4 Doctors and a Dog Surgery

Before the school year closed my principal told my daughter to do whatever she had the urge to this summer.  Knowing she was a good kid, she understood his meaning.  He told her to play hard, and not worry about getting hurt, or hurting.

When I shot him a look, he laughed and ignored me.  Speaking right to Meghan, (referring to an event at school last June where she climbed a rock wall and ultimately needed hand surgery) he asked her if she would climb the rock wall again.  She said, “Definitely!”

He smiled at her, knowing he had left his mark in the just over a year she spent at our school.  Her confidence was up, and she knew the satisfaction of completing a task, and sometimes even winning – far outweighed the physical consequences that simply seem an inevitable consequence of being her.

And yes they are all about the same age, mine's just REALLY tall!
And yes they are all about the same age, mine’s just REALLY tall!

 

 

Turns out that very conversation was replaying in her mind as she was first to cross the finish line in the “Fun Run” this morning, held annually in memory of my cousin Meghan, her namesake.  The pleasure in her eyes outweighed all other things as she held it together long enough to get in the front door before she asked for ice.

Reminding me today as educators we shape lives in ways deeper than the classroom.  I am grateful…

school closed

Meghan needed this morning.  As a matter of fact we needed it – so badly that I think even the rain knew.  And maybe my Dad, my cousin’s “Uncle Tom,” was able to push those clouds out-of-the-way for a while.  His angel wings are 7 months strong today.  I think we got a special favor.

angels

It’s hard to believe we’ve only been out of school for a week.  My head is spinning.

Monday was the rheumatologist, full of confusion, still perplexed by pain without swelling that plagues so much of her body.  We spent hours, and arrived home minus a copay and with little to show for the trip.

Tuesday morning as we prepped for the GI, fortunately a local appointment, I got a call from the vet.  “I know Allie is scheduled to have her teeth cleaned tomorrow, but we have a cancellation.  Can you bring her today?”  All about getting things done, I got the dog in the car and dropped her off for a dental cleaning.

Of course, I left in tears because as tough as I want to say I am about the dogs… I am who I am.

So when they called me a bit later to tell me she would need 5 extractions, my heart almost stopped.  But, there was little choice so I consented.

We headed to the GI and had a pleasant visit there.  It’s always easy when things are going well, and generally the stomach is so much better since that stint in the hospital in May that we are clearly headed in the right direction.  We left with an appointment in 6 weeks, and told we could slowly, and carefully start reintroducing some of the foods stripped from her already restricted diet after the diagnosis of severe gastritis.

I picked the dog up a bit later that night.  And her pain medication, and her antibiotics, and as I was leaving even full of relief to see her, it was hard to tell what was whimpering louder, Allie, or my Visa.

 

Ouch!
Ouch!

Wednesday another local visit, this time to the orthodontist.  And instead of getting the news that the braces are ready to come off, she left  with more rubberbands.  The initial projection of having them removed in February seemingly a distant memory, and more conversation about her teeth and how “unpredictable” they are.  Why not? So to make sure that they don’t move too far in the wrong direction – we get to go back in 2 weeks, then in 4.  We’ve got time I guess.

Thursday, after feeling confident that the dog was on the mend, we left for the endocrinologist in NYC.  A somewhat productive conversation at least led to a mutual agreement that the synthetic medicine may not be working for her.  Her fatigue, I was told, “may not” be associated with her insanely elevated blood levels.  We’ll get the labs on Monday.  Two more 6 weeks cycles for the levels to regulate.  Then we try something new.  12 weeks is a long time to look at continuing to feel less than your best, but at least we left with a more open-minded doctor than when we started.

“This is getting old.”

I’ve heard that phrase a few times from my normally happy, easy-going kid.  At 10 years and 11 months she knows chronic pain, needles, surgery and waiting better than anyone should.  When she asks about my childhood, and I tell her that I also went to quite a few doctors, (although not as many as she does,) she tells me I am “lucky I didn’t know I had Cowden’s Syndrome.”

And as I am left to ponder what it must be like knowing more about genetics and your broken PTEN gene than you might ever want to, I think about how hard it must be.  The thoughts that go through her head, the level of her vocabulary, her insight.  So much to absorb, so much maintenance.  She gets that she’s lucky in some ways, but overtaxed in others… it is so easy to forget that she’s not even 11.

That is why mornings like this one have to happen.  That is why she has to sometimes taste a little bit of victory, when she feels like the challenges might swallow her up.  That’s why she has to run as if she has no pain.  That’s when she gets to be a kid.

fun run 1

This was the worst of it – this week, for doctors.  This was my worst scheduling job by far.  On the 14th she has one and I have one.  Then on the 15th I have 4. (Genius!)  And after that things lighten up considerably.

This week I settled some paperwork that has been lingering.  I fought over medication with the pharmacy.  I began the process of organizing a few very chaotic things.

