Processing the longest day

I smell like vomit and I am too tired to do anything about it.


Lucas had his 18 month Well Baby check up with his new pediatrician bright and early this morning. I was a little nervous about being in a new place so I made Dayna map out my trek with me last week and we did a mock visit. Talk about type A. I literally made my wife drive to the doctors, find the closest parking lot, walk into the clinic, just so that there wouldn’t be any surprises.


When we arrived, I survived the mountain of paperwork that they gave me to fill out and Lucas was behaving himself with the other kids. When they called our name, he smiled at the nurse and held my hand as we walked towards the door. But he pulled away and tried to run as we crossed the threshold. He was already feeling the urge to run. Foreshadowing. In the first room, the nurse just needed vitals. From the second she put that sticker on his big toe, he was a mess. He kicked, he cried, he screamed, he bucked. She needed his temp. He grabbed the thermometer with both hands and wrestled it down. She needed his weight. He tried to throw himself off the scale. I had to hold him down with my elbow and entire forearm in order for the nurse to get his height. All the while he is scream-crying. Snot is just pouring out of this kid. “No, you can’t put his clothes back on just yet.” The nurse hands me tissues for my whimpering babe. “Please take me home, Mama,” his pleading eyes say to me. Clear as day. My non-verbal son is begging me to take him home.


The nurse takes us to another room to talk to another nurse. His attempts to examine Lucas result in more hysterics. It seems to go on forever and just when I think he can’t work himself up any more, my boy exceeds expectations and kicks it up another level. By the time we actually see the pediatrician, Lucas is inconsolable, red, swollen, sweaty, and has clawed at his face while crying- which has caused a little bleeding. He was making that deep breath-gasp-shudder shudder- shoulder shake noise and at this point had just locked his gaze with mine- doing his very best to communicate telepathically. “Please. Please. Please take me home, Mama.” His lips would purse, his head tilt down, and his two almond eyes would look pleadingly into mine, and his head would bob slightly- with a hit of madness that I imagine one would see in a torture victim. The doctor asks to examine him on his back. Lucas arches away as I try to lay him down on the table. Then as the doctor begins listening to his chest, an alarmed look passes over my child’s face, and he vomits his breakfast: 9 ounces of whole milk, one slice of cinnamon raisin bread with peanut butter, a quarter of a banana, and some green smoothie. By far the largest display of vomit that I have ever seen come from my baby. I pick him up as the doctor and nurse try to clean both me and Lucas. Over the wails the doctor shouts “He’s severely behind in speech. I’ve put in a referral to audiology to test his hearing- someone will contact you in three business days. He will also need to start speech therapy- someone will also contact you in three business days. I also need to see you in three weeks for a follow up to discuss the results of Lucas’s autism evaluation. His score is cause for concern.” I let the doctor’s words wash over me, and I feel myself nodding and “ok”ing repeatedly.


We are sent back to the lobby to make our follow up appointment and are then called for our vaccine. I had completely forgotten that we STILL had to get shots. It goes as expected. I feel like Lucas has given up. He doesn’t trust me anymore. He doesn’t want me. The shot makes him cry the most defeated “No one is in my corner” cry. It almost makes me cry.


We are sent to the pharmacy. Kill me. I take a number and have just enough time to tuck my baby into the sling and our number is called. As the nice lady tells me that our prescription (eczema cream) hasn’t populated yet and that she will call us back up in a while, my exhausted son gags, and I tell her I’ll just come back later. I load him in the car. He is despondent. I start to cry, which always makes him cry. So we drove home, both of us crying. Feeling lonely and alone. And just so, very tired.

2 thoughts on “Processing the longest day

  1. For what its worth, that is my daughters reaction to Drs too. They simply don’t like what they dont like. They arent able to process and verbalize their feelings. Even if you could reason with them they don’t have the self awareness yet. Try not to stress yourself about the Drs final words. What a damn exhausting day. Im giving you huge virtual hugs. Thank you for sharing your hard days.

  2. Oh honey, I am so sorry this was the day you had. You’re both going to be ok. You don’t have to believe it, because I will believe it for you.

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