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The Waiting Room

Your omniscient author in absentia:
(UPDATED 11:30am 3/16 via comment to this post)
(UPDATED 3/17  via comment to this post)
(UPDATED 3/18  via comment to this post)
(UPDATED 3/19  via comment to this post)

Today's the big surgery today for my wife, so the Soxaholix site will be on standby until things normalize a bit.

Rally caps are on.



Christ candle is lit. All the best.

Indeed on the rally caps- my imaginary one is reverse bent with a softball in the brim (old high school trick).

In actual reality, I am wearing my pink Kintees "JTek: A Real Fenway Hero" tee-shirt today in your wife's honor, hb. If the spirit of Varitek and his thighs can't help, I don't know what can. Good thoughts your way...

Of all the attributes of a Red Sox fan, the strongest is the heart.

Be well, Mrs. h.b.

May the end of the day bring you both peace of mind and heart.

Best of wishes to Mrs. H.B. The lucky 2004 hate is on. We're with you guys, H.B.

Dig in and hang tough,you'll both be home before you know it. Rich

I'm wearing my 2004 World Series Tshirt today. What could be a more powerful portend of good karma than that?

Best of luck Mrs. H.B.

Longtime reader, first time poster - good luck with the surgery.


you know which way we're rooting...

Wishing you the best on this difficult day.

Good luck and be well Mrs. HB! RSN is rooting for you today.

I will be thinking of you and your wife today HB. Best of luck and a speedy recovery to your family.


mrs hb haiku

rally caps are on.
docs know what they are doing.
Things will be better.

all our best thoughts,


You guys are in my prayers today.

Read your blog for a long time. This is my 1st comment. Hope and pray everything goes well with your wife. Thank you for the smile and info you bring me each day with your cartoons.

Best of luck to both of you today.

All the best to you and your wife!

God bless and God speed.

We'll be thinking of Mrs. HB today. Rally caps on, prayers sent.

hey hb, i'd fallen behind in my reading and only just caught up with soxaholix last night. i'm so sorry you're going through this, and i'm pulling for you and your wife with all of the big-papi-at-the-plate-in-the-bottom-of-the-ninth mojo i can muster.

Good luck to you both! Hang in there!

Good luck to you both! Hang in there!

Best wishes for a flawless procedure and an Ellsbury-like recovery.

Thoughts and prayers go out to you both. Best of luck for a successful surgery and speedy recovery.

Sending positive energy your way.

Cowboy up, Mrs. HB!


I hope everything goes great. We wait and hope with you, h.b.

I have my Red Sox Life is good #7 Fenway shirt on!

We are all sending along our positive thoughts and energy to you and your wife!

Good luck h.b and Mrs. h.b.!!!!!

all the best mrs. hb & to you too h.b.

strength, resolve, faith...got us through 86 years, it'll work now. Go team brachen!

hoping for the best...good luck!

good luck, good luck, good luck.

Continued thoughts and prayers for you and your wife.

We're all pulling for you mrs. hb.

Best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery to mrs. h.b. and a stress-free doctor's report to you, h.b.

Rally cap, fingers crossed, prayers said, and I'm wearing my lucky underwear.

Good luck and hope it went well especially to Mrs. H.B. and the waiting-room pacing H.B.


Scheduled o.r. was occupied by an emergency case, so actually surgery didn't start until about 30 mins ago.

It's going to be a long day into night

Go the clever surgeons! Thinking of you.

Stay strong h.b.

Us dedicated Soxaholix are thinking of you and Mrs. h.b.

Our prayers with you. Got the rally cap on and awaiting good news!

Thinking of you and mrs h.b.

Got the good-luck game hat on and pulling for a successful day in the home dugout.
Been here, done this myself, and I know how hard all this waiting and dreading is. Here's hoping things go smoothly. There's a lot of good vibes going your way, pick 'em up!

One more of your mostly silent legion wishing you and the missus good luck and speedy recovery.

Best wishes and all our thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. h.b. and you too Mr. h.b. Also with the team of doctors.

don't really know what to say. you've given me a lot of good feelings and laughs, so if karma does really work then there's a lot of love coming your way, at least from this family. all the best.

