Our New Normal- Part 3

This is the third installment in a four part series on our new adventures with my baby’s scoliosis treatments. The entire series can be read by following this link.

Atlanta. I had to take my baby into Atlanta for treatment. On the outside I was calm, cool, and collective. But on the inside….

I write letters to Ellen DeGeneres. No particular reason. Just because I can.

Dear Ellen,

Let the games begin!

Last Monday I drove my baby to Atlanta for an early morning procedure that was scheduled the next day. It rained during the entire two hour car ride. And not the annoying, misty rain. I’m talking about a downpour. The kind of downpour that inspires car accidents – which on that stretch of freeway – happens all the time. Fortunately traffic – which is notorious in Atlanta – was light and I was able to make it to the hotel by about 3 pm which gave me time to get settled, let the baby explore and get some dinner.

I checked into the hotel and asked the woman behind the counter if she had a list of restaurants that delivered. Sometimes hotels provide this information for their guests.

“No,” she said. “Honestly, there’s nothing in the area that delivers.”

Nothing in the area that delivers? This is Atlanta for God’s sake. Augusta is in the sticks compared to Atlanta and even there we have places that deliver. Where the hell did I just land?

 

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The last thing I wanted to do was drive around an unfamiliar city looking for something to eat.

I left the office and lugged my baby and all of our crap through the downpour, into our hotel room. Once the baby was settled and had a snack, I hopped online and HOLY SHIT! There’s this website called Grubhub that magically finds restaurants that will deliver to your location. Thirty minutes later I had more Chinese food than I was ever going to eat. We settled in for the night and while my baby crawled around the room, exploring, I sat in front of the television and watched two super cheerful movies: The Dark Knight and The Patriot.

The next morning, I packed everything up and drove to the main building to check out. On may way over, I noticed there was a police car and a tow truck blocking the exit. Someone lost control of their car and drove into some bushes by the hotel entrance.

As I was checking out, I asked the gentleman behind the desk. “Is there another way out of the parking lot?”

He looked over my shoulder. “Are you kidding me?” He turned back to me. “Nope. That’s the only way in or out.”

Lovely. I got back into the car and pulled over near the exit to talk to the police officer. “How long is it going to be before we can leave?”

“It will take as long as it takes. You’ll just have to wait.”

“Okay….the thing is I have to get my daughter to the Children’s Hospital.”

“Is this a medical emergency?”

It will be if you don’t get that tow truck out of my way. “No. But I drove two hours to get to this appointment and…..”

“And you’re going to sit here and wait until the tow truck is done.”

Normally I love police officers. But not on this particular day. I was in no mood. Fortunately, I had plenty of time to get to the hospital but I didn’t know where the parking structure was or how long it was going to take me to get a parking spot. The paperwork the hospital emailed to me said something about a shuttle service. I didn’t know what that meant and envisioned an airport parking lot scenario where I was going to have to lug my baby through the rain and wait for the shuttle to pick us up.

While I was waiting, – and stressing out about things I had no control over – I noticed an indicator light on my dashboard.

 

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Why not? It’s not like I had anything else to deal with on this day.

 

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I pulled the manual out of the glove box. Low air pressure. Great. Awesome! Knowing my luck, I probably had a nail in one of the tires because that’s exactly the kind of thing that would happen while I was in an unfamiliar city, 100 miles away from my husband.

I got out of the car and looked at all of the tires. None of them was flat. A good sign.

Five minutes later the tow truck was gone and we were on our way. The parking garage was attached to the main hospital which was also where I needed to be. I parked the car and looked at my tires again. Nothing was flat and I couldn’t tell which one was low on pressure.

We checked into the hospital. I called my husband and had him text me the 800 number for our towing service – just in case I came out and found a flat tire.

Meanwhile, the nurses did their thing, asking a bunch of questions and then they went over the procedure.

“She’ll need general anesthesia and because of that, we’ll need to insert a tube into her mouth so she can breathe.”

 

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“Is there a bar in the hospital. I’m asking for a friend.”

The nurses laughed. “No. But there’s a Starbucks on the main floor.”

Awesome. Caffeine is exactly what someone anxious and on edge needed. 

The baby was getting very fussy because she was hungry and hadn’t had anything to eat since 7:30 pm the night before. The nurses brought in this large plastic football stroller that kind of looked like this one. “You can put her in this and take her to the Starbucks to get some coffee.”

“Okay.” After they left, I buckled the baby into the football and away we went. We barely made it out of the surgery ward when some guy called after me, “Excuse me, Ma’am, where are you taking that?” He pointed toward the stroller.

“To Starbucks.”

“That’s not supposed to leave the floor.”

“Well the nurses said I could.”

“You’ll need to bring that right back.”

“Of course.” Because that’s exactly why I came to Atlanta. My plan all along was to use my child’s scoliosis to steal a plastic football stroller. What can I say, Ellen? I’m devious like that.

Shortly after I got my coffee and returned to the baby’s room – with the football stroller – the nurses gave the baby a sedative they referred to as goofy juice. 

***The following conversation took place between me and my 17 month old. It’s completely legit. I would never make something like this up.****

 

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Baby Girl: Honestly, Mother, this is ridiculous. I’m a scientist and an explorer. I do not act goofy. And a tiny amount of grape-flavored juice, though delightful to ingest, is not going to make me (giggle, giggle) act goofy (snort, snort.) Momma, you have a big nose. (Giggle, Giggle) Are you a clown? Does your nose beep? (Palms me in the nose.)

Baby Girl: Momma, look! My fingers are floating. Wee!

 

Here are some pictures of Baby Girl on Goofy Juice.

About 15 minutes after administering the goofy juice, they wheeled my baby girl away for her cast. There’s one more chapter to go in this saga. Tune in on Wednesday for the finale.