Sicky McSickerson

Hi, Folks.  Tara here.  Yes…that Tara.

There can only be one reason why I would be posting on Mark’s blog, and given the title of this post, you can probably guess what that reason is.  Those of you that follow him on Facebook are already in the know, and those of you that don’t…why the hell not??

We’ve taken up residence in Room 202 of the local hospital because Mark thought it would be a hoot to come down with acute pancreatitis.  Seriously, I flew all the way up from Nevada for this??

All kidding aside, he’s doing as well as can be expected, thanks to some awesome painkillers.

It started yesterday afternoon after a tasty lunch of fried chinese food.  Almost immediately he felt stomach pains.  Unlike my gallstone attack a few months ago, he wasn’t experiencing any other symptoms, so it was hard to pin down the problem.  Since most guys are full of hot air, we figured it was gas /indigestion and hoped a cap full or two of that nasty pink stuff would take care of the problem.  Seven hours later, the pain was unbearable and I finally convinced him it was time to head to the hospital. 

Damn stubborn men…

After two hours in the waiting room of the ER, he was finally taken to an exam room and given some much needed (albeit not very long lasting) painkillers.  The place was bustling and it took a couple more hours before he was wheeled away for a CT scan and ultrasound.  Tests confirmed that the pancreas was inflamed, there was a gallstone or two, and the bile duct thingy was blocked by one of the pesky buggers.

No, I’m not very good with details and my medical jargon is way cuter.

Anyway, we’re here for the duration.  Gallbladder surgery can’t be performed until the blockage is removed and the blockage can’t be removed until the pancreas settles down.  No food or drink, which for a foodie like Mark is absolute torture.  I made sure I brought in a Pumpkin Latte this morning as punishment for ruining my trip.

I kid.


Seriously, though, I’m glad this happened while I was here.  Mark and I are always talking about our ‘paralells’; things we have in common, likes and dislikes, similar experiences.  When we first started dating I admitted to him that there were lots of times I didn’t comment on his FB or blog posts because I didn’t want to sound like a broken record.  “Me too!” “Me too!” “Me too!”  It really is crazy how much we have in common, and this is just another example.

I was on vacation back in August and had planned on four nights in Seattle with my mom.  My last night there, we cooked a simple barbecue and I snacked on all kinds of fatty (yummy!) foods.  Twelve hours later I was at the ER with a gallstone attack.  My third in almost as many months.  Apparently, I’m pretty stubborn too.

Long story short, I ended up staying in Washington an extra two weeks to have surgery and recover long enough to make the fourteen hour drive back to Ely by myself.  The biggest disappointment was missing out on seeing Awolnation with Mark the evening after my gallstone attack.  The biggest highlight was seeing him on my way home, six days after my surgery, and realizing an almost nine year friendship had the potential to become something so completely wonderful.

Yes, everything happens for a reason.  Neither of us have a clue what that reason is at this point, but I’m grateful I had the opportunity to be there for someone I love so much.  I wish I could do more.  I want to snap my fingers and make his pain go away.  I want to win the lottery so he won’t have to worry about paying the medical bills.  I know these things won’t happen, but I do know that we’ll get through this. Together.  And I know that he would do the same thing for me.


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

42 thoughts on “Sicky McSickerson

  1. You even write kinda like him 🙂
    But… you guys need to cut it out with the gallstone attacks. Sheesh. Feel better soon, Sicky.


  2. Couple who have gall stones together, stay together! Really though, I’ve gone through a few of those attacks and it’s painful! Take care of him and you Tara, he’s so lucky to have you.


    1. Esther – are you going to have surgery to remove yours? My doctors are saying if it isn’t done now they’ll just keep coming back, and Tara’s experience seems to validate that.

      “Lucky” barely scratches the surface!


  3. Holy crap you guys! I’m so sorry this happened during what was suppose to be such a great visit….but I am happy Tara is there to help…she’s a keeper, Mark 🙂

    And if I win the lotto I’ll pay his medical bills. Yours too, Tara. Heck! I’ll pay EVERYONE’S medical bills!

    Get well soon Mark!


    1. We do write alike, huh? I guess that’s one of the reasons we were drawn to each other! It was Tara’s idea to do the guest post, and I jumped all over that. Thanks for the well wishes, Kathy.


  4. Hi Tara!

    Like others have mentioned in their comments, you even WRITE like Mark!

    Great post!

    Thanks so much for posting in Mark’s absence; letting us know what’s going on. What a blessing it was that you were there – whew!.

    ” I know these things won’t happen, but I do know that we’ll get through this. Together. And I know that he would do the same thing for me.”

    You sure will.

    Please give Mark my best regards for a speedy recovery, and tell him we’re all sharing ‘good vibes.”

    Thanks again for letting us know.

    You guys take care.


    1. We figured it was a good idea to keep y’all in the loop. Tara’s a brilliant writer and I’m hoping that she’ll decide to grace us all with her presence here in Blogland. Hint hint, dear…


  5. Wow Tara…well done!! (You know that scene in Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts is at the polo match and is yelling “well done!?”) Yeah, imagine that is me just now!! LOL

    Seriously, I really enjoyed reading this and it is true. You both really do write alike. Mark probably would have mentioned how much he hated missing his trip up here but that’s beside the point.

    Know that I love you both and Mark? I pray for a speedy recovery and hope that all goes well and that you are feeling better very soon!!


    1. Thanks so much, Tracy. And you’re right – I do hate missing my trip up there. I was really looking forward to seeing you guys again. Fortunately, I know there will be plenty of trips north in my future!


  6. Hey Mark, we will keep you in our prayers. Tara, hang in there. As much as I would like to comfort you in saying this shouldn’t be happening because you two are in our constant prayers, it is exactly opposite. Not that you’re not in our prayers but rather the former.

    In the same way you two were brought together because of our prayers it is only now that I realize why I felt the Lord pressing on my heart. It’s really difficult for many to understand these types of things from the carnal viewpoint, thus I really don’t know how to even explain what I know. Well, actually I do. This is happening because God loves you.

    So many people think they have to give up their lives, their fun, and their freedom by serving the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob but the truth is; Seeking God’s will is just the opposite. It provides us life abundantly, incomprehensible joy and more freedom than imaginable.

    I will sum it all up with this. Whether you acknowledge or not, God is Sovereign! He has full power over everything He has created. I don’t believe God made this happen, Mark. But I do believe He allowed this to happen. If you want to take one thing away from what is experience perhaps it can be this: God has set an alarm clock. It’s not an obnoxious buzzing one though. He is simply whispering…”know that I created you for a purpose.”

    It is a spiritual warfare we live in. The devil is going to say, “Yeah, sure! Call on God out of your physical and financial desperation, what a phony!” But God is saying, “Call on me and I will blow your mind with my power and grace” Why? Because He loves you! He loves you so much that He died for you.


  7. I love reading your story 🙂 I randomly found this blog through another one I read, and I have to say, I am a sucker for a love story like yours!
    I hope you feel better soon!


  8. Scratch the lottery plans: Just swap out his author picture on his book for the first picture from this blog, and then you’ll have people buying the books in droves this Christmas. Guilt is a strong motivator.

    I’ve already bought a copy — yet I’d probably buy a dozen more.

    I’m telling ya: Million dollar idea…

    Feel better, Mark. Sheesh…some people will go to great lengths for the chance to be coddled…



  9. Oh no! I’m a million years late and I’m just now catching up on my Google Reader. I’m going to keep reading the other posts and hope are okay – but I’m so sorry! This sucks! Great job taking care of him, Tara.


Add Your Two Cents!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: