Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Healcation – April 2014

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Wednesday April 16, 2014

It was the middle of the Lady’s Spring Break from school and we were not off on a multi day adventure somewhere in the Southwest. What was the reason for this strange turn of events? Unfortunately a chronic medical issue required that I have major surgery.  We had some leeway in scheduling unless it became an emergency. Luckily we made it to the scheduled date - Monday April 7th . Surgery was followed by a week in the hospital, then the Lady started her Spring Break, and she and I would have that week to help get me back on my feet at home. This was a good plan.

I was determined to do well through this challenge. I got in the best shape possible prior to getting “gutted”. That was the label the Lady gave the procedure. I am actually shocked how well and fast I’m recovering. Monday I no longer needed pain meds. Tuesday I had around a couple dozen surgical staples removed. Wednesday morning I was surprised my regular pants would button up around my healing waist line and I could pull my legs up and put on my own socks. Little milestones, I found, felt like huge steps.

Wanting to make good use of time and to give me a chance to try more normal living activities, we decided to head down the hill and get new tires for the truck. We would also do a stop at Trader Joes. The Lady likes to take the truck and camper as all the dry goods fit in the bins and we can just turn on the chest fridge for the cold goods. I drove, another first step. We walked a couple miles as the tires were installed. It was a beautiful morning. The Lady got all her special treasures at Trader Joes. I was feeling great. We wanted to do something special to celebrate so we headed west to visit our buddies at All Terrain Campers.

Our new camper has been flawless. We haven’t had to return to get anything tweaked, adjusted, or repaired. We trust these guys skill and craftsmanship and the quality materials they use. That is why we choose them; simple answer. On top of that they are great guys and its fun to stop by and see the new campers coming together and ready to start new lives of adventure and travel.

The Ocelot models above and the one below are ready to be picked up.

On the side was a Bobcat model built to special dimensions.

The plywood floor pack and aluminum framing was just starting for another camper.

The interior on another new Bobcat was coming together.

Marty still enjoys showing the Lady that the flooring she picked out for our camper is being used on all new campers.

Marty pointed out one new material they just started incorporating into their builds. I got excited too and told Jeff if our camper ever fell apart I wanted that new material. “Your camper is never falling apart,” Jeff said and smiled. “I know that. I’m just funning with you,” I replied, and I know Jeff’s statement to be true.  

Well we didn’t want to interrupt their work further. It was time to head back up the mountain. Jeff, Chad, and Brad started back on the next Bobcat going to a happy home.

We always have a great time stopping by All Terrain Campers. As were we driving home, I asked the Lady, “Has this been okay spending your break this way?” She smiled. “You are healing so well, I’m so happy. I’m calling this our healcation.” Well said.

Thursday morning I felt even better. I got a hold of a customer on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. He was having a hard time getting by to pick up a project I had completed for him. We made the delivery and spent the afternoon in glorious weather walking along the lake. This was further good use of our healcation.

So as I write this I am astounded at my rapid recovery. I would have never guessed it would go so well. I am a bit shy of two weeks from major surgery. After having a bit more than a foot of colon removed, everything is functioning fine with no diet restrictions. I can run up and down stairs. I can walk all I want. I am able to do just about anything around the house. I am strongly cautioned to do no strenuous exercise for 6 weeks. I asked the surgeon to give me his definition of “strenuous exercise”. “Do not lift anything more than 15 pounds and no exercises involving your abdominal muscles,” he answered. I will continue to be a good patient.  

I passed my "camper test" today. I climbed in and out of the camper and up into the overhead berth with ease.

This healcation will lead to better health and a happy lifetime of adventures ahead. Just like all those great new All Terrain Campers!


  1. Glad you are doing well on your recovery. I have to go in this year for the colonoscopy 3rd one for me. I was not a perfect A**hole the first time. Snow is melting and summer is just around the corner lots of time to camp.

  2. Quote: "We walked a couple miles as the tires were installed." WOW!! Most folks are barely shuffling down the hall two weeks after surgery. Keep on goin' -- four years ago, my wife had exactly the same surgery (we called it the "semi-colon") and was champing at the bit to hit the road. Six weeks to the day after surgery, we hiked six miles in the Lake Sabrina area above Bishop Creek, with the trailhead above 9000 feet. Well done, and congratulations!

    1. Semicolon, I love it! Thanks Dan and glad your wife also did well.

  3. Best wishes for your continued - speedy recovery.

  4. Thank you for your well wishes for my recovery. That is so kind and appreciated.

  5. Hi Ski3pin! I found your blog while looking for information about Ichthyosaur State Park (Nevada) and the Fairview Peak area earthquake scarp. Imagine to my delight when I discovered you have an All Terrain Camper too. In fact, we were down in Sacramento visiting the crew on the 9th of April. They were upgrading our Bobcat as we get ready for an upcoming all summer long adventure.

    I will be checking out more of your stories as you camp in areas we enjoy.

    (I'm commenting using my google account; but our travel blog article about ATC is at this link.

    I apologize, I don't usually like to link to myself in a blog comment, but am so excited to see that you camp with All Terrain Campers too!