On Friday, I got a voicemail telling me about an endocrinology appointment for Emma for Monday (today). I had scheduled it nine months prior, so I didn't really remember it was on the calendar...since it literally was never written on the calendar.
Now enters my plan...
Endocrinology wanted blood work & an appointment. Hematology wanted bloodwork & an appointment (yet to be made). Pediatrician wanted blood work (already had appointment). What's the best way to get all the needed blood work, as well as appointments, done? Schedule a hematology appointment for the same day, only do one poke for all three tests, and take half of Emma's blood from her body to fill the 20-30 vials it would take to get all the testing done (perhaps that is a slight exaggeration). Not only would the blood work/appts all get done, BUT we'd save on gas too! So, I scheduled her hematology appointment for the same day, just a couple hours after her endocrinology appointment.
It all seemed like such a good plan.
Oh, did I mention that I'd be taking all five kids? We're currently sick (on tail end of it), and I don't want to leave my sickos with other people in case it makes them sick, AND due to Emma being immune compromised, I don't want any of the kids to pick up any illnesses from anyone else (obviously the hospital has less germs! wait...). Remaining options would be for Tyler to take work off or for all the kids to come with me. Tyler couldn't take work off, so all the kids got to come with me.
But, it would be fun, right?
We planned well. We were up, ready, fed, and in the car 15 minutes later than schedule. But...I also scheduled in a 15 minute window knowing I'm always 15 minutes late. So, technically I was ON TIME!! We had prayer that we wouldn't die on our way and thus started our 45 minute journey to the hospital.
It all seemed so simple.
We get there, park, and I pull out The Beast (aka the double stroller). Ella had napped on the way down and was fully rested. Neither Rhys nor Tyler had puked on themselves on the way, so that's always a good sign. We walked into the hospital, got up to the third floor, walked out of the elevator, and I thought, "Hey...this doesn't look right." Then I realized I was in Building A when I needed to be in Building B (I probably shouldn't point out that I had walked past Building B to get into Building A, making for a much longer walk). The buildings were attached, so I followed the sign to Building B. After walking around in a complete circle (actually, it was a square), I realized there was something wrong with their signs, and I ended up having to go a different way that I knew better (and was also a longer way...). In my defense, one of her other doctors was on that floor in Building A, so I was getting the offices confused.
Summarized version: We managed to get to the hospital on time, and we would have gotten in the doctor's office on time, but I failed to schedule in the predictable 15 minutes of getting lost. So, we ended up 15 minutes late.
Appointment went well. Emma talked to the doctor (a first with this doctor!). She's the cutest little lady. She's actually married to Emma's hematologist. Emma's hearing aid batteries died almost as soon as the doctor walked in. It was a fast appointment and soon we were done. We had about 1 hour 15 minutes until the next appointment.
It was all going as planned. (Well, minus the getting lost and Emma's hearing aid batteries dying.) Next, we would go get lunch, eat, and then go to the next appointment. Oh, but first we'd get Emma new hearing aid batteries from the pharmacy. So, we went and did that. While we waited in line to buy them, Ella started crying. So, I added "nurse baby" to the list.
We left the pharmacy. As I sat down to nurse Ella, I noticed Rhys had illegally lifted some Bengay from the shelf while sitting in her advantageous front-of-the stroller position. You know, we had also walked by some candy. But apparently she needed Bengay? So, I ran back in and gave it to the cashier lady.
Things were still going good.
So, stolen item was returned, Ella was nursed, and Emma announced, "I have to go to the bathroom." If we were in a movie, the camera would have suddenly zoomed in on me while I made a shocked face. The bathroom? Really? Emma, you notice there are five little kids here, right? And, you want to go to the bathroom? Where there are BATHROOM GERMS?!
Violet announced she needed to pee too.
Clearly I had no choice. We would have to wage war with the bathrooms. The restrooms were, of course, in Building B. I was already back in Building A. So, thus began our journey uphill in snow. I mean, through the hallways to the restroom. We got there. Even managed to fit the stroller in the bathroom. Emma took a stall while Violet the other stall. There were only two stalls. TS kept going back and forth between the two. I'm not sure what he was doing, but he was literally going back and forth over and over and over. Door open, door closed. Door open, door closed. Finally I told him to pick one and stay put.
I had not planned this part out in my plan.
