(upbeat electronic music)
- Welcome to Ear Biscuits, I'm Link.
- And I'm Rhett.
This week at the round table of dim lighting,
we are exploring the question how do we deal
with a medical crisis and let me just say first of all,
we're both fine.
Neither one of us are personally in a medical crisis.
But-- - This is something
that happened to Link-- - Over the past week.
- Not personally but, personally but--
- I have been dealing with a family medical crisis
which I'd love to just be able to verbally process through
with you, gentle listener, as well as you, gentle friend.
- And I don't wanna-- - Gentleman.
- I'm not trying to spoil anything here.
- But we should--
- This person that you're gonna be talking
about is fine now. - Yes.
- 'Cause we're gonna be having fun.
This is gonna be also light-hearted.
- Yeah. - We're gonna talk about
some serious things that happened but we're also gonna be
having a good time joking because in the end,
everything is okay.
Well this is what happened
and I'll walk through the details and unpack it.
- Well first we gotta let people know,
we're gonna keep telling you--
- Oh about our dates. - Educating you about
where we're going to be.
We are coming to a town near you if you happen
to be in Las Vegas, we're gonna be there on June 21st,
Salt Lake City June 22nd, Denver the 23rd,
Milwaukee the 25th, Indianapolis the 26th,
Detroit the 27th, Omaha the 29th,
and Minneapolis on the 30th.
Again this is Rhett and Link live in concert,
not the Tour of Mythicality
and debuting, well, if you've seen 'em,
there's some new songs that have never been heard before
on the internets and then of course the old classics,
the rap battles, there's potential dress-up that happens.
- Dress-up, that is a good way to put it.
- Anyway, it's-- - We play dress-up.
You buy a ticket, we play dress-up.
- And there's also VIP tickets available.
Of course you're all very important people,
that's just the industry vernacular to describe someone
who pays for a ticket where we get to have a little meet
and greet so all that and more at RhettAndLinkLive.com.
- Come see us, RhettAndLinkLive.com.
So in some ways I am still very much processing
what happened over the past week.
And it involves my mom's husband Lewis
who I've talked about many times.
He's technically my step-dad because he's my mom's husband
but he's not my dad.
- He's your step-dad.
- That's what I just said but I've never actually ended up
calling him my step-dad.
I'll end up saying something like he's my father-in-law
if I'm pressed. - Which is incorrect.
- But because-- - And strange.
- He married my mom, I mean they were dating
when I was in high school, you know,
I've known him for a long time and I love him.
- But he didn't raise you.
- I do love him but he didn't raise me
and I never lived with him.
So I got married and then Christy was pregnant
with Lily and that's when my mom and Lewis got married,
so there's an interesting dynamic to the nature
of our relationship that I love him, but he's not,
he is my step-dad but I don't call him that,
in the experience it just doesn't feel like
what a step-dad feels like. - And actually I think that
my mom's husband is the correct--
- Well that's true too. - No I know but--
- Father-in-law. - If I meet a--
- Is not correct. - If I meet a person,
if I'm just at a party and I'm having a conversation
with somebody and they begin telling me a story
and they say my mom's husband, I immediately know,
oh not your step-dad, your step-dad is somebody
who you usually would say raised you, right,
but father-in-law, you gotta stop saying that.
- But father-in-law--
- 'Cause what's gonna happen is you're gonna be seen
with him in public at some point and they're gonna be like
oh that's your father-in-law, no this is my father-in-law.
Then you're one of those guys that has two families,
one being secret. (Link sputters)
And you can't be one of those guys.
- Well, I mean I do have a secret family
but I have nothing to do with this.
- I will say that Shepherd asked me...
There was something in the car
and when he got into the car the other day and he was like,
"Where's this from?"
I said, "Oh that's, one of the kids in my secret family
"left it in here." (chuckling)
I just couldn't help myself.
- Hopefully you meant imaginary family.
- I said, "You know Locke,
"a lot of people have a second family."
- So don't joke about it.
Oh I thought you said this was Shepherd.
You said Locke. - It was Shepherd.
- Oh you just said Locke, you meant Shepherd.
- Okay I meant Shepherd the whole time, anyway,
I joke like that with my children.
They know that it's a joke so get off my case.
- But was he joking when he told you is the question?
- He didn't tell me.
He said, "Where's this from?" and I said, "It's from--"
- Oh you said that.
I messed up. - I think everyone else
understood, I don't know if I said it in a confusing way
but I'm sorry if I did. - So confused.
So anyway, Lewis, my father-in-law.
That does come into the story later, by the way.
He's doing well now but he had,
I don't wanna over-sensationalize it but...
- Well then just sensationalize it.
- I'll just say but I do think
it was a brush with mortality.
Brush with death.
It took some time for that to sink in
and so I'll unpack that, like I said,
some of this I'm still processing
but he gave me permission to talk about it here
and take it for what it's worth.
My mom and Lewis, they came out here last year
and then we visited for Thanksgiving
and then that's the last time we've seen them
in person so they kinda wanted to come out again.
But they've got a house, they've got farmland.
He drives around his farmland on his Gator
and he surveys his land and he sees turkeys
and he keeps an eye on how many turkeys will come around.
- And for those of you who don't understand
what a Gator is, it doesn't mean he's on an alligator.
He's on, it's like a John Deere
crazy off-road golf cart kinda thing.
- I kinda wanted the mystique to be that
maybe he's just saddled an alligator but fine.
- Well if you wanna believe that, yeah, go ahead.
- Clear up the mystique.
He's got cows.
Mom named some of them and then he takes care of 'em.
They have babies,
they make sure that everything's good to go.
Basically he has a farm to run.
- Right. - So it's hard to get away
and they're not the traveling type.
So we planned this a long time in advance
and I think Mom came down with something,
they had to reschedule one time.
Something came up, I can't remember.
But then weekend before last they were coming out
and they were gonna show up Friday night
and then they like to stay in a hotel, not at our house
so we make 'em feel comfortable whatever way they want
and then they were gonna fly back Monday.
- That's a quick trip. - They were only staying
two days. - Those cows.
- They gotta get back to their cows.
