Don't F— With the Pancreas-The Maine Edition (Blogisode One)

Hey there!  This is the second chunk of blogisodes from a story we’ve already started.  If you haven’t read the NYC version of Don’t F%$& With The Pancreas, go here!  or you’ll be really confused.  Don’t worry, it’s good.  You’ll like it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are BACK.  Happy August!  We’ve completed the New York Edition of Don’t F*%& With the Pancreas, and now we move our story 250 miles north to the pine tree filled woods of Maine.  Since we’ve taken a two week hiatus, let’s quickly review.  In fact, in honor of the back to school season, let’s have a pop quiz! (I am so excited!)

Everyone take your books off your desks and pull out your sharpened number two pencil.  You in the back, please stop talking.

Each question counts for 10 points.  There will be one extra credit question.

1) What inexpensive and low-tech activity does Beatrix do like it is her “job”?

a) Drive a taxi

b) Blow glass

c) Smoke pork

d) Color

2) What was the first thing Rob got sick on?

a) A typical night of binge drinking

b) Snails

c) A Tuna Melt from a burger joint

d) Motion sickness from repeated roller coaster rides

3) What do I do when I worry?

a) A crossword puzzle

b) Clean

c) Shuck corn

d) Scream like a Howler Monkey

4) In Don’t F*$% With the Pancreas NY Edition, I compare myself to other people.  Who?

a) Jennifer Aniston

b) Shirley Maclaine

c) A medical doctor

d) All of the above

5) The woman from Jamaica in the ER said what to her daughter’s voice mail?

a) “I love you.”

b) “Daddy and I are getting divorced”

c) “I joined the bobsled team”

d) “You are a selfish, selfish, selfish person and I hate you.”

6) Rob asked everyone who entered his room for one thing.  What was it?

a) His Mommy

b) His Wife

c) His daughters

d) A Diet Coke

7) Rob is my father.

a) True

b) False

c) Uncertain at Lenox Hill Hospital

8) I am pregnant.

a) True

b) False

c) Uncertain at Lenox Hill Hospital

9) Maryday and I have four girls between us.  What are their names?

a) Julie Jordan, Carrie Pipperidge, Gweneviere and Eliza Doolittle

b) Dorothy, Nessarose, Glinda and Elphaba

c) Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy

d) Charlotte, Gwendolyn, Elizabeth and Beatrix

10) Rob had one request for the surgeon.  What was it?

a) To give his wife a wake up call

b) To take pictures of the gall bladder removal

c) To keep the gall bladder

d) B and C

Extra Credit Question (essay)

Are you a “Mary Tyler Moore” or are you “Rhoda Morgenstern”?  Discuss.  Please include your birth origin (location and religion), issues you might have with weight, if you have the letter “M” on your wall, or if you have hanging beads in your doorway.  If you are a Mary, please include one tip for dealing with a misogynistic workplace.  If you are a Rhoda, please include your best recipe for a hot pot.

This concludes the pop quiz portion of our blogisode.  Please pass your papers to the front.

All completed tests will be graded by the teacher’s assistant, Charlotte Meffe.  The person with the highest score will receive a painting from Beatrix and some Vermont fudge (you can pick your flavor).

Now, back to our story!  The good news is The Maine Edition poises to be much funnier than the New York Edition, mostly because Rob wasn’t nearly as sick.  Also, I have funny pictures that I will post with or without the patient’s permission because comedy trumps vanity.  Ready?  Let’s go.

If I remember correctly, we left off with a gallbladder free Rob and a fever free Beatrix– reunited at last.  Rob came home from the hospital with instructions to eat a “fat free” diet.  Apparently,  (prepare yourself for more Dr. Wheatley medical brilliance) the pancreas has something to do with breaking down the fatty food you eat.  I think it might have to work harder because the gallbladder is now gone and that is what broke down the fat in the first place.  It also has something to do with breaking down alcohol.  That stellar medical description is free for all you readers here on My Own Space.  I can also tell you, the hip bone’s connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone’s connected to the pancreas, the pancreas isn’t the same thing as the prostate.  Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.

The fat free diet instructions baffled me and Rob.  I mean, we literally sat and scratched our heads.  Fat free?  It was like some said, “here’s a Betamax”.  Or “how about that new Meg Ryan film?”.  It was just so 90’s.  Who eats fat free anymore?  The other thing– he was so skinny.  He’d lost fifteen pounds in his week of not eating or drinking.  (Hold on, time out—-fifteen pounds?  Really?  Only a guy could lose that much weight in 6 days.  I would have come home from the hospital ready to jump on the scale—thinking the ONE perk to being so sick is a massive weight loss, and I would have lost, like, a half a pound.  My jeans would still be tight.  Rob, on the other hand, had to poke new holes in his belt so he could keep his pants up. He’ s down to his freshman year of high school weight.  I keep threatening to wear a t-shirt that says, “Does my husband make me look fat?  End of time out.  Thank you.)

The point is, the last thing he needed was a “fat free” diet.  I went to the grocery store and

The famous H&H Bagels. Fat free and so 1993. Perfect.

after walking around perplexed, wondering, what did we all eat in the 90’s when we were on that fat free diet and got so fat? What ended up in my basket was fruit, pretzels and fat free cottage cheese.  Oh!  And bagels! I remembered that all Rob and I ate from 1990-1995 was H&H bagels and fat free cream cheese by the truckload.  I think I gained 25 pounds eating bagels when I first moved to New York, thinking I was being so “good” because they were fat free.  With a Snackwell cookie chaser.  And Twizzlers.  Oh, the good old days.  Fattening him up the fat free way.

Once Rob got on the unlimited bagels band wagon, the next thing to figure out was how long he would need to recover before getting back to work.

