Friday, May 9, 2014

Drip by Drip

So I mentioned that this past Monday we travelled to see Reagan's pediatric endocrinologist.  In honor of a special man returning to my life this week, I'm going to take you through Monday's journey to Jackson hour-by-coffee-drenched-hour.

For you, Jack.

Our journey begins at the inauspicious time of four in the morning.  Feel the pain.  Sometimes I am up at four in the morning to fix Henry a bottle, or to check Reagan's number, but I typically go back to sleep once these activities are completed.  To begin the day at four o'clock is just absolutely awful.  AW.FUL.

4am: I hit the snooze button on the alarm for the final time & slumped out of bed.  I checked Reagan's number, which I'd told Trey I'd do in lieu of his usual middle of the night check since I'd be up at four anyway.  All was well with Reagan, so I took a shower & dressed sloooowly, because I just could not function.

5am: The first taste of coffee Monday came much, much earlier than usual.  I brewed a cup to drink while I finished my make-up (as if the make-up would help) & basically did every last thing I could think of before having to wake Reagan.

6am: We departed the house shortly before six in the morning.  In addition to my coffee, I'd made some toast because I was under the impression Chick-fil-A opens at six-thirty, & thus wouldn't be an option to us.  I mean who really knows when they open because why, WHY, are people up & milling about so early?!?  I was wrong, as Trey pointed out, & they open at six.  I opted out of a cup of coffee from Chick-fil-A only because I'd had two already (one at the house, & a second I'd fixed at the house to bring with me) & I knew Trey would not be persuaded by my pleas for a restroom break on the two hour drive to Jackson.

I snapped this picture below of Reagan while we were sitting in the drive-thru line, which was extremely short given that most of the good people of West Monroe have the sense to be asleep at six in the morning, or at least stumbling around in their bathrobe.

I managed to swap Reagan's pajama bottoms for her pants before we put her in the car, but she wore her Dora pajama top until we changed her out of it about one minute before we walked into the doctor's office.  She looked so cute, so I wanted to snap a picture.  I didn't realize my flash was on, & of course it flashed because it was still dark outside.

7am: I missed all but a few minutes of the seven o'clock hour.  I actually slept a little in the car on the drive over, so that's an indication of the fine job the two cups of coffee I'd ingested were doing of pepping me up for the long day.

8am: We pulled up outside the office right at eight.  I quickly changed Reagan's shirt, brushed her hair, & ran inside to the restroom, because, well, COFFEE.  

We were called to the back fairly quickly (it's not like there's a line of folks clamoring for the eight o'clock appointments).  They weighed Reagan, checked her blood pressure, height, etc. (she's tall, we learned).  They checked her number, which was fine, & then took an additional few drops of blood from the finger they'd pricked to check her A1C.  One of the main reasons for our trips to the doctor in Jackson, of which there will be roughly four a year for the time being, is for them to check Reagan's A1C.  This links to a good but simple explanation of what that number represents.  It's basically an indicator of a person's average blood sugar over the past two to three months.  The higher your A1C, the poorer your blood sugar control.

I was nervous about the A1C reading for a few reasons.  First, I had no idea all they needed was a drop of blood to conduct the test, so I was imagining a full out blood draw (although Reagan's had so many she handles them fairly well now).  I was so relieved when the nurse simply squeezed a small drop from the prick she used to check Reagan's sugar.  Whew.  I didn't want it to be an awful thing because it'd be an awful thing we'd be facing every trip over.

I was also nervous because her A1C is essentially the best indicator of how well I am doing managing her diabetes.  It's a predictor of the likelihood of future complications; what I do now can't be undone (cue the Garth Brooks Burning Bridges lyrics . . . it's all right, they popped in my head when I typed that). Until she's old enough to manage her diet & insulin regimen herself, it basically falls to me, & it is a considerable weight on my shoulders.  I was anticipating a number that would disappoint both the doctor & me, & then the rest of the day in Jackson, which we wanted to be fun for Reagan, would be ruined for me because I'd be obsessing over the A1C number.  Before I blabber on further, I'll tell you that her number was good.  We were told in January on our first visit that the goal for a diabetic her size & age is an A1C of 7.5; the target number will be tightened to 7 as she grows & we're able to, hopefully, more tightly control her blood sugar.  She's so small now that both food & insulin affect her drastically, but as she grows this likely won't be the case.  I was prepared for an 8.5 or 9; Reagan's A1C was a 6.8.  FIST PUMP!  That number did more for my day than any of the coffee I drank.

9am: By this time we were past the preliminaries & were chatting with Reagan's doctor, whom I love.  LOVE.  Do you know how wonderful it is to be a short drive away from a doctor who specializes in caring for diabetic children?  I am tempted to take a short break from relaying Monday's happenings & rail on Obama & his dismantling of American healthcare.  But I won't (this is me, not digressing).

Here's a pic I took of Reagan while we waited to speak with her doctor:

10am:  After I used the restroom (again), we left the doctor's office.  We were ready for lunch, because when you eat breakfast at six in the morning, you're starving before McDonald's has even put the smackdown on people wanting breakfast.  We knew no one would serve us lunch at ten in the morning, so we took Reagan to a Learning Express toy store.  That woke her up.