Today we got to see some family.  Meghan got to hug three great grandparents, two of which are in their mid 90s!  We got to chat and to eat and take a break.

Tonight we will sit with a sweatshirt and watch the sky for fireworks.

Tonight I will thank the angel who moved the clouds away this morning.

Come on summer – we are READY!

I WIN!

Yep.  Finally the taste of victory, and I will savor every single drop.  I know all too well these moments don’t come often.

Sandwiched between way too many doctor visits this summer, were a few other pressing problems.

We need a new roof.  Well, that one is cut and dried.  Pension loan.  Money available – job before the winter.

The bay window in the front of the house needs to be replaced.  That one, not as easy.  Lots of paperwork to participate in a class action lawsuit where apparently lots of these windows have leaked.  WAITING, and following up, and WAITING, as the wood shrinks and peels.

And then there was the car.

The car we bought in December after this happened in November.

photo 1

The slightly, (but not too fancy because who was ready for a car payment?) upgraded car, was the same make and the next model up.  It included more space, and XM radio capability, and the ability to have a navigation system in the car if we decided to subscribe.

If you have spent more than 5 minutes with me you know I can barely find my way out of a paper bag.

In the midst of being tired, and sore, and frustrated about the accident, I was THRILLED to have a navigation in the car.

The navigation was also connected to a blue tooth that went right through the car speakers.  My phone synced to the car and I could talk without worry.

I was thrilled – when I wan’t frustrated.  Or lost.  Or left dropping calls, or using my Iphone to take me places.

The car wasn’t working right very early in the game.  We ignored the “glitches” for a few months thinking it would get better.

Then in April it made its first trip in for service- only to be declared healthy.

Until it wasn’t.

Then it went back in.  This time a new radio.

power-of-persistence

Nope – that wasn’t it.

And so on and so on and so on and so on.

I drove more rental cars this summer than I ever want to drive in my life.

During one stretch the car spent 11 days in the service station.  They said they couldn’t fix it.

They called in the field tech (“Magic Wand Guy.”)  He said it was fine.

Nope.  Not fine.  My Iphone is full of voice memos of me trying to get places.  It took us 18 minutes to get started on the trip to the Philadelphia Zoo.

At one point I drove around the neighborhood giving it addresses.  It was 2 for 10.

And the sound on the blue tooth just kept getting worse.

never never give up

I didn’t know much about the Lemon Law, except that it exists.  But hidden inside the glove box of my car was a handy book explaining it.  It also gave me detailed instructions on how to file a claim (free of charge) to be arbitrated by the Better Business Bureau.

I read.

In between trips back and forth to NYC for doctors, I read and I learned, and I first tried a letter to Corporate Office.  The deliver confirmation says it was received July 22.  I wonder when it hit the shredder?

Next, I opened a case with the Better Business Bureau.  They closed it when “Magic Wand Guy” was coming to fix the car.  After he declared it fine, and before I even drove it off the property, I tried the system again.  Still broken.  I reopened the case.

When they ask what we would like to solve the problem my husband said, “Tell them we want a new car.”  I was really hesitant.  He explained his fears that the problem that no one could seem to fix likely lay deep in the central computer.  I trusted him.

Persistence Dog

It took so many hours to prepare the documents.  I wrote a narrative that was over 10 pages.  I faxed.  I Emailed.

All of this in between dragging ourselves back and forth to the dealer in between doctors.

Today it paid off.

I finally got that call from corporate.

They are replacing the car.  No out of pocket cost to us at all.  We went tonight to decide on a color.  The VIN number has been assigned to us.  7-10 days for the paperwork.

win1

Then I drop off the old car and drive away with the new one.

If you asked me in July if I would ever buy another car from these people again, I likely would have said, HELL NO!

However, with so much time spent together I developed a respect for the Service Manager.  And, in the end he was our advocate.

And tonight, while we filled out papers, with no commission to be made, the salesman was kind.  He was friendly and patient.  He was personable and understanding.  He got that WE matter.

We chose black.  Time for a color change.

black sonata

So many things go wrong, so often.  Hanging onto the anger will make you sick.  And, well – we haven’t got time for that.

Sipping my t+Chai I have peace.

www.meghanleigh8903.isagenix.com
http://www.meghanleigh8903.isagenix.com

Talking on the phone to my father before he told me a story.  The day Meghan had her hand surgery, I had to go drop the car for the (millionth) time.  I was stressed about leaving her, and about the whole mess.  He told me tonight she said, “I don’t know why Mommy’s so upset.  She’ll get this taken care of.”

Tonight when I was so happy she said, “I never doubted you.”

Her confidence.  Whatever I did, by whatever grace I have it- I hope to keep it for a long time.  It’s quite the compliment.

I don’t keep a win/loss column.  It would be too distressing.  But tonight – we win.  And for tonight, that’s just plenty.

Make-The-Best-Of-Everything