I should've had an inkling something would go wrong when I received a phone call this morning that my appointment was changed to 9:30 this morning. Mind you, I checked my voicemail at 10:30, after a sleepless night.
"Uh, I'm calling to confirm your appointment for 9:30. I went ahead and changed it so that you could get it over and done with. See you in a bit." She left the message at 8:42am. Is it possible to say that you confirm an appointment if the other person doesn't respond?? At the time she called and "confirmed" my new appointment, I was in la-la land with Adelle's head resting on my arm, drool collecting between the folds of her cheek and my elbow pit (the fold on the opposite side of the elbow. Sounds gross, I know, but how else would you describe it?) I was lost between a dream where I was maniacally chasing after triplets, trying to get them all to sleep and a dream when I was trim and fit, laying on a beach in Cabo. Oh yes, stuck between a nightmare and a fantasy of some sort.
At 10:30, I had just crawled out of bed, a boob exposed from nursing in the night, my hair disheveled from Adelle's angry-tired fists, and my feet in the opposite slippers (No wonder they felt so weird). I was a classic case of tired mom. I somehow retrieved my phone from the seat cushion after I heard ringing. At first, I thought the sound was imagined, until it started getting louder. Afraid it would wake the baby, I started rummaging through my purse, jacket, and finally followed the noise to the couch. My phone was lying there next to an old cheetoe and popcorn kernels and my old insurance card (Damn! I had been looking for that for ages!) The receptionist didn't seem bothered by my bewildered state. "You want me to come in now?" "Uh yes, I'll tell the doctor you had issues with the baby." For once, it had nothing to do with the baby. I can't blame the receptionist's ineptitude on a five-month-old child. I wanted to say, "Thanks for scapegoating my little Adelle. She can't be at fault for your ridiculous incompetence." I thought the better of it and held my tongue, something I am going to do all afternoon.
She tells me to come 'right away'. Without telling her that I look like a victim in a horror movie, I tell her that it's impossible. "I need to pump (and eat my face off) before I come down." "Alright. I'll tell the doctor." Who knows what she'll make up to the doctor, but frankly my grumbling stomach prevents me from pursuing this train of thought.
I hadn't eaten the night before which was a big mistake. My stomach was grumbling to the point where Adelle might awaken from the tremors my body was producing. While I pump, Alex makes me a huge fattie omelette, the kind that smells and looks good, its edges hanging over the already-huge plate. I eat that in two minutes. Still hungry but too embarrassed to eat any more, I grab some chocolate covered pretzels and head out the door.
Walking there is a breeze. I've switched doctors since I absolutely detest the other one. (Boy, do I have a story to tell you about him!) My former doctor, let's call him Dr. Quack, tells me that I need surgery for my nearsightedness. He mentions a procedure that is the new LASIK called LASEK and assures me that I am the appropriate candidate. I go home and google (of course) and I realize that I am the absolute wrong person to get this done. When I raised my suspicions to the new doctor (Dr. Frigid), he tells me that I'm right. The surgeon would have to cut away most of my corneal layer for me to see correctly. So much would be cut away that I would be left with a wobbling eyeball, so unstable it may collapse. Great. Just what I need....collapsed eyeballs while trying to breastfeed. Dr. Frigid also tells me that the old medicine (given by Dr. Quack) is antiquated and that there was no need for me to go blind. I should've used simple bethla-blahblahblah drops. I'm grateful to this new doctor, but he is the coldest physician I have ever met, one of those guys that should be typing in data into a machine rather than dealing with people. Doctors should be forced to take a social aptitude test.
I walk in the door and take off my heavy jacket. I hang it on the IKEA like coat rack and the entire structure falls apart. Everyone in the waiting room looks at me, but no one helps me reassemble this shitty coat rack. The receptionist smiles at me and motions for me to sign in. She keeps looking over my head and I realize that she's smiling at Joy Behar on the View who's cracking a joke on the flat screen TV behind me. (Is this where my money is going?) She asks how the baby's doing. "Great" I answer and sit down. I know the wait will be as long as last time so I brought my Baby 411 book. She notices it from across the room and asks me about it. I don't feel like giving her a synopsis so I say "Great" again. Everything in this damn overheated office is just great. The waiting room is filled with people who can't see. Everyone has those plastic glasses, the kind that remind me of 3D movies, except they're all watching women gab instead of flying dolphins. I'm the only person under 70 in this room. If I'm here now, imagine what my eyesight will be like when I'm 70?!