Rob is a hard worker.  I think “workaholic” has a negative ring to it, so instead, let’s say that while Rob would prefer to climb mountains and play with our kids all day, he instead works a lot of hours to pay our exorbitant Manhattan rent. Rob does have a steady job as a full time college professor—a job that in most places would allow a family to live fairly comfortably–but to afford the money suck known as Manhattan, Rob takes on a lot of additional free lance jobs.   To give you an idea, Rob had 15 different W-2 forms last year.  I could talk for hours about what it is like to try to raise two kids in Manhattan on a college professor and sporadically working actress’s combined salaries—but I won’t.  That’s a study in the economics of the nearly non-existent middle class in New York City, and will be saved for the textbook edition of Don’t F*$% With the Pancreas.  I tell you all of this NOT to elicit pity, OR, to make you worry about how to study for the final exam, but simply to explain how difficult it was to pull Rob out of work for a week of hospitalization and a week of recovery.  Rob–not one to lie around– took six days of recovery and then was back playing The Phantom of the Opera trying to make up for the shows he missed while he was in the hospital (thanks to Norman Weiss, Kristen Blodgette and T.O. Sterrett for covering for him).

Playing Phantom so soon was the least of it.  The really worry was how to get Rob to Quisisana, a resort in western Maine for the month of June to music direct their shows.  To give you a time line, Rob’s surgery was May 27th.  He was set to depart for Maine on June 4th.  One of my jobs during Rob’s hospital stay was to serve as his medical update liaison to the world, most importantly, Quisisana.  If he couldn’t recover in enough time to go, they were up a creek without a paddle (Quisisana is on a lake, so a boat reference seems appropriate).  Since Rob was tripped out on super-duper pain killers and too sick to make decisions, I was happy to have a partner who was instrumental in the decision making, Rob’s other wife, Amy Rogers.

 (Are we polygamists?  To read the next blogisode, go here:


About Sharon Wheatley

I'm a mother, an actress and a writer. I'm glad you're here.
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4 Responses to Don't F— With the Pancreas-The Maine Edition (Blogisode One)

  1. Mark says:

    D, C, B, D, D, D, C, C, D and D. Lou Grant (See attached essay.) I like maple fudge.

  2. Lisajane says:

    D, C, B, D, D, D, C, C, D and D. Mary, hands down. Back in the day people said I looked like MTM. I can throw my hat higher than anyone. I did have an E on my wall for years and hanging beads in my dorm room circa 1970. Issues with weight?, try volumes.
    I like vanilla fudge. I did not copy my answers, and welcome back! :)
    ps You know I know you're kidding, right? :)

  3. Pingback: Don’t F*%$ With the Pancreas–The Maine Edition (Blogisode Three) | My Own Space

  4. Creason says:

    Sharon's Quiz #1 Name: Cathy Creason Seat Location: Cincinnati, OH Score:_________

    Part I. Multiple Choice
    1. D
    2. C
    3. B
    4. D
    5. D
    6. D
    7. C
    8. C
    9. D
    10. D

    Part II. Essay
    Prompt: Are you a “Mary Tyler Moore” or are you “Rhoda Morgenstern”? Discuss. Please include your birth origin (location and religion), issues you might have with weight, if you have the letter “M” on your wall, or if you have hanging beads in your doorway. If you are a Mary, please include one tip for dealing with a misogynistic workplace. If you are a Rhoda, please include your best recipe for a hot pot.

    As someone who spent her high school Saturday "date" nights with the CBS Television lineup of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "The Bob Newhart Show," and "The Carol Burnett Show" (this writer highly recommends the latter to the teacher's assistant), I feel eminently qualified to answer this writing prompt and supremely confident that I'll receive the highest grade in the class (plus, I'll receive bonus points for neatness). There's no question that both Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern both have redeeming qualites, but while Mary is a great gal (note the irony in calling Mary a "gal" — as a liberated single woman of the 1970's, she was everything for which the ERA stood), I AM Rhoda Morgenstern, well, the lesbian version, anyway.
    First, I have spent my life in battle with my waistline. Oh, what the hell. It's more than just my waistline. I have TB (two bellies). Food is my best friend and my worst enemy. I often say, like Rhoda, that I should just bypass my mouth and slather it directly on my hips. Also, I have failed at relationships. I did have a college/young adult girlfriend for 8 years, but my "marriage" of 17 years to the love of my life (not my college/YA GF) ended in our version of a lesbian divorce, circa 1997. So, like Rhoda and Joe, my marriage didn't last either. Finally, I will be 56 years old in 17 days (not that I'm counting), and I'm a single, working girl (Charlotte, have you seen WORKING GIRL?). I don't dress mannequins in department store windows, but I'll bet I make just as much (or as the case is for me, and was for Rhoda…as little) money doing what I do (high school English, music, theater director) as she did doing what she did. I also enjoy a good hot pot meal and have since the days when I matriculated at Murray State University, 19 whole miles away from my parents' home. My best recipe: Lipton's Chicken Noodle Cup-a-Soup, chocked full-a-sodium, cheap as dirt, and quite filling. Warning: Hot Soup. Do NOT burn your tongue.
    In closing, my place of birth, LaGrange, Kentucky, is near the home of the Kentucky State Penitentary for Women (in Peewee Valley–yes, that's really the town's name). I was reared in the United Methodist Church, but now I categorize myself as a Roman Catholic Wiccan. And as the supporting examples above illustrate, I AM Rhoda Morgenstern, out and proud. Now, get that mailer ready for the Beazer's artwork. And send me that fudge. Chocolate/Vanilla Swirl with pecans. Please and thank you.

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