The Truest of Professionals NEVER Disappear….we take heart (part 1)

Dadologist, Industry Leader and Consummate Professional from ArdynnMG Apologizes to Peers and Readers

By Michael Harris-Arzon


For many of you it may seem that I have dropped off the face of the earth when it comes to actual consulting work, speaking engagements, original content creation etc. Well, this Dadologist and Simplistic Professional is alive and well, and back to having his nose pressed firmly to the grind stone.

Early last summer our family began experiencing one of those LifeTime Movie Special moments that I, personally, thought would never happen… let alone end…or that when it did, it would have the very worst of outcomes. Without going in to details or lengthy explanations, our 9 year old son began having leg pains that systematically became chronic. After innumerable doctors visits and more X-rays than any human should have in their lifetime (sigh} it is still difficult to think about, let alone share with the world) a significant mass was found inside his femur.

Thus the nightmare began and true terror entered my heart as the words “we need to do an immediate MRI as it looks like he has a tumor”. There was no time for taking stock of the situation as we were sent immediately to the children’s hospital for the test. I hardly had time to tell my husband, Danny, what was happening before we were both being gowned and him wheeled into radiology. You see, he couldn’t even walk by this point. He went from chronic pain, to a severe limp, to crutches and to a wheel chair in a matter of days.

After two hours of sitting with him, as he was strapped down into the most confining MRI machine I had yet to see (mine was what they call open when I had it done for my gall bladder a few years ago.) they asked us to wait….nothing about the appointment I had already scheduled for results with our orthopedic sports medicine specialist two days later. I knew instantly something serious was wrong as the technician came back and said they were speaking to our doctor now and could not leave the hospital. They were trying to determine if h should be admitted right then and there.

Okay, so I may have misled you and this does seem to be turning into a lengthy story…..I apologize and would understand if you decide to stop reading at this point.

Finally they came back and said we were to go see our doctor before the office opened at 7am the next morning to discuss the results. Now, when was the last time you heard of a doctor seeing patients prior to or after office hours? I hardly remember the hour and half long drive home that night or even telling Danny what was happening. I do remember telling myself to be careful what I said and how I said it in front of any of the kids….especially Anthony. And hiding my fear and tears was a testament to my years of being bullied as a kid and not giving the bully the satisfaction of seeing my reactions.

The next morning they swooped us into an exam room where the head of the orthopedic dept., our nurse and doctor were already waiting for us with the pertinent images visible on a computer screen. There was nothing but calm compassion as he explained that a large mass had been found and a biopsy was needed to determine if it was malignant or not. They also explained that the images and our chart had already been shown to the head of radiology at Nemours Children’s Hospital and it was decided that, though initially Dr. Stanton was going to perform the procedure, the head of radiology would be performing the surgery himself.

When I looked at those images, they became seared into my brain and I can still see every detail. The mass was so large and had grown so fast that it was about to break his leg from the inside out. We are talking a millimeter from each edge. The bone marrow had been completely consumed in about 1/3 of his upper leg bone. No wonder he was in so much pain that every over the counter suggestion for relief had failed.

We immediately set appointments to meet with the head of surgery for the oncology department and a date to have a biopsy done of the tumor and bone marrow. 10 days was all thought we had to wait to get more definitive answers and devise a course of surgical options. But within two days the pain became so bad ( they had still refused to prescribe anything) Anthony came to me crying and begged me to take him to the ER because he couldn’t take it any longer.
To be continued…….

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Tit for Tat Daddy’s Back, and there will be HELL TO PAY! – part 1

Seeing ones’ children stand up and take notice of the things that are of interest to the parent so that they can find a correlation to something they (the child) are interested in and thus create opportunities to spend unique time together was highly emotional for me.  As a Dadologist, I have always striven to have individual relationships with my kids.  But the second Onyx realized I would be a bit busier than what they were used to, the little wheels in her head started turning to locate a solution….. turning a potential negative into a positive.

  

Her idea was that I should write another kids book and she could help with the graphic layers.  She even suggested that the topic surround kids that don’t have a mom or a dad.  I love the passion my children have and the pride they show when doing something with Daddy.  So it seems a second book is to be born later this summer.  This time I think I will make it interactive and App based so that the kids can learn the basics of HTML5 and IOS Development.  We will learn together.

And this brings me to the point of this multi part series.  Danny and I have stressed education with the kids, literally from day one.  I mean, what ever it takes to ensure they are better suited for the world than what we were prepared for is what we have and will do.  Look we moved 1,300 miles to an A District and a virtually crime free neighborhood to help us ensure this.  Remember, we are a working, middle class family…..for what that’s worth these days.

This past school year proved a nightmare where we saw the kids go from honor role to almost failing and it was do to these new common core standards.  We were not informed as a community this would transpire and the Osceola School District did absolutely nothing to assist the students affected or provide support services.  I have had to threaten legal action, press conferences and a phone tree campaign that leads to the highest levels of governmental influencers.

With Onyx going to Middle School next year, we have decided to home school her so we have more control over her education.  Honestly, will give me more time with her than ever before.  I also love the idea of working on the next children’s book together.  Experiences like that create lasting memories and allows her to explore her creative side and share it with the world.

The idea of home schooling even one of the kids pisses me off completely.  So the campaign to effect change begins here.  This highly annoyed father will even run for the Osceola School Board when the next seat in our district opens up.  So stay tuned as we explore and share the educational experiences our family faces.

Fathers, Daughters And That Special Bond

By Michael Harris-Arzon, Dadologist

  

There is nothing more special in this world than the individual relationship you have with your child.  We are lucky and have a boy and two girls, so we get the best of both worlds.  And while my son and I have that “favorite child bond”, the relationship I have with my eldest daughter is so special that it defies explaining.    She surprised me today by asking if she could keep the money she was getting for a field trip with her class, and take me to lunch and spend the day together instead…..just she and I.  

To think that my tween daughter still enjoys daddy time makes my heart soar.  As a Dadologist, I know that the time will come when they crave independence and want nothing to do with me.  Hell, I still get a kiss from all three of the kids when I drop them off to school in the morning and they’d don’t care if their friends see or not.

I honestly hope the day never comes were she doesn’t want that one on one time with dad.  Granted, our relationship is quite different than other families.  That’s because of the fact that the kids have two dads and live in an untraditional family unit.  One that I have to say I don’t think any of the kids would change for the world.  As for the difference in my relationship with my daughters is because I have had to be a father and mother figure for them.  

Most fathers don’t take their daughters shopping for bras (Onyx was given the choice of going with me or one of her aunts that was here visiting).  

My eldest daughter gets so excited about our planned “father, daughter time” that you would think she was going to Disney World for the first time.  We’re taking about not being able to sleep the night before because she is so excited.  And it’s not like we don’t do things together on a regular basis.  I try to make time for each of the kids every couple of months or so and each time we do something different.

I think this time, I’ll surprise her with going out for High Tea at one of the luxury hotels we have in town.  I want to her to remember that daddy did more with her than just a shopping trip or going to the movies.  I want her to have “EXPERIENCES” that leave lasting memories.  One trick I think I shall try is to tell her a certain day and then surprise her by taking her out of school after role call a few days prior to that which was agreed upon.  This way she will be rested and not up all night because of looming excitement.

Anyway, fathers and daughters have a special bond that is vastly different than the one fathers have with their sons.  Neither is better than the other, but the feelings and memories that are created with a daughter is a little more special.  What can I say, I love having daughters.