This Won't Hurt A Bit
Thursday, April 30, 2009
And The Goodbyes Begin.

The end of O-Dawg's school years are upon us. This month is filled with proms, banquets, theme park field trips, yearbooks, caps and gowns, and one tender-hearted mom's tears.

But, not today. Not yet.

She was off this week on another one of her endless senior field trips. And since, we live near the Mouse's World, theme parks are boundless.

I was a little concerned over the fact that she was funning-it-up in a place crawling with exotic germs when Swine Flu is floating around, waiting to crash the party. 

The hypochondriac doomsdayer that I am, I called the pediatrician for a little reassurance.

I used to have the very best pediatrician, the kind of caring, genuine Doc you don't see much of in the world. The kind of Doc who never required a sign-in chart at his office, because he and his staff knew every little patient by name who walked in the door. The kind of Doc who always went out of his way to add the best of humanity to his practice. 

Two True Stories: The girls were all toddlers and babies which means The Hubby and I had no time alone together. They were long, long days of selflessness. We were excited because a friend was getting married in a quite cozy, picturesque little town nearby. Their wedding coincided with our wedding anniversary and we had arranged for a weekend away, just the two of us. The bags were packed, babysitting arrangements were made. We were leaving first thing in the morning. 

As the dawn was breaking I was awakened by my 3-year old Victoria who announced, "My tummy feels funny," as she proceeded to vomit all over me.

What a sparkling way to greet the dawn.

Within the span of an hour, all three of my girls were hugging the porcelain god. 

I had a feeling our weekend away was getting flushed down the crapper.

In my usual, "EVERYONE IS GOING TO DIE!" panic, I called my beloved, beloved Dr. Cohen on a Saturday Morning a little before 6:00 am.

His service took the message that I was a tad bit nervous that everyone in the family had come down with Ebola. He, in his usual, greatest Doc of The Universe Way, called me back seconds after I'd hung up the phone. 

I explained the whole crashed and burned weekend and the fact that everyone was at that moment, puking on my Hubby and how I was certain they were all poisoned or had something exotic that no one could cure. He gently reassured me that he was quite certain they all had the same stomach flu that 90% of his patients had contracted that week. He spent his waking moments calming me down and offering to COME OVER, that's right, COME OVER and take a look. After his expert reassurances, I told him it wasn't necessary before we hung up.

Seconds later, my phone rang again. It was him asking what anniversary it was for the Hubby and Me. On Monday, we got a card in the mail from him, wishing us a happy anniversary and the sage advice that someday we would look back on this day and laugh. 

Another time I took the O-Dawg in for her twelve year old checkup. 

Cut out of the same cloth as her father, the O-Dawg is terrified of needles. She also has a will of iron. Like Father, Like Daughter.

The two of them cringe at talk of blood-letting. The sight of a needle makes them both swoon. O-Dawg has hidden under examining tables, fought off nurses, tearing one nurse's pants and behaved in an all around ridiculous fashion. Her father has fainted after having a little vial of blood taken from his vein.

What wusses. Try having a blood gas drawn.

A fun event in my life that happened when a blood clot made my leg turn purple and have its own hot flash. I was told a blood gas was necessary to ensure I wasn't about to drop dead within seconds. 

At the hospital, when we told the admissions woman I was there for a blood gas, she turned white as if she were the one getting it and said, "Well, maybe you'll pass out, before the pain gets too intense."

And I said, "Wh-aaa-t" in this wobbly kind of way.

It wasn't the worst pain in the world. 

I say this because I have birthed three children. I know pain.

 But, it was definitely excruciating. Excruciating because the needle goes into the artery instead of a vein and the arteries are surrounded by nerves and nerves don't like needles being rubbed over them and inserted through them, especially when the phlebotomist informs you, "Oops, we've got to try again. I missed."

So, I'm not very empathetic when it comes to their baby-ass ways.

 I thought O-Dawg was all up to date on vaccinations. It was also a little wishful thinking on my part. There is great drama and torn pants in our life when O-Dawg needs a shot. 