- Somebody's gotta look after 'em.
- And we were very much looking forward to making the most
of those two days.
So we pick 'em up at the airport,
the whole family's in the car and we're crammed into there
and we pick 'em up at the curb
and I can immediately tell that
Lewis is road ragged, he doesn't look great.
I'm like man the flight must not have been great.
They get in the car, put the luggage in
and we're driving them, it was late so
especially by their time
so we just went straight to their hotel.
- Did you say anything at that point?
Did you say, "You look awful."
You shouldn't say that to someone right
when they get off of a plane.
I've made that mistake.
- Did not look good but I was like,
"Well how was the flight?"
And they said it was okay. - A lot of turbulence?
- Lewis didn't have much appetite.
They didn't say much about turbulence or anything like that
but he was very quiet and you may have heard me talk
about this before but the thing we love to talk about Lewis
is that he's got this catchphrase.
Good, good, good, like if he's talking to the kids,
the whole week leading up to them coming,
I'm talking to all the kids and I'm like,
I'm talking like Lewis, I'm doing my impersonation of him,
like Lincoln, you been doing your push-ups?
And I'm like Lincoln, you're not playing basketball anymore
so you gotta be ready for your answer
'cause you know Papa's gonna ask you about basketball
and your push-ups. - You might to just make up--
- [Link] You've not been doing either.
- [Rhett] That you're still playing basketball.
- So he has his answer prepared and I was like,
you can just tell him that you're mountain biking
with your dad and you're still staying active
and then he'll just say, "Good, good, good."
- (scoffs) Giving your kids answers.
- (chuckles) Just trying to coach--
- Just let them come up with their own answers, man.
- But we were looking forward to that catchphrase
and I couldn't help but notice he was quiet
and there was no good, good, goods happening
on the ride to the hotel.
- But he wasn't saying, "Bad, bad, bad."
- He was not saying-- - It doesn't go that far.
- No and I took a wrong turn and me
and Christy kinda snapped at each other a little bit.
- What about the GPS?
- Well you know how when sometimes your phone's hooked up
to the cords and then the map's not showing up
on the car play and I'm having to drive
but I can't see the turn,
and now I'm going the wrong way and I'm getting angry
and I gotta direct that anger at somebody
even though my mama's in the car and I haven't seen her
in person since Thanksgiving.
I'm not gonna direct it towards my mom or Lewis.
So Christy got a little bit of that,
she gave it right back. - Good.
Good, good, good. - Good, good, good.
I deserved it and then so I thought that the silence
might have been as a result of me being an.
- Right, okay.
- We get to the hotel, we check 'em in, they're tired.
We let 'em go to sleep, I was like,
we'll come pick you up as early as you want in the morning.
You're on east coast time.
Well, Mom never called so we finally called
by mid-morning and she's like Lewis is not doing well.
He's feeling faint and he's passing blood
when he uses the bathroom.
And I'm like well,
not good, good, good. - No, mm-mm.
- So we come, we pick 'em up and we're like,
we go straight to the emergency room.
- Now explain that decision to me because--
- Well when you're passing blood--
- Well no no-- - You need to go
to the emergency room. - I'm telling you,
I am the kind of person that always minimizes.
You know what I'm saying-- - I'm that way too.
This was Christy driving this train.
- Right so Christy, she's good in those situations.
She has a natural nursing instinct.
I've never nursed her.
(Link sputters) Just so you understand.
- But she has that, she's good in medical situations.
There's a certain mode--
- She goes into this ready contingency mode.
When we were going to sleep the night before,
she was like, now the nearest hospital where they're staying
in Pasadena is the Huntington Hospital.
- For those of you who understand the Enneagram,
a six is really well-equipped--
- That's what she is. - At these sort of
- So she was like I think Lewis wasn't doing good
and we may have to take him to the emergency room.
She already said that the night before
and that's why she was calling Mom.
They checked him in and he was...
I actually don't think he passed more blood
when he was there and then it takes awhile to process
and they said we're gonna admit you
because something's going on here, there's internal bleeding
or there's evidence of that.
And your blood count is low.
They check him in to the ICU, intensive care unit,
and so they're monitoring him very closely
and one of the nurses said to Mom,
"Your husband is very sick."
I was like well what does that mean?
We don't know yet.
The gastro doctor comes in and they did a scope
from down his throat-- - Oh man.
- They put him under for a little bit,
we stepped out of the room
and less than a half hour they did this procedure
where they put the scope down his esophagus
through his stomach, looking at everything
into his small intestine and then we come back in there
and he's already awake again.
But the news is Lewis has over 10 ulcers
in his small intestine.
Good gracious, this does not sound good.
- Not the stomach, the small intestine.
- Yeah, the duodenum.
I don't know how you say it.
- You know if you take that out,
you can stretch it around the earth nine times.
- Just Lewis's, you know how long his is?
- Yeah yeah, just an individual's.
- Oh okay. - Mm-hmm.
- That can't be true.
But it-- - That's how quickly
light travels, the speed of light I think around the earth.
Nine times in a second, I don't know.
I'm confusing facts.
- The doctor gave us the good news that even though,
I don't know if this is a southern saying,
'cause the doctor didn't say it.
He was from LA, he wouldn't, but what I would say is,
he's eat up with ulcers, he's eat up with them.
But he said there was one in particular that looked bigger
and it had a scab that had formed over it
just like skin on the outside of your body.
- This is tough to listen to.
- I'm sorry.
I'm surprised I'm able to talk about it.
We can get into that more later but he said that just like
skin on the outside of your body on the inside
of your intestine, it forms a scab with which then it heals.
And he said I agitated the scab.
It's amazing, you put the scope down there
with a camera and take pictures, you see the live video
and you can blast water and also medication
through this scope.
- And they can control it like a
(mimics zapping sound) kinda thing,
like once it gets down there?
- It was actually very easy to control.
- You can manipulate it.
- He said, "You wanna try it?"
And then it was like two joysticks.
No I didn't see the thing, man.
We went out, I don't know how many joysticks there were.
- I'm just assuming that to be that precise,
it has some sort of mechanical head on it.
- At the moment I was not asking about the mechanical head.
