Electric Grandmother

Maggie Croft's Personal Journal young spirit, wire-wrapped
spark electric grandmother
arc against the night

-- Lon Prater
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the joys of adulthood

Though very tired, I am having a hard time sleeping. I thought of reading for a little while, but if I were to do that I might really get sucked into a book and not go to sleep at all, so I'll make this journal entry, and then hopefully be able to sleep.

I wonder if it's the cough medicine? I'll have to check the label.

After making yesterday's journal entry, I had the intent of trying to find someone to leave the kids with. To see a doc, I'd have to go to the local immediate care center, which could mean a long wait, which is no fair to the kids. Besides, I didn't much feel like chasing them. But then LD began to cry. A lot. I saw four top teeth coming in, so I gave him some Tylenol. He threw it up. Long story short: sick baby. So my attempts to find a sitter were distracted.

I held him on the gliding love seat (we have the coolest love seat -- it's a rocker), and tried to rock him. He hit my aching ear with his head.

Is it just my kids or do all children have maces for heads?

I blacked out from the pain for a brief second. I kid you not -- it was worse than labor, worse than when the morphine didn't work after the c-section with LD. You say, "Well, that was childbirth, and women don't really remember the pain from childbirth, otherwise they'd never have kids again." I tell you it's true -- I'm not a big cryer when it comes to physical pain. It has to really hurt before there are tears. There were tears streaming down my face after LD's c-section. There were wails yesterday morning.

After I calmed down I took some Motrin. I adore Motrin. It is my drug of choice, other than chocolate.

So, even though I still hurt like the souls stuck in the fires of hell, I set about trying to figure out a babysitter again.

Julie? On spring break. Wendy? Not home. Mandy? Just had a c-section after being on bed rest. Name after name. Tick, tick, ticked them off. Lots of not homes. Michelle? I couldn't take the baby to her because he was sick, but she might take Avadore. Avadore...

And then Rice called from the airport in SLC. I must have sounded rough; he was ready to call people to find someone for the kids so I could go to the doctor's, though I assured him I'd figure it out.

At this point I was determined that Avadore not come. What if the doctor wasn't gentle and bumped my ear? What if things are so blocked up and they have to pierce the drum? (Which evidently still has to be done on occasion.) I'm all for the kid knowing Mom has to go to the doctor, too, and it's okay for him to know Mom hurts, too, but there's a line here, people.

Just after I hung up the phone with Rice, Michelle called. (Which meant I didn't have to look up her new number that just went into effect yesterday.) She said she would take Avadore, and was glad I told her the baby was sick. She didn't want the baby. (She just had a baby two weeks ago.) So it was really nice of her to take Avadore. I was still in my pajamas, so I told her I'd call before I came.

The baby wanted to be constantly held, so between him, me feeling crummy, and Avadore having one of those days, and me accidentally falling asleep for a bit while holding the baby (oops), I wasn't ready to go out the door until about two. I called Michelle, but she didn't answer. I left a message and told her I wouldn't leave until I heard from her.

In the meantime, Rice had landed in Idaho and was getting ready to come home. He had work to do; he has a deadline next week. He told his boss he had to come home because I had actually stood up and said, "I need you here," in the way one can only do when in massive amounts of pain.

In the other meantime, I made Avadore a sandwich and got him a glass of milk. (I swear the kid lives on sandwiches, apples, bananas, carrots and broccoli.)

Rice came home about three. I still hadn't heard from Michelle. Rice said he'd take Avadore and I could go to the doctors, and then I lost my balance (that ear thing), and sorta fell over. And then Michelle called. She had been taking a nap when I called. I can't blame her -- she just had a baby.

So, we got in the car, Rice dropped me off at the doc's and took Avadore to Michelle's.

The receptionist had me fill out a form to "update my chart". Whatever. It was a research questionnaire. I have helped write, administered and interpreted too many of these (specifically for medical patients, too) to not know one on sight. And it was poorly written. And poorly disguised. I could have had fun with it. I started to have fun with it. Under "Education _____________" I originally wrote "Yes". I could have declined filling it out. But in the end I decided I had been one of those people asking others to fill such things out, so I did. And I filled it out in the way they wanted me to, and not the way it was written. Besides, it passed the time. There were a lot of people in front of me.

I wish I had a copy of that sheet, though. It was a hoot. Did you know being alive is a "problem"? So is being deceased. And there was a place for me to fill out which one of these applied to me. I sort of thought that was self-explanatory... Yes, I filled that box in. Correctly.

Rice came back with LD and took a seat next to me and set about to read to read an issue of Time. I read Eight Plus One by Robert Cormier. (I really love Robert Cormier. I wish I had written him a letter telling him so before he passed away. Or given him a phone call. He put his actual number in I Am the Cheese, which I adore, so his readers could call, especially if they were having troubles and just needed someone to talk to. And Eight Plus One is a great little collection if you ever happen across it.)

Finally, the FNP was ready for me. He actually introduced himself and shook my hand. This is rare around here, but it's getting late and that's a story for another time. He asked me what was wrong and believed me when I told him. E.g. "My left ear is infected. It hurts when it's touched, pulled, etc." I have had medical practitioners not believe me when I tell them my symptoms.

For example:

"Are you sure you have a sinus infection?"


"How do you know?"

"I used to have them all the time. I have green discharge. My sinuses hurt, especially when touched."

Practitioner hits my forehead.


"That hurt?"

"What do you think? You're the PA."

He was gentle and did all the stuff I expected him too -- once over to make sure everything is okay, how are my sinuses? Cough? Sinus issues? No, just the ears. He looked in my ears.

"The right one is full of stuff. It looks worse than the left one. And it's the left one that hurts? Huh...".

Then came the diagnosis: No sinus problems, everything else looks great. My ears look terrible.

Taking my nursing status into account, he told me to knock off the decongestant -- it's obviously not helping. Go get some Robatussin and drink lots of liquids. That should help get rid of the fluid in the ears. He called in a prescription for Amoxacillin. He didn't say anything about Motrin.

Note to self: Don't forget the Mortrin. It hurts without it. A lot.

When I got out into the waiting room, Rice was asleep in his chair. He hasn't gotten a ton of sleep this week due to work. He drove for about three hours last night so he could catch a plane this morning, which he was on for a few hours. He caught another plane to Idaho. He waited in airports. He got to his parents' and repacked. He drove an hour home. He took care of the kids and I. And then...

We picked up Avadore, Rice got my prescription and cough medicine, and grabbed dinner items from the grocery store so no one really had to do much cooking. (As well as chocolate -- he got me some just in case.) He put dinner together. He hooked Avadore up with a video. He made me chocolate fudge pudding by hand. Me? I would have had the counter top mixer make it. But he stirred it with the lovely whisk he bought me a few years ago for five minutes. He engaged me in scintillating conversation. He held the baby. He put Avadore down to bed early so we could all go to sleep.

As a matter of fact, I think I may be tired enough now that I can really sleep.

Sounds like a good idea.

But first some Motrin. But you know, one shouldn't take Motrin on an empty stomach. I think there's some pudding left.

The joys of being an adult.

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