We travelled and camped in far-Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado last week and it was just spectacular. I have finally caught (and released) my first wild Cutthroat Trout in upper Costilla Creek; and I did it with a hand-line. No need for a fancy fly-rig, which I would likely not handle well on such a narrow stream.
It got really cold where we camped last Thursday above 9,000 feet. It even snowed that afternoon as we were making camp.
Surprisingly I was able to carry & chop wood at that elevation, as well as take a couple good long walks.
Unfortunately we got back to Bernalillo and just a couple days later my partner-in-crime “Mister Dog” died in my lap from a stroke as we rushed him to the dog hospital. We think he had a few small strokes, that presented as perhaps a problem with his spine; but the second time we took him to his local doctor she said, “There’s something worse going on here and you need to get him to the ER right away.” It was too late, though. The ER told me he’d been dead ten minutes when I brought him in.
As if that wasn’t enough, my daughter-in-law contacted us to say my oldest son had been a week in ICU struggling with a rare blood disorder – a result of his double-knee surgery nearly 2 years ago – that’s causing blood clots to erupt all over his body and in vital organs. He now has two large clots in his lungs and one in his brain.
This is not a survivable disorder. Doctors have fought it for almost a year and determined last week there are no more options; aside from keeping him comfortable. He’s already developed such a high tolerance to the opioid drugs they are using heavy doses of Fentanyl, an evil drug that’s over 100 times more potent than straight hospital-grade Morphine and nearly 200 times the strength of street-grade Heroin. The pain in his head is evidently intense but the disorder also causes shingles, extreme discomfort, and sloughing of skin.
He’s so embarrassed for how he looks he didn’t want me to go see him. But I am the father and he is the son. Had to remind him of that and remind him I’ve seen much much worse.
I saw my Cardiologist this morning, who gave me strict warnings about the stress in my family’s situation. Arrgh. People complain about my smokin’ so I stop smokin’. They bitch about me drinkin’ so I stop drinkin’. They tell me to exercise and clean up my diet, so I’m back to running a mile on the treadmill and eating no salt and no foods high in LDL cholesterol. It never ends.
At least I’m 116-days sober and well-entrenched with my homegroup, sponsor and therapist. I’ve got excellent support.
Tomorrow I will drive to Lubbock and see my boy. Not sure how long I will be there or how I will pay for a long-time stay; but he and his little family need me there.
There’s a bit of irony, here, because this blood disorder has some cancer-like behavior & characteristics. Both of my sons and their mother lived a long time in the community of Sanderson, which had made a bad settlement deal with Southern Pacific Railroad over the contamination of water wells with diesel, benzene, and other chemicals. My boy’s mother died from Leukemia last Summer and both my boys have had cancer (testicular and tumors in the bladder). A high percentage of longtime residents of the community have died from different types of cancer.
When it rains it fucking pours. Damnit. I’m gonna need to go sit still in the Southern desert for a month after all this trauma.