Some Days…

For those who’ve been on the edge of their seats for my latest update, I apologize. I’ve been having panic attacks. They suck, and I’d rather keep my sanity than my blog stats.

But hey – a few weeks and counseling sessions later, I’m back in the game and much improving. Know how I can tell?

Because the other day, I had a doctor’s appointment. I drove me and my baby to the hospital (where my clinic is), and found approximately eight million small families swarming through the parking lot, eating hot dogs and cotton candy and lugging teddy bears around. There were “Teddy Bear Tour” signs directing them around, and hospital staff showing them the Life Flight helicopter, the different entrances, and I presume the interior of the hospital as well. Great, I thought. Now kids won’t be afraid of the hospital. Maybe these kids have siblings in the hospital, or something. Or a terminal illness. Or their moms are pregnant. Or something that would require a basic knowledge of what goes on in the hospital. This is a good idea.

Needless to say, however, there was no parking available in the parking lot. I parked three blocks away and lugged my growing seven-month-old to the clinic. It must have been a hundred degrees. It was definitely in the nineties. We got to the clinic twenty minutes late, but they fit me in, I had a good check-up (while a baby-hungry nurse fed and played with Jonathan), and then I carried the baby laboriously back to the car. The hot dogs smelled good, and I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. I promised myself I’d eat lunch as soon as we got home.

Trouble was, I’d locked myself out of the car. Which is not a problem if you have the key. But the key wasn’t in my pocket. Or the car. Or my purse. I realized it must be in the exam room three blocks away. I sighed, then shrugged and laughed. At least John was happy. We walked back to the clinic, John starting to show a little sunburn.

I was hungry. I briefly considered asking the Teddy Bear Tour for a hot dog, but I realized there was a possibility I would be stealing food from a hungry, paying, terminally ill child. I decided against it.

We got to the building, explained our dilemma to the other woman in the elevator, who looked sympathetic, then we walked back to the clinic. I turned the door handle, and nothing happened. It was locked. Apparently, the entire department had gone for lunch together, simultaneously, just after my appointment. I was locked out of my car, stranded at the hospital with my baby. Doomed.

I found a bathroom, changed the baby’s diaper, then went to the cardio clinic and asked the receptionist if there was any chance she could help me. No dice – nobody had keys to each other’s clinics. Also, the custodian was not on-site. I was going to have to wait until they came back from lunch.

So we camped out on a cushy little bench on the main floor and sang silly songs. We read a Little Critter book. We slobbered on the bench. (Okay, he slobbered on the bench.) And after about forty minutes, the nurse who thought Jonathan was adorable came back. She was happy to see him. She was also happy to find my key for me, and we set off again, a little hot and dehydrated but triumphant.

The reason I know my anxiety is improving? I didn’t panic. Instead, I laughed and played with a baby. A particularly cute, happy baby at that. ♦

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