If you don’t see Karen or me around the restaurant this week, it’s because we had to admit her to the hospital today (Friday) for severe abdominal pain. It happened all of a sudden on Tuesday evening with symptoms that appeared to be a muscle spasm in her lower right rib cage. Some aspirin and a heat compress provided some temporary relief, enough for her to get some sleep and wake up the next day, a little sore, but able to carry on with her daily duties.

But by the end of the day Wednesday, the pain had come back with a vengeance, in her words, as painful as childbirth. Nothing provided relief. I can attest to her high tolerance for pain. This is the woman who bore both children without epidural or other pain blocker, you know, like the pioneers did it. Needless to say, neither of us got much sleep that night.

By Thursday morning, I felt very helpless, and began consulting her physicians, who told us to take her to the hospital for relief and immediate care. They were able to help manage the pain, do a few tests, and conclude from the CAT scan that there was a thickening in the lining of the abdomen (omentum) and that the doctor felt it might be related to her cancer. It seemed the air left the room, as it was hard to breathe as we feared we may have to open another chapter of the book that we thought was closed.

The advice was to consult with her oncologist, which we did this morning (Friday). To our relief, they said her symptoms were not consistent with cancer, and that a tumor should not cause this much pain. It took some convincing, but the doctor and nurse practitioner got Karen to agree to be admitted into the hospital for immediate observation.

So I checked her in today around 1:30pm and the plan of attack is to manage the pain and try to determine its cause. The puzzling condition is that piercing, excruciating pain is the only symptom. No fever, no nausea, no vomiting, no heartburn, no radiating pain. She has an appetite, and can eat and drink normally. Possibilities include hernia, gastritis, diverticulitis, ulcer, and omental torsion. The plan is to try to eliminate each of these one at a time.

Thank you all for your prayers and concern. Special thanks to our incredible staff for picking up the slack this week and covering for both Karen and I. My worries are many right now, but the well being of the restaurant is the least of them. I will use this forum to continue to keep updates published. I wish I could answer your calls, but trust that I appreciate your effort, which translates into concern for Karen and me.

I get by with a little help from my friends