Happy Thursday! While I don’t have any advertisers here on My Own Space, I do like to share things I like, so this blogisode is brought to you by The North Conway Scenic Railway, which is an old-fashioned pullman train that travels in the valley of the White
Mountains of New Hampshire. We upgraded to “first class” which is the oldest car on the train and the seats are individual wicker chairs placed to look out to the mountain ranges. This blogisode is also brought to you by Mother Nature, who has delivered picture perfect weather for our final days in Maine. As you are reading this, we will be traveling to Weston, Vermont to set up our guest house before I start rehearsal for a show on Tuesday. (More about where I am and what I’m doing later).
We left off with the star of our blog, Rob Meffe, going to the doctor after three gastric episodes, which are better left undescribed, (except to say that I hope you never have them, and a stomach flu is a breeze in comparison). He eventually had an ultrasound, which showed no baby, but he was father to numerous gallstones. He scheduled an appointment with the gut doctor for Monday, May 23 to figure out if he needed elective surgery to get the rolling stones out and maybe (eventually) his gallbladder. So just to keep track (this will help later on) there is a possibly sick-ish gallbladder, and there are those pesky stones the gallbladder is producing. Dr. Wheatley explains it all for you.
On Saturday, May 21st, Rob played two shows at The Phantom of the Opera.
He came home acting normal, but feeling horrible. I don’t know what happened that night exactly, because I woke up to an empty bed and a crying 3-year-old at about 6:45am or so. I got Beatrix out of bed and we discovered Rob on the couch (it is now Sunday morning) in his now-too-familiar fetal position. After taking a nap, he came out showered and shaved, insisting he was better. We’d made plans to go visit friends in Westchester County, which I’d assumed we were canceling, but Rob ate a bowl of cereal and we had a cyclical conversation for about 20 minutes:
Me: (In my most soothing, yet convincing voice) Why don’t you just stay here? I’ll take the kids, and you can just stay here and relax.
Rob: (Resolutely) I’m fine. I ate a bowl of cereal. It’s getting better.
Me: (Not as soothing, maybe a little more pushy) How about if we cancel and we all stay here?
Rob: (Resolutely) I’m fine. I had a bowl of cereal. It’s getting better.
Me: (Just bossy) Why don’t we invite them to come here?
Rob: (Resolutely) I’m fine. I had a bowl of cereal. It’s getting better.
Two minutes later, repeat the entire conversation, and again two minutes after that. You get the drill. Look, I tried, but the man wanted to go. He was trying to will himself to get better. Based on what was about to happen, I can totally understand why he would want to avoid the whole day.
We walk out of our apartment and ring for the elevator, but we are told by a huffing and
puffing neighbor as they are ascending the stairs–that the elevator is broken–so we walk down 5 flights of stairs. Remember that for later. We walk to the car–which is about a half mile walk from our apartment. Remember that for later.
We start out up the highway, out of Manhattan and through the Bronx. I was driving, but out of the corner of my eye, I could see that Rob’s arm wasn’t casually wrapped around his stomach, but was actually clutching it.
Me: Honey, are you okay?
Rob: I’m hot. (He was sweating.)
(I turned on the a/c in the car because cool air was the best thing I could do for him in that moment. I drove for a minute and looked over again.)
Me: Do you need me to pull over?
(I wasn’t really expecting him to say yes. We were on the Saw Mill River Parkway, which is narrow and has no safety lane.)
Rob: (Sitting up) Yes. I think you’d better.
Me: Yep, okay, I can do that, hold on one second, hold on, hold on.
(I get in the right lane and see an exit ahead. I gun it.)
Charlotte: (Who has been singing along to Elton John which is on in a constant loop in our car) What’s going on?
Beatrix: (Singing along to Crocodile Rock full voice) La-la-la-la-la-laaaaa. La-la-la-la-laaaa
Me: Charlotte, sit back, we’re stopping in Yonkers. You okay, Rob, you okay?
I rub his thigh as I try to find a place where I can pull over. We find a gravel parking lot and Rob gets out quickly, and just stands, looking at the ground. Charlotte was wrenching her neck to watch him, but suddenly I became protective of the kids, not wanting them to see Rob so sick, and also knowing Rob wouldn’t want that either. I drove a few feet away and tried to angle it in such a way that the back seat passengers couldn’t see. Charlotte, who has suddenly developed owl-like neck turning abilities in the back seat, gives updates.
Charlotte: He’s throwing up. He threw up. He’s sick.
Me: Charlotte, don’t watch him (I’m still driving the car in circles).
Charlotte: Okay, he’s done. I can see it.
Beatrix: Benny, Benny, Benny, Benny, Benny and the Jets.
Irrationally, I become overly concerned that we are running late to our friends house, and they are serving us lunch, which might get cold. I called and explained what is going on and they were like, uh, yeah, okay, well, don’t feel like you have to come…and of course they were very concerned about Rob. As was I.
I park the car and get out.
Me: (To Charlotte and Beatrix) Stay here. Do NOT get out of this car.
I walk over and Rob was sweating and pale and a mess. He assured me that now that he had finally been sick, the pain would slowly subside and he’d recover, but he wanted to go home. We manage to gently get him back into the car and I drive the 10 miles or so back to Manhattan, feeling every bump in the road as Rob winced in pain.
We get back to our neighborhood and instead of going to the garage (remember, it’s a half a mile walk), I take Rob directly to our apartment. I double park in front, but I have both kids and no place to put the car. And…(remember)…the elevator is out. We decide that Charlotte will take Rob up the stairs and I Beatrix and I will run the car to the garage. I was nervous about this plan, every aspect seemed terrible, from Rob being so sick to having to climb the god awful stairs, to Charlotte being alone with him. It was scary. I don’t know how much I was thinking that a hospital was in our future, but I know that I opted to pull the car to a nearby meter rather than go to the garage. So in the back of my
mind I had an idea. I just had to figure out what to do with the kids, and I had to figure out exactly how sick Rob was. At this point he was still insisting that this was the way the events had gone in the past, and that he would recover. He reminded me that he had a doctor’s appointment with a gastroenterologist the next day. It all made sense, but still….I parked at a meter.
Beatrix and I go racing up the five flights of stairs, because I suddenly had an overwhelming sense that leaving Charlotte with Rob was unfair and scary. I expected that we might catch them as we ran up, but they’d beaten us up. Charlotte was waiting for me at the door, her eyes as big as saucers.
To read the next blogisode, go here: https://sharonwheatley.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/dont-f-with-the-pancreas-blogisode-four/