- Again, that's what I'd do in these situations
'cause I don't want to talk about the real--
- You deflect.
- Let's talk about the mechanics of the machinery
that's inside of him right now.
How 'bout that?
- But he said he sprayed it with a little water
and then all evidence pointed to the fact
that it was gonna stay which is great news
and it also meant that if they monitored him
and there was no more bleeding,
that that meant that there wasn't any other source
of bleeding lower down in the rest of his GI tract.
'Cause to do a colonoscopy, to go from the top up,
you have to-- - The bottom of him.
- Yeah from the bottom up, you'd have to wait
to totally clean out the entire system.
And that was just more time, but anyway,
at that point we were in a holding pattern
and because it's the ICU--
- Because that equipment is very expensive,
you don't want, all over it.
- (chuckles) Yes, Rhett.
That's exactly what it is.
I'm trying not to be that graphic.
In the ICU, they make everyone leave
while they have shift change.
So just so happens that we had made reservations
for this Japanese steakhouse before we knew any
of this was gonna happen. - Yeah take a break,
go eat some Japanese.
- So we're gonna, you make me feel horrible about it
but Christy was like I'm gonna stay around.
- We have reservations, Link. (chuckles)
- Granny, why don't you go and see the kids
and just take a break because we're not allowed
to be in here anyway. - Yeah.
- And it's very close.
- And was it one where they throw the shrimp in the hat?
- Yeah they throw the shrimp--
- And the fire volcano made of onions.
- I thought that would be nice.
- Oh yeah it's always nice.
- So Christy stayed back, so she was very much
in proximity even though she wasn't allowed to be in there.
And then I took Mom, because we had good news
and we were in a holding pattern--
- Oh so you went to the Japanese steakhouse.
- I went too, yeah me and Mom met Britton and the kids
that we met at the Japanese steakhouse.
- Did you get a combo of chicken, shrimp and beef?
You're deflecting now.
- No, I really am interested in what people order at that.
I always get the combo.
- And we're all on edge but it was nice for her
to see the kids 'cause otherwise,
she wasn't able to see them and I go up to use the restroom
right before he starts flippin' shrimp
and as I'm walking into the restroom, I look up--
- And daggum, if it isn't the scope doctor.
The frickin' scope doctor,
the gastro guy-- - Oh okay.
- Was at the Japanese restaurant.
- I heard you guys talking about this
but I didn't understand that this was the story.
- Yeah he was one of those hibachi guys, he worked there.
- Oh yeah well you know what,
doctors these days don't make enough money.
- Right. - You gotta have
a backup plan. - He was there
with his family at another table
and I went up, I was like, I found myself upon him
by surprise on my way to the bathroom so I'm in his face
and I'm like I recognized him and I'm like,
"Hey doc, you just...
"You were just treating my father-in-law."
- Right, yeah.
- And again, I just came out with father-in-law.
And it worked.
- Yeah 'cause he doesn't know.
- And he understands that it's not,
I don't know what he understood but it was easy.
- Right he just got the chicken though
because he's a doctor.
- It was weird 'cause it was like one of those moments
where remember in, well I remember in middle school
when I went to Walmart one time when I was
in third grade and I saw Miss Hobbs, my third grade teacher
in the chips aisle at Walmart. - And you're like what,
they can be outside of school as well?
- And she started talking to me and I felt really weird
and I got embarrassed and I was like,
(babbling) I don't know how to talk.
- Did I get grade on this conversation?
- Yeah I felt like a third-grader in the hibachi restaurant
talking to my teacher. - Right.
- It was weird.
But he was very nice and he came over and he talked to Mom
and she was very appreciative because we had good news
at that point. - And he's like
you wanna see some pictures of the ulcers?
- He had already shown us those.
- But not at the restaurant. - Yeah but not right there.
And then I was like, we brought the kids back
and we took them up to see Lewis when they allowed us
to go back in the ICU and the nurse had a funny look
on her face and I looked around into the room
and Lewis did not look good at all, he looked worse,
and then the kids said hello and then it was kinda like,
Christy why don't you just take the kids back home.
I'll stay here with Mom and then I'll Uber back later
'cause the plan was we were all leaving
and Mom was just gonna stay but...
It took awhile for it to really sink in,
but what had happened was he had started passing blood--
- Again. - Again.
- And this sounds like a great place for a teaser.
(chuckles) - Oh gosh.
- Because we need to do a short break
and let people know, oh things got worse.
- Things get worse before they get better but they do.
- But we are gonna take a short break
and let you know that you can get these mugs
we're drinking out of.
You can't get this one.
This was a prototype, I don't even know why I've got it.
This is just to tempt you with something you can't buy.
- We prototype all types of things in order to land
on the perfect thing for your mouths, your bodies,
- I'm trying to blend in completely today.
As you can see, I have two different brown mugs,
I have a brown hoodie on, I have brownish hair.
- Brownish skin. - It's all kind of blending
in with the background and I kinda think
this might be my new thing.
- What are you selling?
You're having focus issues today.
- I'm selling beigeness.
- That's not for sale.
- It kinda is though, you'll see,
you'll understand what I'm gettin' at months from now
but in the meantime what you can buy is these mugs
and lots of other cool things over at--
- Mythical.store-- - Dot store.
- The hindsight of the experience,
it just seems much more clear than when,
when things are progressing in the hospital,
the nurses and doctors are reacting to things
and it's not that they're not communicating
but it's the combination of them doing their jobs,
trying to communicate but also the ability for that
to sink in, to be able to receive the information.
The doctor would just drop in occasionally
and it's go time to have your questions.
- Could you imagine just-- - And that's difficult.
- Could you imagine being the person?
Neither one of us would be good at that.
We might be good at-- - You mean the patient?
- No the nurse. - Oh gosh.
- Having to do something but then also explain
to someone in a sympathetic tone what's actually happening.
Forget about it.
- One of my big takeaways from this thing is
I have just a blossomed appreciation,
specifically for nurses in a hospital environment.
They are amazing people who do an amazingly difficult job
and that's a big part of it,
interacting not only with the patient but
with the loved ones who are there present.
