Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dolly Parton's Backwoods Barbie Concert and The Meaning of Life

Scent of cherry blossoms in 75 degree weather

Tulips everywhere

At the Hershey Gardens

Tulips at the Hershey Hotel

Did you ever have a 24-hour period that had such emotion packed into it that it seemed so much more than a single day? Well, yesterday was such a day. Harold and I were looking forward to an overnight trip to Hershey to see Dolly Parton perform. The trip was rescheduled from March 4th, our actual anniversary, after Dolly injured her back.

Anyway, Harold had a liver biopsy last week to check his liver status since it has been five years since he was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis. We got the news that the preliminary findings were good, no additional damage to his liver. Yeah!

Then Harold went to the dermatologist yesterday morning to have a wart removed from his arm. Surprise! The doctor felt certain it was actually squamous cell carcinoma, although biopsy results are needed to confirm the diagnosis. The lesion was as large as a dime and the doctor removed it, hopefully all of it. Harold has to return in three weeks to have several other suspicious lesions removed from his hands. The cancer is probably the result of sun exposure with his fair skin combined with his compromised immune system. If the cancer was caught early enough and it hasn't spread, the prognosis is excellent. It is curable in 90-95 % of all cases. Still, any cancer is always scary.

So off to Hershey we was truly a magnificant spring day. We had a lovely meal at the cafe in the Hershey Hotel, a nap, then off to the Hershey Theater to see Dolly. The show was sold out, and there was a long line of people waiting to enter. Harold got in line and I went ahead to get the tickets at the will-call window. Didn't get too far when I saw a man light a cigarette, inhale, and fall over backward. When I saw his eyes roll back, I ran back 20 yards to get Harold. By the time we got back to the man, he was still lying there and no one was actually helping. So Harold started CPR. It was only 5-6 minutes until the ambulance arrived, but it seemed much longer. When the EMT's arrived, they used the defibrillator once and the man regained consciousness. He asked Harold what had happened, then said he thought he would get up and go home. Harold told him he would need to get checked out at the hospital first. Luckily the excellent Hershey Medical Center was only a few miles away. My lasting image was of the trash left on the pavement from the emergency treatment, along with the man's cigarettes and lighter. We never learned his name, but we hope he continues to do well - and maybe gives up smoking. Two and a half years ago, a stranger performed CPR on my Dad and saved his life. Hopefully, Harold paid the favor forward in Hershey.

Finally we are at the concert, and Dolly announced that the man was OK. Good news! She put on a great show, sang for over 2 hours, and played about 15 different instruments. She has also written several thousand songs in her lifetime. Dolly told some good jokes. She thanked us for spending money to come see her, because she needed the cash. Said it takes a lot of money to look that cheap. Dolly said that she injured her back after sleeping on her stomach on a memory-foam mattress. Her husband rolled into the hole she left, and she hurt herself pulling him out! Lastly, she said someone asked her if she would ever run for President. She declined on the basis that there have already been too many boobs in the White House.

So it was a very eventful day, the kind that reminds you to make the most of every day you are given. Having the opportunity to help save someone else's life forces you to stop taking your own blessings for granted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I missed this post. Harold the Hero!!! Everyone should know how to do CPR you never know when or where you may need it.