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

Happy Tuesday!  This blogisode is brought to you by “one and done” which is a theater term describing a Sunday matinee, meaning one more show and then it’s the day off!  It’s a theater oddity that during Sunday matinees, when most people are gardening or doing laundry or preparing Sunday dinner (or in my Dad’s case, watching golf), all of us theater types are sitting in a dark theater planning our day off.  There are benefits and

One and done.

disadvantages to having a different day off than the rest of the world.  Benefits—you can frequently get a cheaper rate at a bed and breakfast because it is not the weekend, you can get business things done on your day off because all the businesses are open, and malls, movie theaters and restaurants and theme parks are empty.  Disadvantages?  The obvious one is that we only have one day off vs. most people getting a two day weekend.  Also, major social events are primarily planned for weekends.  I can’t tell you how many weddings and family reunions I’ve missed simply because I would have to take off four or five shows to attend, accounting for over half of my salary for the week.  I suppose everything is balanced out by the fact that many of us go for long stretches of unemployment—when we have every day free….so there you go.  My plans for the day off include (tonight) dinner at Stuart Duke’s followed by a birthday party at the house where most of the actors live, and tomorrow (Monday) playing with the kids all day and getting Rob ready to start his tech rehearsal week in Williamstown.  He will be sleeping in Williamstown for his rehearsals, so David Benoit plans to have a sleep over with me and the kids, Mothah Dahling.  Just because it’s summer and it’s fun and it’s Vermont and we have more Mary Tyler Moore’s to watch.

But now let’s jump in a kayak and paddle back to the emergency room in Bridgton, Maine, shall we?  We left off with Rob and me pulling up to the ER, Amy Rogers (Sister Wife) watching my children at Quisisana and word starting to leak out that something was wrong with Rob.  How did word start to leak out, you wonder?  Easy.  Remember that Quisisana is on the American plan, meaning that all meals are included in your stay, correct?  Now imagine the dining room, where lunch is served and every one is seated between 1:00 and 1:15pm.  Everyone sits at the same table all week, and you have the same server everyday, who is also (by the way) a performer in the Opera or Musical you are seeing at night.  Remember how I said there are only about 100

No one misses a meal at Quisisana

guests at a time, and everyone notices everything, because that is part of the fun of Quisisana?   Got the picture?  Now imagine 1pm rolling along and suddenly Rob and I are not at our table, and Sister Wife Amy has changed tables and is now seated with our children.  Without us.  SCANDAL.  Where are Sharon and Rob?  Our waitress finds out from Amy, she tells someone, and so on, and so on, and the next thing you know, Rob’s failing pancreas is the hot topic of conversation over your choice of a Quisi Cobb salad or a four cheese, arugula and pear panini.

Rob is not a guy who likes a lot of attention.  He was also very concerned about what information got to our dear friend Jane, owner of Quisisana, and I’ll tell you why.  She’s a worrier.  In the very best way, Jane is a mother hen.  The moment anyone steps foot onto Quisisana grounds, Jane is responsible for everything from their physical health to seating them next to the perfect person during the Sunday Buffet.  There is, of course, the weight of having a resort on a lake front and the danger of the water and the boats—that is always present—and many of the guests are on the older side, and the hospital is far away, but that isn’t the extent of it.  Jane also Mama Bear to her staff, and ferociously protective of their well being.  The best part of working at Quisisana is knowing Jane has your back.

Jane with Quisisana staff

The worst part is worrying her.  Jane knew all about how sick Rob had been in New York, and she was worried about him coming up while still so early in his recovery, then relieved as he recovered.  Rob told me that the first night he was there, Jane was so worried about him that she cleared his dinner plate during staff dinner.  Rob and I were acutely aware that our empty seats at lunch would be noticed by Jane and worry would kick in–Rob was sick on her turf.  Rob and I would take a bullet for Jane, so worrying her worried us.  It’s a vicious cycle.  We trusted that Larry Hall (general manager and friend) would give Jane the medical update on a need to know basis.  He’s good that way.  We knew Amy (Sister Wife) would update Charlotte as need be, and the entire staff would bend over backwards to entertain the kids.  I assured Rob, things at Quisi were in capable hands.

Now to the Bridgton emergency room.  We learned very quickly that even when there is a line in the ER, the magic password to get in quickly is “pancreatitis”.  The word was barely out of Rob’s mouth and the swooped him back, stuck an IV in his arm and drew blood.  While all of this was happening, Rob and I were basking in the joys of reliable Internet and cell service–which he’d been without since June 6th (it was now June 29th) and I’d been

Actual photo taken in Bridgton, he was talking to his Dad. The bucket on the right that looks like it is for fried chicken...is...not for fried chicken. Please note-it was empty.

without for a week.  Literally–the doctors and nurses would come in to check him and he would just lie down so they could feel his abdomen or stick out his arm for morphine without ever missing a beat on his phone.  He was talking to his Mom and Dad and his doctor in New York while I was trying to iron out sublet details with our apartment in New York.  It was a riot–although I’m sure the staff at Bridgton thought we were horribly obnoxious and screen dependent New Yorkers.  Which….in that given moment….was accurate.

The doctor came in and said, “We’re all quite impressed with your pancreas numbers.”  Rob and I held our breath waiting to hear the number, because this was going to dictate how long he might be cooped up in a hospital and away from Quisi.  He took a breath and looked at his clip board “These are some of the biggest numbers we’ve seen in this ER.”

Crap.

To read the next blogisode, go here: http://www.sharonwheatley.com/2011/08/10/dont-f-with-the-pancreas-the-maine-edition-blogisode-six-2/

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About Sharon Wheatley

I'm a mother, an actress and a writer. I'm glad you're here.
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