Monday, August 8, 2011

Appointments and Stuff

Good grief! My husband is a local pickup and delivery driver for UPS Freight and there have been several days recently that I felt I was in the same profession: pick up one child and deliver him to his appointment, get home just in time to say "hi" to everyone and pickup the next kiddos for delivery to their appointment. Take for instance, July 26. James had a well-check at 10:15; James and Scheri had Junior Lifeguard lessons from 1:00- 3:00; Abby had an initial exam with the pediatrician at 3:15; Caleb and Steven had swim lessons from 5:00-6:00. You can tell right off that something will have to give with a schedule like that, especially when it takes 20-30 minutes to get to and from each one of these. As it turned out, Grandma and Grandpa saved the day by picking up James and Scheri for me . . . and I hate to admit it, but we just bagged Caleb and Steven's swim lesson that day--I wasn't home in time from Abby's appointment to take them. August 2 we had Teresa's well-check at 10:15; occupational therapy for Caleb and Steven at 11:00; Junior Lifeguard from 1:00-3:00 and swim lessons 5:00-6:00. I remember when I was a younger mother, I probably would have tied myself in contortions trying to make that happen but now I have a little (key word LITTLE) better grasp of reality and gave myself permission to re-schedule the occupational therapy for the next day . . . which made for appointments at 11:00-12:00 (occupational therapy); 1:15 - about 3:45 for Abby's EEG; and the nightly swim lessons for the little guys--tight but doable. And this does not count Billy's developmental therapy--but HIS worker comes directly to our home so no transport duties for me.

Thursday morning the 4th we started packing everybody up for our trip to Salt Lake City and loading our stuff into the van. It was easier to have each person get their own small bag and put in the necessary number of shirts, shorts, underwear and toiletries than to try to pack everyone into a big suitcase. Backpacks work great for the little boys. The only 2 that had stuff together were Scheri and Abby. As usual we also packed comforters and pillows because several of the kids just end up sleeping on the floor in the motel rooms. The plan was that Kevin would get home about 6:30 and I'd get home from swim lessons about the same time and we'd be ready to head down the trail.

Not exactly. Scheri and James' Junior Life guard lessons were cut short when everyone had to clear the pool due to lightning. At that point the storm was behind me and I hadn't even noticed it. But as the afternoon progressed, the storm only got worse so I didn't even bother wasting my time to drive Caleb and Steven to their lesson. That turned out for the best because I stayed very busy trying to get ready to go. I was determined to get the floor vacuumed before we left (my days as a pickup/delivery driver had definitely not helped the appearance of our house) because I LOVE coming home to a vacuumed, tidied-up house. Of course, it had to be around 7:30 or 8:00 by the time Kevin actually got home. We ended up driving through one of the most amazing lightning storms that I've been in for a long time. We are talking the kind of lightning that doesn't just zig-zag but lights up whole portions of the sky and landscape (and THEN you see the zig-zags)

It was a good day with Abby. I really felt like we had made some strides in bonding. That night as I saw our family spread out from wall to wall in our motel room I felt so rich and so blessed.

On Friday we drove on in to Salt Lake City, found out exactly where Shriner's was and then just drove around looking at the fancy-schmancy houses up there on the hill-sides, driving by various churches, etc. Kevin was trying to find the planetarium and discovery center so he could keep the rest of the crew busy during Abby's appointment.

We then turned around and headed back up the hill to Shriner's Orthopedic Hospital. This place does state-of-the-art work with no out-of-pocket expense to the families. They have only just recently started taking insurance. Abby's appointment was at 1:00 so we got there about 12:30 to register. Of course, I was again carrying with me the sack with all of her records from Bulgaria. It is so wonderful to have this information about her birth, her medical history, her developmental level, her previous x-rays and CT scans. With Caleb and Steven I have virtually nothing.

I feel sorry for Abby with having all these medical appointments and not really being able to explain to her what we are doing, other than "doctor." Anyway, the Dr. Hennessey put Abby through her paces, had her walk in the hall, moved her hips and knees and ankles this way and that, and ordered I think about 10 x-rays--basically from the neck down. There were views with Abby standing, views with her laying down, views with her actually standing ON the x-ray, views of hips with knees apart, views with the right foot turned this way and views with the right foot turned the other way. Views with a block of wood place under Abby's right foot.

