On Friday the 18th, Beverly felt a bit of pain in her belly that slowed her down for the day. Saturday brought a little queasiness, but Sunday evening brought excruciating pain. Instead of getting ready for bed, I took her in her pajamas to the ER near our home in Smyrna.

Once the scene stabilized, and the doctors had the pain under control and began running tests, I had a minute by myself to think about my schedule for the next day. Let’s see, I had a FlightSafety appointment set for 8:30 to complete pre-employment paperwork and a mandatory drug test. Before that I had planned to meet up with Matt for breakfast at a local Bob Evans. I’d see him again after the FlightSafety obligations were all met, after driving directly to Georgetown to work on my airplane. I’d be staying at the beach for a few days before Thanksgiving, until Matt headed north or we’d run out of parts for the airplane.

As the tests came back, it became clear that this was a seri0us issue. Bev would be transported to the hospital, and I’d be canceling appointments. I emailed Diane at FlightSafety, and told her I would not be there as planned. Then I sent a message to Matt and canceled breakfast plans. We’d start playing all this by ear.

With some family members covering for me, I drove up to FlightSafety on Tuesday morning. Diane had all the paperwork ready and organized, and the drug test was done in under 15 minutes. Kudos for getting me southbound in no time at all. I was still planning on Monday as the day to start my new job.

By Tuesday afternoon, it became clear what was going on, and that my wife would need surgery. She wasn’t well enough to have that done yet, so it would have to be scheduled after other complications she was experiencing cooled down. Her heart condition complicated the treatment for gall stones and a subsequent infection, and she was one sick puppy.  I wasn’t going anywhere, and was eternally grateful to be able to stay right here by her side.

I wanted to be fair to FlightSafety, and sent an email to Al. I told him I’d be there on Monday, as promised, but that my wife needed surgery. Whenever that was scheduled, I’d be there with her, so that meant I’d miss a day or two during my first week. It was terrible timing, but I had no control over the issue.

FlightSafety came back to me, proposing that I defer my start date into December, and we settled on December 19th. I am very happy with that.  Bev’s surgery is now set for Nov 30th, and I’m taking her home this afternoon (11/26) on the day before her birthday.

Life is good!  The professional care we’ve received through Bay Health systems at both Kent General Hospital and at the ER on Carter Rd in Smyrna has been excellent. Bev’s surgeon is an aviation nut, and we hit it off.  The Gastro doctor from Milford is a young lady that looked for understanding from me, and ended up drawing out all the organs on a diagram while she walked me through it. She spoke to me like and engineer and I like her enormously for it.

New FlightSafety start date is now December 19th, 2016. I’m very much looking forward to getting to it, while my wife does all the wonderful things she does on her own. I’m a very lucky man.

BTW – my annual became rather extensive.  I’ll post about that as we go, and hope to share some aviation related learnings with you soon.

Fly safe – the real troubles in your life are apt to blind side you on some idle Tuesday…..


By fdorrin

Recently rated Gulfstream 280 pilot, working on instructor qualifications. WestWind and Astra corporate jet flight instructor. Contract corporate pilot. Own and operate a PA30 Twin Comanche. CFII; MEI; ME-ATP; SES; Typed in DHC-8, B-25, IAI-1124, IAI1125, G100, G280. Retired engineer / executive - Delmarva Power, Conectiv Energy, and PEPCO Holdings, Inc.