You know how I hoped our visit to Children's Memorial yesterday would be painless enough that I'd have time to make creative notes in my journal in between appointments?
Upon check-in for our 10:30 appointment, we learned that E's kidney ultrasound was scheduled for December 27th of '06, not '05. When the woman at the desk learned how far we'd driven to get there, she took pity on us, promising to squeeze us in.
Four coloring pages, three hands of Fish, one Winnie-the-Pooh memory game, five Connect Four games, and the beginnings of a headache later, they called for E. By the time the test was finished, we'd missed our next appointment by 45 minutes, and my headache was full blown.
We headed off in search of the C elevators, praying the echocardiogram people hadn't yet called for E. A handful of wrong turns later, we found the right reception area.
Turns out arriving on time wouldn't have mattered. The echocardiogram was scheduled for December '06, too. So much for trying to journal in between tests.
12:10. The waiting room was packed. I rubbed my forehead, trying to concentrate. Our window of time to complete the echo and eat lunch before our one o'clock with the liver specialist had evaporated.
"I could try to fit you in," the receptionist said.
E and S leaned against the reception desk like they needed a place to sit. My head was pounding.
I imagined leaving the hospital right after our 1:00. We could beat rush hour, cutting our commute in half. Time enough to fix dinner, help E with her shower, read the younger girls another chapter from The Chronicles of Narnia, do bedtime, and settle into some serious writing before I got too sleepy.
"You guys look overbooked," I said to the receptionist. "Maybe we should just try to come back another day."
"Oh, I'd hate for you to make the drive again," the receptionist chimed. She clicked a few keys, studied the computer screen. "Tell you what. You have a one o'clock in the liver clinic, right? You'll probably be done by 3:15. Come back then. We should have openings by then."
Probably? She's expecting us to take that long in clinic? Swell. So much for getting out of here before rush hour.
"Sure," I heard myself say, "We'll check in with you when we're through."
12:17. Just under 45 minutes left to find lunch and return to 5th floor for the liver clinic which was located down the hall.
Thankfully, there's a McDonald's in the basement. Not my usual choice for lunch for the girls, but by now they'd earned it. The only downside was that the eatery is such a popular destination for patients and their families that it was out of Narnia toys. The girls ordered Happy Meals anyway.
Refueled, we navigated our way back to the fifth floor with one minute to spare. I took notes in my journal determined to use it for some form of writing that afternoon.
Long story short, the liver doctor sees no reason why E can't have surgery. He ordered a test to review liver function, adding another stop at the hospital before we ended our day there. "Just as a precaution," he said, handing me the order. "I'm not expecting any surprises."
"No problem," I said. I inserted the order in my journal, resigned to spending the rest of the afternoon at the hospital.
We did the blood test. We played multiple games of hangman in my journal until they fit us in for the echocardigram. We arrived home well after dinner time. Colonel Sanders cooked for us.
Now all we need is a new surgical date.
Appetite for writing:
Hungry, but still too exhausted to string together anything longer than this blog entry. I shouldn't be surprised. Traditionally, P's done the majority of lengthy visits with E, and I've done the shorter ones. Yesterday was the first time in many months I felt prepared enough emotionally to do a longer one on my own.
Edited to add:
Now, I'm required to do something that requires equal doses of faith and patience, both of which are in small supply these days. I must wait for my muse. Until it recovers and resurfaces again, there's no use indulging my need to finish my revisions to my work-in-progress. My head might be in it, but not my heart. And experience has proven that work forced when my muse isn't cooperating requires major cutting the next day.