The doctor's conclusion was that Abby did not have a club foot as I had thought. However, she does have right-sided weakness, the bones in her right lower extremity are smaller than those in the left, her right leg is about 1 inch shorter than the left. She ordered an MRI (sedated) of the brain and spinal cord which will be done in Boise in conjunction with our visit with the neurologist there. I was told this could take from 2 to 4 hours and will require that she have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before. {I also found out we will be doing a sedated EEG in Boise so will need to stay overnight since both procedures cannot be done the same day} Dr. Hennessey also ordered a brace for Abby's right lower leg--we will have the molding and fitting done in Twin Falls. She will let our pediatrician order the physical therapy. We are to follow-up with Shriners in 6-8 months.

Shriner's has a nice play area so Kevin had ended up just keeping all the kids there, since we had no idea how long Abby's appointment would take. They had also all gone down to the cafeteria for lunch. Abby and I, however, were starved so we went to the cafeteria and had pizza and soda before loading the now obnoxiously loud and stir-crazy troops into the HOT van. Kevin and I were laughing about the computer-generated directions I'd printed off detailing how to get from the hospital to our motel room . . . something like "go south on west North Temple" and "take Exit B-A." Unbeknown to us, Exit C-A was a reality. So was Exit B-A. And because all I'd done was print and laugh, I really hadn't paid attention to the directions themselves. So we suddenly came to where Exit B and Exit A split and we had no idea which one to take and no time to check at interstate speeds. 50-50 chance did not work in our favor. Thankfully Kevin has a great sense of direction and we ended up finding our spot for the night taking the back roads.

We all very much enjoyed this place. It was a Holiday Inn Express, had 2 queen beds plus a fold-out couch and had it's own water park called "Grins and Fins" There was quite a large section that was only 15 inches deep. Caleb and Steven and Abby could play there very safely (yes, still in their life jackets) without us having to physically hold on to them every minute.That area had slides, spraying water, a steering wheel you could turn to make water turn off and on, a rope you could pull to make water dump on your head. There was another area where you could play water basketball, a third area just for swimming and the 4th area was where the great big tube slide emptied out--about 3 1/2 feet deep. All of us-even Abby-ended up going down that slide more than once. It was a blast. Abby would always make sure I was going to be right at the end of the slide to catch her when she came down. She would be screaming all the way down "Mommy!" and I would be saying "I'm right here. You're OK." I liked that. She also eventually let Daddy and Scheri and Teresa catch her. I also caught Caleb and Steven. The only problem with catching is that I ended up getting cold because I was just standing in the water, not actively swimming. I warmed up with swimming a few short laps and went at it again for awhile. At the end though I was sitting in the hot tub and still not warm enough (smile) and Abby, at the end, was walking around in the kiddy-pool area, saying "1,2,3" and falling purposefully face first into the water. Then all 3 of them would take hands and count and all of them would fall in. I was very proud of Abby for her courage. The pool closed at 10:00 and several of our kiddos were not too tickled when they had to get out about 9:45 to start drying off.

We got back to the room, Abby got the bath she wanted, we ate Mexican food and eventually went to bed.

Saturday morning we had to get up at a reasonable hour because the complimentary breakfast closed at 10:00 and there was no sense in missing it and having to pay for food somewhere else. Whoa, Abby was in a BAD mood. Whining and whining about being sleepy, not wanting to get up or get dressed or in any way cooperate with the program. The drive home seemed longer than the drive down there. It did give me plenty of time to drink lots of Diet Pepsi, visit a variety of rest areas and finish the book I was reading.

Back in Idaho, we took a side trip and stopped in Albion to eat. Kevin had chosen a cute restaurant with outdoor seating, but wouldn't you know it, just as we arrived it was doing some pretty serious raining. The indoor food was tasty, too. Smile.

Home in time to unpack, get everyone through the tub or shower, TURN ON THE TV (for those who were feeling TV-deprived), get Billy back in the tub and off to bed.

No comments:

Post a Comment