And for me I'm bringing my kids, one of my kids is too young
to actually be there and I'm breaking the rules
for him to come up so--
- Really, what's the age limit?
- 14, in the ICU.
- And they let you do that?
- Well yeah, a 14 year old but not a nine year old.
- No but you were able to get Lando in.
- I just kinda went up with him.
- Oh. - 'Cause I was like,
Lewis is fine and his spirits will be lifted
by seeing you for a minute.
That was not smart, I should have respect that rule.
The nurse actually told me he could see things
in the ICU that-- - He will never forget.
- A nine year old may not want to see.
- Will be etched on his brain forever.
- I was like wow, I'm an idiot
and you really made a good point.
I'm gonna take my kids out of here now.
My head space was so,
this is gonna be over at any moment.
This is gonna be okay, we already got good news.
Yes he has ulcers, yes he's gotta figure that stuff out
and there's gonna be more treatment to come
when he gets back home.
But he's in the clear.
When we got back, Christy took the kids away
and they had already been giving him blood
because he had lost blood-- - Already.
- The night before.
I think by this point, they were giving him six,
seven, eight pints of blood.
- Whoa, whoa, whoa, already.
- I'm telling you.
I was there, this was 10 o'clock at night,
11 o'clock at night, midnight, and then--
- 'Cause you don't have that much,
I told you about this recently.
- Yeah for the book we had to, oh you don't wanna say that?
- Well no, okay...
I had to look up for a part of the book we're working on
how much blood is in a human body.
- Yeah, and what's the answer?
- I think the average adult just has
like two gallons of blood.
- Well how many pints is that?
- I don't know.
- Three pints in a gallon?
- Hopefully more than that.
- Four, I thought there was only four pints in a gallon.
- All I'm saying is--
- Kiko will look it up 'cause we're stupe.
- There's a lot less blood in a human body
and so giving him that much blood,
like he didn't have hardly any.
- Well and then the thing is,
he was confined to the bed--
- What is it, Kiko?
- Eight pints to a gallon. - Eight pints
and then how many, you said there were how many gallons
in a body? - Like two gallons of blood
in a body.
- So 16 pints.
- Look that up too, I wanna make sure.
- How many pints of blood in a average body.
'Cause I will say by the end of this,
they gave him 12 pints of blood.
- 12 pints, so that's, wow,
so about a gallon and a half of blood in an average person.
- But I'm telling you right now,
they gave him enough blood that fills up a human body.
- That's crazy, that's what so surprised me 'cause--
- Yes and the more it, and again,
they kept giving him, when they were giving him two,
three, four, five,
concerns start to raise, my man,
and they said okay,
we're gonna to have to give him a central line.
We can't use the IVs to keep up with him passing the blood.
And it was a very visceral experience
which he doesn't remember any of even though
he was conscious, he was talking,
but he wasn't very lucid.
- As you can imagine. - Right.
- And in that situation, you can't move him out
of the bed and he's passing blood.
It's a visceral and horrible situation
to be bedside for that.
- Okay this is coming from the guy who,
you can't take any amount of blood
and the thought of needles,
and they're sitting there filling your father-in-law.
(chuckles) - Yeah just fillin' him up.
- With, I mean how-- - He's like a fountain,
it's just passing through him.
- Did you go into a mental space,
like a un-before-tapped,
never before tapped mental space in order
to get through this without fainting?
- Earlier on whenever he started passing blood
and they would clean him up, I would step out.
But I felt like that was just to give him privacy
and for them to do their job.
- So you were-- - And then I would
come back in, and I was in a zone.
- You were in a mode, a zone. - I guess I was in a zone of,
it was kind of a...
It was a bit of a fog.
It was not realizing how dire things were getting
but then when they said we need to give him a central line
in his neck so that we can pump blood in
and keep up with how quickly he's losing blood
and we're getting the doctor back in here
to do another scope in order to see
where this new bleeding is coming from.
- Well just goes to show you not only
how important blood is. - Yeah.
- There are these places, there are so many places on earth
that don't even have adequate amounts of clean blood.
- Yeah, and yeah.
- Privilege just to be in a place that you can lose
that much blood and immediately have it replenished.
I don't know what the PSA is here but give blood.
- I thought about that too.
- And also be willing to take blood.
I don't know there's some people--
- There was never a conversation about that.
- Well I know but--
- There are people who-- - If you currently subscribe
to a worldview that doesn't allow you to take blood,
reevaluate that world view.
- Well he would have died. - That's my second PSA.
- He would have died within a few hours we get
to the hospital, he wouldn't have anywhere close to this
if he couldn't take blood.
They couldn't find a central line in his neck that worked
and they had to do a central line in his groin
and then basically his hip.
And then they're pumping him full of blood
in order to just gain time and it was at that point
that I realized that
oh my gosh, this is--
- Serious. - This is very dire.
This is touch and go.
- How's your mom handling this at the time?
- She was in more, I wouldn't call what she was in a fog,
she was in more of a supportive,
she was very positive.
And she was going to work in terms of just being positive
and in support mode, it was--
- And she come from-- - It was amazing.
- She's come from a medical background being
in like a clinical place.
- Yeah, she took blood for a living
and she's used to being around blood
and medical environs. - Yeah.
- So she wasn't shaken up by that but she said later
that it dawned on her the next morning
how dire things were there.
I just think that she was in a mode
where she wasn't allowing herself to go to the dark
- The dark potentials. - The dark potentials.
- That's the name of our second novel.
- But the doctor finally showed up and they got ahead of it,
the bleeding a little bit but
it was scary because there was blood all over the bed.
- And they couldn't keep up with it
so they would put a blanket down over him and...
He was disoriented so at times he would look down
and he would move the blanket and he would see all the blood
or he wouldn't see it and his hand would go down there
to feel what's going on.
- This is tough for me to listen to, I'm sorry.
- I guess the reason-- (Rhett sighs)
The reason why I share it is because
I could never imagine that I would be bedside
for a situation like that with my mom
and I'm glad that we were able to be supportive
but it was very scary and I never would have thought
that I would have been able to be,
to contribute to a supportive environment
when it was that scary.
