I’ll Take Door Number 362, Please!
The everyday tasks like diaper changing and dishes were becoming easier the longer I patiently hopped through them. I had my most anticipated doctor appointment to remove my right cast when Riley was three weeks old. Those three weeks brought a relief from OB and Orthopedic appointments, and a corresponding relief from co-pays.
Duane commented on my chipper mood as we arrived in the hospital parking lot, and he disappeared to find a wheel chair. A few minutes later, safely ensconced in the chair with Riley snuggled in his infant car seat cradled in my lap, we arrived at the back of the line for the Orthopedic check-in. Duane parked my chair next to the children’s play area a little way away from the line so Evan could stay amused during the wait. I oooh’d and m’hmmm’d distractedly at Evan’s demonstrations, thinking about the bath I would take when we got home, and wondering if we had enough of Evan’s bubble bath left.
I kept track of my husband’s progress through the line, and started getting a little knot of excitement in my stomach when he finally stepped up to the window. He was at the window longer than normal I thought, but finally he started walking toward us, looking a little nervous.
“Well, there was a problem,” he said quietly, “but I fixed it.” he added quickly.
“What do you mean, ‘problem’?” I asked jumping immediately to ’10’ from my ‘3’ on the anxious scale, and going the opposite direction on my happy-meter.
“Apparently,” he started slowly, “they didn’t only cancel the remainder of your OB appointments after Riley was born, they cancelled ALL your appointments. You weren’t even down on their books today to have your cast removed.”
“WHAT?!” I said in stupefied surprise. “But, . . . but . . . “ I spluttered.
“I know, I know,” he placated. “I told the guy at the check-in window that you wouldn’t leave until that cast came off, even if you had to rip it off yourself, and that If he wanted a peaceful lobby he would find a way to fit you in.”
“You got that right!” I said as threateningly as possible while sitting in a wheel chair with an infant car seat on my lap and my pink and blue sticks propped up on those foot rests.
My original appointment was at 10:30 a.m. and one of the technicians kindly fit me in after the last appointment and during his lunch at 12:30. That was certainly not in his job description in this age of HMO’s, PPO’s and SOB’s, so I kept spluttering my gratitude and thanks until I was distracted when I saw my ape-like leg emerging from the plaster. I had honestly not thought of the consequences of not shaving for seven weeks. I remember being amused by the thought that I could move back to U.C. Berkeley and fit right in now. Naturally, I wore shorts to the appointment given my oven-like body temperature because an infant was constantly attached to my milk jugs, so I was quite embarrassed and glad the place was deserted for lunch. The technician proceeded to fit me with a walking boot, which was thankfully removable for the bath I had planned.
With the ability to finally see and scratch my leg (what a glorious feeling!), I started to feel a small sense of normalcy, and the winds of my emotional cyclone calmed even further. I could see a hint of blue skies through my cloud-filled life, but not enough to make a Dutch boy’s pants.
What? You’ve never heard to look for enough blue in a cloudy sky to make a Dutch boy’s pants?
Ask Jean, my Mother-in-Law. That is one of her North Dakota sayings. Since I’ve never been to Holland, I don’t know how a Dutch boy’s pants differ from an American boy’s pants. Oh, well . . . just another day at the melting-pot zoo.
The walking boot on my right leg didn’t make much difference in my life, except during sleeping and bathing. I found out that I still couldn’t take a bath, because when I stood up to dry off, all the water drained off my body into my remaining cast before I could soak it up with a towel.
See the Chapter 3 for details on the consequences.
I could, however, take my daily sponge bath and at least wash, dry and shave one leg. Ladies, if you ever want to know what your legs would look like if you were a man, although I don’t know why you would, have a cast put on your leg and leave it there for seven weeks. Not only was my body not my own because I just had a baby check out of my one-of-a-kind 5-Star Baby Hotel, complete with umbilical cord room service AND maid service, but now I also had one stick-skinny, hairy man-leg and one pink cast.
I headed strait for the bathtub when I got home, even if I couldn’t actually take a bath. Sitting on the edge with one cast out and one hairy leg in, it took three razors before the job was finished and I was somewhat satisfied with the result. Sickly pale and stick straight, I feel entirely confident that this was the only time any part of my body would ever resemble that of a Runway Model.
~Mary Kathryn Johnson
Author ~ Entrepreneur ~ Mom
Say Bump and Take a Left
[Next installment tomorrow. All interested parties meet back here to find out the balance in my spousal bank account.]