We drove to Des Moines on Monday for appointments with two doctors we've known for more than 18 years. In one case it was the last time we'll see that physician, as it's time for Stross to leave her pediatric practice. In the other circumstance, we have reasons to continue being followed by that particular physician regardless of his pediatric specialty. For us, the emphasis is on what he does, not the age range of the patients he usually sees.
Families who have a family member with disabilities know that doctor days are more tolerable if they are approached as a day for adventure. Pleasant moments are found during the car rides, while waiting in lounges or exam rooms, or when enjoying a meal or shopping outing that you claim as a reward for your day.
Because this day had us heading back to the city of Stross' birth, our time felt familiar. We knew the roads to take, the lots to park in, the doors to enter, and the elevators to ride. We even found familiar faces at the registration desks. Of course, the doctors, who have observed our family tackle moments of mundane monotony as well as severe stress, were quite familiar too. In fact, in some highly important ways, they know more about us than our closest friends.
I wish I could capture what it's like to see the city we called home nearly two decades ago through the eyes we claim today. Des Moines still feels like home - but a home we once knew in a land far, far away.
We are back home with a to-do list of follow-up activities related to what happened because of our appointments. Good things will result, but only after lots of details are sorted through, paperwork completed and funding assured. Such is our life now and always will be. And, oh, when you hear me talk about "doing Stross' cares," that's something that occurs every four hours of every day regardless of where we are at the time. As a result, we've gotten pretty good at making sure we are near a bathroom with the appropriate supplies as the four-hour mark hits.
I didn't capture everything about the day we experienced on Monday, but I think you'll get the gist of it.