Thursday, September 13, 2007

Living for a Reason... And Partying at Hospice...

Greetings one and all,
Hope you all are well. Me, I'm doing fair... I'm in the throes of my busiest time of year... My time to travel and do lots of broadcasting. So I haven't seen the sisters in a few days but they remain in the status quo dept. So I guess no news is good news... at least for now. I worry about them but they are fairing okay. Last night, we did something different. I normally get together with some friends from the hospital (okay about 5 doctors, one drug rep, and me) to play poker. Usually we are cheap when it comes to the money we play for... usually nickels, dimes, and at the most, quarters. It's just an excuse to get together and gab and laugh and enjoy ourselves. We've been doing this for the better part of about 15 years. One of the players, Donnie, who was a surgeon at the hospital, was diagnosed with cancer and it's throughout his abdomen and it's mets... which means there's nothing they can do. Donnie knows that and has been pretty okay in understanding it. He lost his wife to the same disease a few years ago and it destroyed him. I think he feels that maybe in death, he can be reunited with the love of his life. Well, Donnie has been moved to hospice. Some of the poker boys decided that instead of playing poker at somebody's house last night, that we'd go see Donnie at hospice and all of us with medical backrounds, we knew it wasn't going to be pretty. But we all love Donnie so it wasn't even a question. I finished my radio show and left and headed over to the hospice. I was kind of surprised. I got there and was expecting it to be really depressing and sad. It was anything BUT that!!! Some of Donnie's nurses from the old outpatient surgery dept. decided to stop out to cheer him up. That huge group was all female. Donnie is about 68 years old and all the girls loved him... like a little teddy bear. Of course, the sensitive guy I am, I had to comment... one of the guys says "geez Donnie, you're quite the ladies man...even now". To which I chimed in "hey boys, that's what happens to short, bald, surgeons..." The place just broke up and Donnie could not surpress his infectious grin. And the poker boys sat at a rec room table with Donnie and he wanted to play poker. So instead of using money, we used sugar packets and dairy creamer packets from the hospice kitchen to gamblewith and someone brought a pack of cards so it was poker night like always. Donnie had a ball. He tired easily but was able to keep up with everything in a pretty good way. We finished playing and helped Donnie back to his room where his nurse was waiting for him to give him his meds for the night. Donnie was woefully thin from this awful disease, but all things considered, didn't look all too bad. I got to spend a few brief moments with him alone and asked him if there was anything I could do for him... "yeah, get me a new stomach" Donnie quipped. I told him I loved him and that I was going to keep praying for him. Donnie's not much of spiritual guy, but he understood my sentiment. So we left and out in the parking lot we decided that our next poker night was going to be back at hospice... I never thought I'd say this... but I actually had a good time there... man, does that sound weird to say... I best get some sleep now... Gotta work and right after that it's to the bus and head to Iowa to broadcast some hockey games. I'm beat... I need to sleeeeeeeep!!!

2 comments:

Sundae said...

What a wonderful moment to share. You have to be a one of a kind guy. No wonder the gal pal thinks you are so nice! I will pray for Donnie too. I hope he will not have much pain as he travels the rough road he is on. Take care of yourself.

Jackson said...

Hey :) I'm sorry I missed ya today. I'm happy to hear that you had a good time last night :)