This has been a most eventful day

I picked up Mama soon after 7:00am to go to Dorchester General Hospital in Cambridge, MD.  This was the day that she was to have an EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) to determine the progress she has made since her esophagal cancer two years ago.

“I’m dreading this,” she confided in me as we were driving over.  “I just wish it was over.”

“I don’t blame you, Mama,” I said.  “I don’t like it either, and they aren’t even doing it to me.”  I did keep her mind somewhat distracted, though, on the way there, because I was in dire need of a ladies room and there seemed to be none with the amenities that appealed to ladies of our upbringing on that long, long road between Bridgeville and Hurlock.  I was getting more and more concerned as the miles passed, and even began to look appraisingly at some of the roadside factories and wonder what proximity their ladies rooms might be with the front door.

Just when I thought that there would surely be a catastrophe, we came into the town of Hurlock, and there, right on the edge of town was this ramshackle beer joint/grocery store/ truck stop sort of thing.  It looked like it could possibly at least have restrooms (at this point, this was all that mattered) and I hurriedly pulled Mama’s sweet car up in front of it and threw it into park.  I did not even bother to turn off the key, and jumped out.  As I hastily shut the car door, I tried to ignore the two bedraggled looking black men lounging around an upside down fifty gallon drum, nursing a brown bag and eyeing me with bleary eyes.  I hurried down the sidewalk and to the front door.  Almost every available window space was covered with homemade white paper banners heralding COORS 12 PACK $—–, BUDWEISER $ —- and BUDWEISER LITE $ —- and PAPST BLUE RIBBON $—–. (and lots of others that I forget!).  I tried not to look at them as I sailed through the door.  Once inside, I was pleasantly surprised to find an atmosphere not unlike a slightly rumpled gas station shop.  There was everything there — except a sign indicating where the restrooms were.  My heart sank as I saw a brown door at the back of the store that had a passage lock and a sign that said:

NO PUBLIC RESTROOMS

BY ORDER OF THE MANAGER

POSITIVELY NO EXCEPTIONS!!!

Except that from where I stood, all I could see was the “No public restrooms” part of the sign.  (And my state inspector husband has told me over and over again that no business in Delaware can deny a customer the use of a restroom.  It is against the law.)  So I sidled up to the checkout counter and looked the ruggedly handsome young Iranian in the eye.

“Sir, I’m sorry.  I know your sign says ‘No public restrooms, but I am in desperate need of —”  Before I could finish my sentence, he had turned and picked up a key behind him and dropped it into my hand.  I was so thankful!  I made my way to the back of the store and then I saw the rest of the sign.  YIKES!  If I had seen it before, I would never have had the courage to ask.   (I don’t know what I would have done, but I promise you, it would not have been pretty!)  I unlocked the door and pushed it open, wondering what to expect.  It was not at all filthy (except some of the inscriptions on the walls) and it smelled of disinfect and soap.  It was rather dark, but it was adequate, and all I could think of was how grateful I was for it.  I came out, locked the door behind me, made my way back up to the checkout counter and returned the key.

“Thank you,” I said to the young man, wondering how I could delicately express my gratitude.  To my surprise, his eyes were cold and contemptuous.  I managed another weak attempt at thanks and fled.  Through the front doors, past the two men, still lounging by their barrel, and into the safety of Mama’s presence.    She did not scold or criticize but she looked somewhat askance.

“I can’t believe you went in there,” she said.

“I almost can’t either,” I said, “but it was necessary!”  (It really, really was!)

We made short work of the distance between Hurlock and Cambridge and came safely and on time to the hospital.  We were scarcely in when they called Mama to go back to change into the hospital garb, and then they told me to wait in the waiting room until they had the IV started.  After about a half an hour, I inquired about whether they had put the IV in yet, and it was another 10 minutes until they let me go back.  And then in about ten more minutes they sent me out again because they were ready to take her to surgery.

In a relatively short time, Dr. Murand poked his cheerful, youthful face around the corner and asked for Mrs. Yoder’s family.  He waved me out into the hall, and his eyes were so delighted and kind.  “Everything went great,” he told me.  He waved two pages of repulsive pictures under my nose that he was treating like a delightful Rembrandt painting.  “If you look right here, you can see how smooth and healed this is.  We  have some inflammation here-” (he pointed to a disgusting looking blob of something labeled “Antrum”) “but it isn’t anything to worry about.  She looks so good.  I didn’t even find anything to biopsy.  She is good to go for a year!”

