Saturday afternoon Mike had a spill on his dirt bike. Nothing seemed serious about it. A lengthy cut ran along the inside of a thigh, a small scrape on the other leg's knee, and a headache. He returned to the car and insisted his friends continue their fun while he rested and waited for them. While somewhat shaken, nothing felt out of sorts.
The following morning he awoke with a tight neck. While gargling mouthwash he was not able to tip his head back at all. Concern grew and he told me he was going to Urgent Care. He said it was probably nothing, but would be back soon. I tended to the kids and made some phone calls to prepare for my afternoon church meeting.
After an hour I texted him to see if he had seen the doctor. His simple reply was 'yes' followed with 'will be home soon'. Another hour later I texted him again and asked what was going on. He immediately called me back. I did not like the sound of his voice. He spoke in a slow, forced calmness that breathed a kind of worry louder than a voice could try to shout.
He explained there was no injury as a result of the dirt bike fall. Then he paused. A long pause. He told me I needed to sit down and he didn't know how to tell me this. Sylvia was playing on the computer. I sat on the tan couch near her, the one the Andersons gave us when we lived in California. This is where I would sit to hear knews I was scared to hear. These scenes happen in movies. It's never supposed to happen in real life.
"They found something," he said. "In my brain. A mass. It's either a aneurysm or a tumor. If it's an aneurysm I have to have surgery today." Once he started talking it all came out at once like rapid fire shots driving into the middle of my stomach. With a tight throat and a keen awareness of the little children within earshot, I somehow moved my body into another room with privacy while my mind digested the information. It took all my will to not beam my body into the air and fly over rooftops to get to him and hold his hand. Luckily for our children I cannot fly, so they were not left in the emotional dust of the situation.
Eff. EFF. In the privacy of our master bedroom, that place where all our magic happens, I was off the phone and swearing quietly to myself. Not the ideal poster child of coping. My mobile was dead; I plugged it into the first outlet my eyes found: next to my drum kit. I cast a texting net to 3 friends at once. Hunched down next to my snare drum and under the hi-hat I answered as Julie called. Through tears and panic I spat out the words "Mike has an aneurysm or tumor" and she said she was on her way. Then I called my mom and gave her the brief rundown through a mouth that felt at though it were talking through quicksand. I cut her short right after she said she could come.
I took a deep breath and gathered the children into the living room. We turned off the television and I kindly (without the eff word! yay!) told them we had a medical emergency to talk about. We knelt together and somehow I had my wits about me to explain the situation in simple words with peace. It was important to me that I took this moment to teach them how to ask for peace, so we did. Mike was on speaker phone while we prayed. Sylvia told him she was worried about Daddy. Then she told him she had a bloody nose she had earlier with so much excitement you would have thought Mickey Mouse visited our home! Evan asked if dad would have to have his head cut open. That's when we eneded the call and soon help arrived at my door.
Alicia and Dave took the kids for us so I could drive to the hospital (not fly, sadly). Julie arrived at the same time and jumped in to ride in the car with me. My mom was on her way for the long shift with the kids. Dawn was already on stand-by and started collecting chocolate for me. I am so, so, so glad for my amazing friends and mom.
To be continued.....