Friday, July 29, 2011

A Dentist, a Doctor, and a Clown

Wednesday, for me, was a lot like a baseball game. Quick sudden bursts of action crammed into short amounts of time paired with a lot of waiting around.

As most of you know, I was running in the Ronald McDonald 5K Wednesday evening. For many, a 5K is a walk in the park, but I have to mentally and physically prepare for such a venture with all of my being, and I am much better off if my day leading up to a 5K is relatively uneventful. Wednesday was not such a day.

The kids had their first ever dentist appointments Wednesday morning at 9:30 am. Yes, yes I know...this is something that should have been done a long time ago, but we've moved an average of once a year since Elijah was born, and changed insurance more times than I can count, so yeah, I was a little lazy about finding a dentist to take care of teeth that wouldn't be around much longer. Let's move on.

The dentist appointment was scheduled a week in advance, so it's not as though I didn't know about it. I was fully prepared, and understood that I should get my rest, since it wasn't going to be such a typical day. I went to bed at 9:30 Tuesday night. I had the most wonderful night of cricket farts to be had (read previous blog), and awoke all on my own at 7:45 am. Plenty of time to be ready and early to the dentist!

After showering, and eating, and readying myself like a champ, I gave myself a pat on the back for being ready before the kids were even up. I sat down to play around on the computer just knowing that the kids would be up any second. After all, they're up on any normal day around 8:15 to 8:45.

But like I said, this was no typical day. Of COURSE this would be the day they sleep, and sleep...and sleep! I had to go wake them up just after 9, which, as you know, did not leave us nearly enough time to get out the door and to the dentist on time. I ran two confused toddlers around to get dressed, find shoes, and brush their teeth all while rubbing their eyes at me, but this did somehow build up the excitement of going to the dentist, and by the time we pulled up they were shouting, "we're going to take care of our teeeeeeth!"

The children came through with flying colors. Of course there was the hand holding, and the singing, and the "Yay! Your teeth are getting a bubble bath!" In fact, there was so much of that, that I couldn't fill any of the paperwork out until they were both all done. But the fact that they let the dentists there touch them without screaming so loudly the whole building heard, was a miracle in itself. And I learned that by calling them dentists, not doctors, the children were much more responsive and eager to please. So I was pleased.

I hurried them home because they had yet to eat anything and it was now after 11. I sat them down with special bowls of Lucky Charms (which they totally earned and deserved), and then started my morning chores around the house. This usually begins in their room, because, while it's neat otherwise, they mess their beds up so badly while they sleep that it looks like a tornado slept there. It was only about a minute after I heard them yell, "I ate all my food, Mommy!" that I heard a small thud, and Chastity's scream immediately followed.

Now you have to understand, that happens nearly every day. She is either tumbling on the floor, off the couch, or spinning until she can no longer walk. It is endless entertainment, but also the constant cause of minor injury.

My first reaction: "You're OK!" as I continued to make her bed. Elijah then came in to let me know that Chastity hurt herself. The screaming didn't stop, and Chastity came to find me. Upon lifting her I noticed she wouldn't move her right arm, and the screaming got louder. I rushed her to the couch and stripped off her shirt like a band-aid to exam her. The way she was holding her arm made it look like she'd dislocated her shoulder, but she screamed no matter where I touched it.

It was now 11:45 am. I was hoping to avoid the ER, so I called her pediatrician. That conversation went well.

"Hi, this is Erin Greene. My daughter, Chastity has an appointment with you tomorrow, but she just hurt her arm badly, and I'm wondering if I can bring her"
(Chastity screaming in the background)
Receptionist: Ummm...You want to combine it with her well visit...with her shots and stuff?
(Yes, yes, that is exactly what I'd like to do...she's not screaming hard enough, so give her some violent shots to her legs as well, please.)
"No, no. I just want someone to look at her arm...if at all possible. If they then recommend that I take her to the ER, I will, but I'd like someone to check."
(Chastity continues to scream)
Receptionist: Oh, ok, because we can't combine it with her well visit. We wouldn't have enough time to do both.
(Thank you for that. Good to know)
"Ok, well can I bring her in right now?" (Now 11:47am)
Receptionist: Sure, how's 1 o'clock sound? Does that work for you?
(Really? Does that sound like NOW? Do you hear the words coming out of my mouth?)
", right now?"
Receptionist: Sorry, we take lunch from noon to 1, so we can't see her before 1.
"Ok then. I'll take her to the ER. Thank you very much (for nothing).

I got Chastity to the ER quickly, constantly checking my mirrors, just daring a cop to pull over this mom on a mission.

I never did put her shirt back on. It would have been too painful. So I carried my half naked little girl into the ER, and gave them her name. Hoping to rush them through their computer system, I opened with "Chastity Greene, she's been here before," and gave them her birth date. Because she had a minor injury to her left arm about 6 weeks ago when she pulled hard from holding my hand while crossing the street.

In hindsight, that may not have been the best introduction, since the cop sitting right behind the receptionist didn't stop watching me the rest of the time we were in the waiting area. However, they did get us in quickly. That's about the only thing they did quickly. After about a half hour someone came in to examine her. This was quite the difficult task, because it didn't matter where the doctor touched her, she screamed simply because a stranger was touching her. They decided to go ahead and x-ray the whole arm, shoulder to wrist, since the exam was so inconclusive. It was another hour before anyone came to take her in for her x-ray. After the x-ray, we sat in there, alone for nearly 3 hours before someone finally came to tell us that they determined she had a closed fracture of the elbow, and would need a soft cast. At this time, it was after 4, I hadn't had any food or water since around 11am, and my 5K was at 6:30!

Let's recap: my children hadn't seen a dentist before Wednesday, I fed them Lucky Charms immediately after the dentist appointments, I yelled to Chastity "You're OK!" after she took a tumble that landed her in a cast, and yes, I'm still going to run a 5K after bringing home a tired, hurting little girl from the hospital. I know, I know...I should be nominated for Mother of the Year.

It all sounds bad, but I promise you she was in good spirits by the time we left the hospital, and Jelani is quite capable, contrary to what you may have heard.

We were home by 5, Jelani started dinner for the kids, and I ate some quick bread and butter (the pregame meal of champions), and headed out the door to the Ronald McDonald House 5K. I couldn't let my supporters down, and, let's face it, a good run after a day like that should be very therapeutic.

Only it wasn't. It was nice to get out in the fresh air, but bread and butter is so not the pregame meal of champions. I was tired, and dehydrated, and just plain malnourished, and after only about half a mile, my legs felt like they were going to collapse beneath me. But, if playing basketball at the Division 1 level taught me anything, it was how to push through pain and get out of my comfort zone, so I continued on, and was surprised to find that my 1st mile time was 8:53. I smiled to myself just knowing that I could run this all in less than 28 minutes even on collapsible legs.

By the third mile I started to see men as old as or older than my dad (no offense Dad) passing me. Unacceptable. I kicked it up a notch...or so I thought, only to find a nice long hill at the very end of the race. I...uhhh..."sprinted" to the finish, but, alas, my efforts produced only a time of 28:41. At the time, I thought that was alright, but later realized that my last 5K was finished in 28:25.

So I took a few steps backwards. I can live with that. And my excellent mommy instincts told me I shouldn't stay and participate in the after party, but rather get home to my aching little girl.

Thank you to my supporters for helping make my run possible and support the Ronald McDonald House. I don't have a picture from this race because, sadly, I ran this one alone, and though I didn't see Ronald, I'd like to believe he was there, as he should be, supporting the cause which holds his name.

I went home, hugged my babies, and ate a fudge brownie sundae. What a day! 

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