Since I already don’t think very much of myself, it is easy to say that I’ve led my children into a genetic minefield. The latest blow-up occurred last night, about the time we had hoped to get to bed (early) for Adam’s surgery the next morning. Adam was wheezing. Ten quality minutes in the family car brought us to the local ER, where the parking lot was filled to capacity with other people spending quality time with their loved ones. That was when we made the right decision… a bit of a departure for us… the decision to abandon the ER in favor of the soup du jour in pediatric care… the “urgent care” or “after-hours” Pediatric Medical Center.
We were seen right away. The bad news: Adam was wheezing… the good news: Adam was wheezing (hey, if we’re going to subject ourselves to the trials and tribulations of urgent/after-hours medical care, the least we could do is do it with good cause). This diagnosis came with a two-pronged NAA (which in State Bureaucracy Speak translates to “next appropriate action”): nebulizer treatments and a chest x-ray. The nebulizer treatment went very poorly, primarily because Adam was terrified of the gurgling, steaming mask that his parents insisted on pinning to his face – despite his BEST efforts. After twenty minutes of heart-rending hell, we moved on to the x-ray. If you imagine what a medieval torture table and restraining device would look like if it were developed in the modern age, by the design team at Apple Computer, then you can imagine the device waiting for us in the x-ray room. Adam was strapped down on a clear acrylic board with cutouts for tastefully designed Velcro restraints. After he was secure, the tech gave me a lead vest to put on. “What’s this?” I asked. “A New Jersey life preserver?” (It turns out there is a bad time for bad humor.) The tech tersely asked me to stand still and “try to get your kid to look at you.” We finished up there, had Adam’s vitals taken, did another nebulizer treatment, calmed him down, had his vitals taken, did another nebulizer treatment, calmed him down, had his vitals taken, waited on the nurse to write three prescriptions, and were the last paying customers out the door when they closed the place up for the night.
It was hard on me, but it was even harder on Adam; and either way, I’m partially to blame.