On May 28, 1991, the day that my many in my high school senior class would be skipping school, engaging in drinking and summertime partying, I was in the Operating Room. The day, whether I went to school or not, was a complete bust.

That morning, as usual, my parents had already up and left the house for work, leaving my sister and me to get ready and head to school. I had my license, so taking my car (an 88 Nissan Sentra with no options) was the normal thing to do.

But I didn’t feel well. No, I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. Remember the Russian in Rocky IV? Ivan Drago? Yeah. That guy. So, I called Mom to tell her I would be going to the hospital. Even my wife knows that I do not voluntarily go to the hospital. Mom’s response was that I was not skipping school. (here’s the truth. I graduated 15 in my class of 311 and was taking AP courses, working about 25 hours a week at a retail business, and very involved in extracurricular – in essence, I was a good kid and not interested in such debauchery)

I told her that if she didn’t send someone to pick me up, I would call a cab and put it on the credit card she had cosigned for me – which was truthfully only used for emergencies. So, her aunt came to pick me up and take me to the ER where I soon learned that I had appendicitis.

A bit later, both parents showed up at the hospital awaiting my turn in the OR and were very apologetic. Mom became frantic as she learned that my surgery would be delayed (my appendix had not burst yet) due to the prison riot that occurred on the other side of the river the same morning. A super-maximum security prison.

Later, after surgery, the Vice Principal actually came to the hospital to see me. I’m not sure, to this day, if he came because a) he didn’t believe I was actually there, or b) he actually cared about me. I had, earlier in his career, shown up to school in attire that required correction…

To be continued.

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