Making the Most of It
by Emily Coleman
Every year (or more), we have to travel across our state to visit some of Eddie’s doctors. When he was a baby, we decided that a little driving for some expertise was always going to be worth it. So, we have managed to keep him with the same specialists over the years, no matter where we live.
This time, since it came at the front of a three-day weekend, we decided to make a family trip out of it. We have many relatives near his doctors, and we always have a place to stay. Also, we simply love to see them, so quality family time was great to fit in. If we were going to submit Eddie to further medical review, we might as well have some fun along the way.
His first appointment was at the crack of dawn, so my husband took our daughters to breakfast during the appointment. They had a blast, and visited a fancy bakery that made sweet treats compatible to Eddie’s diet, so they brought Eddie back a gift. After that, we had four hours before the next doctor. To the girls’ delight, we headed to a mall.
Eddie recently received a handicap stroller due to his orthopedic impairment. He just can’t walk for very long without getting exhausted and upset. We put it to good use at the mall. The girls jumped in and out of their favorite stores, and Eddie was happy with a smooth ride, and some mimicked “roller-coaster” adventures along the way. Eddie likes to ride fast…and Dad likes to push fast.
Following the mall, we headed to the ophthalmologist. He has, by far, the best waiting room I’ve ever seen. There are toys to play on, ride on, play with, and simply enjoy. The girls, and Eddie, loved their time there. Oddly enough, Eddie was hysterically giggling when he got the drops to dilate his pupils. That has never happened before, but made the wait time until the doctor was ready go much smoother.
At the end of our doctor run, we spent the night at my brothers, and woke up ready to head to my in-laws. For the first time, we were going to take a different route, and it involved getting on a ferry. Once on board, we immediately got out of the van and headed upstairs to the outside decks.
We first moved to the front of the boat, and it was very windy. Eddie was covering his ears, and simply wasn’t sure. He quickly asked for a bathroom, which I think was an evasive maneuver. After that, we headed to the back, which was nicely enclosed by a high fence so Eddie could explore independently, and the wind was minimal. As the city skyline was growing smaller behind us, Eddie’s grin was growing exponentially larger.
These appointments are educational, but not fun. We meet with doctors that confirm and reiterate conditions Eddie has always had. We fixate on the concerns, because that is all there is time for…and it can be disheartening. Some distractions along the way help make these trips easier.
By spending time with my family, I’m reminded that I wouldn’t want my son any other way. Even though the doctor trips cannot be avoided, we can certainly make the most of it. As you can tell by Eddie’s grin, the main event was the ferry, and the doctors were just something that happened along the way.
Re: Making the Most of ItPosted by Susan Harper on 11/17/2013 at 10:22 AM
What a great way to break down defensive barriers to health care. Sounds like you had a wonderful adventure. Blessings.
Re: Making the Most of ItPosted by Nicos_Momma on 11/17/2013 at 10:46 AM
I love to hear that you made the best of Eddie's doctor visits for the whole family. I always say that my son, Nico, isn't his disease (cancer) nor is he defined by being blind. We as a family live our lives and then just pause for treatments or doctor appointments. It's so important to keep normalcy for everyone. You are inspiring; thank you for sharing your journey.
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