Considering it was ten o'clock on a Monday morning, we had the place to ourselves.  We were probably completely irritating to the salesgirl who likely takes a nice nap on most Monday mornings.  Reagan couldn't stop playing long enough to decide what she wanted, so as we approached the eleven o'clock hour, Trey & I started putting on the pressure for her to make a selection.  She showed a great deal of interest in the kitchenette on display, particularly the toaster.  However, the toaster came as part of a large set, & Reagan already has a kitchenette, so I directed her toward a selection of fake food (ketchup, mustard, a can of tuna, a box of spaghetti . . . you get the idea) that would be nice additions to her kitchen at home.  She was sold, & we were off to eat lunch. 

11am:  Fake food in tow, we debated our options, & settled on eating at a Broken Egg Cafe.  It was a good choice.  Gooooood choice.  Euphoric from the A1C, I went out on a limb & ordered a cream cheese filled omelet topped with lobster meat.  You're skeptical, I know.  It was amazing.  I ate it kind of fast, which is why there's no photo of it.  I also ordered some coffee, which was everything coffee should be: hot, fresh, & served in this fantastic mug.

And yes, I do realize that I could have eaten my lunch omelet at ten in the morning, & I would have, had we known we were so close to a Broken Egg Cafe.  Live & learn.

12pm: After lunch, we walked around the outdoor mall awhile before introducing Reagan to Barnes & Noble.  I walked in with her, her tiny hand in mine, & she said, "This is impressive."  I stopped, leaned closer to her, & asked her what she said, & she repeated, "This is impressive."  Impressive indeed, my dear.

While Reagan & I were strolling the outdoor mall & inhaling the paginated coffee goodness that is Barnes & Noble, Trey was at a Toys-R-Us nearby.  Reagan was not the only one determined to leave Jackson with a faux toaster.  Using his trusty iPhone, Trey discovered that Toys-R-Us sells a tiny plastic toaster, complete with two pieces of toast & a bagel for the bargain price of $9.99; he was sold.  He abandoned Reagan & I at the outdoor mall (one of my favorite places to be abandoned) & made a quick toaster run, returning to us in time to join me at Starbucks & place his order for a white chocolate mocha.

1pm: When we returned to the car for the trip home, Reagan's new toaster was waiting for her in her car seat.  She thought the car parked next to us had left it for her.  We had a few moments of toasty excitement standing there in the parking lot, & then we climbed in & buckled.  The moment my rear hit the leather, I realized how tired I was.  All the caffeine I'd ingested, the omelet joy, the toaster glee . . . vanished.

2pm: I think I slept a little on the way home.  I couldn't have slept much, because I was afraid Trey would fall asleep driving, & because Reagan was making toast for much of the drive home.  I'll give you one guess who was retrieving fake toast from the floorboard repeatedly as we headed for the Louisiana state line.  I happily scrounged for the plastic bread though, because when you count carbs all day long, you can't complain when hard, fake plastic toast makes your daughter happy.

3pm: As we neared West Monroe, I mentioned to Trey that we needed groceries.  Silence ensued for a few minutes as Trey determined how he'd return the ball I'd just lobbed him.  We both knew his options were, (1) we go home, see Henry (who was spending the day with my mom), & I return to the store later (ALONE!) while he watches the kids, or, (2) we make a detour on our drive home & Trey, Reagan, & I go to the store together.  Trey opted for door No. 2.  It worked out well.  He walked around the store with Reagan while I darted up & down the aisles attempting to summon coherent thought & purchase needed groceries.  It was nearing four in the afternoon & I'd been awake for twelve hours already, so the odds weren't good that I'd make it home with all the needed grocery items.  However, one benefit of rising at four in the morning is that if twelve hours later you find yourself in the middle of the afternoon grocery rush, you can be sure you won't forget to load your cart down with box after box of K-cups for the Keurig.

4pm: We made it home.  We unloaded all the groceries (the fake & the real food).  I made some coffee.  My sentences are growing short & declarative; you know the end is near.

At seven o'clock Monday evening, my DVR recorded the return of Jack Bauer.  I have yet to sit & revel in Jack's return.  Trey & I both knew there was no chance we'd sit & watch the two hour premiere in real time.  It was a reflective moment for me, as much one can have a reflective moment on about three hours of sleep.  When I first heard the name Jack Bauer, Trey was in law school; he was always talking about his new friend Jack.  I dismissed Jack as easily as I dismissed all the various forms of entertainment about which Trey gushed.  I grew to love Jack only after Trey graduated law school & was living in West Monroe again.  I'd heard Rush Limbaugh praising Jack, so I thought, okay, maybe I'll check this guy out.  When Trey & I were engaged, we had a regular date with Jack on Monday nights.  When Jack left us, I'd take a weekend here & there & sit & catch up on what Jack was doing during the time I so foolishly refused to meet him.

Today, I cannot even imagine sitting & watching an entire season of 24 in a weekend.  My goal is to watch last Monday's premiere before a new hour of problems befalls Jack this coming Monday.  To quote Ariel, I don't know when, I don't know how, but I will not rebuff Jack now that he's returned to me.  I imagine a late night cup of very caffeinated coffee will likely play a role in my reunion with Jack.

I hope everyone enjoys a wonderful Mother's Day.  Between Jack's return & the 6.8 news on Monday, my week has been made.  Six point eight, baby!  Happy Mother's Day to me.


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