The first four nights we stayed at Edisto Beach State Park, along with about a dozen of our club friends. The plan was to day-paddle in the area, led by Dave and Jim, two of our club’s ACA-certified instructors. Day One was a wash-out due to sustained heavy rain. The other days were warm and breezy; we paddled a lot, and all had a good time.
The next three nights we planned to stay on Seabrook Island at an Episcopalian retreat center, which had condo-type accommodations. We had hired three instructors to give us lessons customized to our needs. On the first day, there was more paddling than I expected. I had to be “directionally” towed back by my friend Martha.
Unfortunately, shortly after I got back I started puking my guts out. By morning, the only thing coming up was bile. Clearly, I had a bowel blockage that required hospitalization. We headed-out to the ER at Medical University of South Carolina. The primary treatment was giving me IV fluid and draining the swollen bowel while hoping that the blockage would resolve on its own. That did happen, and I was released on the 4th day. Emergency surgery was avoided, thank God. However, I had had no solid food for four days, and was put on a “liquid diet” for two weeks!
We couldn’t manage carting the trailer and boats around Charleston. Jen arranged to have Don haul our trailer and Jim haul our boats to Jen’s house in northern Kentucky. It’s great to have friends that are willing to help! We’re planning to go fetch those tomorrow.
The day after I got back, I had an EGD diagnostic test performed. This had been scheduled weeks before. The test showed no sign of cancer, and further showed no signs of bowel kinking. The GI doctor does not believe that surgery is required, and recommended moving fairly quickly to a more normal diet. That was welcome news, since I had dropped 3-4 pounds already.
I still need to meet with a surgical team at UC Health to see if they believe surgery is warranted to solve the root cause of the problem.
My main takeaways: I need to be extra-careful with my diet, and wilderness camping is out for the foreseeable future.