Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: Spring training is upon us!

Rockin' and rollin'

Rockin' and rollin'
The author of Mark's Work

Coleus flowers

Coleus flowers
Why I grow flowers

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast
Love is the greatest power.

Beauty abounds!

Beauty abounds!
Heinz tomatoes, used for catsup

If you've seen one butterfly, you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.

If you've seen one butterfly,  you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.
Painted Lady

Fall Jewels

Fall Jewels
Praying mantis, attending services on a zinnia...

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017
Something I have always wanted...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

Monday, September 5, 2016

What About Dr. Bob?

What About Dr. Bob?

“We’ll have some pie and chocolate cake, 
and chocolate ice cream too. 
We’ll sing and play the day away, 
and one more thing I’m going to do:

I’ll blow out the candles on my birthday cake, 
and when I do, a wish I’ll make, 
Put another candle on my birthday cake,
I’m another year old today!”

Right? Isn’t that the way birthdays are supposed to be celebrated?
"Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?"

I walked into Emergency and paused-quite dramatically I might add-on the threshold, having allowed Annie to precede me through the magnum-sized, sliding glass door. 

After recovering my somewhat fragile balance from said door knocking me halfway out of my sandals, I sallied forth once again, my spirits unfazed by the rude treatment at the hands of the unfeeling door. 

Odd. No one hollered out birthday greetings to me as I approached the Receptionist’s desk. Must be some business-oriented folks, here at Howard Hospital, I thought. Annie had seated herself (quite daintily for someone in excruciating discomfort), over on the Group W Bench, while I attended to the complicated process of booking Annie into the joint. I approached the matron at the receiving desk.

[Note to Mark: Check the dialogue, please-I think you’re confusing your venues.]

“The top of this fine, late afternoon to you, Sister!” I sang out, my charm and charisma obviously having the desired effect on this modicum of efficiency. “We have a medical emergency here, with a patient suffering from an allergic reaction to medication.”

She refrained from gasping at the implications, recovering enough from both the information and my magnetism, to stammer, “Last name?”

Pertinent data was provided and seats were taken, again, eerily devoid of the sirens and whistles that I might have expected. I mean, we’re talking about my 64th birthday here! The Beatles sang all about it. I might have expected Howard Hospital to be a little more together than this, but it is, after all, a new facility.

I had thought to mention to the powers-that-be, that my talented and beautiful daughter-in-law graced this fine institution with her energy and a gazillion hours per week, but decided to hold off. The preferential treatment that Annie would then have been given, would have been unfair to the rest of the patients, so I bit my tongue.

Nothing like the taste of hot blood in your mouth to fuel the passion! 

I gave the salient details, the slurring due to the blood and certainly NOT to any libation (Perish the thought!), the receptionist duly recorded them, and I took my seat beside my Sweetest of Apple Blossoms.

We waited.

She had been in ongoing contact with medical personnel at UC Davis, in Sacramento, over some pesky side effects from her immunotherapy, and their recommendation as of this afternoon, was that we should make the hour-long trip down to Willits. 

I was literally five minutes away from putting a chicken into the oven, to roast for my birthday dinner. Our original plans had included a visit from a dear cousin and an invitation to Casey and Amber for dinner, but our plans disappeared quicker than an eighth of Ogre Berry crossed with Sour Strawberry Kush, when technical difficulties popped up.

The side-effects descended upon her like one of the original Plagues, the one that combined three or four of the others into one Major Production, having the unmitigated gall to do so, right on my birthday.

Shakespeare did tragedy-we all know that. He also did comedy and what he did best, was combine the two, because that is what we all need to get through life. 

Hearing Annie joke with the compassionate Dr. Bob, the name the ER doctor asked us to call him, about the challenge of differentiating between levels of pain, reaffirmed this. Wracked with discomfort, bummed about “ruining my birthday,” and making yet another emergency run down the 101, she could still muster forth a joke and a smile.

Hell, she had fretted earlier in the day, that she would have to bug the medical personnel in Willits on their “vacation,” which is how she kept referring to the three-day Labor Day Weekend. That would be Annie.

“Hey there,” I had interjected. “Your job is to take care of Annie, and the doctor’s job is to take care of you, so let he or she do it, please. No one gets paid enough to get called away from family, but how do we know that in the first place?”

Annie and I had spent too much time discussing negative self-talk, for her not to get it. Catastrophising is to be avoided at all costs. No purpose is ever served by pursuing “What-if?” questions. She relaxed. Maybe.

Inspired by her laughter, which could be simultaneously delivered while trying to pin down the distinction between what constitutes a 10, versus, well, a 9, in terms of pain, all I could do was marvel at her courage under the fire of cancer.

Well, marvel… AND wonder why Dr. Bob didn’t at least give me a birthday fist-bump…

***All is well, Annie procured that which relieved much of her discomfort, and we were home by 8:30 at the latest! Great success and smiles all around. She says, any spare strength and/or love you have hanging around, you could send it her way. 


  1. You bet! Hugs, love, strength coming her way! Hope all is well.

    1. You better believe it! Hugs, love and strength, duly conveyed to Herself! Much love, Sister!

  2. So glad Annie is back home and that you were there to get her to the ER - Love the lessons in self talk....
    I bet you were singing the "Will you still need me, will you still feed me" line all day to her! xoxo