Vermonter said it very well, so I won't try to improve on his words. Just know that many fans are rooting for you both, Mr. Brachen...

Please update us when you get the chance.

sending positive vibes to the hb's

rallying with you and keeping you both in my prayers!

Best wishes for you & your wife, HB.

I read this strip religiously, but this will be my first comment.

I wish you and your wife the best possible recovery from this scare. If anonymous good thoughts are worth anything, you have mine.

Thoughts of the most positive kind, and best wishes to you both.

Hoping all is well. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

I'm not happy about this waiting business guys - it makes me nervous.
HB is undoubtedly spending all of his time and energy where it needs to be spent. But I think one of the doctors should come out and give us an update!

Hello h.b. Was out all day, thought I would check in to see how everything went.

I look forward to hearing some good news.

While we wait, enjoy some Annoying Devil from a show called Balls of Steel.

Feel like I'm pacing around the waiting room myself. Sure, I could have predicted this. On pins and needles waiting to hear about the wife of a guy I've never met whose name I will never know. Oh, yeah... and a Red Sox fan.

Thinking good thoughts about you and Mrs. Brachen. I have nothing but good vibes that all will go well.

Jeez...I'm right there with ya, pt. Totally nervous and wondering.

sending best wishes and aloha to mr. and mrs. hb.

Hi h.b. - sending positive vibes from around the globus.

Hope this cheers you up...


So much great material, so early in the season...friggin' effortless mirth...I leave it to pro's like you to maximize the value-add of this piece.

I'm w/ jen and pt(!).

We love you hb



Surgery went on for 13 hours Fri/Sat and there were "complications" including uncontrolled bleeding.

They stopped the surgery at 330 am and put my wife in the ICU with her chest still open.

She's been there since,unconscious. The bleeding problem got under control, but then they had to wait for swelling in the heart to go down.

She is scheduled for surgery at 2pm today (Sunday) to close everything up and, finally, begin the recovery the process.

It's been one hell of a fucking ride.

Thanks so much for all your well wishes and support.

wow h.b. That's a fucking stressful thing.

Thanks for the update. I know every single one of us appreciate it. Go do what you need to do, and know we are all pulling for the two of you.

Thank YOU hb-we're all here with you

Just talked to my mom about what you wrote, h.b. She's honestly really positive about how things sound like they went barring the complications. She explained that they do happen sometimes, but that they were able to put her into ICU is very good to hear and that the remaining surgery today should finish everything up. She feels good about your wife's chance to recover well and fully after today's surgery.

It wouldn't be life if there weren't complications, I guess. I know we could all do without them, but there it is. Remain strong yourself, h.b. Your wife needs you to stay on top yourself. Thanks for letting us know how it's going. We're just a bunch of semi-anonymous Sox fans (and a few Yankee fans) but we do care a ton for one of our own.

I'll probably tip a few back today. I'll be sure to knock one down in honor of your wife's good health. Take care.

Best wishes h.b., and Mrs. h.b.

That's terrifying - I'll keep you and mrs. h.b. in my prayers.

H.B. I can't imagine, we are all pulling for her, you, and the surgeons to cap off this game in the Bottom of the 8th had have Paps close the door.

THanks for the update.

Thank you for the update. Waiting room pacing with complications is the worst. Hope you won't have to do too much more of it.

keeping the positive thoughts flowing from out west, hb. continued strength and all the best.

Terrifying, but Kaz's mom's explanation sounds both cogent and extremely positive.

You would be amazed at how tough and resilient people are, and how much they can rally from. You're probably discovering this first hand right now, Mr. Brachen.

This, too, shall pass, and your wife will be fine. Just remember... sunning in the stands come July. I will continue to think all good thoughts. You both have friends, though you couldn't ask for a motlier bunch.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and most especially Mrs. H.B. You've brought me and a whole lot of others a lot of laughs, and that surely has earned you a lot of brownie points with the Big Guy. I hope you both hear some very good news soon.

