Yesterday, Joseph had his three-month endocrinology visit. I'm always anxious about these appointments, often wondering if the doc will take one look at our "smart charts" and ask, "Do you people know what you're doing? What's with the highs? And don't get me started on all of these lows. You might as well pack it in right now, because, hell if you know how to take care of your son."
Er, well, something like that.
Anyhow, it never quite plays out the way I imagine. But let's backtrack a moment, shall we? Because yesterday was one of those days when the tiniest of efforts seemed to morph into something almost Herculean. What was the problem, you ask?
Just getting there.
Shortly after waking, it became very clear that a conspiracy was afoot. I had a plan, you see. I'd stayed up late the night before doing the final preparations for, what looked on the surface to be, a pretty straightforward morning:
- Review notes with questions for endocrinologist, while drinking soothing cup of tea;
- Take refreshing shower so as not to offend said endocrinologist with smell of anxiety-induced sweat;
- Wake and get breakfast for the kids;
- Dress Evan;
- Inform school that Joseph would not be in;
- Pack supplies for our outing;
- And then, off to our 9:45 appointment.
Problems was, too few people got the memo.
I got up, and just as I began filling the tea kettle, I heard Evan calling from the top of the stairs, "Mommy, mommy" she sniffed, "I want mommy."
Well of course you do. So I picked her up and carried her down the stairs. Trouble was, she didn't want me to put her down, she wrapped her legs about my waist like a baby monkey, determined to stay where she was, indefinitely. Okay, deep breath. Obviously, she was upset, and needed some time RIGHT NOW with mommy. Change of plan, sit down, read a book to Evan, and try to coax her into eating something, and then, on to the tea...
During implementation of the revised plan, Joseph stomped loudly down the stairs. Apparently, he'd "gotten up on the wrong side of the bed." Actually, I hate this expression, and because Joseph sleeps on a top bunk, against a wall, he hates it too-- pointing out to me that he can literally only get up on one side of the bed.
But I digress.
"How long do you think this appointment is gonna take? Because it's really boring sitting there while you and the doctor talk. Can I bring Evan out to the lobby during the appointment?"
Now, regular readers know that Joseph is a smart, sensitive, awesome kid. But, there are times when he can be, well, difficult. Unfortunately, because I still had not had my tea, I was a bit difficult myself.
"Joseph," I said, exasperated, "I don't want you to be rude at this appointment. No saying 'I'm bored.' I'm tired of hearing 'I'm bored.' Sometimes we have to sit through things that are not particularly interesting to us, but are important. This is one of those things. We see this doctor four times a year. You can tolerate being bored for those few visits."
"And another thing" my voice rose an octave as I was picking up steam, "if things go faster than I expect, then we'll just bring you to school afterward instead of going to lunch, since school lets out at 1:45 today."
"No, no" he said in a panic, "We don't need to do that." The fear was palpable.
Just as I was ready to come back with how this isn't a vacation day, the phone rang. It was Ryan.
"Honey, on my way to work, I noticed a lot of people in the neighborhood have their recycling bins out for pick up . . ."
Suddenly, Evan started pulling at my shirt, saying quietly, "Mom . . . mom. "
". . . I'm not sure if our street is scheduled for a pick up today or not, but our bin is pretty full."
More shirt pulling. "Mom . . . mom . . . mom."
" . . . could you check the new pick-up schedule? I think it's in the drawer by the phone . . . and put out our [huge] bin if the pick-up is today."
Clearly, Ryan had not gotten the memo.
When I hung up the phone, I turned to Evan, feeling guilty that I had been ignoring her attempts to get my attention. I said, in that soft, mommy voice:
"What is it, honey?"
She looked up at me with big brown eyes, and a somber expression.
"Mommy, " she sighed heavily, "I'm just bored."
Two phone calls later (the first from a friend who wanted to arrange a playdate for our kids, and really just wanted to "chat," and the second, a much-longer-than-intended conversation with the school secretary about Joseph's desire to play the cello in strings class), we were back on track.
The shower was quick. The tea never made. The recycling pick-up schedule never found. But the kids were dressed and fed. When we got to the hospital parking ramp, it seemed that everyone had a 9:45 appointment. We drove to the top of the ramp, before I decided to go wild and ignore a "Wrong Way" sign, in order to nab a just-vacated spot. We were in.
At 9:50, we ran to the parking ramp elevator, then on to the clinic elevator, and just as we approached the check-in desk, I realized that my notepad, filled with carefully thought-out questions, had been carelessly left behind-- still lying on the passenger seat of our van . . . a million miles away.
I was going to have to wing it.
Thankfully, I remembered all of my questions, Joseph successfully beat back boredom, and Evan only mildly freaked out in the examining room, until she realized that her brother would be the doctor's focus. And, when Joseph did eventually retire to the lobby with Evan, his doctor commented that "He's really a very bright kid, and so well-mannered."
I simply smiled.
Oh, and his HbA1c. It was 7. Down from 7.5 three months ago. "He's definitely ahead of expectations for adolescent children. As a matter of fact, our goal for high school and college kids is 7 or below. You really are doing a terrific job here," she said.
Again, I smiled . . . but this time, with a huge sigh of relief.