Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dad of the Year?

Happy little trees
When you work on a boat six months out of the year you are bound to miss some things.
Birthdays, Anniversaries, Christmas, assorted other holidays (my favorite being Arbor Day), and the birth of your son (that’s a fun story).

Sometimes you also get to miss the less than enjoyable things. 

Like your 5 year old daughter going to the hospital for surgery to get her appendix removed.

My daughter had, what we thought, was a bit of a stomach bug for the last two days that I was home. She was nauseous and had a fit (or two) of throwing up. Nothing terrible. She is a grade school kid who attends a petri-dish called kindergarten. A stomach bug or a cold can be expected. Thankfully, she was feeling much better on day #2 and accompanied me to the airport for my journey back to work. 
The next day, she spiked a fever and was just generally miserable and not her usual joyous self. So off to the urgent care clinic she went.
They too, were under the impression that it may just be a stomach bug. But the pediatrician seemed to think that something didn’t just add up. [Bad pun Alert] His gut feeling (uggghh) was that there was something else that may be the problem. 

She doesn't look miserable

So off to the hospital they went. 
Blood tests, poking and prodding, ultra-sound, and some other assorted tests later, the people at the hospital thought that she might have appendicitis. But they weren’t sure. Mainly due to the fact that my daughter wasn’t your atypical appendicitis sufferer. Most people are in so much pain and so miserable that they are hardly able to function. Not my daughter. Nope. She was giggling and playing around and poking her brother. Miserable was not an adjective you would have used to describe her. So they gave her some IV fluids and some antibiotics to try and clear up the “stomach bug”, as we were still calling it. 

The next morning she was her usual jovial self. The hospital was all set to discharge her and send her on her way. And then she spiked a fever again. Back to the drawing board.
This time they went full on crazy with the tests. Blood work. Ultrasound. CAT scan. DOG scan. Some other scan. The full Monty.

Might have appendicitis, turned into, “She needs to go to the children’s hospital in Charlotte because she HAS appendicitis.”
So off to Charlotte they went.

Now fast forward two days, and they are on the way home. 

Minus one appendix.

My kids are troopers. My son had pneumonia and spent over a week in the hospital. My daughter had appendicitis and could have cared less and wanted to play in the playground at the hospital the whole time. It’s a good thing they inherited their pain tolerance from their mom.

And what did Dad contribute to this whole situation? 
Not a G#@-damn thing! 
I’m on the boat. Seven-hundred miles away. I have a cell phone. That’s about it. 
I’m not quite sure it propels me into the category for running for “Dad of the Year”. But it doesn’t make me feel any better about it. 
Missing birthdays is one thing. 
Not being there for your kid while they are in the hospital is something completely different.
I like my job. But I really hate my job too.

I would be a total s#$t if I didn’t mention Shandi and Jon, our friends who stepped up to the plate and hit it out of the ball park for us. They were nice enough to watch my son and do all of things that I couldn’t do while my daughter was in the hospital. I am forever in debt to them and all of our other friends that offered to help. THANK YOU!!!

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