Archive for March, 2009

Get up! Get up! Get up!

I guess maybe you didn’t know this, but today I earned the Mother of the Year Award. You are cordially invited to my coronation. Wanna know how I won? Here we go…..

This morning I had to take Emily, who is fourteen years old, to the doctor because for about the past week she has been complaining to me of having a sore throat and an ear ache. Finally I got tired of her complaining each morning (see, I’m staring already in my role of the stellar parent) and I called in to make an appointment for her. Okay whatever, I guess I can spend $120 for them to tell me that this is a virus. I’ve been at this Motherhood thing for awhile, I guess I know an illness (or not!) when I see one.

So we get into the office and the doctor looks at her ears- we’ve finally grown out of the stage where the doctor says, “Hey! I see Barney and Baby Bop in your ears!” This by the way, used to scare the heck out of my kids so I never was quite sure why the doctor would do it, but far be it from me to complain about our medical professionals.

Anyway, the doctor looked at Emily’s ears. They looked fine. Go figure, I coulda told you that. The next thing she did was look down Emily’s throat which she said looked red and a little puffy so she said we need to get a strep test. Well, that actually started to make me break out into a cold sweat because I was harkening back to the time that I had to take Emily to the lab for a strep test and my meek and mild little girly screamed like a caged hyena and kicked the lab tech right in the stomach. And the lab tech was pregnant- how do you get past that one? “Oh geez honey, be a big girl and open your mouth like a lion for the nice lady! Now tell the nice lady that you are sorry that you scrambled her unborn child!” Of course from Emily’s perspective she was not a nice lady, she was the evil wench who was going to shove that Q-tip down her throat to manipulate her tonsils.

Well, they did the strep test and it came back negative. I truly deserve a degree in medicine- man, I can call them before they even take the test. But, how long do you listen to your kid complain before you are obliged by some stupid inner-Mom thing to take them in to get checked out?

The doctor then informed me that we had one more base we’d better cover: Mono. Oh shoot! I’d forgotten about that one, perhaps my diagnostician skills really were not what I thought they were. In an unfortunate coincidence Emily announced to the doctor, and reminded me, that two of her best friends had just had mono within the last month or so. And she HAD been sleeping an inordinate amount of time lately. Uh oh, this was not looking good. I hate eating crow- it’s just not a tasty dish.

To complete a mono test they need a vial of blood, which Emily started whimpering about right away when the doctor announced that it would be a good that she have the test. She’d heard from her girlfriends that they take a couple of gallons of blood; she was not at all happy.

I was also less than pleased because I had a lunch date and time was running too close to when I needed to pick up my friends Deb an Jackie. Geez, I had places to go and people to see and this motherhood thing was fixin’ to cramp my style.

They began to tap Emily for blood and I averted my eyes because I don’t like to see her in pain. They were able to do the entire thing quickly and then they told me that we were free to leave, they would phone us with the results. Okay, maybe I was going to get to my lunch after all.

We exited the building and had just started down the three cement steps to take us to the parking lot when Emily fainted dead away, falling like a very large sack of flour with a sickening thud on the ground.

I yelled, “Get up, get up, get up!” Why? I DON’T KNOW WHY!!! HOW SHOULD I KNOW WHY I YELLED THAT! Sometimes when you are having a nervous breakdown inappropriate parental comments fly out of your face. Not only that, but in the process of her falling she knocked off my very best Dress Barn watch. Those things don’t come cheap, ya know! I think I spent $19 on it last year! I immediately tried to lift her up by the armpits, but it turns out that I’m not as buff as I once was.

A man came running from the parking lot and said to me, “What’s the matter with her?” Duh!!! Like I would know? I wasn’t even smart enough to think up the need for the darn Mono test.

I said, “She just had blood drawn and I guess that caused her to faint.” At this point she came to, looked at me and said, “What happened?” and proceeded to bawl her eyes out.

Well that solves it, there is no need to take a blood test to determine who her father is: Mike Gries. We are going to blame this squarely on him

Mike has fainted a few times over the years that we have been together. Most notably the time that the eye doctor on the third floor of Mary Greeley Hospital in Ames flashed the little blue light in Mike’s eyes to check for glaucoma and yup! down he went! Mike woke up on the second floor of Mary Greeley with leads going into an EKG monitor to check him out. Then there was the time that the doctor decided a prostate exam was in order and BOOM! Mike dropped like a frozen turkey.

But my favorite time of all was early one morning when I was sleeping. We had a brand new baby in the house and I thought I had it all under control. This motherhood thing was just clicking right along for me. Mike’s clock went off and he hopped up to take a shower. I gently drifted off back to sleep only to hear an enormous crash. “Was it the baby?” I thought in my haze of post-partum delusion? No, three week old infants don’t usually crawl out of their cribs. Could it be three year old Will falling out of bed? Mike dropping a very big shampoo bottle? I jumped up to check it out. Baby Emily was sleeping. Will was buried under his covers, drooling away. I heard the shower running and opened up the bathroom door expecting to see Mike through the wavy shower glass but I saw nothing. I heard a strange gulping.

I ripped back the shower door and there, laying in a naked, crumpled heap on the floor of the shower/tub combo was the Man of the House, My Baby Daddy- all 190 lbs of limp flesh of him. He was faced upwards, eyes bulging and making strange gulping sounds. “A heart attack!” I thought and for some reason I decided that the first order of business was to check for a pulse in his neck. Couldn’t feel it, he was too wet. He continued to gulp and gurgle.

It was then that I realized that he was actually drowning in the water, that I needed to get him out of the tub. But wait! Wouldn’t it just be easier to turn of the faucet?????

I turned off the faucet and in a display of Herculean strength, I flung him completely out of the shower and set him down, inexplicably, on the toilet. And like a king returning to his throne, he miraculously came to consciousness. How I ever heaved him across that bathroom we will never know. Surely it was adrenlin and chutzpah, all rolled into an attractive He-Girl Package.

After several hundred dollars worth of tests at the local hospital, Mike was diagnosed with something called, “Vasovagal syncope”. What are the triggers you ask? If you consult Wikipedia, the source for all light and truth in the world, Wikipedia lists the triggers as ‘giving blood, watching medical procedures, occasions of slight discomfort such as dental or eye examinations’, and my favorite: ‘abdominal straining’. Episodes usually start when the person is in their teens.

Well, well, well! Now we know who her father is and how he messed her up. Be suspicious when you hear that old, “Tell me about your mother” line that doctors sometimes ask. I think we really need to ask, “What kind of issues does your father have?”

The man in the parking lot helped me lift her up; I collected my watch and purse, I brushed the gravel off her forehead and we were good to go.

By the time we made it home the phone was ringing – it was the doctor’s office telling us that her test showed that she did not have Mono. I was busy saying, “Cut to the chase! Does she have Mono or not? I’ve got lunch plans!!” Anyway, let her father come home and have lunch with Fainting Fern, she obviously belongs all to him.

My coronation as Mother of the Year (Get up, get up, get up!!) will be very soon. Look for the invitation to come to you very soon