After her exam, as we were packing up to go, Dr. Cohen called from outside the room, "No, don't leave, yet. O-Dawg hasn't had her shots."

It was a great oversight on my part. I now know that 12- year-old checkups are stocked full with shots.

O-Dawg's big eyes got even wider. She looked at me and shrieked, "I'm not getting a shot! I'm not getting a shot!" And with that, she hopped off the table, ran out of the room, ran through the waiting room and out the front door. 

I looked at my Victoria who was as stunned as I was and said, "I guess we should go get her."

We calmly walked through the waiting room, smiling at all the waiting families who sat there a little curious and a lot amused. I opened the front door and saw my daughter headed towards the road. She told me later, she was planning on running home. I hissed as un-shriekily as I could, "O-Dawg, O-Dawg, what are you doing?"

She called over her shoulder, "I'm not getting a shot, that's what I'm doing!"

I felt helpless. I couldn't be my usual screaming, cursing, threatening self around a waiting room full of strangers.

Before I knew it, Dr. Cohen was at my side, letting me know, he'd take care of the fleeing patient. He stood next to me, using her full name, "O-Dawg Hysterical Mannix, if you don't get your butt back in here right now, I'll come after you in my really fast car, with my window down and shot in hand. You will not escape me."

Since it wasn't me threatening her, she immediately turned around and followed him obediently back into the office. The waiting room burst into applause.

My beloved Dr. Cohen passed away last year, well, well before it was his natural time to go. 

I will always be thankful for his gifted presence in our life. 

As we transitioned to the new pediatrician that took his place, I comforted myself with the fact that we were blessed to have many wonderful years with the greatest doctor anyone could ever, ever ask for.

And then a miraculous thing happened. The new doctor didn't have a sign in sheet, either. 

Dr. Friedmeyer is gifted, caring, funny and able to lasso a fleeing child and drag her back in for shots. We hit the jackpot twice.

I called Dr. F's office to see if I was being a negligent mother, allowing her to go out into the swine-filled world of the theme park.

As usual, Margie our dear pediatric nurse, reassured me that, yes I was a neurotic hypochondriac, but no, O-Dawg didn't have to wear the scarf across her mouth I was trying to convince her would look fashionably smart. 

While I had Margie on the phone, I asked her, now that O-Dawg is 18, should we be looking for a grown-up doctor instead of our new, wonderful Dr. F.

Margie answered, "Oh, no! We have 25-year-old patients, here, that don't want to leave. There is no need to switch. Besides, we can't lose you guys. Then, we would have no good stories to tell." 

O-Dawg, the stuff legends are made of. I am proud.

As she goes off into the grown up world, I am thankful for many things. Gifted Doctors who have wisely watched over her health, holding my hand as I raised a lovely woman, are a big part of them.

Rest Well, Dr. Cohen. We were blessed to have you guiding us through the maze that makes up child-rearing. Thank you for threatening and shooting up my child. 

Today's Must Have Download: The Princess of Smoky-Voiced Bluesy Jazz,  Rickie Lee Jones and her song, "The Horses." When we had only the O-Dawg I would play this song for her and I would dance with her on my hip, her little blonde head on my shoulder. It truly was, only yesterday. 

The words still stay true. "You will grow and until you go, I'll be right there by your side...And if the situation should keep us separated, you know the world won't fall apart. And you will free the beautiful bird, that's caught inside your heart....That's the way it's gonna be little darlin'. You'll go ridin on the horses, yeah. Way up in the sky, little darlin'. And if you fall, I'll pick you up. I'll pick you up."

My girl, that little bird inside her heart is spreading her wings and getting ready. I'm excited for her and this wondrous world unfolding at her feet. The first of goodbyes. We'll get through this, her and I. I just need a little more time.  




1 comment:

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Wow, I'm the first commenter. That doesn't happen often here. You wrote this before I started reading. I'm sitting here teary eyed even though I know old dawg is a sophomore now (right)? And Dr. Cohen. I miss him. I love your tales, I love your family.

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