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    Monday, August 18, 2008

    All the Poop That's Fit to Print

    Rather typical Monday around here. Typical for anyone who's gimping around with a radial head fracture and a mostly-healed sprained ankle.

    Woke up sore today, possibly because I rolled to my right (the injured) side during the night, or possibly because for one reason or another, there seem to be small children ending up in our bed night after freaking night. I LOVE snuggling with my kids, OK? Love it, let's be clear on that. But NOT at 4 AM, and NOT when I'm sore and achy anyway, and NOT when they think it's play time. And when I got out of bed with both of them (early - too, too early) I was blessed with a SPLITTING headache to top off my aching body. Dandy. So the day started out less-than-ideal to begin with.

    Physician, Heal Thy Reputation (And He Did Just That)
    I didn't blog about my appointment with my orthopaedic surgeon which took place a week ago today (last Monday, the Monday following The Great Fall From Step Four). And with good reason. I was too hot to blog, folks. I decided as the week ended last week that I would, and needed to, write old Dr. F a letter, explaining just how dissatisfied I was with the time I spent in his office.

    The letter began thusly:

    I was in your office on Monday, August 11, 2008 for a radial head fracture to my right elbow. I sat in your waiting room for an hour, having arrived at least 15 minutes early as was requested of me when I scheduled the appointment. After being apparently mistaken for someone else, being told (incorrectly) that I had checked in a half hour late, being sent for an x-ray I didn't need, and then being brought back from x-ray, I was taken to an exam room. I was hopeful to finally be treated, and to be on my way, knowing that mistakes happen. But by this point, I was already in pain, I was already feeling flustered and slightly shuffled around, and I was hoping that the time in your exam room would make up for the last hour.

    Nice, right? A SUPER fun day, you betcha. The visit culminated with him spending approximately 90 seconds with me, giving me almost NO direction for my prognosis (which centers around the theme of "use your broken arm or it'll be stuck bent forever"), no discussion of pain management, and a "thanks for stopping, see you in four weeks" on my way out the door.

    I explained my dissatisfaction as kindly, honestly and factually as I could, coming close to the close with this:

    My visit to your office was unfortunately neither particularly pleasant nor comprehensive, despite what I believe to be your and your staff's honest efforts, and I find myself feeling more and more dissatisfied as the days go by. Frankly, if you were running a restaurant, I'd have asked for my money back.

    I ended with my contact information, my hope that he would be willing/able/eager to help me find the answers I needed, and I faxed it over to his office this afternoon. I was NOT all that optimistic about the timeline for a response from him.

    At 9 pm tonight, my cell phone rang, a "PRIVATE" call with no number listed. I almost dropped the phone when I realized it was, in fact, Dr. F. I threw the clean, ready-to-be-installed bedtime diaper I had been putting on Jackson and mouthed to Greg "IT'S DOCTOR F!!!!", and ran downstairs to find a quiet spot.

    With not so much as a hint of any upset, resentment or chip on his shoulder regarding my two-page complaint letter, he apologized heartfully and honestly for the visit I'd had last week. He was grateful for my feedback, and then proceeded to go through every request in my letter, discuss every concern I had, and gave me AWESOME service over the phone, complete with research and statistics to confirm the information he shared with me regarding my particular injury. The man is very well-studied, and is in fact a professor of orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation (which I found when I came across his 18-page curriculum vitae while searching for his fax number) at the university teaching hospital, and has been widely published in his field. He gave me complete information, in layman's terms, and listened to me when I spoke, and was every bit as wonderful as I hoped he would be last Monday. He has completely redeemed himself to me, and I look forward to my follow-up with him next month. Very cool. Who'da thunk that in 2008 there was a doctor who would actually respond to my needs, as soon as possible, who would take time out of his night to call me and make sure that I had the information I needed? A very pleasant surprise!