- Well just, okay--
- So I'm surprised, I'm not bragging.
I'm just saying that these things happen
and maybe you go in a mode
but if you don't,
I feel more prepared having gone through it
to be more supportive-- - Well I do think that,
I will say that the human brain is really complex
and I think that what ends up happening a lot of times is
you know that you can't afford to check out.
I think there are certain situations where you can afford
to check out, like when you cut yourself at Christmas,
it's like it's not that big of a deal.
- And faint into your real father-in-law's arms,
which I did.
- But my question is,
why were you the one that was there?
It was just circumstances because of the way
that you brought the kids in and then,
you didn't know how bad it was gonna get.
'Cause if you think about how bad it was going to get
and Christy and you both knew how bad it was going to get
and you had to make a decision who was gonna stay,
you probably would have picked Christy to stay
and you would have gone home with the kids.
Or was it because it was your relations?
- Yeah it was because, Mom, well...
I'll back into that 'cause I do think it's interesting.
I feel so much and I felt so much for Lewis and Mom
because they don't travel and then they find themselves
going through this situation so far from home
with no support structure beyond me and Christy.
- Right. - They know no one else
except they might have met people in passing through us
but there's no one, like back home,
Lewis has an extended family that they're very tight-knit.
So his real name is Edd, I think Lewis is his middle name.
Edd with two Ds, and then the hospital,
they kept asking him, "What's your name?"
And then in order to give medication or do treatment
or just know if he was lucid, they would ask him his name
and they were expecting him to say Edd
and he would say Lewis so they would think
it was worse than it was but his brother, Edd.
He's got a brother Ned, Ted, and Fred.
- Yeah it's unbelievable. (chuckles)
- And you better believe they all would have been there
as well as his children and everybody else who loves him
and obviously would have been there to support him.
- Ned, Ted, Fred and Edd.
- And Peggy.
- Yeah there's not a good typical woman name.
- They call her Ped.
(Rhett chuckles) No they don't.
There may be other siblings, I can't remember, but anyway,
because they're out here, it's just me and Christy
with Mom to, we find ourselves in this weird situation
where we're the only support that they've got
so when we had to send the kids, I was like, well,
Mom's gonna stay there for Lewis
and I'm gonna stay there for Mom.
I'm gonna support Mom and Mom's gonna support Lewis
and then honestly that's the first way
that I thought about it.
I think that changed over that night and the next few days
but we can talk about that some more
but at this point, yeah, we did actively make that decision
for me to be there with mom and so by 1 a.m.,
the doctor's showing back up and doing the scope
and finding that that problem ulcer was basically
at this point, obviously gushing blood.
- Ugh (winces).
- And then to use that same scope--
- You gotta put a trigger warning on this episode.
- I think maybe I'm able to talk about this in a way
that maybe I feel differently about blood now.
- Well but you're also the one saying it
so it's not happening unexpected.
- He's able to use that scope
in his hibachi hands.
- Right, he's still got chicken grease on him.
- And he sprayed some epinephrin.
- You think he put the redneck sauce on his chicken?
- He puts redneck sauce on that ulcer
and it just sutures right up.
- The creamy sauce that you can get at the hibachi place
we always call-- - Redneck sauce.
- Because only, you go over to Japan,
they don't have that sauce, okay.
That's something rednecks came up with.
- It's good. - Now it's good. (chuckles)
- I took the whole bowl that night
and I just poured it all over my plate.
I was like--
- I'm a redneck. - Yeah.
I could feel my mullet growing.
So he-- - Epinephrin.
- He put some epinephrin on it
and it's basically sutured it up.
- It's a vasoconstrictor.
- And then-- - Who knew?
- And he showed us, well he did.
And he showed us pictures of it.
And I'm thinking, man, I saw you at the frickin' hibachi,
at like seven o'clock.
- Yeah you can't be here. - And now it's 1 a.m.
and you're here.
- And I'm in third grade, it's so weird.
That was excellent news but as we were waiting for him
to do the scope, Mom and I had to step out
and just wait and it was like
we were sitting in the waiting room just the two of us,
no one else was in there.
And we didn't say a word.
We were so exhausted.
- It's like somebody who's been through a battle,
you just sit there.
- You just sit there and it was very surreal.
And she told me that it really hadn't sunken in
at that point how dire things were,
she was in that mode and...
We're kind of in fight mode, stay positive mode
and so at that point it was very touch and,
the great news was they found the bleeding,
they had stopped the bleeding, they didn't have to
do a second procedure which could have damaged the kidneys
in order to try to find the bleeding
or a third procedure worst case
where they had to do surgery.
The surgeons were coming in and prepping him for that too
in case they had to.
It was that, everybody was buzzing around
and it was, yeah, it was very kinetic
and it was real, man.
And by that morning, he had stabilized and of course,
he wasn't given any drink or food
for probably the next 48 hours as it turns out
but they were monitoring--
- They were hydrating him intravenously.
- Yeah. - Or else he would die.
- And giving him medicine for the ulcers
and giving him medicine to help,
to preserve them from bleeding and giving him more blood.
To come out to a total of 14 units, 14 pints.
- So again,
he replaced his blood supply.
- He completely replaced his blood supply.
And so then-- - Everybody needs that.
It's just like changing your transmission fluid,
every once in awhile.
- That's literally what happened.
But they didn't drain him out and then fill him up,
it was a constant flow, it was more--
- Yeah, you can't do that with a human.
- It was a nightmare. - You can do that with a car.
- It was an absolute nightmare and then,
so then for the next two days it's kinda touch and go
to make sure that he's not bleeding
and even though he's not eating,
then as you slowly introduce drinking and then eating foods,
clear fluids and all that jazz.
It's just continue to monitor that he's not bleeding.
And let's see, so we checked him in Saturday morning.
We checked him out by the end of the week
so he was there a whole week so then it was,
it basically shifted from emergency situation,
he left the ICU to a regular hospital room
which then you and Jessie came that first night
and visited him there which was great.
But then it was just, that's when it really started
to hit us that
there's only three people to support him in his recovery
as he's here and that proved to be
very challenging because my mom stayed there all night
and then as soon as I could get up in the morning,
I would go and relieve her.
