Ladies and Gentleman, we will begin an all new, hot off the presses release: Don’t F^&$ with the Pancreas, a medical comedy totally approved by Rob Meffe.
My friend and Quisisana* guest Dan Dinaberg suggested that I change the installment names from “episodes” to “blogisodes” which I think is very clever and original. After I Googled it I learned that maybe I am not the very first person to use the word blogisode, but I’m keeping it with thanks to Dr. Dan. Before we get the pancreas party rolling, let me get you caught up with what’s been happening here in My Own Space.
(*Quisisana is a resort in Maine. Rob, my husband and the star of the upcoming series, has been music directing some of the shows for the month of June. Currently Rob, myself, Charlotte and Beatrix are guests at Quisisana, which has a long history for us (I was first on staff here in 1989) and it will become a big player in our medical comedy later on in the story.)
First of all, I’d like to welcome all my friends, subscribers and friends of friends from Facebook. It’s weirdly fun to suddenly have an influx of people who know personal things about me, but who don’t know me personally. That said, I tend to write in a very familiar way, so if I suddenly take off on something and you are like, “Wait, what? Who is she talking about?” send me a message or leave a comment and I will clarify. Hopefully since I just said that I will be aware of it and explain things well. To start, you should know that I am 5’7, have a silky sheet of naturally blonde hair and I am a size two. I regularly run marathons. My favorite food is alfalfa sprouts. No need to read the “About the author” page, I’ve pretty much summed up all you need to know about me.
Second of all, after experimenting with Thirteen and Three, the installments, or as Dr. Dan would say, “blogisodes” will not go beyond 1,000 words per day. Beyond that and I start to get sloppy, especially since I will crank these out (along with pictures and the occasional video) every day on the weekdays. We will take weekends off so people can catch up on their reading. There will not ever be a pop quiz (but that would be fun). I will try, as often as I humanly can, to leave you with a cliff hanger because as a high school student I spent a lot of quality homework time studying the writing intricacies of Days of Our Lives. Since I’m still trying to prove that there is good in watching too much TV as a teenager, let’s see what I learned.
And NOW, (542 words in) we begin our story. I will give you a little more story today since I did a big word-count-eating set up to the story. Naturally, I’m already breaking my own rules a mere 10 minutes after I type them.
Oh wait, two more things. I will be required to drop one F-bomb in this blog (and it is coming up soon) but know that generally speaking I avoid a lot of cursing in my writing. I can’t make any promises if you meet me in person, especially if I just walked in to discover that my coffee pot wasn’t sitting precisely under the water dispenser and now "I have coffee all over the (insert expletive) counter and I have to completely re-make the (insert expletive) coffee while Beatrix is yelling for her waffle after getting up too (insert expletive) early."
The final thing—and this might really surprise you—but I am NOT a medical doctor. WHAT? That’s right I am not. Please do not take any of my (probably stunning) medical insight as fact or as a valid version of Web MD. Don’t go into your doctor and be all, “Sharon Wheatley says I have (fill in the blank) because my symptoms are (fill in the blank)” and then I get sued and I have to beg for money for lawyers on my blog and people are jonesing for blogisodes of, “How I met with poverty and despair via my blog.”
That’s just a hot mess waiting to happen.
And now (849 words in) Don’t F^&* with The Pancreas Blogisode One
It all started with a February tuna melt.
My husband Rob is a smart guy who has equally smart friends. His oldest and dearest friend, the best man at his wedding, is a guy named Andy Nowalk. Although Rob studied pre-med at Notre Dame and Andy studied pre-med at Georgetown and they were both accepted into med school, Rob somehow veered off into Musical Theater while Andy has a M.D./Ph.D. Andy is a player in our pancreas play, in fact, we’ll start with a story he tells about his first day of residency.
“On my first day the chief resident took all the new medical students aside and said there are three things you need to know if you want to get through this residency.
1) Eat when you can.
2) Sleep when you can
3) Don’t fuck with the pancreas.”
One might ask at this point what exactly is a pancreas? What does it do, exactly? Don’t hurt your self thinking back to science class, I will give you all the medical background you need, Sharon Wheatley style, in a bit. Just keep reading.
Rob Meffe, 42 years old, slim and healthy-- is a guy who goes to the doctor for three reasons.
1) To get a physical
2) If he has caught some strep throat situation from one of the children and needs an antibiotic.
3) To get his ears cleaned out. Seriously, major wax build up, kind of like the opening sequence of the movie Shrek when he cleans out his ear, sticks a wick in it and lights a candle.
Too gross? Sorry. Hey, it’s a medical comedy! You watch Grey's Anatomy, you can handle this.
This winter, Rob was doing a show at a big theater in New Jersey called The Paper Mill Playhouse and one cold and miserable Saturday (just pick a date, they were all cold and miserable this winter), I decided that visiting Daddy between shows was a good field trip. So, the kids and I drove through a lot of traffic down the West Side Highway, waited in line for the Lincoln Tunnel, and drove on the always pleasant New Jersey Turnpike to spend an hour with Rob for dinner between shows.
We met at a restaurant that serves hot dogs, cheeseburgers, shakes and tater tots—basically food you would find at an ocean boardwalk stand. Perhaps we chose it because we were pretending it wasn’t -20 degrees outside with 7 feet of snow, but regardless, we were the only patrons that particular Saturday night. Rob, in what I thought was an odd choice, got a tuna melt. At the burger joint. At a place that specializes in 27 flavors of milkshakes. I remember having the thought as he took the first bite, “There is no way would I order that in a restaurant that is this deserted, God knows how long that food poisoning on a platter has been sitting in the refrigerator.” The differences between what Rob will eat and what I will eat has been a topic of conversation for years. I, for example, won't eat lunch meat that has been in the frig for more than 3 days, but Rob will still eat it after a week. Even when I say, "God, Rob, it's so slimy!" He'll give it a sniff and say, "Eh, it's probably fine" and scarf it down. He loves left overs (gross) he thinks it is fine to go a week or so beyond the expiration date of eggs and yogurt, you get the point. I'm neurotic, he's not.
So that particular night, at the end of his second show, Rob noticed a little gurgling in his stomach. He brushed it aside and climbed into the company van for the hour and a half commute home.