The best I can say about the spring turkey season at this point is that I’m not coyote crap right now. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!

Coyote crap is exactly what I would have been, if the buzzards hadn’t found me first, if my second bout with acute pancreatitis had begun when I was at Kinkaid Lake or Wilkinson Island turkey hunting and any distance, at all, from the truck, instead of at home.

It started about 6 p.m. Friday, March 24, when I said, “I’m not sure I feel so good.” Ten seconds later, I was doubled over the kitchen sink, where I retched and retched but brought nothing up.

Bonnie and I knew immediately what it was, since I’d had a similar attack in late September last year. By the time we got rolling toward Memorial Hospital in Chester, I was screaming in agony.

Bonnie later said that was the fastest she’s ever driven. It’s even hypothetically possible that she broke the speed limit.

I went into the ER at a dead run, clutching my stomach and calling on the Supreme Being and all his angels for help. As during the first time around, the staff there was excellent. I’ve never been so glad to have the nurse get a needle in my hand as I was that night, so the doctor could administer pain medicine.

By Sunday morning, things were going downhill fast. My doctor recommended a return visit to Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis, where Doctor Giuseppe Aliperti is world-renowned for endoscopy, a procedure that allows him to work inside the body with a scope and no incision.

During my September sojourn at MOBAP, Dr. Aliperti had paid my pancreas several visits. As we talked later, I learned that he, too, was a hunter, but had had no luck with the gobblers. I’d promised to take him in April, but this time neither of us was optimistic we’d be able to take that trip together.

Season opened in Southern Illinois a half-hour before sunrise April 4, and I had a permit for Jackson County. I was up and walking by that time, but I saw daybreak from the visitor lounge at the south end of the sixth floor of MOBAP’s West Pavillion.

It certainly wasn’t where I wanted to be, but it was definitely where I needed to be.

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