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

Happy Thursday!  I’ve decided the pancreas saga must end with tomorrow’s blogisode.

Me. I have nice legs and frequent yellow skirts.

My family and I getting ready to pack up all our Vermont goodies and high tail it back to New York.  Once we are there, I have to repack the family, and off we go on a ten day vacation to Vail, Colorado.  If you aren’t from the northeast, you may wonder how I can possible allow Charlotte to miss the first days of school, but in NYC school doesn’t start until the Wednesday after Labor Day.  Can you believe that?  So we’re off on family fun time.

My plan is to start the next blogisode in two weeks, on September 1st,.   This should give everyone time to get their back to school shopping done and their fantasy football teams drafted. But for now, we’ve got to buckle down and get this pancreas healed.  You know what that means—get your snacks—we’re going long.

This blogisode is brought to you by my snack of choice, an Endangered Species Chocolate bar.  It has cranberries and almonds, and is  72% cocoa.  You know they say dark chocolate is very good for you, in that red-wine-is-also-good-for-you kind of way that is

My view of my snack. Also a vitamin.

so enjoyable.  Therefore, Dr. Wheatley here saying grab a dark chocolate bar and consider it your vitamin for the day.  If only the coffee shop/gallery was open (it closes at 5pm) so I could have a little cup-a-joe to go with it.  I’ve gotta blog and do two more shows today (it’s Wednesday between shows right now and I have another Forum  plus an Act IV Cabaret afterwards.)

Got your snacks?

Let’s go!

We left off at 9:59 am.  This is what was happening.  In one minute the New Balance Tent Sale was opening it’s flaps for a four day shopper’s frenzy.  In some soon, but yet undetermined moment, Rob would be wheeled in and given general anesthesia by a Hoover Vacuum Bile Duct doctor.  In 61 minutes, Charlotte and Beatrix would attend the children’s opera at Quisisana, which my Sister Wife was handling.  Geographically, I was still 30 minutes away from Rob and probably wouldn’t make it on time for the start of the surgery, but I was absolutely ON TIME for the sale.  I mean….if he was knocked out anyway….he’d never know what time I got there….couldn’t I hide the bags in the back?…no one would ever know….

But then, ugh. The guilt set in.  What would Rob Meffe do if the situation was reversed?  I started to think back, looking for a loophole.  He was on time for the birth of both

Rob. He'd never stop at a tent sale.

children, AND he went to almost every doctor’s appointment with me.  He’d held my hand before two minor surgeries I’d had in the recent past.  He’d waited while I had my wisdom teeth yanked.  He’d even bought me tampons on occasion.

The cold, hard, unselfish truth was, Rob Meffe would never stop at a tent sale on the way to the hospital.  Or, since he’s not a shopper, I’ll use his equivalent; he’d never stop and hike a quick mountain.  I had to pass the tent sale.  I flipped off the turn signal and floored it, bound and determined to make it in time to give him a kiss before he was knocked out.  The odds were against me, but like Nike says, “Just Do It.” Or as Jesus says in the Bible:

“Do unto others what you would demand they do unto you.” (Sharon 10: 17-18)

I squealed into Central Maine Medical Center and ran around—in sandles—until I found the “Vacuum It Out” surgical wing (official name).  Believe it or not, just as I walked in I heard Rob’s voice saying “Wait, there she is!” as I saw him rolling to the OR on a gurney.  Can you believe it?  I made it!  My feet hurt, but I had time to kiss Rob before they took him in.  He said, “It’s a miracle you made it here in time!”  He had no idea.

They took me to the waiting room and after finding and properly doctoring a large cup of Starbucks (oh.  That sounds so good right now.  Stupid closed Vermont coffee shop.  I’ve had half of my dark chocolate bar and need some coffee to wash it down), I sat down to wait.

The waiting room was about half full of people waiting for their loved ones—who were mostly getting Colonoscopys—and there was a TV playing The View, and Lady Gaga was the guest.  Okay.  I come from New York City and I’m in theater, so Lady Gaga is no big

Lady Gagel with a conservative cross in her hair.

deal to me—I think she’s great and I love her message—but I don’t think of her as offensively outrageous.  My Central Maine Medical Center waiting room counterparts however, most of whom were about 70, could not get over her and kept giggling.  “LOOK at that Lady Gagel.”  “LOOK at that CROSS in her HAIR!  Oh my!”   “What do her parents say about that?”  Then her mother was interviewed for a few minutes and they were all abuzz.  “The mother

This is Gaga's egg, not Rob's gallbladder.

looks so normal.”  I have to add, this wasn’t Lady Gaga being delivered in an egg or any of her other stunts, she was just sitting in a dress and some pretty funky shoes.  A pedestrian outfit, comparably. I have to tell you, I absolutely love being around people who see things differently than I do.  I find it refreshing and a good reminder that not everyone is in theater.

(P.S. It’s now Act One of the second show and we had ANOTHER 45 minute fire drill.  The fire chief now forbids the use of fog in our show, and everything will get out 45 minutes later, putting us home from the Cabaret at 12:15am.  The good news is, we made the best of it and the cast played 2 rounds of the game Celebrity–all in costume and in full view of the audience– before we were called back into the theater.)

After an hour and a half or so of Lady Gaga interspersed with Angry Birds and the occasional text message to keep me company, I was called into the recovery room to see Rob.  He was curled up in a little ball in his hospital bed in a corner and recovery, and somehow had—yet again—won over the nursing staff.  “Are you Robert’s wife?  He is the sweetest thing!”  Post anesthesia my husband is a real nurse charmer.

Eventually the vacuum surgeon came in and guess what?  He had pictures, requested by who?  Rob Meffe, of course.

Rob Meffe's new headshot.

Everything seemed to be in order.  They hadn’t found a stone, per se, but they can be as small as a grain of sand and still cause problems.  Or, he’d already passed it.  Still, they

All clean and clear.

sucked out some lingering sludge and said he’d never have another problem with his pancreas as long as he didn’t become a raging alcoholic in the future.  We gave the doctor some advice because he was leaving to take his daughter to New York to see Broadway shows.  Perfect!  Rob was given the thumbs up to leave later that day as long as he could tolerate solid foods.

We rolled back down to Rob’s room and Rob ordered food (there was a menu and he could call and order!  Like room service!)  His tray arrived and he was told if he could finish it off and keep it down, he was free to go.  The tray arrived and Rob went to work, despite just having a tube stuck down his throat and into his bile duct.  You’ve never seen a guy more determined to get out of a hospital in all your life.  I called Quisisana and told them the surgery was over and it was looking like we’d be back by dinner.

Rob Meffe, finish this and you get your walking papers. Can he do it?

To read the next episode, 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 Thirteen)

  1. Leslie Muck says:

    Don't mean to be stupid but what is it the game "Celebrity"?

    • Sharon Wheatley says:

      It's a great party game. Everyone fills out 10 slips of paper with the name of a person, real or fictional. Then you toss them all in a bowl and divide into teams. Each team has 1 minute to give clues to guess the names in the bowl until they are gone. Keep count. For the 2nd round you get 1 word. For the 3rd round it is charades.

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