My first lifestyule change after diagnosis

Not looking for sympathy, just a place to vent a bit. I'm an avid hunter and fisherman that lives in northern Wisconsin. For the past 25 years during whitetail deer hunting season, a group of friends gets together and puts up a large military surplus tent as a base camp. There are usually between 6 an 8 of us. This season for me has been difficult. My wife and I have been discussing what I may have to give up in the future as this disease progresses. Looks like I got my answer this year.

I was taking down my tree stand this past Tuesday and upon returning to camp felt as though I may be experiencing the signs of a heart attack. Middle back pain, rib pain on both sides, and my left pinky was tingling. As I sat in camp for a few minutes to calm myself down, I began running scenarios through my mind. No one else was in camp as they were still in the woods hunting. I decided that if things didn't change in a few minutes I would try to drive myself to a hospital 30 minutes away. Well, my heart stopped racing and after not moving for a bit the rib pain subsided. If I would move the pain would return. Looked like a heart attack was not happening. Tried moving again and the pain returned so I assume that I have a spinal issue happening. I took 50mg of Tramadol which helped a bit but not much. As I type, I'm thinking this has something to due with my undifferentiated spondylitis.

We tore down camp yesterday and I felt useless as I could lift nothing. This is truly a group effort where everyone pulls their weight. So, now it's time to make that decision that I have been dreading. Looks like this was probably my last season in the Wisconsin northwoods hunting whitetails. I have come to the realization that I need to have someone around and that emergency medical care be readily available. I am planning on letting the rest of the camp members aware of this after the first of the year so that they can find someone to take my place. Hopefully, this will be the last of any changes that I have to make for a while.

No need for any replies. I just needed to get this out of my system.

Don't be too quick. You know as well as I do hunting camp is more than hunting. The tree stand may be a bad idea, but maybe not. Our group has aged, but replacing a member is out of the question. Don't let pride take the main event of the year from you. If your group is worried about you not holding up your end when/if you talk about it at your "stew" maybe you need new buddies. If you spend more time as camp tender, it'll more than make up for it.

A guy just can't miss hunting camp. If you have to hire a personal assistant do it. I've been there in a wheel chair. BTW when we came off the mountain last week we wheeled past a dude ranch specializing in out of stste hunters at about a grand a day each. There were fifty head of elk walking around the cabins........ Damn near wet myself laughing.

In any event my Dad went to hunting camp until he was 93. The only thing certain about this disease is its uncertain. Don't make snap decisions.

Ditto to what Lamb said. I'm originally from WI, and I get what a big deal hunting is. If you need to, get someone to come assist you. I'm sure some youngster would be thrilled to play with the big guys, if at the cost of some personal assisting. I can't imagine your group letting you go that easily.

ALL of the guys you go with are going to age, and ALL of the guys in the group are going to get to a point where they all need help with something. You may be the first to need help, but you won't be the last. It sucks to be the one to start these uncomfortable conversations in your group, but it's going to happen to everyone.

Glad you aren’t after sympathy, cause I’m going to go harder than Lamb and Marietta.

With me it’s not hunting - it’s boats. I’ve only had this damn disease for two years and the thought had crossed my mind within months that I have to give up many things - including going out in the boat with my family and to my boat club.

But I did the hard thing (at least it was the hard thing for me) and told people both of my fears and limitations. My husband laughed at me, and we made plans to convert the garage to the master bedroom when I can’t get up the stairs, and most importantly what type of boat we will need to buy that has a walk through straight from the jetty … :slight_smile:

Today others at the boat club were busy cleaning and working… And I was lying on a mattress they’d put outside for me so I could be lying down and still part of it!!

As well as trusting yourself, trust your hunting mates. I’m sure, like my wonderful husband and the so incredibly big-hearted friends in my boat club, they’ll surprise you when the time really does come.

My husband belongs to a hunting group. He does not have Psa, I do. But as his buddies and he have aged they have accommodated their buddies that need it: One became the camp cook. As they have gotten older I have noticed the beer consumption has decreased and the naps have increased but none of them would miss it for the world. Talk to your buddies. It may be easier to accommodate the changes than it seems.

Hi--I actually live in Wisconsin, and we have a lake cottage in northern Wisconsin. The outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking and for a lot of people (not me--but most of the guys in my family :) hunting is part of how we grew up. Even if we move to large cities, there are still the funny stories around the dinner table. My point is, that I get it. It was also very cold this year, which didn't help. I wouldn't give up on the hunting camp--my guess is that most of the guys will get it if you say that you want to stay closer to base next year, and skip the deer stand.


I agree with everyone, don’t give it up just yet. If I were you and I did give it up, every year when that time rolled around, I’d feel so much regret. Your buddies will understand more than you think about having to change some of your chores around camp.

I grew up just north of the border in Canada, definitely know the hunting life!