(Leeks + morning sickness = going on six years leek-free.)
Natalie seemed to enjoy first grade well enough. I asked about one child who was in her class last year. She's not in my class this year. She must be in Mrs. Taylor's class. Or she switched schools. Or she left for Mexico.
Daniel had an appointment with the eye doctor to see just how much longer he would need to wear his eye patch. We started out with 2 hours a day/7 days a week last August, cut it back to 2 hours a day/5 days a week in May, and now we can cut him back to 2.5 hours a day/once a week. Ahoy, only a pirate once a week. Aye, me parrot concurs.
But that was not the end of the appointment. Daniel had to get his eyes dilated.
Actually getting the drops in his eyes for dilation was interesting. And by interesting, I mean that people outside of his room might have thought he was undergoing an ice-pick lobotomy without sedation.
As soon as Daniel saw the eye drops, he freaked out. Like a cat in a bathtub.
I was asked to help, which I always sort of resent. I help these kids all day long. I thought the reason you made us sit in the waiting room forty minutes past our appointment time was because you weren't getting any help from parents and were running behind. I expect the same level of service.
By "helping," I had to sit in a chair and wrap my legs around Daniel while using my elbows to keep his shoulders down onto my lap while holding his arms by his side. It was an evil game of Twister. While he may be just shy of 5o pounds, Daniel has the ability to use every ounce of his being to propel himself, his mom, and the chair they were in across the room and back again, all with his eyes shut tight.
5 minutes and some mild-internal bleeding later, the drops were in and we were sent back into the waiting room to...wait.
Without glasses, you can see how easily the right eye crosses. But it's only this bad when he is all pupils.
With all pupils and no irises, Daniel was convinced his lollipop was shrinking. The accusations flew with the intensity of a hungry child scorned before it was explained to him that objects may be bigger than they appear when looking at them through giant pupils.
So he ate two, anyway.
I let Dan pick out a place to have lunch, wherever he wanted to go. Except the first two places he asked for. We ended up at McDonald's. While Daniel and Eve were in the play area, I figured out that this McDonald's could be the perfect date-night when we can't get a sitter. Our booth had a free MegaTouch machine, albeit covered in greasy fingerprints. We could let the kids play in the kiddie area while we play Photo Hunt and take advantage of the fountain drink machine. After all, the liquor store is around the corner, and a few airplane bottles fit inside my purse with no problem.
Not that I have gone drinking at fast food establishments before, but I like to keep my options open.
Thursday was Daniel's first day of school. He was totally jazzed to start. Kindergarten rocks! Kindergarten's AWESOME! The child who says, "I'm still really, really hungry" on repeat was too excited to sit down and eat. I had to force him to finish his breakfast before school started, because I know they won't allow him to walk around snacking on crackers all day long like he does at home.
(Hansel and Gretel would have a field day at our house.)
I showed Daniel his lunchbox and explained which part was for lunch and which part was his snack. And how he should not eat his snack for lunch. Daniel, always apprehensive about what I'm about to serve him, surveyed the food.
"I don't like...I don't like...wait, I like EVERYTHING!" Of course you do, Daniel. I gave you carbs and pig-products.
Daniel, like Natalie last year, has room to bring smaller kindergartners to school in his backpack.
While Nat and Dan were at school, Eve spent the better part of an hour trying on different clothes in search of the perfect hospital outfit for the next day.
Friday morning, 15-month off-treatment scans.
7:45 am: Arrive at Duke. Pay for parking. Watch man take money and forget about me.
7:48 am: Still waiting for parking man to open up gate. I hope it opens soon. I gotta pee really bad.
7:50 am: Gate opens. I have not peed on myself. Success.
7:55 am: Check in at radiology for 9:00 scan.
8:15 am: Hear someone calling my name. Look up and see another Wilms mom a few floors up at the nephrology clinic. Go upstairs and deliver cupcakes to said mom because cancer sucks and cupcakes don't.
8:20 am: Taken back to get weight and contrast ordered.
8:30 am: Contrast arrives in apple juice. I have never seen the cup filled to the top before.
8:31 am: Eve takes a sip and says it makes her mouth burn. I realize this will take a very long time.
8:38 am: We go upstairs to the hem-onc clinic to get an IV started and labs drawn. Eve continues to refuse the "apple juice."
8:40 am: I tell Eve I will help her drink the contrast by playing the I take a drink, you take a drink game.
8:41 am: I start the game and take a drink. I understand everything so clearly now. Clearly, contrast is made up of Aristocrat and gasoline, with hints of rotting apple.
8:42 am: I cannot play this game anymore. I would have to be NPO for a few more hours before the desperate thirst kicks in.
9:08 am: Eve laughs at the thought of filling up the pee cup, because that would mean she would have to drink something.
9:30 am: Pleasantly surprised that Peds Recovery has finally been able to replace all the VCRs with DVD players. Now I don't have to fast forward through "Coming Summer 1991" previews.
