I'm a Living Rolling Blackout in These Foolish Things

  • Feb. 16, 2021, 7:23 a.m.
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  • Public

The thing about life is that you can make the most elaborate plans, get every single detail worked out in your mind and on paper, pull off what you think are miracles in the way of having everything put together like a fine Swiss timepiece, your tiny world can still fall apart in a split second.

Yesterday, through the area’s worst record-breaking cold snap (that continues), complete with rolling blackouts lasting hours and hours on end…through Best Bud getting to the hotel during a dangerous winter storm and bringing snacks and rubbing my feet to get to the pressure points that would help me clear my colon…through getting ready for surgery in the morning in a hotel room without power, and my poor dad getting so nervous and losing his wallet and searching the whole hotel over and over (and finding it in his hotel room)…through heart-wrenching conversations and well-wishes and beautiful moments, and AFTER getting to the hospital safely, I checked in and was told I could have one visitor ONLY at the hospital, we had Best Bud be that person, so she went back out to park her car in visitor parking.

While I was in a waiting area until Best Bud got back I saw that my phone was ringing, but the iphone lit up saying it was a Spam Risk so I didn’t answer the phone.

But then, I saw that Spam Risk left a message, so I thought I better double check to see what it was. Sure enough, Spam Risk was actually the hospital telling me that they had an URGENT message for me. Hm. This seemed weird as I was already at the hospital and they’d already checked me in?

I called the number and I guess it was the operating room telling me that the whole place was flooded and I’d have to reschedule surgery!

Reschedule surgery!! This, after multiple hotel rooms, braving storms, making plans for friends to FLY IN to help with aftercare, for my mental state to be in the optimal place…the list goes on and on as to what we all had planned to happen for the next couple of weeks. It felt like intricate details that were put together like, well, like SURGERY were crumbling in my well-scrubbed hands.

By that time Best Bud was sitting next to me and we just looked at each other, dumbfounded. I searched my phone to find the surgeon’s office number (since the surgeon and the hospital are two separate entities) and called the office on-call staff (of course the office was closed because it was a HOLIDAY, right?!) to ask when this surgery would be rescheduled and they told me that someone would call me back whenever they could. So I reminded the person on the phone that this is CANCER we are talking about and she said she’d mark my message urgent.

And that was that.

Best Bud and I, still sitting in those waiting room chairs asking ourselves, what are we going to tell my parents who were back in the freezing hotel with off-and-on power. How to even untangle this TANGLE!

Oh, and also? Did you know that Mercury is in Retrograde?? Of course it is.

We decided to drive back in their direction, but to stop at the grocery store to pick up more food for them since all of the restaurants around were closed. Like, literally EVERYTHING was closed. And we drove up to the grocery store and the power was out at the grocery store, so we were turned away.

We gathered every piece of food we had, some leftover soup that Best Bud brought, I still had a gatorade and some bone broth for surgery prep, some breakfast bars, some gummy bears and some other candy and packed it up to take to mom and dad. And I was also starving! And told Best Bud that I desperately needed a glass of wine (we had a little left over from the night before when Best Bud had some by the fire with my parents while I prepped and didn’t drink!).

Got to their dark hotel room (still no power) and knocked on the door and my dad opened the door and his face looked like he’d seen a ghost! We all hung out in the room trying to figure out what to do for a minute and then decided to move to the hotel lobby where they still had a roaring gas fire. Man, that gas fire ended up being the best feature ever. It was literally the only place where I felt comfortable in that whole hotel.

At this point all I really wanted to do was curl up into a ball and roll away. I still feel that way.

But by the end of our conversation, we decided that mom and dad would spend the night at the hotel so that they wouldn’t have to drive home in the dark (and the power is out at their house anyway) and make their way back the next day, which is now today.

Best Bud got me home and all tucked inside. My apartment building is also part of government building so the rolling blackouts don’t affect me here due to the fact that the government buildings are exempt, so there is heat and means of taking a hot shower and cooking. I called my parents to see if they had power yet at the hotel and they said not yet so I asked them to come here and they said they just wanted to sit tight. I told them to get more blankets from the front desk and just pile them on.

I talked with my doc Jeff, who was so shocked again that I’d gone through yet another colon prep (which is harsh on the old pipes, actually) to tell him that I am going to have to do it AGAIN in the near future - third time’s a charm? Ha. He told me to do a slow prep the whole time until I can get to surgery again. This means things like protein shakes and soft food. My poor, damaged innards!!

So I’m here. Still with Mass in the Ass. Still waiting to hear when surgery will be rescheduled. About to call my folks to see how they are doing. About to think about texting my boss to tell him that I didn’t have surgery yesterday and to maybe log back into work to forget about all of this for a while.