Either Christy would come get her or I'd send her home
to my house in an Uber to take a shower
and try to sleep for a few hours and then,
Christy and Mom would come and then I would go
into work for a few hours and then
so someone was always there with him for the whole week.
And I really gained an appreciation for how important it is
to have people come visit.
When you guys came that night to visit,
it was a tremendous help and something that
I never appreciated when it's like,
someone's in the hospital sick, well you should go see 'em,
you know, you should go see 'em
because it's the right thing to do.
But I never really connected the dots that for the people
who are actively supporting the person in recovery,
it's also a huge help to them to,
you run out of stuff to talk about.
You run out of, it drains all of your energy
to sit in a hospital room.
And when doctors and nurses are comin' in
and just constantly pricking, prodding and doing stuff,
it's not a happy, it's not Disneyland, you know.
- No and as a matter of fact-- - My takeaway.
- We were there for a very short period of time,
but first of all,
I got lost.
I had a window of time between leaving here
and then going to therapy
and I had kinda planned to have half an hour
and Jessie was gonna meet me.
But my frickin' GPS, my phone, sent me to
the back of the hospital.
- Yeah and it's a big hospital.
- And I parked and then I had to,
I was like 20 minutes from my car.
And then I walk into the lobby, the hospital lobby,
and I see you checking in and you had left work
like way after me. - Oh yeah.
- And that's when I see through the window
and I see the thing I had been looking for the whole time,
the grand hospital entrance.
There's multiple doors and there's a big horseshoe
where you kind of drop people off and I saw Jessie
and I was like, "Where'd you park?"
She was like, "I valeted." (chuckles)
- Yeah she went to the right entrance.
- So yeah I got lost.
- And I'm so sorry that happened to you, man.
That's kind of like having a bleeding ulcer
and almost dying. - Yeah yeah yeah.
But what I was getting to is how much
I was just reminded how much I hate hospitals.
Now, I appreciate hospitals.
They're absolutely necessary.
But I get, and this is probably something a lot
of people relate to, it's like, I've never been
in a hospital personally, like I've never had
to go to the hospital for anything.
- I've been to the doctor or have had very small procedures
at a outpatient clinic.
But never been in a hospital and when I go into
a hospital and on the floor that Lewis that on,
you had to pass by several rooms that were open
and these people are in different states of disrepair.
Sometimes there's screaming.
- Well there was one guy who was having
an interesting exchange with a nurse.
- Yeah, there's interesting scents that float about.
- And again, I don't know what it is.
I was going to therapy right after that.
I didn't get into this but I don't know,
I just get this feeling that I'm just like
I don't want to be here and I don't want
to be a patient here ever.
- Yeah and you feel like being here might make me sick.
I think things like that.
But-- - And there's people
who have to spend not just-- - Oh gosh.
- We met the kids at St. Jude who basically,
some of them have spent-- - They live there.
- The majority of their lives in that environment.
And places like St. Jude do go to incredible lengths
to create an environment that is not,
it's not depressing other than the fact
that why you're there.
- Yeah and this hospital was a great facility.
There's no actual criticism that we could level
on the facility or the faculty at any point.
It's just, it's more about the stigma associated
with hospitals or the fact that a hospital is still,
it is what it is and it's not a pleasant environment.
- And it's way more pleasant now than it was, what--
- Oh gosh. - 50 years ago or whatever.
- I mean all the procedures they were doing on Lewis,
they would cart the stuff into the room
and do the scope and everything there, it was amazing.
I was talking to him later.
We were watching Leave It to Beaver one morning,
I was like can you imagine back in the day
if Beaver had some bleeding ulcers,
what would they have done?
- He would be dead, they'd bury Beaver.
- They just would have done surgery in order
to find where you were bleeding, I think.
- There's no scoping in your room and 30 minutes later,
your wife can walk back in and get good news
and a picture of it.
- It's all conjecture.
- But I was, I gained such an appreciation,
like I said, for the nurses and hospital staff in general
but also a revived sense of how important it is
to visit people in the hospital and not let the way
that we instinctively think about it,
like I should visit but I'm not going to,
it makes a huge, huge difference, and when you guys came,
you lighten the mood, have somebody else to talk to,
pass a little bit of time.
And obviously also give and receive love and care.
It can't be understated but for some reason
in my mind I think it had gone to that place
and you know what?
In a few days we're comin' up on the two year anniversary
of Lily having her spinal fusion surgery.
As we record this it will be this coming Friday
'cause I've put it on the calendar.
And I'm a little discouraged that I'd forgotten
what I'd learned there,
the things that I'm now talking about.
Because in her recovery how important it was
for people to come and offer support.
And again, I just felt for Lewis and for Mom,
especially Lewis because his family wasn't there
and it was an interesting situation because
I'm in a position where I'm spending hours with this guy
that I've never spent, I'll ride on the Gator
with him and the kids down and see the cows and come back,
but it's not like the two of us have a vibrant relationship
where we hang out.
I love him because he loves my mom and my mom loves him
and they are very happy together
and they have a beautiful relationship
and they're perfect for each other.
That is enough for me to love him unabashedly.
But it-- - The Gator helps.
The Gator helps. - The Gator helps.
But when it comes to the experience of a relationship,
it was an interesting position to be in.
For him and for me probably.
Where we have to assume the role of the people
who are providing the only emotional support
for hours at a time.
And I really had to deal just honestly.
This is not about Lewis and my relationship with him really,
I think it just kinda set the stage for me to think more
about my level of selfishness.
Honestly a lot of that came up because
I just realized how much I want my life to be
ordered the way I want it to be.
Well they're gonna come in for two days,
this is our itinerary, we're gonna have a really good time,
and then they're gonna leave and get back to their cows
where they wanna be and everybody's gonna be happy
and I know what my next week has in store for me.
And I'm looking forward to it.
It's a light week at work.
I was looking forward to specific things.
- We weren't filming anything so it was,
that was actually a blessing because I--
- Yeah. - And again, I actually,
with all the stuff that we have going on at work,
I actually had a week where pretty easily
I was readily available to support in a way
that I very much needed to be there.
