Finding The Reason

The holiday season is when the past merges with the present. The leaves of this continuum tree get rolled into an obscenely thick cigarette that achieves a curiously satisfying high or a precipitously dangerous low. And somewhere between the merry and the menacing and the caroling and the crashing is where I tend to camp. The co-mingling of two wholly different mindsets is my default gateway; the holidays just add a heaping tablespoon of crushed red pepper to the equation.

And then Monday happened.

Missed Call

I get that message countless times over the course of a day. No big deal. And then I saw the name attached belonged to my daughter.

“Hey, what’s up?” I said, keeping it cool even though I wasn’t feeling cool in the least.

In a sad statement of the world we live in, when I heard her trembling voice, I immediately thought there had been a shooting at her workplace. My mind ran through a half dozen frightening scenarios, and then she let me know what was what and an entirely new collection of frightening scenarios ensued.

“I’m on my way to the ER . . . I’ve got abdominal pains that won’t quit . . I . .”

“You’re on your way to the hospital?”

I cursed myself for cutting her off before letting her finish. Then I dropped everything and skipped. The drive to the hospital seemed impossibly surreal, as if I had ventured off the pages of a neat and tidy script and into a fractured ramble of misbegotten that lacked all reason. The rhythm of the day had become disjointed and foreign, as if I’d broken out of a snow globe.

I’m pretty sure Dante Alighieri penned a divine piece of hate mail to hospitals back in the Middle Ages, and he wasn’t kidding. As I navigated the labyrinth of negative space, my brain constructed battlements to stanch the desperate chorus of sounds that raged like wildfire.

Arriving at her side, I compiled all the 411 from the nurse and my daughter and then came to the unprofessional conclusion that she was suffering from appendicitis. Imagine Marjorie Taylor Greene, without the manly conviction. Of course, this diagnosis wasn’t helping my daughter any and neither was the morphine for that matter.

When her CT scan came back inconclusive, I retired from the field of medicine and resumed my paternal obligations; in other words, I became a royal pain in the ass to anyone wearing scrubs. The ultrasound results effectively shut my ass up.

“She has a rather large cyst on her ovary. . .” The doctor began, as if he was reciting the special of the day whilst taking our drink orders.

You know what happens when you attempt to quiet the worst case scenarios that run through your head when you receive bad news? Welp, they run faster and they scream even louder is what happens. Before the doctor could finish scaring the fuck out of me, I’d done it my damn self. And then they served her up another round of morphine that ended up being as useless as the first.

It was a couple hours and an ambulance ride to Women’s And Babies Hospital before the nurses gathered around to prep her for surgery. And for what felt like the millionth time that day, I told my daughter that everything was going to be alright. Only this time, I was finally believing it. And then I kissed her on the forehead before leaving the room.

“You’re my favorite child. Just don’t tell your brother . .”

“He knows,”. She replied, not missing a beat.

The apple, dropping right off the branch and letting me know the universe wasn’t just listening, it was offering a little sage advice: Be grateful for the good times you get to keep, and hold onto them as if you’ve been gifted magic.

It was twelve hours removed from my daughter’s phone call before the surgeon came out to let me know they had removed a balloon sized cyst that had lodged between her fallopian tubes and her ovary. The intense pain my daughter had been experiencing was the result of the cyst forcing her ovary to twist on itself. The surgery had gone pristinely, as if God had tucked his present under our Christmas tree.

While I waited for the green light to be reunited with my daughter, I put in my twentieth call of the day to Dale and I let her know the color was returning to my knuckles rather nicely. We spent the next few minutes exhaling for the first time all day as the clock drew ever closer to midnight. And then I called Big Papi to let him know why I had been incommunicado.

He took the news quietly and then cursed at the idea that someone so young and healthy might have to deal with a body that barks back at them. Of course we know full well that life doesn’t give a fig about pretty faces or the date of birth on your driver’s license. But his rant was all about love, and I appreciated it. Because like me and Dale, he has that parental gene too . . the one that screams for the great white shark to come get us and leave the kids the fuck alone.

“But she’s going to be fine, man. You got your Christmas gift,”

He’s a poet when he wants to be.

44 thoughts on “Finding The Reason

  1. (All I can hear in my head is Kramer from Seinfeld saying..’it’s a Christmas miracle!’)

    Life happens, even through the holidays. I am so glad things worked out for her. I was nervous, I have to admit.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Holy reindeer balls, Batman … what a week! But I see other great news in this. You are such a good storyteller, you need to expand this into a screenplay because it’s perfect for a Lifetime movie! But more important than the huge payday that lies ahead for you cheers to her health. Merry Christmas & thanks for sharing. … and a toast to Dale for being your sounding board.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was!

      I don’t mind the first part, but not Lifetime. Any channel but, in fact. 😉

      The most important . . 1 through 10 for sure. I was scared shit, I’m not gonna lie. And now? Now I’m grateful. Very much so.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A couple of years ago, one of my sons, who was 21 or 22 at the time, went to the doctor for something. While there, they detected that he had an elevated heart rate. They did a test or two and based on the results, encouraged him to immediately go to the ER. My wife called me and I raced there from work. For the next couple of hours, we sat in the ER with him, while his resting heart rate “rested” around 150 to 160 bpm, and sometimes more.