One of the things that Mama was concerned about was that she might need to have the stricture stretched again, so I asked Dr. Murand if he had done that.

“Nope, I didn’t see that as being necessary!” he said.  “She is doing so well.  There is just this peace about her.  I knew the minute I saw her that she was doing good.  She was glowing.  I think it is her faith and her supportive family (YEAH, US!!!).  Everything is just fine!”

“We think our Mama is pretty impressive,” I told him.  “She has an incredible will to live, and she just marches on.!”

Then he told me something that was just so special to hear.  “You know,” he said, “we have a few people who have come through what she did, and are healthy — at least somewhat healthy.  But your mother is far and away the healthiest person we have ever had come through this.  She is just amazing!”   A person can go on that kind of good news for a very long time!

And then I came flying home and finished up just a few loose ends on my tax records and did a few loads of laundry.  Around 3:30,  I went to pick up Certain Man (Who had so kindly and graciously gone late to work so that he could get my ladies to their respective centers) and we scrambled to Smyrna to talk to our accountant and give him our paper work.  On the way home, we stopped for supper, just the two of us.  It has been a very long time since that has happened, and it was just so sweet.  Then we came home to discover that Middle Daughter had fed Nettie and Cecilia, (inspite of a rather discouraging day at clinicals) and Youngest Daughter had already left for her quarter final basketball game.

Oh, joy!  She was allowed to play tonight.  And made 7 points and retrieved 13 rebounds.  It would be hard to find a happier girlie tonight in all our fair land.

And so ends this busy, eventful day.  Tomorrow, I make soup for quiz meet, and somehow procure two dozen individually wrapped baked goods for them to sell.  But I won’t have to worry about getting my taxes together.  What a blessed relief that is!

12 Comments

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12 responses to “

  1. Enjoyed your day!!!    THanks for sharing   So happpy that your sweet mama had a good report!

  2. Finding any bathroom, much less a nice clean bathroom with the necessary paper available, can be quite a problem when traveling!! 

  3. Great news about your mother!!! Bless the Lord! And now here I go – your very funny story brings to mind the time I was driving a vanload of 6th graders (my Lisa being one of them) to Inner Harbor in Baltimore. Unfortunately, I got lost and we found ourselves on some really bad streets and allies. The teacher was needing a bathroom as badly as you were today, and suddenly, when I was stopped at a traffic light, she baled out and ran into a bar to find a bathroom! You can believe that her 6th grade students never forgot that!!

  4. So glad your mother had a good report!

  5. Well now IF you ever get in that situation again, you can stop in Federalsburg at the plant where I work – we have a bathroom that is not public but if you go in and mention my name, they will let you use it even if I am not there.  Just turn right at the first light you come to on the road in from Bridgeville and come in the 2nd entrance on the right.  Another tip is that there is a McDonald’s in Federalsburg – just go through the roundabout instead of turning toward Hurlock and turn right at the next light.  I have driven by that store in Hurlock and your writing pictured it exactly as it is – I sure would not want to go in there – I am glad that the Lord kept you safe!!!

  6. I love your story! So pleased your Mother is doing well. Also very pleased you found relief………although it sounded rather scary in more ways than one. In our mid-west we have a chain of Casey’s General Stores,gas station/convenience stores. Usually every town within 20 miles. When I took my last trip on Thanksgiving when I knew most businesses would be closed I checked ahead to be sure all the Casey’s were open along the way. I’ve seen places like you were forced to stop at and it gives me the creeps! You certainly did have a rich full day. I appreciate how you have a way with words BEG.

  7. What an eventful day! I could almost feel the desperation in needing to find a facility! What wonderful news for your Mother. That in itself will give her the boost she needs to keep going on some of the days when life gets hard to handle.

  8. I am so happy your Mother got such rave reports and reviews!  And the rest of your family added to your joy as well! 

  9. DEW here: I, on the other hand, rather enjoy going out in the crisp morning, all bundled up, to clean out the horse corral. When it is frozen solid, there is no smell that my meager nose can detect, and when we work together we quickly get the job done. I don’t go out each day, which possibly adds to my enjoyment when the need arises. It is not one of my “daily tasks”, but a different twist to my morning! : )

  10. Quite a day, and quite a story !!!  I am glad everything was all right at the end of the day!
    Miriam

  11. Stopping by to say “hello” and thank you for your comment!

  12. Thank you for asking about Bruce.  I took him in yesterday for the 2 week follow-up and the pressure was down two more points.  He is doing well.  Doc is pleased.  We will know final results in a month.

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