Cliff Hanger

I’m a cartoon character who ran off the cliff and has only now realized it. Looking down, not sure if there’s a tree branch to catch me or if I’m about to go splat.

Or Parker is. I think his cardiologist was trained by Spock.

Me: Can he have his carpal tunnel surgery?

Dr Spock: I don’t see why not. His heart isn’t weak. He just does into atrial fibrillations. If that happens on the operating table and he goes into cardiac arrest, they have defibrillators in all the surgical rooms so they can take care of it.

Me: Making “seriously?” face, then giving thumbs up to doctor “Okay then”

Why off the cliff?
Dr Spock: He has an abnormal MRI which is consistent with amyloidosis. Don’t be too worried. There are treatments for that if he has it.

Me: Good

Dr. Spock We’re scheduling a test to find out if he has it.  That can take up to five weeks to be scheduled.

Puts order in. Does NOT put order for a follow-up appointment with him.

Later after googling cardiac amyloidosis, reading Stanford Cardiology Center

Blah, blah, blah, chemo therapy, blah, blah, stem cell replacement, possible heart replacement. Blah, blah, blah – life expectancy improved from months to a few years.

Me: What?  What? How is this good news? What would bad news be?

Reads it to Parker who, seeing my face, says, “Don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere. I haven’t finished harassing you yet.


How Parker and I have handled it. Humanly.

We picked at each other for a day and a half. Me: You’re going 70 in a 55 zone.

Parker: Why are you parked like that? That’s the wrong direction.

Me: I’ll park how I like. I’m not breaking any laws.

We finally admitted to each other we were both frightened.


Then I became furious with his father for about ten minutes. Why furious with him? There is a test called Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE).  The higher a person scores on itthe more likely a person is to develop certain chronic diseases.  By more likely, I’m not talking 50% more likely.  Instead it’s 3-4 times more likely.  Diseases such as diabetes, asthma (Parker has had that since he was 30 years old), autoimmune diseases and chronic heart disease.

Thanks to his abusive, alcoholic father,  Parker scores 7 out of 10 on that test. I wanted to punch his father. Which would be difficult since (a) I don’t know how to punch people and (b) he would have to not be dead.

I want to say, “You not only ruined his childhood, you’ve ruined his entire life.”

Actually he hasn’t. Parker has had a good life, in spite of his health issues.

Placing blame. How does that ever help?

As I write I want to bite my nails, to weep, to know. Just tell me, does he have it or not? Five weeks until he’s tested? I asked the family to pray that the test will be sooner rather than later. It’s right in the middle of the five week wait. Two and half weeks after the doctor ordered it.

Finally I fall into faith:

As I prayed I felt that voice I know as God say “Are you worried about Parker Agard?  Don’t be.  He’ll be fine.”

I said, “What other Parker would I be worried about? Why use his last name?”

Then I relaxed. Also Parker was recently called into the Bishopric as first counselor and in his blessing was told that his health would improve.

And there is that patriarchal blessing in which he’s promised he can live as long as he desires.  It didn’t say in what condition he would be living though.

I feel as if I’m going to be hanging over that cliff for three weeks.  And while I’d love to say I’m relaxing and giving it all to God, I’m not.

Log in to write a note
February 9, 2020

It’s always so difficult to wait for tests & then the results of this sort. Sending positive thoughts y’all’s way. I know it’s near impossible, but try to think positively until you find out.