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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

checking things off the list

Lately my mind works in the form of a list, and things have to be checked off one at a time to keep the peace. Most days' lists look similar, with a few minor variations, but a few items (both to be checked, and already checked) have stood out in the crowd.

Item number 1: Host Visiting Teachers (check)

I got this done yesterday. Most would use the phrase "got it done" in reference to visiting their own assignments; I also apply this phrase for when I am visited. And what a hosting it is.

They visit in the morning, usually on a Tuesday, as was this week. Since I pick up Curly from kindergarten in the late morning, I agreed to a 9:am visit, giving up the dream of being dressed in anything other than jammies at that hour (as usual). I had just returned from driving Li'l ~j. & Curly to school, had put Bubby down for a nap and was checking email when the ladies rang the bell.

I don't know why they looked surprised to see me in my jammies, but they did. After a few minutes of "Oh, the weather" and "I'm sorry Superstar is sitting on your lap ready to vomit again as she has been doing for six straight hours", I let them have it: "Did I tell you ladies that I'm expecting?"

And this is what started the hosting.

VT1: "Oh, no! I didn't know! How wonderful! No wonder you look so tired!"

VT2: "Yes, and when are you due?"

moi: "May 9th."

VT2: "That's wonderful because my grandson in Salt Lake and another granddaughter in Mona, as well as my youngest son, all just told me that they will be having babies, and they are also due in May."

Let me interrupt to break down that last sentence for you:

That's wonderful (Oh, it's wonderful that I'm pregnant)

Because (because it means another baby for me)

My grandson blahblahblah (nope -- because it means YOU can tell me that YOU will have more family members)

VT1: Well, I have some grandchildren with May birthdays, too.

VT2: This will be our 37th and 38th great-grandchild, and our 74th grandchild.

[VT2 always wins the Grandchildren Count Game, played at EVERY SINGLE ONE of their visits.]

I sat there for seven minutes while the two of them bantered back and forth, laughing and slyly comparing stories about ALLLLLL their decendants. During this time, I looked deeply into Superstar's eyes, sad that she wasn't jumping and shrieking and putting on the show that she usually does to entertain me while my visiting teachers are visiting each other. I love Superstar's hair -- so thin, curly, shiny. I love when she lets me play with it. Maybe her being sick wasn't so bad. I liked the cuddling.

At the eighth minute, I was asked, "Do you think it's a boy or a girl?"

"I have no idea."

Somehow that spun into a competition (between the two of them) of who has had the biggest baby, ending with VT2 declaring that her last was a ten (pausepausepause) pounder.

All visits are like this. My visiting teachers love me, this I know, for their service tells me so. I just wonder when I'll be assigned a couple with whom I can have a conversation.

Item number 2: Calling the hospital (check)

At Bubby's one-year check-up, we learned that his head circumference is Off The Charts. This is no surprise to me; we all have big heads, and Curly had to have a Head CT (9 months) and an MRI (15 months) at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake. Scary? Yes. Glad to know there's nothing wrong? Yes. So when Dr. Pediatrician told me that Bubby should have a CT Scan of his brain, I acted like it was no big deal: "Oh, sure, Curly had this, too, so I'm sure it will be fine."

"Well, Curly's head was consistently big. My concern is that there is a spike in Bubby's growth curve. All of the sudden, it's way bigger than it was even before. But you're right, it's probably nothing. We'll just get the test to be sure."

Registering for the scan was a joke in itself; when I called and was asked for the diagnosis, I replied, "Big head." Girl on the phone scoffed and told me that 'big head' isn't a sufficient diagnosis; she needs something more specific. I said, "So, increased head circumference isn't a valid enough concern for you?" She went on and on about how this was For My Protection, and how The Insurance Company needed to know so that They Would Pay, etc., etc.. So I called my pediatrician's nurse, who called in the order, and phoned me right back: "Hi, Jenny, I don't know who you had to talk with before, but I got it all set up for you, for next Thursday. By the way, you were right: Big Head is the diagnosis."

The scan is tomorrow and I hadn't heard from the hospital yet regarding proper prep for my son. I've been told that he won't have to be sedated; I've also been told (and logic tells me, since he's, you know, ONE, and isn't likely to hold still for the scan) that he will have to be sedated. This involves fasting (something else that a toddler completely understands). I needed instruction, as well as to find out at what time we should be at the hospital.

Thank goodness for the girl on the phone.

"Um, okay. For the scan, he needs to be fasting and sleep-deprived. So...keep him up 'till midnight. He can't have any food or drink after midnight. And then wake him up at 4:am. Keep him awake, but don't give him any food or drink until after the scan."

moi: "And what time is the scan."

"Um...let me check. Oh, here it is. Ten o'clock."

moi: "Um, absolutely not."


moi: "He is one year old. I am NOT going to have him go that long without eating, drinking, or sleeping. That's ridiculous."

"Hm. Well...uhhh...let me transfer you."

moi: "Thank you."

Transfered to someone in radiology, I was told that there are no earlier appointments available, but I had been misinformed: he can't eat after 4:am, and from 4 until 8 he can have clear liquids. 10 is still the appointment time.

