Part of our life in this place I call Holland is that we spend a fair amount of time at doctors' offices. We go through some periods where we have many, and occasionally we have been known to go as long as eight weeks without a trip to see a doctor, or spend time at a hospital. There are a few offices where all I have to do is say, "Hi, this is...." and the person on the other line will say, "Can you be here by 3?"
Actually, that is kind of an exageration. Kind of. But, between Superkid's ongoing medical issues and the others we faced while Li'l Angel was with us, I have logged quite a bit of time at various hospitals and outpatient clinics and offices--as have all my children, since they often tag along. If there were frequent flyer miles for such a thing, we would be in Hawaii right now.
As you can imagine, these appointments can be very stressful. Another mother of a child with special medical needs, Shawni (of Life), reminded me in this recent post that I'm not the only mother who has ever come home from a doctor's office with a few more gray hairs.
So, for the sake of posterity, and to let other MedicalMiles Moms (haha! Get it? Like SkyMiles! I should market this!) know they are not alone, I present you with my own Top 3 Medical Misadventures: Office Edition.
1. Superkid was just over a year old when she and Justone and I went to see her gastroenterologist. We had a long wait. When the doctor came in, I had several concerns that I needed him to address about Sariah's g-tube feedings, comfort, etc. I even had a video for him to watch so that he could see a behavior we were concerned about. Superkid was cranky and tired. Justone was cranky and bored. The doctor and his assistant were very patient. Justone became cranky and bored and hungry. He was showing me that he was ready to leave in every way that a four-year-old can. I wasn't done talking to the doctor. So Justone grabbed my shirttail, and tugged it as he walked towards the door, whining, "Mom, let's GO!" The shirt I was wearing was one of those vintage-western types, with mother-or-pearl snaps up the front.....which popped undone. All of them. And, since Justone was walking away--the hem of my shirtail in his hand--my shirt walked away with him. AAAAAA! I'm still blushing! The two doctors blushed, too, stammered unintelligibly, and quickly excused themselves from the room. Was it a coincidence that we soon moved across the country? I think not!
2. Li'l Angel was our most prenatally photographed baby. Every time we went to see the perinatologist, they took lots and lots of pictures. When I was pregnant with the other babies, we'd always made a big deal about letting the siblings come along to an appointment, especially if it was an ultrasound. We were more cautious about that with Li'l Angel, considering the circumstances. Then one week, I decided to take all three siblings along with me; the baby had been moving a lot, I wasn't scheduled to have extra tests at that appointment, and it seemed like a good day to let them tag along. (Ignorance can be soooo bliss.) Well, we ended up waiting in the waiting room for over an hour--first time I'd ever had to wait more than 10 minutes at this particular office. I hadn't brought toys or snacks, since it was supposed to be a "quick" appointment. We were finally escorted to the exam room, where we waited an additional 30 minutes. If you have children, you can imagine how things were at this point. The children were all over the place....over the table, under the sink, inside the bathroom, outside the bathroom, around the expensive 3-D ultrasound machine. The classic, never-to-be-forgotten moment of that appointment was when I realized Justone was staring, completely transfixed, at the back of the bathroom door. "Mom, what is this?" he asked in a tone of hushed wonder. "This" was the very helpful poster demonstrating how to do a monthly self breast exam. I somehow found the fortitude to explain what a monthly breast exam was to my six year old son and his equally curious sisters. Thus, I became the only woman on the planet whose young children remind her to do her monthly breast exam.
4. We lived in Connecticut when Endeavor went to kindergarten. I took her in to see the pediatrician for a well-child visit before school started that fall. She'd had her vaccinations the year before, so I'd told her she wouldn't be having any shots that day. I hadn't realized that the state required all school-aged children to have a blood screening for lead and anemia, which involved a finger prick. Endeavor was not pleased when she was informed of this during the exam. I did my best to help the nurse hold her still so that she could get the single drop of blood required for the screening. As I did so, I had to wonder who the child in my arms was, and what she'd done with Endeavor--it had just been a year before when Endeavor chatted calmly with the doctor and nurse as they injected vaccines. The nurse captured the sample, put a tiny, prick-sized bandage on Endeavor's finger, and exited the room. At that point, Endeavor went from being merely upset about the pricking to being absolutely hysteric. Suddenly, she was jumping up and down, waving her arms in the air, shrieking as if she'd just been the victim of a stabbing. With each wave of her pricked finger, blood flew across the room, spattering the walls, the exam table, my white t-shirt, the nurse who opened the door to make sure no one was being murdered.......all of that blood coming from the very tiny prick on Endeavor's finger. Seeing her blood all over the room only increased Endeavor's hysteria. It took the efforts of both myself and two nurses to hold her down and firmly instruct her that the only way her finger would stop bleeding was if she would calm down. I'm exhausted just writing about it!
Ahhh, the memories! There are so many others, but those were the three that came to mind, first. Best wishes to others who are logging their own MedicalMiles and making memories to laugh--or cringe--about for years to come. Just remember, laughter really is the best medicine!