- Which is very unusual.
- Yeah, and I'm very grateful for that.
I would like to think that I would have made
the right decision to change whatever I was doing
in order to be there anyway.
But I don't know if I would have made the right decision,
because I was still wrestling with the selfishness
of my plans, my life, my time,
my desires, my comfort, you know?
Again, it's embarrassing to talk about
but I feel like that's part of my takeaway
in terms of my growth in this situation is
what really is love in this situation?
It's making a decision to be there.
Aspiring to be better at loving somebody that I do love
and knowing that I just didn't,
that I had so many competing personal desires
that were just lame, you know?
Sure, yeah, it's difficult to go through that.
It's difficult to hang out at a hospital.
It's difficult to know what to talk about.
But really, these are things that in your own brain
you would complain about?
- Well I think everybody,
I think most people would.
There are some people who are naturally,
my wife being one of them, naturally equipped to just,
she can walk into the hospital room with Lewis
and she A, she knows exactly what to say.
- She knows what to say and she knows what to do.
- And she could talk to somebody forever.
I come in and I'm like, "Welcome to California."
I make a joke, right?
- Which is helpful but yeah it's kind of,
I relate to that 'cause it's like searching for
how did I get myself in this situation?
- Well and a lot of times--
- I don't know what to do here and my instincts don't apply.
- Well and I've actually, in many different ways,
this is one of the advantages and I don't know,
advantages and disadvantages of being married
to someone who complements you in a certain way, right?
Who has a characteristic, for me,
I can just be like, oh, Jessie is really good at that.
She knows what to say, she knows how to comfort somebody,
so the unit of Rhett and Jessie can comfort someone
because Jessie will do it because I can't do it,
and for me, it's part of what you're saying
which is just like well I got too much stuff I gotta get to.
My stuff that I gotta worry about's
more important than this, there's part of it that's that
and then the other side is just feeling inadequate.
- And also what happens when the comforting aspect
of the unit is the one that needs comforting?
(chuckles) It's like it kinda breaks down internally
at that point too, right?
- Yeah, that's when you hire someone.
- (chuckles) Oh shoot.
- No, yeah, exactly.
That's where it becomes, it's not a good thing.
I'm saying you end up creating a, your deficit can grow
because you're relying on someone to fill that.
- And I learned so much from Christy to be able
to meet people's needs and have empathy.
I guess that's what we're talking about, right?
We're talking about being empathetic.
- Yeah, I think that's a part of it.
- And again, that's why I'm so in awe
of people who devote their lives in the field
of nursing and all the people who would,
the people who come in and clean the room.
The assistants to the nurses,
everybody who have devoted their lives to caring for people
in that way is just...
And it draws into focus ways that I can kinda step up
and be a better person, I think.
I think in watching those people and
dealing with the patients and even in the moments
of frustration and in confusion, just having composure
and still having...
Just bringing healing to a situation is something
that I don't know, my eyes were really opened to that.
Lily's situation was different
because it was a planned procedure
and it was a controlled recovery that we were prepared for.
So there was never any huge scrambling emergency moment.
I think that's the difference here
that then there were ugly aspects to it,
to this experience that
I witnessed firsthand people stepping up and
- Well and what it makes me think about is people who...
Lewis, he's home now, right?
So it was an incredibly difficult week full of lessons,
but what if the second week was just like the first week
and the third week was just like the second week?
And people who have their lives turned upside down
because someone becomes critically ill, terminally ill,
like if it happens to somebody in your family,
if it happens to one of your children,
then all of a sudden your life basically becomes
what you're talking about. - Mm-hmm.
- And that is, that becomes your new normal.
Which again, I'm gonna keep plugging St. Jude.
I didn't expect to but they helped us understand--
- All the support that a family needs.
They have a program at St. Jude
that is specifically designed for siblings
of terminally ill kids and because what they've seen is that
these kids, they have emotional needs too.
- Yeah. - And when all the attention
and all the resources are going on this person who is sick,
what happens to you?
I think in the book and the movie Wonder,
they talk about the older sister's story.
Anyway, all that to say St. Jude is sort
of like love in action.
You're talking about what you can do personally
and they've kinda created a whole system
to support that kind of love in action.
- This experience I think is,
it's just kinda jostled me awake to my
unwarranted expectations that my life is gonna be,
continue to be what I expect it to be.
We experience so much positive things
and it's like, in this conversation,
you start to feel a little guilty about it,
but it's not that I wanna feel guilty, I wanna be grateful.
But I also want not to live my life as if
I expect or demand
no curve balls, you know?
- Well yeah.
And we talked about this before.
There are many times when things are going well
and I think both of our personalities
are actually geared towards all right,
kind of expecting something to go wrong.
Because things shouldn't, things are going well right now
so surely the bottom's gonna drop out somewhere
and sort of just anticipating that
something like that will happen but also
at the same time knowing I am not emotionally prepared
and I am also not, I am also too selfish right now
to be able to take this,
something that would inconvenience me to that level.
I'll share one more image, something that I wanna,
a memory that I wanna stick with me I'll share with you
in order to help solidify it since sometimes
maybe saying stories helps me remember them
or at least now I'll have an audio record.
Oh gosh, we must have been three days in.
They had started allowing him to drink
and eat some liquified foods but then they had evidence
that he might have been bleeding again.
It was kind of a panic mode for a few minutes
and then they pulled, well not a few minutes,
but longer than that, they decided to pull back
and he's not allowed to eat or drink anything
as they monitored him.
Now it turns out that he was not bleeding anymore
but that was a setback in terms of his experience.
You're confined in a hospital on the opposite coast
with me supporting you every morning alone. (chuckles)
No, he was very gracious but it was very frustrating
to not even be able to drink water at all.
It was tough to keep his spirits up
and the television helped.
I know at home, he falls asleep to the television on.
That's like his white noise so that helped him.
It gets him rest, and then,
but the thing that happened a few hours later
after the step backwards,
not being able to even drink anything
and him literally being parched.
The television went just to fuzz.
(mimics static crackling)
And I look at it.
He didn't say a word but I'm thinking oh my gosh,
this is like the main thing that feels like
holding us together now is just the television.
