Many people have asked if this week’s story line – Frank (me), suffering an attack of the ulcer, is true to life.

The short answers are – yes.  It’s true. I had an attack. On my birthday. This year. It sucked.

I’ve had stomach issues forever.  I may not convey this, but I tend to be a relatively high strung dude.  Always have been. I stress about everything. I stressed in junior high.  I stressed in high school.  I stressed in undergrad.  I stressed in work.  Each time I stressed, it wore away at me a little bit more.

Then 2008 happened.  Graduate school.  That’s when things got real bad.  I was under a ton of stress.  More stress than I’d ever been under.  The 2006-2008 period of Frank was a stress buffet – from my depression, separation, divorce, finding love again (Lez didn’t stress me out… much), figuring out my life, buying a house, becoming a dad, day job, comic strip and then grad school.  Grad school was challenging and much more work than I expected.  Honestly, to this day, I still have no idea how I managed to finish.  The stomach/ulcer thing came to a bloody climax during grad school – primarily second and third semester. I started coughing up blood.  Not a lot, but still not something you want to cough up.

I went to my doctor and got medication.  It helped.  I got through it.

Fast forward to September 2017.  I’m still under stress, but older.  The world is… the world.  I try not to carry that with me… try to think of the good, the positive stuff I have… but my stomach thinks otherwise.  I had an attack.  It rumbled for a few days and then boom. Seriously… pain I’d never felt before.  Pain that compelled me to go get help that day.  Bad.  On my birthday.  No cake for me…just an anti-inflammatory, super strong antacid and rest.

I’m okay… but there was no way I was NOT going to use this in a comic strip.  Pain is art. Art is pain… or something like that.