A/N – I pulled this story out to look at it. I am going to convert it back to a personal story about my daughter and submit it to a writing contest, BUT as I looked over it I saw that a couple of chunks went missing out of it. I'm not sure how that happened. I have reposted it as two parts because of length and also to bring it to the attention of those who read it and probably wondered how the story jumped to certain things without any real transition. Sorry about that. Check my profile in June to see if I placed in the contest. They have up to 11 or 12 places that can be earned. 1st place there is money involved. Heres hoping.

Alice I

Dear Diary, What's Wrong With Me?

Tuesday 5/31/1977

Dear Diary,

It has been a while since I opened your pages and jotted down my thoughts, and maybe that is the problem. I don't know what to do with myself. I feel a little lost and more than a little wrong. I don't feel the things I should be feeling; the things I'm expected to feel by everyone. The emotions that have taken precedence over all of the others are frustration and anger.

"Good Lord, Margaret. Never mind what kind of mother this makes you, what kind of lawyer are you to scribble down thoughts that have no reference, no background and therefore no meaning? When you open these pages years from now what will you see?"

Taking a moment to gather her thoughts into a more ordered fashion, the young mother placed pen to page again; telling this story from the beginning.

So, we were referred to the ENT. We went to see the same doctor who put the tubes in Charlie's ears. He is supposed to be the best ear nose and throat man in LA. We certainly didn't have any complaints about Charlie's care, so we scheduled the appointment, confident that everything would go well.

At the pre-op appointment and physical, we were told that for ten days to two weeks after the surgery, Donnie wouldn't be allowed to do anything strenuous. No gym class, no baseball, no running or playing. That did not sit well with our active six year old, and he complained heartily to the nurse practitioner. I tried to ease his anxiety by reminding him that for the first half of that time, he wouldn't be in town to play with his little league team anyway because of a trip we had planned well over six months ago up to my sister's cabin in the mountains.

We were immediately told that Donnie couldn't go anywhere for that first two weeks. There was a risk of postoperative bleeding and he had to be at home. A trip to the mountains was out of the question. We didn't want to postpone the procedure to another date so, as much as Donnie hated the fact that he was now going to miss out on a long awaited family vacation, as well as little league, we kept the date for his surgery. I promised him a quiet, but fun filled weekend, with me all to himself, while his father and brother went to the cabin. I went out and got advanced tickets to movies that he wanted to see for each day of the long holiday weekend. Being that it was Memorial Day weekend, all of the new summer releases were out or coming out that weekend; including 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', 'Star Wars' and 'The Eagle Has Landed'.

I told him that we could go to a Dodgers game as long as he promised not to jump up and scream at the players, or try to catch any fly balls that came his way. I promised him as much ice cream as he could eat and pointed out that we would have a great time, just the two of us. Finally, we ended up promising him a trip up to Miriam's cabin on some other weekend. No Charlie, no parents; just cool and fun auntie Miriam, who lets him get away with anything he wants.

Our post surgical paperwork said that if there was going to be any postoperative bleeding, it's peek appearance would be between days 5 and 10. There were instructions to follow if the bleeding became a problem. I was to lay him on his belly with his head turned to the side and to drink plenty of ice cold water or to suck on Popsicles. So when Donnie complained that the back of his throat tasted like blood on Memorial Day morning, yesterday, I was not at all surprised. I grabbed a flashlight and looked down into his throat and sure enough there was a small amount of blood back there.

Donnie wouldn't eat for me yesterday morning, but I didn't give him much choice about the water. We had tickets to a noon matinée, and he insisted on going. He really wanted to see Star Wars in the worst way; so with his water bottle firmly in hand, we headed off to the cinema.

About 40 minutes into the film Donnie started feeling quite sick to his stomach. I told him we should go home, but he wanted to stay and finish the movie. After two more minutes, he was looking terrible and very uncomfortable. It didn't take much to talk him into leaving peacefully, with the promise that we could always come back any other time and see the film.

Once I got him home, I could see that he was really suffering. I knew that his throat had been bleeding and I assumed that he had swallowed that blood and it was turning his stomach sour. I gave him a 3 pound plastic tub, just in case, and laid him on his stomach on the sofa. I tried to call the ENT's office and the message stated that unless this was a life threatening emergency to please call back during regular business hours. Well, the fact that he was doing what the post operative paperwork said he would do on the day they said it would happen, I didn't consider this to be life threatening, but I still wanted to give him some relief.

Donnie then threw up a copious amount of bright red blood making me very nervous. I know what the paperwork said, and my rational side told me that throwing up swallowed blood was something that shouldn't suprise me, but I called his pediatrician anyway. Once I described what was happening Dr. Holt told me to take him to the Emergency room. It was possible that they might have to cauterize the bleed site. I knew that Alan and Charlie were going to be headed back today, so I called the cabin to tell my husband what was happening and that I was taking Donnie to the hospital. I told him to drive carefully and not to worry. We were told that some bleeding could occur at this point and with what I had just seen, I was sure that the worst of it was over. Donnie also said that he felt a little better after throwing up, so I was certain that this trip to the ER was just a precaution and probably unnecessary.

Not wishing to risk it though, I grabbed the cap to the plastic tub – just in case he needed to use it again before we got to the ER – and we headed out to the car. The hospital is only five minutes from our home, but in the time it took me to drive to the hospital, Donnie became ill again. This time he threw up so much blood, I starting to get seriously worried. I kept looking in the rear view mirror...when I wasn't turning in my seat to look directly at him. I suppose I should be grateful that I didn't get into an accident. The amount of blood he threw up was beyond astonishing. If I were to pour it into a measuring cup, I am quite certain that it would have filled a least three cups worth. He stopped again for a minute, now crying because he said his belly still hurt.

As I approached the emergency room entrance to the hospital, I could see that the place was packed. There were no spaces at all in the ER parking lot, but I didn't care. I drove right up to the doors and got out, circling around to the other side of the car to get him out. By this time, he began to throw up again and I was truly becoming horrified by what I was seeing. I was starting to wonder how much blood he could loose before…