Here’s something I wrote to a few friends yesterday.  I’ve been preoccupied and concerned about this matter for the past few weeks.  The message kind of explains itself.  If you haven’t heard from me for awhile, or if I haven’t seemed myself, this is a big part of why.
Today was a better.  House doesn’t need a new roof, and I’ll have help with the repairs tomorrow.
Seventy-Six wrote: “l klm k ;../4.”

I had a reply all written out, then had to hold the boy while his mother made him a bottle. I thought it would be fun to let him type on the keyboard, because that is often his greatest desire, and while he wrote nonsense like what you see above, he also managed to strike the sequence that closed the browser window and lost what I’d already written.

This time, I let him write something before I started writing.

We’ve got some more information. For brevity, I’ll cut and paste what I posted at Facebook. Yeah, I know. But my excuse is that many of my relatives spend time on Facebook…The damned wall text boxes only take a few dozen characters.

Christov wrote: “I just sent this to (emailed to younger brother and sister-in-law). What I left out of the message, because I forgot it while writing, is that the Small One will require surgery regardless of the radiological interpretation. Best case is day-surgery that will hopefully not leave a Franken-Baby scar, best-worst-case is neurosurgery and overnight stay that hopefully will not reduce our little monkey to simian intelligence.

This accursed text-box will not accept the entire pasted email message to which I alluded supra. It follows in the next text-box.

The doctor, an old guy who teaches at VUMC and communicates what sounds like sense, said it is most likely a dermoid cyst, and is located where these excrescences are most commonly found. VUMC has scheduled Seventy-Six for a head CT scan, I think they’re called, 31 October. He will have to be sedated in order to remain still for imaging. The scan should reveal whether the cyst extends through the suture line into the skull as a roughly dumb-bell shaped mass or is entirely outside the skull. It appears to be completely covered in bone, is fixed in its position, and is non-pulsile.

We returned home to find a puddle of water near the red tile between the fireplace and the dining area. New shingles, ceiling re-taped and painted, and chimney resealed again.

I so want to smash things.”

I’ve been pissed off all day. Angry with my wife, my house, my life. I expressed myself Godward with profanity. Do a google image search for “dermoid cyst” – they’re pretty disgusting. I have no idea how much the surgery will cost – insurance pays 80%. You know, like if I was a better man I would inhabit better circumstances.

If F-words were bombs Stepford would be a smoking, greasy black pit.

4 thoughts on “Seventy-Six

  1. After everything you wrote about 76, I really learned to like the little fellow, and the way you are Dad for him. Being shocked myself, I understand your anger.
    I just hope this condition will appear less serious as it looks now, and can be taken away without complications.
    The thought of this kid suffering pain is terrifying to me, and I wish I could do something for him. So please, give him a great big bear hug on my behalf, it’s the only thing I can think of.
    And remember!: Even good men have to live through ordeals every now and then.

  2. Thank you. As soon as he and the Cautious One arise this morning, I’ll give the little guy that hug. I never did smash anything the other day, and managed to wait until my wife and baby went to the grocery store to give vent to the profanity I predictably emit when pressed.

    Seventy-Six has not seemed to experience any pain or behavioral changes that might indicate pain or distress related to the cyst. Because it is located outside the orbit of the bony eye-socket, his vision is unaffected.

    I don’t consider myself a particularly good man (which makes it easier to blame myself for the ills that befall my family), but have experienced much of what my co-religionists used to refer to as Providence as pretty good. Certainly I merit harsher circumstances than those I inhabit, but it’s difficult for me to accept that theologically speaking, so does the seemingly innocent little monkey now asleep at the other end of the house.

    John Calvin had some insights into the meaning of suffering which surprised me, coming from a man I’ve always regarded as something of an Augustinian, doctrinaire whip-cracker. Anyway, reading Calvin has lately been of some help to me in getting my mind around what is happening, and understanding does temper my feelings in some degree.

    The prayers, kind words, and good wishes of friends far and near are a big help, too.

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