There's no food, there's nobody else but me to talk to.
And now the television is weak signal.
It said like signal cannot be acquired.
I'm like oh crap.
And then I'm panicking inside, I'm trying to put
on a positive face and I'm like, well, what do we do now?
And then I stood up and I look at the television,
kinda like when you open the hood of your car
when you know something's wrong with it
and you're supposed to look at the motor
before you decide to get someone who's qualified
to fix it, I'm like, uh, I'm gonna look at the television.
What do we do now, and so I'm standing there
at the foot of the bed and then I was like,
"It looks like I'm your only form of entertainment."
And then I just started doing,
I guess I'll call it an Irish jig.
It was kind of a Riverdance thing.
There was some elbow movement though
and a lot of leg movements and some kicking.
- How long did that last?
- 'Til I got winded.
'Til I got a smile out of him.
And then I was like,
"Do you have any cash?"
He said, "No, I don't have any.
"I don't know where my wallet is," and I was like,
"Well, then I'm not gonna strip for ya,"
and then I got a laugh out of him and it was the first time
he had laughed, I don't know, since before he landed.
And then so that helped,
but then I ended up unplugging the television
and doing all sorts of religious ceremonies in my own brain
and plugging it back in and it started working.
So we got Leave It to Beaver back on
and some Price Is Right.
And then they started introducing,
allowing him to eat, drink water, and then,
eat these Icees, like lemon ices.
But he had been talking about these lemon ices
'cause they had let him have 'em
and then they took 'em away.
And then a whole day later,
he's talking about these lemon ices.
- Anything at that point. - Oh gosh.
It was like a mirage in the room, I felt like.
And they finally told him he could have one.
And I brought it in there and this was like a culmination
of like hours and hours of being fixated on it
and then he had this lemon ice and he's eating.
I'm like, "How's that lemon ice?"
He was like, "Oh.
"It's good, good, good."
And I said, "What did you say?"
He said, "I like that lemon ice."
I was like, "No, what did you say?"
And he said, "It's good, good, good."
And I said, "That's exactly right."
So I'll never forget that.
- Now what happened to the cows?
- They're fine.
- What happens when you-- - His brothers and some,
he had someone else who helps with the farm
to help with the cows. - Was it Ted, Fred, or Ned?
- I don't know, probably all of them.
The cows were taken care of, we got 'em on a plane,
his daughter picked 'em up, drove them home,
they got home that night.
It was 10 o'clock at night
after a long day of traveling but he was doing fine.
Evidence being right when they got home,
they took their luggage in the house
and then Alison, his daughter told Christy,
took the luggage in the house
and then he immediately came back outside,
grabbed the leaf blower
and started blowing off his car port.
And then the next morning he got up and he said,
he was going out the door and Mom said,
"Well where you going?"
He's like, "I'm gettin' on the Gator, I'm going out there."
She said, "Well you can't go out there without me.
"I gotta get ready."
she likes to take her time to get ready.
- She takes awhile to get ready.
- Well, she likes to take her time.
- Well, okay. - Let's just say
it's a choice. - I'm just saying
I remember it from my childhood.
- And he was like, "No, I'm going out right now."
And she said, "Well let me put on my house coat,"
and then she was telling Christy, she was like,
"For the first time ever, here I am in just my housecoat,
"driving around out here in the Gator."
- Can't let the cows see you.
- And then, so he surveyed his property, came back,
parked the Gator, went inside, sat down in his recliner
and Mom said that was the first time he seemed 100%
at ease in over a week and a half.
- Yeah, he was back in his environs.
- Yeah so he's doing well,
he's got to tackle these ulcers long-term and figure out,
and they're gonna monitor that and they're gonna figure,
they're gonna get to the bottom of it.
- They're getting to the bottom of why it's happening.
- Right but he didn't have to stay in California
to deal with all of that so he's doing that back home
and like I said I talked to him right before we came in here
and he said he was in a meeting.
- Yeah. - With some guys
and that he was doing something tonight
so he's like-- - Probably Ned, Ted, and Fred.
- Oh yeah. - The brother summit.
- But sending Lewis my love,
(Rhett sighs) And,
I don't know, thank you for hearing me out,
I don't know, take from it what you will.
I know I've taken a lot from the experience
and I'm grateful to have had it even though
it was in no way easy.
I feel very grateful for the outcome for him and for Mom.
- Thank you for sharing, Link.
- Oh, you're welcome.
- We'll close with a quick rec.
I'm going to recommend another podcast.
Podcast that I've been listening to that we are
in no way affiliated with but I really like
called Science Versus.
It is a approximately half hour, weekly podcast
where they very simply take a subject of any kind.
It might be like climate change,
it might be DNA, hereditary companies,
it might be vaccines.
It might be gun control, it's basically just issues
that people throw all kinds of opinions out.
- Uh-huh. - And they say,
we're only going to talk about what the latest science is
and they do upwards of 100 resources
or references in each podcast.
It's very well researched, half hour,
and if you're the kinda person who's just
an inquisitive mind and you wanna know what the science says
about a particular thing, you can just scroll through.
They already addressed a lot of different subjects
and keep coming out with weekly episodes
so Science Versus, recommended.
- Is it V-S or V-E-R-S-U-S?
- It's just V-S. - Okay, easier.
There you have it, another Ear Biscuit in the can!
#EarBiscuits, let us know if any part of this conversation
or the experience I shared resonates with you in any way.
I'd love to hear it from you, #EarBiscuits.
And we'll speak at you again next week
because-- - That's what we do.
- Well that's what we plan on doing.
- Weekly, yeah.
We plan on it.
- I'm just sayin',
I don't know what life could throw at us but--
- If it all lines up, we'll bring another biscuit your way.
- [Link] To watch more Ear Biscuits,
click on the playlist on the right.
- [Rhett] To watch the previous episode of Ear Biscuits,
click on the playlist to the left.
- [Link] And don't forget to click
on the circular icon to subscribe.
- [Rhett] If you prefer to listen to this podcast,
it's available on all your favorite podcast platforms.
Thanks for being your Mythical best.