Dear Benefactor,

It has been a really long time. On March 8, 2018, I promised you that I would go hiking again. Well, I hit a bit of a snag.

Boy-howdy, who am I kidding? It’s been rough.

On April 11, 2018, I ended up in the ER. I had been having sporadic, excruciating pain on the left side of my abdomen for a year and a half. I was sent home with a possible diagnosis of a kidney stone.

I went to several doctors to keep searching for an answer and by June 3, I was diagnosed with celiac sprue. I guess my colon was bleeding, hence my pain. Because of the internal bleeding, I ended up with severe anemia. (The normal range for ferritin is from 10 to 232, and my ferritin was 5.)

Not only did I have severe anemia, I had also gained 40 pounds because I was in so much pain all the time and had not been able to exercise like before.

Last year, on July 1, 2018, I determined to try to go hiking with my family from Ontario, Canada. I settled on Cutthroat Trail which is an easy trail I’ve done before. (I told you all about my first time hiking it in Letter #32 to you.)

About twenty minutes in, I knew I was in trouble. I turned around and bawled my head off for those 20 minutes back to the car, so frustrated with myself. The medical websites weren’t kidding when they said that “anemia causes weakness and fatigue.”

Since that day, I’ve had a mental block about hiking.

I’ve managed to lose 24 pounds and my ferritin level is up. Therefore, I have decided it’s time to get back into hiking. Tomorrow morning, I am going to conquer that Cutthroat Trail. I’ll tell you all about it when I get back.

Sincerely,

Marie