Mike requested I get some food on the way over to the hospital for him. El Pollo Loco was the only thing that came to mind that would be quick and somewhat wholesome. I knew my stomach was doing somersaults, so I couldn't imagine what his tummy was feeling.
I was on a mission for chicken, rice, and Diet Coke. While ordering the food it seemed the options were endless. Every time I answered, more questions came. White or dark meat? Green or red salsa? Hot or mild? Corn or flour tortilla? Pinto or black beans? One or two napkins? Will you be having flan? Would you like to upgrade your meal? Would that be medium or large? Boxers or briefs? IT NEVER SEEMED TO END. I could have plucked my own chicken, had it cooked and chopped up myself for the amount of time it took to get out of there.
Julie and I arrived in the ER waiting room to find Mike in a Vicodin haze still a bit shocked with the news of his brain intruder. His parents and brother were there, so she offered to step out unless I needed her. I will always appreciate her instincts to be by my side and make sure I was not alone in supporting Mike. I hope to follow her example for someone else one day.
There was a lot of waiting and nervous chatter among us. We found a private room in a hallway where Nick gave Mike a priesthood blessing. It was comforting and provided peace and hope. I think of that blessing often, especially when I feel fear.
Mike eventually got his own little triage room with a curtain. Two of his sisters arrived and he began to look like a VIP with all those chairs pulled up around his bed. He relayed what little information he had to all of us and we tried our best to make him laugh and talk about anything. I don't think I said much, actually, but somehow conversations were going among us and that was wonderful. It helped pass the time and push away scary thoughts. Soon enough Mike was wheeled away for his MRI and a very L O N G hour after that the Dr. came back with results. Everyone was guided to the waiting room except Mike and I.
He told us it is a large tumor in the pituitary gland, that they are usually not cancerous, and that it's about an inch and a half. It is located where the optic nerves cross. He said it is not a life-threatening tumor, but it is large and he will need to work with a neurosurgeon early this week to discuss next steps. He explained it has been growing for years and had nothing at all to do with Mike's dirt bike accident. That point was important for Mike to emphasize often. That man loves his dirt bike.
We both felt some relief that he would not be rushing off to immediate surgery. He was eager to go home if he could. He asked me to tell the family in the waiting room. They came back in and admitted they had listened by the curtain to hear the news before going to the waiting room. I love them for that! They came back experts on the topic with all they were able to google in those few minutes and offered us more insight.
We are hoping to get him in with the neurosurgeon in the next couple days.
To be continued.....