Monday, July 7, 2008

Sound

When my brother calls and the news is not good, I know because before he says, "Hi Nina," he does this intake of breath - a long inhale - a sucking in of air so as to have the power so say whatever it is that sucks in one breath.

So when I got home from the doctor today after getting typhoid, tetanus, Hep A, and Hep B vaccinations (a comedy of needle fun I'll explain on some other sunny day) and reclined on the couch with a bottle of water and a handful of new prescriptions for God knows what all anti-malarial, altitude sickness prophylactics and the odd benzodiazepine refill... and the phone rang... and I heard the sound...

Let's just say I am so accustomed to it that it has become almost boring. I say "almost" because it's a lot like being forced to watch a puppy being kicked to death every single day for two years; it remains colorful and filled with the usual screeching, clawing, horror and existential flora (and fauna) but it lacks that special tang of all-new flavor one gets, you know, the first time one is forced to watch the kicking of the puppies.

Today, the sound meant that my brother was about to tell me that my dad's leg needs to be amputated, which my brother did tell me - after he made the sound and before he started to hyperventilate a little bit and say a lot of words that (if we are to believe what the good Sisters of Perpetual Agony say) guarantee us a spot in the roiling lake of fire kept hot just for us bad people. But like puppy kicking, those words have lost that special tang, too. They are hardly worth saying anymore, which should make you wonder why we bother. (Not wonder whether we do, but why. Because do we? Definitely).

The surgery will take place tomorrow afternoon. By the end of the week, my dad should be out of the hospital entirely and if we are extra lucky I should have the results of the pancreatic enzyme test my doctor ran today to determine whether the thing we were calling an ulcer is in fact not an ulcer and is really a pancreas problem of one of two kinds: pancreatitis (which is unpleasant but mostly just bullshit) or pancreatic cancer (which is unpleasant and entirely bullshit and would mean I would have an expiration date closer to that of the kicked puppy and for sure on the close side of my dad's).

Until tomorrow,
Nina

18 comments:

jen said...

*shock*

*chin quivering*

I love you.

Miss Britt said...

No. You do not have that.

You can't.

OK?

Do you hear me?

You just don't.

Sizzle said...

Thinking, praying, wishing.

Good thoughts. Big hugs. Lots of deep breaths.

LizB said...

I'm doing it all: cursing, praying, drinking, and sending you mental hugs.

ingrid said...

oh nina. thinking of you and your family. i'm so sorry. prayers and drinks.

Julie said...

Raising a glass to the gods of body parts that your pancreas is indeed merely behaving badly.

I'm so sorry about your dad.

Avitable said...

It took you three paragraphs to tell us that it's your dad's leg, not your dad's life. Those were the longest paragraphs I've read in a long time.

P said...

I don't even know what to say. Speechless. Wish I could give you a hug.

Annie said...

Big hug and lots of prayers going up for you and your dad.

Finn said...

I vote for the inflammation... all the worry9ng you know. The "C" word is not an option. It's just not.

I'm using my prayers for you darling. Your Dad is tough and will be fine I'm sure (I won't forget about him though).

xoxoxo

Maggie said...

What's less difficult for you to recover from? An ulcer or pancreatitis? Whichever one you'd prefer is the one I'll pray that you have.

Notice that cancer is not even a consideration. I refuse to even consider the possibility.

Kate P said...

You're in my thoughts & prayers. And probably a drink when I get home tonight.

nightfly said...

Well, damn. Please do not have cancer, OK? We like having you around.

Catherine said...

Yeah, fuck cancer. Whatever it is, it's just a thing, one of those things that comes and goes. Away. For good.

I raised a (okay, more than one) glass of Pacifico to you yesterday, while beaming over sixteen and a half metric tons of love to the other side of the country for you and your dad.

It is still morning where I am atm, but the mug of joe in front of me is being raised with more hearty toasts for you guys, right now. You are in my thoughts.

ricki said...

Oh, cripes.

Praying for the least possible thing it could be. (Maybe it's a bad test? Maybe they need to re-do it?)

Rachael said...

P sent me over to wish you well in the shitstorm you're dealing with.

I do hope that this is something minor and that your father recovers quickly.

Rachael

B said...

Wish you all the best. Fingers crossed!

Vanessa said...

Nina, I'm several days late. But I'd like to send you trans-Atlantic hugs, and my positive thoughts and prayers for strength and, always, humor.