By Jim Schutze
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In late December, Orvik goes to the hospital for an appointment. The doctor tells him that rather than risk an additional surgery that could worsen the fistulas or create more, they'll wait to see if the openings in his abdomen close on their own. It's a major blow. He'd been hoping the constant pain would be put to rest with an operation, and now there seems to be no end in sight.
"The next appointment is February 24, so I gotta stay like this till then," he says. "I can't eat without hurting. I can't even move without hurting. It's getting old."
He was hoping to recover in time to do his winter ritual with his sons. Every year, they take a trip they call "Drive to Snow," which means they find out where the closest snowfall is and drive there. This year at least, the boys may have to make do with the new mini bike he bought them. But in spite of his disappointment, Orvik tries to remember that on some level, he's lucky to be able to do anything.
"Since I got sick, I treat every show like it could be the last," he says. "People say it all the time, 'Act like today's the last day.' Well, I do that now. It's a nice way to live. All I wanted to do was do shows and be with my kids, and I'm getting to do both."
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