, but it is no longer responding to treatment. However, as shitty as this is, I am told the liver also has an amazing ability to rejuvenate itself and possibly even recover?? Soon I hope to leave, and then it will be a game of wait-and-see while doctors monitor my liver from home. When I heard this bit of news, I initially thought to myself......oh fantastic I've been itching to check my cams. But the reality is, there is a lot more to life than hunting or any hobby for that matter.

    I have read a number of posts and stories over the years from people who have had to face more traumatic and devastating challenges to their health, but I don't think you can truly appreciate how important this really is until you truly see it and feel it and even regret it. Try not to ever lose sight of what's actually important in life, whether it be your health or family, it's easy to do when you master the art of avoidance and get caught up in What for most of us, are hobbies.

    Last edited by hparrott; 05-20-2020 at 11:59 AM.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Re: There's more to life than hunting

    Wishing you the best in finding a donor and the prospect of a full recovery.

    Good luck.
    My Karma ran over your Dogma.

    Member - CCFR

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Port Alberni

    Re: There's more to life than hunting

    You've been dealt a fairly crappy hand.
    But, there is a lot of room for hope, and when the right donor comes along, I truly hope this turns right around for you!
    All the very Best in your recovery!!


    Egotistical, Self Centered, Son of a Bitch Killer that Doesn't Play Well With Others.

    Guess he got to Know me

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Langley & Magna Bay

    Re: There's more to life than hunting

    Wish the best for you!
    I like drinking beer and whiskey, shooting guns, jetboating, love a nice rack and a tight line, I am simply a sophisticated redneck...

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Surrey, BC

    Re: There's more to life than hunting

    Take care of yourself and your health first,
    hunting will still be here when you recover.
    - When someone takes away your right to defend yourself, you are a victim.
    When you take away your own right to defend yourself, you are a sheep.
    - We need a study to study the study. If the study that studied the study does not concur with the studied study’s findings, we will need a study to study the study that studied the study.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Re: There's more to life than hunting

    thanks for sharing your battle with us. all my best thoughts are with you

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Re: There's more to life than hunting

    Best wishes for some semblance of a return to health. Life sucks when your health
    is bad, I know from experience.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Re: There's more to life than hunting

    Take it one day at a time. We have great doctors and you’ll be up chasing critters before you know it. Take care and keep us posted. Ride Red.
    If you can pack it in, You can pack it out !!!


    " The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but building on the new"

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Kamloops BC

    Re: There's more to life than hunting

    Is there a reason why your liver is failing? I am 50 and have been drinking since I was 16 and lived in Whistler for 10 years so I always worry I have something like this in my future. Plus I worked with pesticides for 25 years so I try and stay in shape these days hoping it might give me a bit longer before the inevitable. I hope you find a donor and get back to health.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Re: There's more to life than hunting

    Good news/bad news situation. Sorry to hear about the problem but pleased you can see hope going forward.

    Thanks for sharing, it helps keep things in perspective.
    Is Justin Competent, or just incompetent?

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