How tough are we?

I missed about a month of blogging (did anyone notice?) from mid-April through mid-May. My hiatus, caused by  emergency surgery, saw me kicking back at the local hospital. I’m not one for cooling my heals under the care of a physician, but if I had taken better care of myself, I might not have spent the past few weeks in pain and recovery. I’ve had health issues before and generally found that gritting teeth and ignoring pain until it’s over is a good plan. But not always.

So, today this short blog is more of an appeal to my beekeeping friends – especially the commercial ones – to take care of yourselves. The world needs you (or at least the food that your bees pollinate).  Like me, you might be past middle-age, with bruises, cuts, twisted joints, and worn muscles taking longer to heal. Work is as urgent and demanding as it was when I had a twenty-year-old’s body.  As I look back over the years, working long days and late nights – extracting, trucking bees, making splits – was rough, but necessary. It still seems to be, but resilience is in low supply these days.

I’ve been told, many times, to slow down. I won’t listen, even though I’ve needed a wheelchair to get around for a long time. (I added a motor so that I can zip at high speed.) But the hospital stay was a bit of a wake-me-up. I’m recovering fine. A kidney stone as big as a bus was pulled out of my kidney just before it shut the organ down. Sometimes excruciating pain has a role to play. In this case, I should have gone to the hospital days before I did.  Here’s my second appeal to busy commercial beekeepers – it’s not always safe to be tough and keep on working. I’ve had kidney stones twice before and just waited out the pain. This most recent attack showed me that being tough might make things worse.

The best thing at the hospital was the pair of Canada geese honking at me just outside my window. The second-best thing was the admirable skill with which the anesthesiologist knocked me out before my surgery.  I didn’t get a picture of the doctor, but here are the geese.

About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a bee ecologist working at the University of Calgary. He is also a geophysicist and does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and Earth scientist. (Ask him about seismic waves.) He's based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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9 Responses to How tough are we?

  1. Granny Roberta with 4 honey bee colonies in CT USA says:

    Well, I knew you were crazy, since you keep bees.
    And now I know you’re the kind of fool who thinks medical problems will go away if you ignore them. Everyone knows medical problems must be smothered in honey, pollen, and/or propolis before they’ll go away.
    Here, let me translate that into polite speech:
    Sorry to hear you were ill. Glad you’re feeling better.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Lol, couldn’t have said it better Granny Roberta, so seconding you most heartily!; ) Hope all went well and you’re firmly on the way to recovery Ron. But – as you’ve clearly learned – pain is for a reason and “toughing it out” is for Rehab; )

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Neil says:

    We’ve missed you Ron!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alan Jones says:

    Sorry to read you’ve been ill Ron, glad you are recovering, take care of yourself

    Liked by 1 person

  4. valbjerke says:

    Ah yes – that pain – where you feel like you’ve been kicked by a mule 😳.
    Please take care!
    How are your bees?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. garryneufeld says:

    we noticed, suspect you’ll be back in the saddle PDQ, easy does it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You write really well and with a great sense of humour. And so does Granny Roberta with 4 honey bee colonies in CT USA.
    All the very best. Regards form India.

    Liked by 1 person

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