Yesterday I drove Aaron to McConnell Air Force Base for a doctor visit. He loves this time together. We listen to music and there is much for Aaron to see and to talk about with mom…….who can’t go anywhere else but in the driver’s seat right beside him as he talks and talks and talks. He talked about road construction and house remodeling that we passed; he talked about trucks that we passed; he talked about the purpose of U-Hauls; he talked about RVs and what they are and what they’re for and what they look like inside and do they have a bathroom and can we get one to take on our next trip back east; he talked about storage buildings and what people do with them and he remembered our storage building in Arizona; he talked about the guards at the gate going on to the air base and why they have to check our ID cards; he talked about all the planes that we passed at the airfield and why are they here and what kind of fuel do they use; and he even talked about the beer bottle he saw on the ground beside us at a stop light! My ears were very weary by the time we opened the van doors and walked into the clinic.
I had already told Aaron in the van, after he made his famous farting noise with his mouth, that I did not want him making ANY noises when we got in the clinic. “OK,” he said……..and then made his other famous “POP” noise with his mouth. “And not that noise, either!” I added. And as always, he questioned, “Isn’t that better than the farting noise?”………and I reminded him that I said NO noises – farting, popping, or otherwise.
Check-in went smoothly and I was thankful that our name was called quickly. After his weigh-in, we were ushered into the exam room by the little medic who looked like she might have been all of 12 years old. She was sizing Aaron up, I could tell. Aaron sat on the exam table and promptly began to take his shirt off and to tell her about the rash under his arm. Our little medic was looking a little shocked, and I was telling Aaron to just keep his shirt on………but he was having none of that. He was ready to get down to business, much like he does when he plows into Great Clips to see if he can get his hair cut, with me walking behind him as he practically yells out, “Can I get my hair cut!!??”
So now his shirt was off and the little medic was a little flustered, but Aaron was already well into his story of the rash under his arm……….as he held his arm up high for our little medic to observe. And she certainly could, since she was seated conveniently on the rash side. I finally got Aaron to hush while our little medic collected herself and began to fill out the required paperwork. She was struggling somewhat with whether to ask me the questions, or direct them to Aaron. Finally, she got beyond the queries about phone numbers and the meds that Aaron takes. She looked at me and began saying, “How would you rate…..” and then she finished the question by looking at Aaron……”your pain level?”
Aaron was absolutely delighted to have a question aimed at himself. He had been chomping at the bit, waiting for this very opportunity…….and before I could even part my lips, he had launched into his answer. “Well!!” he bellowed, “it hurts when I use soap on it!!” Our little medic grinned and was trying to decide how to put this answer on her chart……and I’m quite sure that Aaron was hoping that she would tell him that he no longer needed to put soap under his arm, as taking a shower and actually using soap is not one of Aaron’s favorite priorities in life.
She glanced at the next question and then turned to Aaron……..not to me……..and asked the mental health question that is always asked at these military medical visits. “Are you depressed or do you feel sad?” she asked Aaron, as he sat there grinning and wide-eyed at this attention. Even I wanted to hear this answer, so I sat back in my chair and relaxed as Aaron pondered this unusual question. But of course he had an answer! “Well,” he said, “I’m tired of all this!!” I had to laugh, for my own mental health, and our little medic was even beginning to enjoy this. I have no earthly idea what she wrote on his chart, but now she was ready to ask the last question.
She turned again to look at Aaron as she asked, “So how would you describe your overall health?” He didn’t even skip a beat as he answered, “Well, sometimes I have to blow my nose!” I was seriously thinking that I would have to leave the room as I was about to explode with laughter. I do believe that our little medic was wishing that she had more questions to ask. She was relaxed and totally enjoying Aaron’s answers, especially as he expounded on the nose blowing comment by explaining that he doesn’t really blow his nose, but he wipes it on a towel that he keeps for that purpose and Mom doesn’t want him to do that………..right, Mom?……….but that it’s a towel he uses in his room, and on and on and on. But it was time for our little medic to leave, and soon the PA and the doctor came…….which gave Aaron more opportunity to talk and to be listened to and to answer more questions, as I watched the PA and the doctor smile (they know Aaron) and try to follow his rabbit trails.
And all the while, as we waited for people to come and go from the exam room, Aaron had his eyes on the automatic paper towel dispenser by the sink. He had talked to me about it and how much he liked those and did I know how they worked……….and I told him NOT to get off that table and go over there to get a paper towel that he did NOT need. Soon it was time to go and Aaron was putting his shirt on. I was intent upon looking at the PA and talking to her, when I heard a sound…………brrrrrrrrrrr.
Yes, of course it was the towel dispenser. Aaron made a beeline for it and was very happily holding the brown towel when I turned toward him with my mother look, and with an apology to the PA. But she was laughing and said it was just fine, and Aaron probably would have held up his hand to get another towel if I hadn’t stopped him with my threatening look.
Soon we were back in the safety of the van, where I let out a huge sigh and Aaron launched into his next list of topics. “Mom, you know those little interviews they show before movies start?” he asked.
Yes, Aaron…….trailers. He totally disregarded the trailer comment as he talked about seeing an interview for Iron Man 3…….”Can I see that movie, Mom?” And the movie, Lincoln…….”I don’t know if I want to see that one.” And of course, “Mom, can I see the Texas Chain Saw Massacre?”
No, Aaron, you cannot see the Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
He shifted gears in his talking and said, “Mom, the other day when Katie was driving me home she asked me something and I said, ‘OK, babe!’, and she told me not to say that.” So we discussed why he should not call women “babe” and what it means to respect someone and why the term “babe” is not showing respect………and before I knew it, we were home.
I tell you, only Aaron can make a simple doctor visit into one adventure after another just by his conversations and his observations. When we got home, and he was finished with his talking and went up to his room, I had some time to breathe and to collect myself.
How would I answer the question on this day…………the question about whether I’m depressed or sad? I worry about Aaron at times, and I get aggravated or embarrassed at times……but my goodness, he makes me laugh! And laughter is good medicine for body and heart and soul.
I wonder if our little medic thought of Aaron later that evening after work? I hope she’s still smiling, too, and has a new insight into all the special people that will cross her path.
Aaron’s good at that!