10:25 am: I announce to the nurse that it has been an hour and we are ready to get this show on the road.
10:26 am: The nurse replies that the sedation doctor has two other patients ahead of Eve, and both are having MRIs.
10:27 am: I remember MRIs take 45 minutes. Damn.
11:38 am: Eve is ready to be sedated for her 9:00 CT. The doctor wheels her back.
11:43 am: I refuse the lead apron because I never stay in the room for the scan.
11:46 am: I hear Eve crying for mommy through the doors and assume the scan is over.
11:47 am: The nurse comes and gets me. They have not started the scan. Eve is kicking people in the face.
11:49 am: More ketamine is administered.
11:53 am: More ketamine is administered.
11:58 am: Versed is administered. While Eve's muscles are forced to relax, she is not willing to participate in the scan.
12:01 pm: I put on the lead apron and help hold her hands above her head while the scanner runs.
12:05 pm: Doctor remarks, "She was fighting that with every cell in her body." I remark, "You can't keep her sedated for a five-minute scan?" We make a new sedation plan for next time, although we both know Eve is the child who cannot be knocked out with conscious sedation.
12:14 pm: Back in recovery, I worry we will miss Dr. Wechsler in clinic. Eve has had enough ketamine to tranquilize a horse and we will be here a while as she comes out of it.
12:15 pm: Start Zofran to help with post-sedation nausea.
12:18 pm: Eve tells me I have five eyes, two noses, and two mouths.
12:20 pm: I text Dr. Wechsler and ask if he'll come downstairs to us. Last time I tried to rush Eve out of recovery, she lost her contrast all over me.
12:21 pm: Eve asks the nurse for a Sprite and a cheese stick. That will pass for lunch.
12:24 pm: Eve tells me I now only have three eyes. The ketamine must be starting to wear off.
12:30 pm: Dr. Wechsler and Dr. Heath come down and say they looked and didn't see anything on the scan, although the radiologist had not reviewed the pictures yet.
12:58 pm: I sign the necessary papers saying I know Eve will act like a drunk when we leave and know that we should call if she is still sauced 24-hours out.
1:11 pm: We visit our friend Marisa upstairs in clinic as she gets her own Zofran drip. We have a cupcake party.
1:58 pm: Get beads for Eve's Beads of Courage necklace. Promise myself to actually string them on the necklace, but have a feeling it will end up in the big glass jar at home with the others.
2:02 pm: Head over to the in-patient side to leave cupcakes for Violet, about to receive her last chemo.
2:10 pm: Nurse tells us they are getting a room together for baby Violet and we should wait inside.
2:15 pm: Doctor comes in trying to explain Violet's treatment plan to us. I have to explain I am not Violet's mom. She continues to ask me questions about Violet's health and I continue to explain I am just here to bring sugar, please to come back later.
2:30 pm: Violet arrives and Eve starts to babysit. Babysitting includes emptying out the diaper bag and bringing every article inside to the baby.
3:30 pm: We leave Duke and decide to postpone our trip to Taco Bell until dinner time.
3:31 pm: Eve is asleep.
4:28 pm: Dr. Heath calls and says the preliminary report shows no recurrence. I can smell the victory tacos.
It's okay that I ate a Mexican Pizza and a Chicken Baja Chalupa before helping Nat and Dan finish their fried chicken strips. I have been burning calories like crazy with training, and the only thing I had eaten all day was a cupcake.
It was good [calorie-laden] eats.
I downloaded an app that tells me how fast I'm walking, how far I've walked, and how many calories I've burned; next to the calories, it tells me the equivalent in food. When I walk 3 miles, I burn one avocado. When I go 4.5 miles, I burn three bananas.
I'd like to figure out if there's a way to change the calorie conversion into something I can relate to. Like, 3 miles is an Almond Joy. 4 miles is a Crispy Potato Soft Taco. 5 miles is five direct hits to the mouth with a can of Easy Cheese. I train 5 out of 7 days of the week. Dear CardioTrainer App, how many fistfuls of M&Ms is that?
I've only just figured out how to switch the app from kilometers to miles. I was waaay over-training before that.
With this heat wave that won't go away, I've found myself getting up earlier and earlier to start walking. 5:30 am seems to be a good time to avoid the heat, before the sun has a chance to make me glisten too hard. I am not a morning person. Never have been. But if you want to turn into one, sign up for the Ultimate Hike during a heat wave and watch yourself going to bed earlier.
We have five Saturday group hikes listed in our training calendar. One month ago, when I read that each hike started at 8:00 and it may take me an hour to get to some of the locations, I thought, These are too early!
This Saturday, after sleeping in until 6:20, I looked at the calendar and thought, Why the hell aren't we starting earlier?
And yes, I "slept in."
We hiked about seven miles through Harris Lake Park. We burned five bananas.
Afterward, I came home to wash the nature off of me and the Griffiths left to crash another family reunion. I did not eat any bananas there, but the cheese plate was awesome.