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“The scope was normal.  No bleeding ulcer.  In fact, no ulcer at all.  Maybe a touch of gastritis.  I took a biopsy since I was there.  But it looked fine.  We’ll get him a couple units of blood tonight and run some tests in the morning.”

“What is chewing up his red blood cells like that?”

“I don’t know.  We’ll know more tomorrow.  You and the kids can stay in the hotel down the road tonight.”

“Jeff, how much do you weigh?”  Lots of questions while the nurses were checking him in to the hospital. 


“Let’s have you weigh on this scale.”  “Hmmm… 150.”

I had to remind him of his new weight several times in the next couple weeks.  “But how can that be?  I’ve been buying pants with a larger waist?”  Another mystery.

They hung the blood.  Life.  Slowly dripping into his veins.  Without it, he surely would not have had long.

The next day Jeff came back to his room after the CT scan.  “Doc stuck his head in the door after the scan was done and said everything was normal.  I’m kind of disappointed actually.  There has to be something wrong.  If that test didn’t find it, how will they find it?  What could it be?  Why didn’t it show something?  What will they do next?”  Bless his soul, he always thought I’d be able to find an answer for him.  I had none.

“I don’t know.  Dr. Weaver is in surgery.  I’ll call the pathologist in Riverton and have her look at your blood tests and see what she thinks.”

She was a new pathologist in town and didn’t know me, so wouldn’t be as likely to do me a personal favor.  I have a strong dislike for pulling “Doctor Strings”.  People should treat everyone the same.  If you won’t do it for me because I am me, then don’t do it for me because of my title.  But my dislike for pulling “Doctor Strings” was less than my desire to know what was going on with Jeff.  I called and identified myself.  “I need to speak with the pathologist.”  I explained the negative scan combined with the terrible blood test results and asked for her thoughts.  “But… that can’t be.”  I argued.  “He doesn’t have a chronic disease.”  That was as far as she would speculate with me.

“Which radiologist read the scan?”  Jeff gave me a name.  “Hmm… too bad.  I don’t like how he reads his tests.  I’ll talk with Dr. Weaver.”  He was a good friend, but we still called him Doctor. 

I went to the surgery waiting area.  “Hi.  I’ve tried calling Dr. Weaver, but he’s not answering.  I’m sure he’s in surgery.  Could you just give him a message?  Please ask him to call me when he has a few minutes.  I’ll be in Jeff’s room.”

My phone rang not long after.  “Yes, Dr. Weaver would like you to come to the O.R.”   It was the surgery room receptionist.

They took me to a pre-op holding area.  Sterile.  Curtain dividers.  Not much privacy really.  Not much warmth.  It’s so different being the one sitting and waiting instead of being the one popping your head in to say hello.  It seemed like a long wait.  Dr. Weaver didn’t sit down when he arrived.  His usual smile was absent.  He just said, “Come with me,”  and started walking down the hall.  I followed behind.

“Did you read the scan?” I asked. 

“I did.  I have something to show you.  Follow me.”

Leave a comment


  1. I like it. I want to read more.

    • The story has been completed, but it hasn’t been written yet. It will be posted as it is written. Thanks for reading. God bless.

  2. Jon

     /  February 27, 2011

    ps the story is never completed…just a chapter…


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