    There were moments when I had to step out of the room and wipe my tears of fears from my face so he wouldn’t see how upset and concerned I was. I mean, my kid had a heart problem decades before anything like that should be.

    And then there is the fact that I lost my best friend to a heart attack at the age of 30. All I could do as I sat there for those two or three hours was keep replacing my son’s face with my friend’s face. I had to keep stepping out of the room.

    Fortunately, he’s fine now.

    But … I so get what you felt while you went through this with your daughter. It is one of the most helpless, painful feelings in the world. It just saps you of any ability other than to sit there and worry and fret and to want to scream.

    I’m glad your daughter is better. Peace to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I remember you talking about this. Holy shit if it’s not the worst . . hospitals, they suck. But if it’s us, that’s one thing. I know for me, it was just fuck it, I want to get out of here as soon as possible. But when it’s your kid . . completely different dynamic. A feeling of helplessness, and dread and yes, fear.

      I’m just thankful, for everything.

      Thank you Mark, peace and light to you and yours.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Marc,

    I know exactly how you felt when Ari called you (well, not the shooting scenario as that is the furthest thing from my mind) but I felt something was wrong. Calling me during the day? Out of the blue? Nope… that is not our norm so my heart dropped until we connected and my stomach remained knotted until we (yes, I’m including myself in the we) got the green light that she was going to be okay.

    We are constantly being challenged when it comes to our children. Me, hurt/sick? No big whup. My kids? Oh, hells, no. But we learn that oh, hells, yes. It’s out of our hands and all we can do is try to breathe through constricted airways, try to unknot our stomachs, try to turn off the ringing in our head and try to lower our heartbeat which is adding it’s heavy thud to the ring.

    I love your daughter’s sassy reply. You two are in such cahoots. It’s a beautiful thing. We are always being gifted little bits of magic. All we have to do is be receptive to them.

    Cheers to your daughter’s savage return to normalcy and to Big Papi for his love! You know I’m always here for anything.

    Lotsa love,

    Dale

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dear Marc,

    I am thrilled your daughter is fine, and will recover fully.
    Be thankful it was not appendix…I KNOW YOU ARE!
    My hubby was on death’s door 10 years ago, when his appendix burst.
    He is still not 100%. He never will be.

    I am no stranger to Ovarian cysts.
    Well, they thought they were ovarian cysts. For 20 years of off & on pain, I went twice a year for ultra sound.
    Then one day the doc said.. operation time! The cysts are much bigger.
    Well, I went in expecting to have both ovaries removed. I still have my ovaries.
    Turns out (thank you micro surgery and cameras) I had fake fallopian tubes, as well as real ones. The fake ones just drifted into my abdomen. When I shed seeds, they went into the fake tubes, instead of the real ones. The seed had no where to go, so turned into cysts.
    They cut off the fake tubes. No pain since.

    Marc, I know you are going to have a mellow, yet wonderful Christmas & New Year.
    Peace and Love back to you, my dear. To your daughter, your other favourite son, and all you love, BEST!!
    xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Resa,

      I am SO thankful. For so many different reasons, and yes, I am more so these days as a result of Monday.

      I’m sorry to hear that! Shit, I had no idea the appendix was such a SOB! 10 years ago and still not the same? Jesus. I’m sorry.

      WOW!

      You have had quite the journey. And as far as strong women go, you are always kicking ass.

      We had a very mellow and chill day, yes!

      You are the best Resa, Thank you for the beautiful comment. I look forward to chatting with you always.

      MUAH!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have given up trying to make reason out of this world. It will not be contained. I am so pleased that things worked out well for your daughter and for you. Somebody was listening and they liked what you had to say or at least they accepted it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my gosh!! I’m so sorry for you and your daughter but glad there’s a truly happy ending to your story. Sending loads of healing digital vibes your way and I hope she’s able to come home for the holiday. Hugs and tails wags from me and the Ranch Hands. Kiss your favorite(s) on her/his/their forehead(s) tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lemme tell you . . . I am NOT upset it’s been a week almost removed. I also cannot believe it’s already been a week almost removed.

      Thank you so much Monika. and I will!

      Peace and love to you and the gang

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dude. Duuuuuuuuude. First off let me breeeeeeeathe a bit and just exhale some gratitude for the health and recovery of your daughter. All the feels you were feeling … yes. Must have been so scary. That pit in the stomach feeling being so heavy. I’m glad you were able to reach out and talk to someone you could lean on. Cysts are super painful. I’m glad your daughter feels better and the surgery went well and you got your Christmas present:) I like that you were able to remember to be grateful for “the good times you get to keep,” and the “magic” that was gifted to you. I’m gonna remember that one, hermano. Sending you abrazotes muy fuertes for a Happy Christmas. Sending you sunshine and waves… sunshine and waves 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let’s breathe in that one together, chica. Whew!

      It is the absolute worst, when your kids are going through any adversity. You know it, being the super mama that you are. We would take their pain if we could. Without a second thought.

      But yes, things are getting back to normal. With a couple heaping helpings of gratitude, of course.

      Muchisimas gracias hermana. And plenty of sunshine and cool waves . . .

      Like

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