I just about can’t right now. I’m about to do all of the above and just go fetal for a while.

I love you all and thank you for the wishes, thoughts, prayers and hate to ask you to do it again in the near future…but I’m gonna need you to do it again in the near future, okay?

I love you more than words can ever express.

Stay warm, protect yourself and your loved ones,

Elaine Benes February 16, 2021

I cannot believe all you went through, and are continuing to go through. Jesus. I’m so sorry.

Ginger Snap Elaine Benes ⋅ February 16, 2021

I know. It's baffling and distressing, but we continue...

IpsoFacto February 16, 2021

If anyone ever asks what the meaning of “cluster fuck” is, just copy this entry and send it to them. Sending you much love.

Athena February 16, 2021


pandora February 16, 2021

I cannot even imagine this. What are the chances.

sparklespeterson February 16, 2021


Deleted user February 16, 2021

Your PB team will always be here!

A whole surgery area flooded, crazy!

Florentine February 16, 2021

I am not quite sure how you managed to hold yourself together with so much grace. I would have burst into tears immediately! I'm so sorry the surgery was a no-go yesterday. Coming down off of all the prep and endorphins and stress of surgery AND a huge storm must feel so intense and traumatic.

Be as gentle as you can to yourself today. Don't call Boss until tomorrow. Curl up in fluffy blankets and stream something that will transport you out of the present for a few hours!

Gangleri February 16, 2021

How could they not know as you were checking in? That’s terrible.

Firebabe February 16, 2021

I feel this so hard. I was supposed to have a hysterectomy back in November and the day of the surgery there was an issue with the insurance clearance. I ended up having to forego surgery and reschedule it -- all after I'd already done the laxative cleanse, and no eating for 24 hours. I had a good cry, made my husband take me out for a ginormous breakfast, and then stayed in bed for the rest of the day. It's already a stressful experience having to back out after all that prep, and mental preparation, and then you had a weather / electrical crises to contend with as well. Big hugs to you, and your friend and your parents.

WizeArtWorx February 16, 2021

What the actual F??? That's insane. I can imagine it's bad enough having to prep for something like that even once but this is so much worse!

I'm so sorry. Hang in there as best you can. We're all thinking of you ❤❤❤

WeAreStarStuff February 16, 2021

Freaking Mercury. It goes direct on the 20th.

I hope they can reschedule you quickly and I’m so sorry you had to go through the extra stress. 💜

Complicated Disaster February 16, 2021

Hopefully they'll reschedule you real soon. I feel we are on a parallel course. I also had calls from the hospital while I was actually in surgery prep. And I also got rescheduled at the last minute. And here I am fit and well. Here's to you continuing down the same path! <3 xx

.bob February 16, 2021

Unreal, and soooo stressful. Anyone would want to be in the fetal position at this point. I am so sorry, and of course, we will not let up on the well wishes thoughts and prayers for you. Stay safe xoxoxo

Fred February 16, 2021

I am so, so sorry that this happened to you. Once a very long time ago (I was a teenager), I had a big surgery canceled at the last minute. It wasn’t anything serious but it was meant to help me regain function of my arm and was to involve a ten day hospital stay and anesthesia in the OR every day for a week. It was canceled the morning of, and though I hadn’t left for the hospital yet, I remember vividly the crushing disappointment of having mentally prepared for this big event only to have it canceled at the last minute. I couldn’t imagine going on with my life (school!) as normal when I was meant to be in hospital. And that was without the urgency of your surgery. So I completely relate and I’m so sorry. I hope you are all at least warm and that you get word of rescheduling soon.

plushcreep February 16, 2021

I am so frustrated for you. Really hope you get that surgery rescheduled ASAP. I can't imagine the mental yo-yo you must be going through right now!

Jinn February 17, 2021

They need to get that hospital mess cleaned up now and get on with it . Hospitals are supposed to be better than that . I am so sorry this happened . They should be apologizing all over themselves. :-( Poor You and your poor parents. This really was such a storm. Hugs! ❤️

Ginger Snap Jinn ⋅ February 17, 2021

The storm continues for the next couple of days. At this point, I'm glad they canceled the surgery because this whole city/state has been declared a disaster area. Everywhere, all over town, pipes are bursting and buildings are flooding. I wouldn't be surprised if there are more issues at the hospital. So honestly, I'm happy to wait until after this disaster.

Jinn Ginger Snap ⋅ February 17, 2021

I can imagine , I have heard it is terrible there :-( I am just sorry you have had to wait and worry longer. Keeping you in all my prayers. ❤️ This weather needs to go !!!

Marg February 17, 2021

OMG what an absolute nightmare! I’m so so sorry you had to go through all of that - I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to hear that message! Our prayers are at the ready for the next time - have no fear :)

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