Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Alyssa's Perfect Storm

My mother's intuition warned me from the start that it wasn't going to be pretty.  This was the situation: I needed to get the results of my ankle MRI.  When it comes to doctor's appointments for myself, I bend over backwards to schedule them on either Monday or Thursday mornings while both kids are at preschool.  This time, though, there was no escaping it...I needed to get in to see my doc and he had no open appointments in the morning on either of those days.  Well, at least, not anytime within the next month and a half...and I couldn't wait that long to go in, which meant only one thing...bring...the...kids.  Little did I know that when I said "OK" to a 1:15 pm appointment that a "perfect storm" was brewing.

Here's what I knew I was up against going into it:

a) The appointment was on a Monday, the busiest day in most doctors' offices (except for maybe Friday)

b) It was in the early afternoon, which meant not only would Lil Buddy miss his nap, but it was at a time of day where most practices are running behind

c) It's a Sports Medicine practice and isn't set up to be overly kid friendly

Those three facts alone made me nervous.  What I didn't see coming were two other...complications:

1) SweetPea is still recovering from tonsil surgery (something I expected) and was still not feeling 100% and was crabby from the discomfort (something I had not expected)

2) I got food poisoning late in the day on Easter Sunday and had been up until 3:00 am with stomach cramps and, sorry to say, barfing my guts out

So here's the score...Lil Buddy - cranky, SweetPea - grumpy, Mommy - exhausted, cranky and grumpy.  Perfect.

I tried my best before we left the house to make the best of a bad situation.  I made sure they were kids were fed lunch just before we hopped in the car.  I packed the portable DVD player and stocked up on some of their favorite movies.  Yeah, I knew I'd get the disapproving stares from the older crowd that always seems to fill the waiting room whenever I go there, but I...didn't...care.  I was going to keep them happy.  When we got to the office, both kids, thankfully, found the only toy in the place...a little activity center that looked about a million years old and was tucked away in a corner.  Five minutes later, they were pushing each other to get at the same side of the toy.  Great.  My appointment time comes and goes and we're still sitting in the waiting room...the pushing has stopped, but, instead, Lil Buddy is tugging at my hand, looking at the glass door asking "home?"  

Half an hour after my appointment time, the nurse finally puts me in a treatment room.  He purposely gives me the biggest room they have "so the kids have room to move around."  Good man!  I pull out the DVD player and soon everyone is sitting on the floor quietly watching Strawberry Shortcake...and I'm feeling a little calmer.  45 minutes later (yeah, you read that right) I'm still waiting, SweetPea is asking me why the doctor is making us wait so long and Lil Buddy is standing at the door pointing at the door handle chanting "home, Ma, home!"  I bust out every trick in my book...I get up on the treatment table so that SweetPea can pretend that she's my doctor, which makes her happy, but then Lil Buddy notices the doctor's rolling, round stool and next thing you now, I'm battling with him to leave it alone, before, he, oh I don't know, breaks his skull trying to stand on it.

When the doctor finally shows up, I move over to the other side of the room to look at my MRI films.  As I'm walking, I notice Lil Buddy has wrangled my cellphone out of my little shoulder pack and has it up to his shoulder saying "He-wo!" over and over, like does at home with his Elmo pretend cellphone.  I'm trying to listen to what the doctor is telling me as I casually walk over to Lil Buddy to get my phone back and I can faintly hear someone calling out from the phone receiver "hello...HELLO?"  Oh geez...he's managed to inadvertently unlock the keys and actually dial someone.  I look at the screen and see...911.  Oh crap, he's on the phone with the Sherrif's department.  All the while, he's crying to get the phone back, the doctor's trying to talk to me and I don't have time to explain to the person on the phone what's just happened, so I hang up and turn the phone off.  I know the logical thing would have been to calmly apologize to the person on the phone and to explain that my two year old had dialed them by mistake, but I was tired, frazzled and not feeling very logical.  Thankfully, the visit was pretty short, but I knew before we could leave that I needed to have an injection in my ankle.  I thought it might make both kids happier to let them sit with me on the table, since SweetPea wanted to hold my hand to "help me be brave" and Lil Buddy just wanted to be comforted.  As soon as the doctor walked in with the needle, both kids started to squirm, so I put them down and asked them to go back to watching their movie.  SweetPea was insistent that she stay and hold my hand...fine, but then Lil Buddy comes running back, thinking I was going to let his sister back up on the table, so as I'm trying hard to keep my foot still to let the doctor do his thing, I'm holding her hand in one hand and wrestling Lil Buddy with the other to keep him from climbing up the exam table.  Lucky for me, the doctor was fast!  As he was finishing up he says to me, "You are one tough lady, here I am with a big needle in your foot and you're sitting there quietly managing two kids."  I'm thinking, "Dude, I'm a Mom, I deal...it's what we do."  As I grab our stuff, SweetPea's hand and reach down to get Lil Buddy, I smell...stinky pants.  Too bad, it's going to wait until we get to the car. Oh, and look... I have a message on my cellphone.  It's the Sherrif's Department calling to tell me they got an emergency call from my phone and "if you have an emergency, please call back."  UGH!

