Mac Eagan’s P.O.V.

(Wilson’s disease, if gone undetected can lead to pre-mature spalding as in this photo of Tom Hanks in Castaway–the hair piece looks like weeds!)


A challenge for you!  In the comments, come up with the best meaning of the acronym “POV” as it relates to Mac.

For those of you keeping count, this is posting number 8 of the 24 still in the hopper as of Thanksgiving. When all have been posted and all bribes properly weighted, six finalists will be announced.

We have all come to accept that Mac Eagan is a versatile writer, sometimes assuming outlandish characters from the past or future, and making them sound quite credible.  Mac impresses once again in this piece in which he absorbs the character of


by Mac Eagan


Friday 09/20

Doctor Oliver came this morning. I was sure on Monday they would say yes. They had to.

It isn’t fair. We didn’t know I needed a doctor back then. We didn’t know about Wilson’s Disease. We would have come sooner. We would have.

It’s not fair. We didn’t know it was too late.

Monday 09/16

I had lots of tests today. Mom wants to donate part of her liver, but a committee has to decide if it’s worth the risk to her. I might have too many other problems. I asked Dr. Oliver if there was anything else I could do. He said stay positive. Another hard part of his job is telling committees why they should take chances on people they don’t know. I wish I had kept a better journal. Then they could all read it and know I’m worth it. He said they will make their decision Friday. They have to let me have the transplant. They have to.

I swear it’s not too late – Katie.

Wednesday 08/28

Mom came in my room today while I was sleeping. I was not facing her. I woke up and heard her talking to Dr. Oliver so I pretended to still be sleeping. She asked if I was going to be OK. He had to do the hard part of his job and say he didn’t know. He said my body also doesn’t process iron the right way and now my kidneys are failing. I turned over and asked him if I was going to die. He said he was doing his best to keep that from happening and walked out. Seeing Mom cry – I have to beat this.

I swear it’s not too late – Katie.

Tuesday 08/13

I hardly write at all. Shelley asks me if I do, but she never reads it so I tell her I write everyday. She says that’s good. Her job is easy. I usually just don’t feel like writing. I have to today, though. Dr. Oliver said the medicines aren’t working. His job is hard. He has to give bad news to people. He said I need a liver transplant. He also said sometimes WD makes people crazy and if that happens a transplant won’t help. I can’t have any more meltdowns. Not if I want a transplant, and I do.

I swear it’s not too late – Katie.

Wednesday 07/31

I think my medicines aren’t working. Or maybe I don’t really have WD. I don’t know what’s happening. When I asked the nurse, she treated me like a baby. I lost my temper and went nuclear on her. I’ve been doing that a lot. I don’t know why. I do know I am going to get better.

I swear it’s not too late – Katie.

Friday 07/26

I know I haven’t been writing like am supposed to, but I have been reading a lot. Some about WD and also stuff Shelley told me about to stay positive. She’s gotten better. Dr. Oliver doesn’t say much. Mostly he talks to Mom out in the hall. He keeps telling me to hang in there.

I swear it’s not too late – Katie.

Monday 07/22

I read some of the things Shelley told me about. Mostly they said if you are determined to succeed you will. I am supposed to be writing more, but I stay tired. I don’t know if the medicines are working. I have a new phrase – “I swear it’s not too late.”

It wasn’t too late when we found out I have WD.  It’s not too late for me to get better.  It’s not too late for me to write more in my journal.

I swear it’s not too late – Katie.

Thursday 07/18

I used the hospital wifi and my laptop to find out about WD. It makes your body not use copper the right way so it builds up. It can be fatal if not treated.  Sometimes it’s fatal with treatment, if it’s found too late.

My doctor is Dr. Oliver. I asked him if we found mine in time and he said he hopes so. He said there are medicines I can take or I might need a liver transplant.

Shelley came in later and asked if I was “journaling.” I told her I did my first one two days ago. She said that was good but she didn’t ask if she could read it. I wouldn’t have let her, anyway. I told her she will be shocked at how fast I get better and go home. She said I had a good attitude and told me some things I could read.

Tuesday 07/16

I really don’t think I should have to do this since I’m going to be fine. But Shelley says being hospitalized can be stressful and writing can make it better.

I’m not stressed, just angry. No one will tell me how long I have to stay. I don’t even feel sick. A little tired, but I’m always tired. That’s how teenagers are. And falling down? We do that, too. And get bruises. But we’re not supposed to keep bleeding.

I cut myself yesterday helping Mom make dinner and I bled and bled. And bled some more. So now I am here.

