Don't F*%& With the Pancreas–The Maine Edition (Blogisode four)

Happy Friday, friends!  This blogisode is brought to you by The Act IV Cabaret, which is

Geoffrey Wade rehearsing the Act IV Cabaret

the after show here at The Weston Playhouse.  What is an “after show” you might ask?  Excellent question.  After the main stage production (in our case A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum)  ends upstairs, audiences are invited to attend the Act IV Cabaret downstairs for a mere $9, with food and drinks at little tables.  The after show lasts about an hour and is (traditionally) very stupid with lots of bad costumes and cow jokes.  None of the actors are paid to perform in the Cabaret, we all just do it to blow off steam–which always remind me of the scene in Judy Garland’s A Star is Born when she sings “The Man that Got Away” at 3am with the band….just because they feel like goofing around.  Have you seen it?  WHAT?  Homework!  Please rent or Netflix (which I am now using as a verb) the 1954 version of A Star Is Born.  This is not to be confused with the 70’s version with Babs

Judy Garland (Frances Ethel Gumm) plays Vicki Lester (Esther Blodgette)

Streisand.  I am loyal to Frances Ethel Gumm in this regard, so please do not show me the rock and roll version with ponchos and “Evergreen” and expect me to say, “They’re both good.”  Nope.  Judy and James Mason all the way.

I don’t have a lot of time to blog–I have an entrance in a little bit and have had rehearsals all day (we’ve had a jump in time, now it is 8:07 pm and we are well into our first show.  I’m sitting in the green room (why is it called a green room?  Someone who reads this blog must know) and listening to all my friends work onstage and get laughs for the first time.  Fun.

So let’s write as fast as possible.  Typos are probable today.

We left off with Beatrix and a new toy from Quisiworks, me with a sudden premonition that Rob wasn’t well, and Charlotte tearing up the pine path looking like she’d just seen a ghost.

Charlotte ran up to me and thrust Rob’s cell phone in my hand.  This was odd because cell phones are completely useless at Quisisana due to the fact that they have no service.  She quickly explained.  “Dad’s sick and he said you have to call his doctor.”  I looked down at the phone and Rob had called up the number for the doctor so I could easily find it.  “He said to tell the doctor it’s the same thing he had in New York.”

I needed a little more information.  “Which sick?  Pain?”

“He threw up.  Like he did in New York when he climbed the stairs.”

Sick like the climb the stairs sick-minus the stairs

Oh shit.  “Were you there, Charlotte?”

“Yes.  I was getting into my bathing suit.  I tried to go in to the bathroom, but he wouldn’t let me.  He was moaning a lot.”

Crap, nuts, hell.  How could this happen AGAIN that Charlotte was there alone with him?  What could make him sick?  The gallbladder was out, the pancreatitis numbers were back to normal,  I grabbed the cell phone from Charlotte, handed her Beatrix, gave them a kiss and instructed her to head over to Treble Hall, a building full of every toy you can think of.  It’s where the kids play with babysitters while the adults eat dinner, and it is playtime Mecca for children.  Treble Hall seemed like the perfect solution while I tried to call the doctor.  (By the way, all the buildings and cabins are named after something musical).

I went into the lodge and found an available phone.

A word about communication at Quisisana.  One word.  1977.   Well, except the phones dial with push buttons, not rotary.  There is spotty Internet in the lodge available for guest use.  There are about 6 phones around camp that a person can use with a calling card (remember calling cards?).  The problem is, say you are ME, trying to call a doctor in New York.  Say you call the doctor and the doctor’s administrative assistant says,

Not quite rotary phone, but close.

“The doctor is unavailable.  Please give me a number where he can reach you.”  Um.  Well.  That’s not so easy.  In order to get the call, I would have to just sit in the lodge until the doctor calls back, because all the calls go through the front desk and then are transferred to another phone….which is in the lodge.  I tried to explain to the doctors office the problem I was having—my husband was sick—I needed to be with him in the cabin—which she then said (as anyone would) I’ll call your cell phone—I explain my cell phone doesn’t work—which she finds unbelievable–so I ask, when will the doctor be available?—and she says she doesn’t know, he’s at the hospital, but she’ll pass the message along as soon as he calls in.  This game of ping pong went on for about five minutes before I finally gave the main number and sat in the lodge and waited.  And waited.  Finally, I decided I had to see Rob, so I left the lodge hoping I had enough time to check on him before the doctor called back.

I dashed down the path to the cabin and in a stroke of good luck, I ran smack into my Sister Wife, Amy Rogers.  I spoke quickly, “Rob’s sick again.  The kids are in Treble.”

She was great, saying not to give the kids a second thought and to get to Rob.  She headed off to Treble and I headed to Serenade (our cabin) to see how bad things were.  The last thing I said to Amy as I left was a reminder, “For now, let’s keep this between us.”


Amy nodded with understanding.  This is a camp with a grand total of about 200 people, who all enjoy hearing what is going on with everyone else and having opinions about the topic of the day.  I wasn’t ready for opinions yet.  I needed to form my own opinion and see Rob first and the do a controlled release as need be.

I walked in to find Rob in a ball on the bed.  A quick exchange revealed that it was serious and the pains were the exact pains he had before going to the hospital the first time.  Clearly, CLEARLY, he had to get medical attention, or at the very least the doctor had to tell me if this was normal after surgery.  Rob and I had a small but slightly heated debate about whether or not he needed to go to the hospital (or at the very least a doctor), because let’s face it, we’d been through this and I was ready to head out and hand him over to the first person who appeared to have a medical degree, including a vet if that was all I could find.  Rob refused, saying he wanted to talk to his doctor in New York first.  I wearily agreed, but decided in the back of my mind that if he didn’t call in an hour, we were on our way to the nearest hospital.

I didn’t want to leave Rob alone in the cabin, so I came up with the idea that we move over to the cabin across the path, called Maestro, where the owner of Quisisana, Jane Orans,

Me with Jane Orans, owner of Quisisana

lives in the summer.  Jane has a phone, and a comfy couch—all the necessary requirements.

Moving Rob to Jane’s house was a bit risky, because I would have to call the office and tell them we were there.  Which would then lead to the question of WHY we were there.  You understand, it was a hop skip and a jump to the entire camp knowing Rob had relapsed.  Especially Jane, who would be very worried.

I managed to speak to the office manager, Nicole, who agreed to keep things quiet and forward any calls that came in to Jane’s house.  I stretched Rob out on the couch and waited for the doctor to call, not sure what our next move was.  One thing I knew for sure, Rob was very sick again.

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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2 Responses to Don't F*%& With the Pancreas–The Maine Edition (Blogisode four)

  1. Emily says:

    Hey Sharon! I have an (odd?) request. I read your book for the first time years ago, I follow your facebook and now your blog. I am a big fan. BUT I have never heard you sing! I saw Avenue Q on Broadway and while your name was in the booklet unfortunately you were not on that night… anyway I was just wondering if you had any videos or clips of you singing/performing? I've always been dying to hear you I am sure you're amazing. :)

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