DING. IT'S 8:30!
With a red-faced, rattling baby on my lap, I dialed...waiting...waiting...
Wait. Someone is answering!!
No. It's just the answering machine AGAIN saying they're not open yet: IT'S AFTER 8:30!!!
So, I dailed again...and again...(it got embarrassing how many times I tried) hoping, just hoping that a live soul would answer and field my request to see the pediatrician -- shortly.
I jockeyed; I knew there would be others just like me. I saw it in my mind: the clock ticking, the phones dialing, the arms rocking, the mothers desperately waiting to gain access to a physician. I knew it would be like this, taking a good 20 minutes to reach an appointment scheduler. You would've thought we were trying to buy a Cabbage Patch doll in the early 1980s.
At 8:48, a rushed voice answered the call. Will 10:00 work? That's what we have available. And, still, I'm jockeying. For a time to see the doctor. That isn't during a nap. That's early in the day. For my baby, who's so sick. Coughing, coughing...and each time, it takes his whole body.
We changed clothes and freshened up before starting on the 15-minute trek to the office. On the single-lane, two-way road, I jockeyed for an unobstructed route...that didn't involve the stop-and-go driving style of the heavy dump truck just ahead. Roundabout. Roundabout. Light. Would I make it on time? I had to...
With two minutes to spare, I jockeyed for a spot with minivan moms, strollers, and drug reps in the small adjacent parking lot and then grabbed the cuddly pumpkin seat to rush inside. Just in the door, I jockeyed between toe-tapping parents of sick children along with the cautious-looking well to make it to the receptionists' glass sliders before our scheduled appointment time. One minute late, no two. Or four. But at this point, who's counting?
I'm tired of the struggle.
"Grant?" Nurse Holly searches the waiting room. I think she has a halo over her head today.
Without checking the clock, or reading the door signs, we saw the doctor. In quick succession, we tried a breathing treatment. And just like that, we scored ourselves a parting gift, thanks going to our new friend, Bronchiolitis -- a 'Sami the Seal' nebulizer. The height of sophistication...
At least we had answers and a guarantee that his wheezing and coughing and mucus 'situation' would cease with Sami's support.
On the way home, it didn't matter how quickly we made it to the SuperTarget pharmacy. Grant fell asleep and I rested in knowing more about how to care for him than I did while I waited on the phone, or behind the dump truck, or in line at the office, listening to his rattle-trap cough. While the pharmacist prepared his medicine, we slid through the produce department and into Starbucks for mine.
Neither had a line; there was no jockeying.
The only jockeying we're engaged in now is for good health.