They said I have Wilson’s Disease, or WD. I don’t know much about it (yet) but they said it could be pretty bad. This other nurse, Shelley, came in. She wore regular clothes. Turns out she’s a nurse that’s a shrink. She said I might have a lot of feelings I’m not used to and writing them down would help me deal. I told her I probably didn’t need to but then she got pushy even though she tried to be nice.

I’m only doing this so she will leave me alone about it. Whatever Wilson’s Disease is, I am going to get over it. I always find a way to get what I want.

My name is Katie.  I’m twelve.



30 thoughts on “Mac Eagan’s P.O.V.

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    Well, urgh, oh my…here is a set of journal entries about a disease I learned a little about on House, MD. The symptom is easy to spot for an MD, but because of its rarity is often hard to believe for a physician. It appears as a copper ring around the pupils. Wilson’s Disease is often fatal. This story is compeling to me, because the patient is so young and is frustrated, bound up with pent up energies and witness to her mother’s fears. Physicians are taught not to alarm their patients as part of bedside manner procedures, but they also are human enough to be readable. I all say that while this was not one of my favorite stories it does meet the theme of being on the edge of oblivion very well. Katie’s chances are obviously not good, because of the nature of organ issues related to WD. Leaving us on this edge of life with her was to me the most effective part of this story.

    • Mac Eagan says:

      Thank you. I already knew I wanted to write a story about a chronic, potentially terminal, illness but didn’t want anything anyone would be too familiar with. I asked my wife for a suggestion and her answer was, ‘Wilson’s Disease – it was on House once.’
      I kid you not.

  2. Glclark says:

    POV = “Power of Voice” and it is abundantly obvious that Mac’s got it! The dialogue in his ‘old guys’ stories all the way to this story where he puts the Power of Voice in the thoughts of the main character in this story – the confusion and wondering and finally resolve to once again, as always, get “What she wants.” You’re a hell of a story teller, Mac. You know your characters so well that you take us on guided tours through their thought centers in the brain.

    • Mac Eagan says:

      As a kid, there were lots of things I wanted to do but wasn’t able. So I imagined I was all the different people doing those things. In a way, I guess I still am.

  3. KYLE Katz says:

    Love the ease in which you tell a story. My only preference was that the introduction of Katie was in the very beginning. My empathy level would have risen to wonder how in heavens name can a 12 year go through such an ordeal. The characters are so strong, the presentation through the journal…so thoughtful. POV Person ovulating victory!

    • Mac Eagan says:

      You are right – I probably could have added to the opening entry (of the story – her last entry in her journal) something like “not fair – I’m only twelve.” I was hoping through the voice of the character to gradually reveal who she was, with the “pulling of the curtain” coming at the end.
      Ovulating? No, no, just . . . no.

      • KYLE Katz says:

        I think I’m just reading too many stories and writing and editing and finishing my own book. I want it spoon fed. It works both ways. Ovulating…Oh My. I didn’t know how to take that one back. LoL. Could mean rich with ideas. I’m just saying…many ideas…fertile ideas. Can’t convince huh?

  4. Stars Fall On My Heart says:

    I read a story not too different from this in a fiction writing class long ago. I’ve always wondered how the writer was able to not only get into the mind of the ill, but to write it in such a casual way that actually adds impact, versus turning it into a total soap-opera meltdown. Lovely Mac!

    • Mac Eagan says:

      Thank you, Stefanie. I agree, avoid over-playing the scene. If you can get into the character’s mind and make him/her real to the reader, the reader will provide all the drama you need.

  5. trk803 says:

    Very deft handling of the reverse time-line, the dawning realization that she didn’t say, “isintl” after the first entry that we see, realistic depiction of the hospital as a spooky place, the doctor treating the one he can help (her mother), ingenious! pov = pissed-off vixen

    • Mac Eagan says:

      Thank you, Thad, for picking up on the “dawning realization” that Katie’s optimism would not be rewarded. That is the effect I was going for.
      I appreciate your feedback.

      • trk803 says:

        De nada, amigo. I really go by Tad or spell my full name “Thaddeus” but don’t tell Thorn any of that. He’s a pretty busy guy these days.

    • Mac Eagan says:

      Thank you, Miriam. I was concerned the dialog was a little young for a twelve-year-old. Glad you liked it the way it is.

  6. Diane Cresswell says:

    Mac this is exceptional. Gerry who was my husband – had a kidney transplant and so in reading this I saw the dynamics that lead up to the situation where one’s life is in the hands of the committee. Brilliant walk, brilliant in so may ways. And so devastating when nothing can be done. And for a child – makes one want to scream out – its not fair!!!!

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