A full two hours after leaving for the doctor's office, we were home.  Five minutes later, SweetPea is sitting contently with a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of pink milk...Lil Buddy is passed out in his bed...and I'm counting my lucky stars that survived the storm.  The good news...my ankle is hurting less.  Better news, my next appointment is set...a Monday at 8:00 am...when the kids are at school!


  1. Thanks for this post! Im so glad to hear that Im not the only one that has had bad experiences at the doctors office. I have 3 kids under the age of three. So I have no choice but to bring them to all our appointments. I call us the "traveling circus show," its the only way I can get through our visits.

  2. Woman, You are a tough lady. That is no lie. What a way to start your week. Well, at least it was blog-worthy -- LOL!

  3. Well played, mama! Looks to me like you couldn't have done a better job managing the situation- gold stars for you! :)

  4. I had to go for my last OB appt and the person who was supposed to watch my very active 3 yo son wasn't home when I go there to drop him off. So I had to take him to what I thought was an internal exam. They checked my blood pressure and it was so high and wouldn't go back down in the 15 min they left me to lay on an exam table with my son trying to touch every single thing in the room. So they decided that they needed to induce. I hate taking my kids to the Dr's office. Even when the appt is for them.

  5. Absolutely Jess! When it comes to their appointments, I'm pretty lucky they have stayed pretty healthy. Before SweetPea's tonsillectomy, our only visits to the pediatrician were for well checks. Since they were born in the same month, I'm able to schedule their yearly well checks at the same time. We do one appointment and I always make sure we're the first appointment of the day! At least at the pedi's office though, they have a lot of books and games and a DVD is always running some kids show. Ditto on the pedidontist!

  6. I hardly ever visit the doctor for this reason, I have to be missing a limb to go. Usually Jim can work from home while I go to appointments, but if he's not available, I just don't go.
    It'll be easier this fall when both kids are in school, but until then, I'm just crossing my fingers that nothing serious happens. :oP

  7. Holly, I would have bribed Dom with just about anything to get him to work from home yesterday, but this month he's taken so much time off (albeit, time he needed to take or risk losing the vacation time) there was just no way for him to be home that day. It seriously was one of those times where I had no choice but to bite the bullet!

  8. YIKES!! Better you than me. That's the kind of mom work I just can't do. I'd have put that appointment off until they had to amputate. The Doc was right - you're one tough lady!

  9. I made the mistake of schedualing a pap and breast exam that my daughter had to join me for. Yikes!

  10. Oh, wow, Alyssa! You are one tough cookie! I think I would have been ripping my hair out by the end.

  11. I feel your pain! Nothing worse than having to go to the doctor's office with little ones. I failed my initial glucose test with my last pregnancy and the doctor wanted me to come in to do the 3 hour. I told him "no, just treat me like a diabetic. I will stay away from carbs and sweets. But if you put me into a waiting room for 3 hours with 2 kids 3 years and under and then play around with my blood sugar- I'll be mean. I'll be mean to your staff, I'll be mean to my kids, I'll be mean to you." He said okay, just stay away from sweets. ha!


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