Keep your head up and your hopes up, h.b., and prayers for you both.

h.b. I know it all has been said but you and your wife have been in my thoughts and prayers. Take Care

Keeping you both in my prayers and positive vibes your way!

A lot of us still out here with the rally caps on. Hope to hear good news soon. As Pinstripe Thunder says, motley we may be, but friends we are, and we are all certainly united in our best wishes for both of you...

Fashionably late to the party as always...

Thinking of you and your wife a lot this weekend. Hang in there. I'll be wearing my Green Monstah shirt and Sox pin on my white coat lapel for you guys tomorrow.

Be strong. You are in my daily thoughts and prayers.

First time, long time.

I lit a candle at Church for you and Mrs H.B. today and said a prayer.

I expect a number of other readers did likewise on many days, in many faiths, in many ways. In houses of worship that come with stained glass or maybe just passing by one that comes with green grass.

I think that should cover all the bases.

Continue to keep the faith h.b....Like PT said, who could ever predict that I would care about, " a wife of a guy I never met, whose name I will never know."...and yet we all do.

Strength brother.

Still waitin' and hopin', too.

And prayin'.

Believe it.

Take your time and take care of the wife. We'll still be here when you want us. Believe that, too.

* UPDATE Monday a.m.

Good news. The second part of the surgery went very well (and very quickly) Sunday afternoon. The breathing tube came out last night around 8pm and shortly thereafter my wife was able to talk (or rather whisper) just a bit.

And today should be another good day as far as recovery.

Felt so good to wake up this morning without the cloud of despair and unknowing hanging over us!

More later ...

Extra innings suck in this context.
Let's close it out Docs, get her on the DL, and start rehab.
I know this is a scary thing to go through. My own wife "teetered on the brink" for a couple of days after being struck by a vehicle about 13 years ago. It's hell, pure hell.
My thoughts are with you, I hope for good news soon.

Apparently you wrote your update as I was writing my note. It wasn't there when I wrote the above comment.
VERY encouraged by the news and glad you are able to see that light ahead.
It's so much better knowing that the odds and the momentum have shifted to the home team's side
Go Mrs. HB! (and docs)

Good to hear the 2nd part went well h.b. I'll toss a Jameson or 6 back today for good wishes to you and Mrs. h.b.

Wonderful news. May it continue.

I think Bob Costas should visit the site and see what kind of emotions a "loser in his basement" can generate. HB has created a community, its roots in a love of the Red Sox, but has grown beyond.

The good karma created by HB should be good for fighting infection an shaving some stress out of recovery.

That is awesome. h.b.!!!
Take care of yourself so you are fresh for her when she gets home.



Such good news. Stay calm, Mr. B.; to take care of the Mrs., you've got to take care of yourself. Get out, go for a walk, see some friends, breathe non-hospital air. And remember that long term health crises are a roller coaster. Don't let yourself get too up, or too down.

So thrilled to hear the good news! I'm sure it feels as if the weight of the world has been lifted off you both.

Here's to a speedy, uncomplicated recovery, Mrs HB!

Great news h.b. - I pray the news keeps getting better and better.

Very good news, h.b.!

I'm sure she'll want you to fill her in on all of the weekend's news. :)

All thoughts and prayers with you and yours; you've got a wonderful (and obsessive) community pulling for you! And thank you for taking the time to update us -- may all updates be as happy as this morning's.

Thank-you h.b.for keeping us updated. It is very very good news!!!


I figured God owes me (for a variety of things), and I made sure to call in a marker for you yesterday, hb. Glad to hear the good news!

Holy shit, what a weekend. I can't imagine the stress you've been under H.B. I'm glad to hear it appears to be all working out for the best.

It is St. Patrick's Day - take 10 and find someplace to pour you a Guinness. You deserve it after the last couple of weeks.


Big up to Mrs. HB. Keep the faith!

Thanks for the update, glad to hear things are getting better. Be sure to tell her we're all pulling for her. Be sure to let her rest, and you get out and go for a walk or something.

Happy Evacuation Day!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Happy Recovery Day!!

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