Today, I had my appointment with the recommended dermatologist. Joy of joys, I had the privilege of bringing along my three sons! When I was complaining about it later on, my MS suggested I should just ask God and He could make a babysitter for me (he is fixated lately on the topic of how God makes things, and this afternoon he asked "How did God make me get into your tummy, Mommy?" which made ES chuckle).
Actually, I had originally planned to include one of ES's friends and make a day of it (figuring that would be two 12 year olds to help with two toddlers). The pool that we visited last week is out in a similar direction to the dermatologist, and I wanted to save gas and combine trips. So ES informed his friend that we would have to leave by 9:30 this morning. Then, in discussing my plans with my husband last night, he strongly encouraged me to change my plans, so that the little boys would be home for their normal nap time. I asked ES to try to call his friend, but he got no answer.
Last night, I scoured my medical file and took the time to write down every date, doctor seen, diagnosis given, and prescription tried. This morning, I reminded ES to call his friend about our change in plans and we headed out on time (alas, ES forgot). I brought a bag with books, stickers, cars and snacks. I instructed ES to keep them in the waiting room as long as possible, but that if they became too unruly, to leave the things, pick up the baby and carry him - with MS walking - to the van, which I would leave unlocked for this possible eventuality. He was to strap them in and leave a door open until I returned. I also advised the nurse and doctor of my children's presence in the waiting room, in case there were any problems (really to let them know that my brain was partially processing all the various scenarios which could be occurring in the waiting room).
I was very impressed with this doctor. He listened attentively. He encouraged "No this is not all in your head!" You don't know how wonderful it is to hear that. He provided me with a plethora of informational sheets on a plethora of problems I am experiencing (do I really want to list them all? - eczema, xerosis, warts, folliculitis, a/g pruritis, and lichen simplex chronicus). After buying that expensive Aveeno body wash, I have now been instructed to eschew all liquid soaps and body wash, and all moisturizing lotions which come from a pump (favoring instead bar soap, Cetaphil products, ointments and creams). The doctor also performed a skin biopsy on my thumb.
Forty-five minutes later, I emerged to find the waiting room full of lots of people, but none belonging to me. The books, cars, stickers and MS's shoes were on the floor. I gathered them up and raced to the van. ES informed me that MS was the problem (surprise, surprise!). He was apparently running all over the waiting room, crashing into YS, and throwing his Spiderman clogs (note to self: next time, be sure they are all wearing lace-up shoes, double-knotted) (further note to self: what about tying the lace-up shoes to a chair in the waiting room? - nah, I guess that might present its own difficulties and ramifications!) YS didn't want to be carried to the van (further surprises). MS raced out in front of ES in the parking lot (o.k., who am I kidding? None of this is surprising - welcome to my world!), but ES did manage to secure them in their seat belts and he wisely kept them occupied for the final twenty minutes in the van by discussing poop, butts and farts (boys will never tire of those laughs).
My thoughts: We survived. I was able to provide all the pertinent information and secure valuable feedback. I didn't scream out in pain at the shot (must blog about my miracle story, so that you will all understand why I usually scream out at shots). I was able to inform MS and YS that, due to their behavior, the pool was out and to back it up with the further explanation that Mommy's huge thumb in the bandage couldn't get wet for 24 hours (true!)
However, when we arrived home for lunch and naps, I discovered that ES had not informed his friend (who was rather miffed that we never showed up and never called). When ES called to apologize, he felt bad and decided to tell him that we would still be going back to the pool for the 4-7 reduced price swim time. I wanted to cancel, but I felt bad, too (do you recognize a generational pattern starting here?). I kept the little boys occupied at a nearby park, CVS (to purchase bar soap and Cetaphil cream), and back to the park again. By the time we returned home, we were all exhausted (plus, ES says he doesn't feel well - please let it just be exhaustion).
We plan to leave for Grandma's house on Friday and then drive up to CBLI on Saturday. I have a little more than 24 hours to pack, clean the house (hubby is having some work done on the house during our absence), load the van, and begin treating all these skin issues (not to mention, one of the prescriptions is being delayed because they have to secure insurance clearance - groan).
Did I mention that the doctor said STRESS and DEPRESSION can trigger the itching? Feel free to scratch along with me. No - I take that back. I am trying to stop scratching. Mind over matter. It is possible not to scratch. It is possible to pack up four people for a 10 day trip before Friday. It is possible to lick these rashes. It is possible to manage these boys on my own (including nap time when one naps and the other doesn't, and meal time, when we will need my hands to carry three trays). It is possible for us to go and have another wonderful year at CBLI. It is possible to survive with a smile. This is my mantra from now until I resume blogging in person (I have prepared a few scheduled posts for your enjoyment during my absence). I am claiming the verse which my sister-in-law used on Amelia's blog today: II Corinthians 4: 8-9!