Fifteen minutes on the phone this morning.

Item number 3: Take Bubby to the hospital for his brain scan

not done yet. At the hospital tomorrow, though, I'll be comforted by knowing that I've heard Baby Atchafalaya's heartbeat (check).


Carina said...

I love that you said "Absolutely not." I swear that the girls on the phone give out the worst information.

Christi said...

Okay... I teared up reading this-almost cried for real. Can I be frustrated for you? If you ever want to vent, call me. You can vent all you want. UGH. I'm very proud of you for telling them how it goes. Good job.

LuckyRedHen said...

I love your stories... and I love you.

sue-donym said...

And I love how you use caps at The Very Best Times.

You need a secretary.

Love and hugs for Bubby and Superstar.

Anonymous said...

Yes. What you said. What they said. All will be well.

C. Jane Kendrick said...

I like how under-the-drama you are.

Big Head.

Monica said...


I wrote that because I used to think it ment Lots Of Luck.

I love you and I love your Big Heads.

QueenScarlett said...

What the shes said. I love you too. Praying for you. Oh and how 'bout quarterly VTing? And... instead of the in-home visits... just all go out on a girls night... oh wait ... Enrichment would cover that... awesome.

Cari said...

My youngest, Emma, had seizures whenever she got a fever. It was really scary. When she had her CT scan, she couldn't be sedated so they had to strap her down so she couldn't move. It was the most awful thing I've ever seen or heard. She was screaming, "Mommy! Mommy!" and the look in her eyes was pure terror. It was horrible! But I think she's forgot it now and so far she's had a few fevers with no seizures so she may have grown out of it by now. I can hope anyway.

I'm sure it will all be okay with Bubby. A couple of my kids have total Charlie Brown heads so I get where you're coming from but it's always good to be safe.

I get to have cjane and may as my visiting teachers. (Yes, I am rubbing it in.)

Geo said...


I understand inside and out list item #1 and I am so sorry this is your no-conversation time (it stinks, even when you get it in perspective). I am loving and praying for the Big Heads in #2 and #3.

Zachariah Parry said...

Good thing your visiting teachers are too old to read blogs.

{natalie} said...

jenny i love you. i love the way you talk (write.) i hope bubby's big head is ok.

sue-donym said...

Zachariah - I print them out in bold print and mail the posts to them. Just to keep them on their toes.

~j - I feel some weird obligation to try and fix everything that is wrong in our ward for you.

Tori :) said...

My pet peeve with VT is when they interrupt a conversation to say "Well, let me go ahead and give you the lesson..." Then I realize they weren't really interested in what I was saying anyway.
Good luck Bubby!! Hugs and prayers.

Ryan and Susie said...

Congrats on your pregnancy! They were concerned with Ethan when he was Bubby's age as well. He want from 50th to 120th percentile...or something like that. They checked it and nothing...just a big head. Big heads run in the family. I hope all goes well with your little man. We'll keep him in our prayers tonight. :) And for goodness sakes, give him some food and sleep. Poor kid.

More Caffiene, Please said...

My VT partner likes to give the lesson and include me in the people we are supposed to be visiting and teaching. She'll read the lesson then put me on the spot to share an experience. She also pretends she doesn't know me on Sundays. Wierd.

Your big heads sure are cute big heads.

Bek said...

Both sides of my family have freakishly big heads... Cubby just spiked in the BMI charts (he's obese, limit his calories) and Nono fell off them (failure to thrive, get as many calories as possible in her). While these are things that are good to check, our mamma gut is also worth listening to.....

Hope the scan goes well tomorrow.

P.S. I don't do VT-ing lately. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

People with big brains need big heads.

That's all I'm saying. Well, besides mentioning how much I hope it all went well yesterday.

And also, I feel some weird obligation--oh heavens no, there's no obligation about it--to invite you once again to come and move into our neighborhood. Not perfect, no. But pretty darn fabulous.

VT-ing? Sometime I will tell you about how, after an RS lesson on the subject I ended up saying these words to the RS pres: "What a croc!"

Am I a bad person?

swampbaby said...

Best wishes for you and Bubby.

Emily said...

I hope everything went well.

Sister Pottymouth said...

I keep getting this VT who I know thinks of me as an item on her checklist. It bugs. Then again, I'm one of the worst at not coming to visit people. I'm such a hypocrite.

I hope everything at the hospital went well. And I love that you said, "Absolutely not." LOVE it.

Lyle said...

I love such interactions with those types of people in the medical field. Some things they just don't get.

Best wishes.

TheOneTrueSue said...

I hate it when VTers give a message. If I let you come over at all, it's because I like you and I like talking to you. Stop it with the message. I heard it last week, when I gave the message. I know we're supposed to give it, but seriously, if we're having a good conversation, DO NOT INTERRUPT THE CONVERSATION to give the message. Hello?! Missing the POINT.

Hope the hospital went well. My DS had to have an MRI for small head and i was a basket case.

Christi said...

I thought about you... again... today as I went to visit one of my "teachees." I told my comp about your post and... I hope we did better today than we have. You never cease to amaze me.

Hugs to you and Bubby and all.