After two hours of waiting, reading, peeing, texting, web surfing, email checking, and daydreaming, I get called into the back room. The physician's assistant is a round, exuberant woman who has the thickest pair of glasses imaginable. She has black ringlets that seem just as excited as she is. "Sit down!" She practically yells. I'm blind, not deaf. She goes over my chart and tells me that I'm not a candidate for the LASEK surgery. I'm wondering if everyone is hearing my diagnosis since I have the urge to cover my ears, something I do when I walk under the loud ass 7 train. She tells me to go back outside and wait to be called again. What a tease!
I finally get called. Dr. Frigid announces, "Park, Jo. Come on in." I gather my jacket, purse and book and squeeze my way past all the other waiting room prisoners. I want to say 'Suckas!' but resist the urge since I may be coming out here once again.
I look for a place to put all my crap and just settle on putting in on the ground. I'm a bit of a germaphobe so I quelch the thoughts of eye juice and other bodily fluids that may be on the floor.
He looks over my chart and asks about my progress. I tell him that my eyes still feel dry. A 'Hmm' comes out of his mouth as he swivels around on his stool and comes so close to my face, I thought me might kiss me. He looks deeply into my eyes and does the most unromantic thing ever, he flips my eyelids. Gross! I want to freak out, but I don't want to be a baby, especially since I just had one.
"Grab on" he says. "To what?" I want to ask. I hold his arms. "No, the sides of the machine." Embarrassment doesn't even begin to describe what I felt. This machine looks like R2D2 except fancier. I peer into the light (I'm beginning to think this is a rather spiritual experience) and follow his finger as he moves them from side to side. Am I getting hypnotized too? He probes and pokes, swabs and wiggles, and then he asks if he could take a break. What? In the middle of an exam. "Okay," I respond like an idiot. What else am I going to say?
He gets on the phone and precedes to talk to another opthamalogist. "Yes, she's a fine specimen. A hole in the left eye. Six o'clock....You think I should prescribe that?....No, I don't think she'll go blind, just yet." Holy crap! Was this guy diagnosing me right now? I hold my tongue. "Okay, I'll get the lab results to you this afternoon. How was the '90?" What? "Did you and your wife drink it last night?...No, that's okay. I prefer the Muscadets from Loire." Crap, this guy is shooting the shit about wine while I lay semi-prostrate in my Inspector Gadget chair. "Yeah, okay. I'll get Marisol's results to you today." Oh, so he wasn't talking about my blind ass. As long as it's someone else....No! I'm kidding, well, half kidding.
He takes out a big plastic chart of the eye. It's pretty cool, but I am beginning to wonder if this is my fifth grade science class all over again. DIAGNOSIS: He points to the eyelid and tells me that my glands are plugged. TREATMENT: He tells me to put a warm washcloth on my eyes for five minutes and then wipe my inner eyelids with a Q-tip. When will this be over?
As if reading my mind, he asks how long I will be lactating. Of course, he couldn't just say breast feeding, right? Had to say I was lactating. 'For a while' I respond and he give me a look that said, "Didnt I just tell you stupid bitch that your eyes are clogged and you almost went blind yet you still want to breast feed? What's wrong with you?" I mutter my defense, "Good for baby."
Head hanging low, I walk out to the waiting room area and book my next appointment. The receptionist lifts up her poorly colored hair (People with black hair should never bleach their hair! It looks orange) and tells me to come back in April. Yeah, like I'm going to remember that. She says she'll confirm the appointment the day before which doesn't really reassure me.
She starts talking to me about babies and I use this opportunity to tell her I need to get home and breast feed my hungry Adelle. "But I thought you pumped?" she asks. "I do, but she doesn't take the bottle well." "Ohhhh, you gotta make her take it. I breast fed my kids till five and they took bottle. Otherwise they get too attached to mommy." This woman is talking to me about attachment issues and she's the one who breast fed her child till he was in kindergarten. What?!
"Great," I say for the millionth time even though it makes no sense. I grab my coat, zip up, and walk out the door. I trip on the half step that lays just beyond the door and land on my hip. My ankle hurts and I wobble home. Why, I ask you, would they have a half step (not large enough for human feet) outside the door? At an eye doctor's nonetheless? How does that make any sense? To all my lawyer friends out there during these harsh economic times, LAWSUIT!
I come home and Adelle is screaming, probably because I look like Quasimoto, limping hunched over, and moaning. She's so hungry she's hysterical. I strip down faster than you can say 'naked' and latch her on to my too full breasts. She sucks and milk spews out like a pressure washer, the white substance making perforated lines across her face. She snorts milk and screams even louder. We panic and run around, trying to appease her. It reminds me of when the smoke detector goes off and you feel like you're going crazy from the beeping noise. You open the windows, fan like a crazy person until it stops its irritating pitch.
She finally calms down and nurses. My heart aches. After this miserable day, seeing my Adelle's face wet with tears and snot melts me. All hell can break lose, but I still have a little piece of heaven right here.