Monday, May 11, 2015

Moronidae Abdominus

Give it to me straight, doc. It's bad, isn't it?

Well, there's definitely a problem. Tenderness. A bit of swelling. The early onset of some significant subcutaneous bruising. Does it hurt when I press here?

[unprintable response]

Okay. It’s near your appendix, but I don’t think that’s the issue. Appendicitis would have started closer to your navel, not there between your ribcage and right hip. It’s definitely too low for ulcers and I doubt that there's a blockage of any sort, especially if you’ve had a decent bowel movement recently.

It was the highlight of my morning.

Then this is something else.

You don’t think it’s… it’s…

Now, let’s not jump to any dire conclusions until we’ve explored all possibilities. Do you have any other symptoms?

None that I'm aware of.

I have an idea. Let's see your right hand. Yes. Look. Abrasions at the inside of the joint on your index finger and on the pad of your thumb. And do you feel that tightness in your forearm? Tell me. Have you been in or around Weldon, NC at any time in the past few days?

Actually, I was. Friday. How’d you know?

I thought so. It’s the epicenter of a nasty outbreak we’ve been seeing lately. I’m quite certain that what you have is something called moronidae abdominus (in layman’s terms, “striper belly”) and is caused by repeatedly grinding a 9wt's fighting butt into your midriff when leaning into big Roanoke River rockfish. You caught a lot of them, didn’t you?

As a matter of fact, we did. A lot.

Then that's definitely the problem. Thankfully, this affliction isn’t serious, though contagious as hell. I could give you a prescription for something called Tenkarin, but, honestly, it’s pretty lightweight and more effective on folks of delicate constitution. I think that if you just take it easy for a few days and limit your activities to, say, 3wts for bluegill or trout, you should recover quickly and be back to fighting real fish in no time.

Before the spawning run ends?

You can try. Let your pain be your guide.

It usually is, doc. It usually is.