Neither of the girls could get on the toilet, since I don't let them touch them. (Am I weird to not let them touch them?) So, I had to help each. Emma could reach and wash her hands, but Violet couldn't. I'm seriously a germaphobe in bathrooms. Always have been. Even before FA entered our lives. So, I held Violet and washed her hands, while saying things like, "No! Don't touch the faucet. I'll do it," while the lady drying her hands off watched me out of the corner of her eye.
Meanwhile, a line had formed and women had stolen the empty stalls (and I had to pee! Yes, I know! You probably never knew that about me.) So, I waited until they were empty again. Meanwhile, a new lady had walked in and smacked Emma really hard with the door, almost knocking her over. My bad. I had let her stand in front of the bathroom door. (and you thought I had been exaggerating when I said we were going to wage war with the bathrooms...) Luckily she was okay. Not sure the lady was. She felt horrible.
Anyway, 15-20 minutes later, we were done.
We had survived!
We left the bathroom and went to get lunch. We got in line at the Chinese restaurant (seriously so good!) only to realize after several minutes that we were waiting at the wrong end of the line. It was so busy, and we were running out of time, that we decided to walk to the other building (D) to get some food.
My plan was beginning to unravel just a little bit.
As we were walking to the other building, Emma's stomach started hurting a lot for some reason. I think she was feeling scared, and she didn't want to walk. She looked wiped out, so I had her sit in the Beast and hold Ella. Violet had wanted to sit in there and was mad that I wouldn't let her. There was no room.
As we were walking by the cafeteria, with big, open glass window walls and everyone could watch, Violet decided to throw a little fit for everyone to see. She wasn't going to walk. She wanted in the stroller. I tried to explain things to her, but she had decided what she wanted. So, I ninja kicked her - okay, I didn't. I had her hold onto the stroller because she had stopped walking with us. She wouldn't hold on. I walked a little ways ahead, and she wouldn't come. So, I took her hand and held it onto the handle while I pushed. She wasn't throwing a big fit, but she was obviously being defiant, starting to yell, and it would have been a fight the whole way to the other building (10 minute walk usually?).
My awesome plan was unraveling a little bit more, and I wondered how good of an idea this all was. Though, we did save on gas. But I think I started losing my sanity a little bit.
So, we drove over. Violet's mood improved. We only had a couple minutes left. We grabbed some Oreos from the giftshop there, and got to our appointment on time.
By the I was feeling a little frazzled. The kids were hungry and whiny. Ella was starting to cry because she was tired. The Beast wasn't very easy to maneuver and I kept accidentally locking the wheels, which made it harder to turn and maneuver...for some strange reason.
Emma had blood work done. Violet held her hand and covered her eyes when Emma started screaming. She couldn't bare to watch, but she wanted to comfort Emma at the same time. It was sweet. TS was next to her and had to look away too because it was too upsetting to him to hear her scream. (She screams because she has no control over any of it. She has had her blood taken on average of every eight weeks of her life - sometimes more sometimes less. She feels angry about it.)
Hgb was 8.9 (should be over 12. they do transfusions under 8) This explains her fatigue lately.
Anc was 700 (this is low. it's basically the strength of her immune system)
Platelets 31/50 (machine said 31. then he manually counted with his eyeballs, and it was 50!)
So, Dr G told us his wife (the endocrinologist) had called to say Emma had talked to her. Emma wouldn't talk to him. hehe. She started talking when he told her he'd take in her in to see the microscope in the lab. Both she and TS went in to see. They thought it was really neat to see her blood up close.
Meanwhile, Ella needed a nap and feel asleep in the baby carrier.
It was really funny how many people commented on all the kids. How did five kids become a large family? I remember growing up thinking five was kind of small. But now it really is on the larger size. We got a lot of "Wow! Five kids" and "You are so blessed to have five!" "Beautiful family" and things like that. A lot of people were shocked when they counted them all. It's really amusing to watch. Luckily people aren't rude here for the most part, but it's really funny how many people stare. I feel like we're putting on a show for them, only the kids usually are very well behaved so there's not a lot of show from them.
Anyway, by the time we got back out to the car, I was pooped. I didn't want to move. I didn't mention it above, but keeping Ella and Rhys happy at the same time as everything else was busy! At least they are pretty content kids for their ages.
So, there's my story. I am currently too tired to make sure it makes sense.
I know...several of you have emailed me and it's been weeks since I've emailed back. I'm sorry! I'll email. I promise.