    Jackson Turns Two, and My Heart Overflows
    Most importantly, today was Jackson's second birthday. We celebrated at Red Lobster, where they sang to him, about which he was less-than-thrilled. They all got the disinterested "Jackson Scowl", the poor girls - frankly he just wanted to get to the cheesecake. Tonight I rocked him at bedtime (Daddy got the night off to watch the Husker Pre-Season Stuff on some sports channel or another), and as we snuggled in the chair, I sang him his own sweet, quiet "Happy Birthday"...which he loved and asked for more of, twice, while he patted me softly and smiled as he lay in my arms. It felt like my gift more than his, as he laid there, loving me so simply, so truly, and so completely as only children can love their mothers. These are the moments I want to seal in my memory, to comfort me someday when they are gone. My heart aches to go and scoop him up, forgetting the pain of his foot in my back and his arm flopped over my face, and bring him to our bed again, so I can snuggle him all night long, and when his sister hears me and follows me down, I want to put her right on the other side of me, and snuggle her too. They are such wonderful, special, fun, blessed kids. I have NO idea how I was so fortunate to have them sent to be with me (us), and on days like today I am overwhelmed at how much they have filled my life, and my heart, with joy, love and peace. Powerful stuff.

    Two years ago, right now, I was pushing with all my might, drawing every scrap of motherly strength from deeper down than I even knew existed, to bring him to us, raging against his pre-birth stubborn streak that led him to decide he'd like to come out sunny-side up. Right about now, 11:30, I was feeling unsure and afraid I wouldn't be able to bring him forth, and Greg reassured me that I could, and that I would. He, of course, was right, and I did. That first second with him, despite his purple body and the sludge that covered him, he was perfect and beautiful and ours. I loved him instantly, as mothers generally do, but I had no clue how much the next two years would cultivate and multiply that love. My god, I cannot imagine my world without him, or his sister, and I struggle to even remember our lives without them.

    Loving Through Laundry
    Mom was here last week to help out as I transitioned through that first painful week, and thank the stars above that she was. On top of changing diapers, caring for the kids, cooking TONS of food for us, and letting me rest whenever I needed to...the woman is a laundry machine! I have NO IDEA how I came from her house as the laundry loser that I am. She washed every dirty piece of fabric in the house that would stand still long enough to be captured in a laundry basket. I am ecstatic, grateful and giddy at the cleanness of the cloth things in my house of all types. But more importantly, it has given me a desire to keep up on it more than when I catch it up on my own. When I spend time beating The Laundry Demon, I do overtake it. But by the time it all gets washed and put away, sort of, I am so sick of thinking about it that I don't care to look at it any more. Thus the problem, and the cycle repeats itself. This time, I was spared the scariness that is "catching up on the laundry" and so have not burned myself out and am reorganizing closets and dresser drawers like mad. It's like Christmas for me to have everything clean and waiting to be organized. SUCH a cool thing she did, and she said she enjoyed doing it. That just sounds like madness to me, but whatever works for her. I shudder to think about what this house would look like if she hadn't been here last week. My mommy kicks ass and she's better than your mommy and nothing you can say will make me think different.

    Dang, talk much, Cathy!? Whoo! Now it's too late to clean the house, guess it'll keep til tomorrow. I have ten minutes to get to Jackson's crib so I can be looking at him, and stroking his hair at 11:55, his exact birth moment. I hope I always do that with both of them, as long as they will let me. Good night, all!

    1 comment:

    Missives From Suburbia said...

    You mommy does kick ass! I love that she ENJOYED doing all of that laundry. She doesn't really enjoy doing laundry. She enjoys doing for her daughter. That's the coolest.

    That description of you and Jackson in the rocker brought me to tears. He such a sweet boy and he's so lucky to have a wonderful mama who will continue to nurture that side of him and help him to be a man and husband every bit as wonderful as his own father.

    Hugs, hon. Sorry you had a rough night, but I'm so glad that doctor turned out to be a gem.