Simply Amazing

Yesterday was D-Day…….the day for Aaron to go to the lab for blood work and for the dreaded urine sample.  I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened his bedroom door and said good morning in a cheery voice.  He looked up at me…….and smiled.  What a great start!  And sure enough, Aaron was in a happy mood as he got up and showered and took his pills…..and wasn’t allowed to drink his coffee or eat any of his strawberry jello that we had made especially for him the night before.

Off we drove to the air base, listening to his CD choice…….turning the music off occasionally as he shared yet another observation from all the sights outside the windows of the van.  At one point he said, “Mom.  I heard Dad walking early this morning in the hall.”   I asked him how he knew it was Dad and not me, and he answered, “Because Dad’s footsteps are deeper!”  I knew his voice was deeper, but wasn’t aware of his deeper footsteps.  Interesting Aaron!

We walked into the small lab area at the air base clinic.  We passed by the first bathroom in the waiting room.  The bathroom door was open, and Aaron………who doesn’t like bathrooms and who REALLY doesn’t like public bathrooms…….lagged behind me.  I turned and saw him craning his neck to see inside the dark bathroom.  I knew he was scoping it out and that he was dreading what was to come as he had to pee in that cup……..there in that already uninviting restroom. 

As I checked him in at the counter, I turned again to see what Aaron was doing…….and there was no Aaron.  Just then I saw him lean his head slowly around the corner.  He had snuck up the hall while I wasn’t looking.  When he saw me, he smiled broadly and came around the corner.  “I was hiding from you, Mom!”  I was thankful that he was just playing a game and that he hadn’t actually run away from that awful bathroom.  And thankful that he was still in a good mood!

He sat down and slowly answered the technician’s question about his name and birth date.  I try to let Aaron answer those questions himself, but he always falters on the date of birth.  He’s wondering if he should say 11-8-84 like Mom does, or November 8, 1984 like he’s used to saying.  I just waited patiently and so did the tech, and soon Aaron got the date straight and all was well.

The first arm that the tech looked at wasn’t going to work, so he removed the tourniquet and stuck Aaron’s right arm.   Aaron takes all this in stride, so I walked out and stood outside the door.  I looked in once, and suddenly a huge lump appeared in my throat as I looked at Aaron sitting in that chair……….getting stuck yet again……..being all brave, but dreading what to us would the easiest part of this morning…….the pee cup.  It was both sad and then funny at the same time, and I had to will myself to think of the humor and to not see my boy sitting there with a needle in his arm……..wondering if he’s all right and praying that his weight loss can be explained by something other than another scary diagnosis.

Soon the blood draw was complete and there stood Aaron, holding his sample cup and looking positively uncomfortable.  He held back as I walked in the bathroom and turned on the light, but then he stepped inside and listened impatiently to my instructions.  Aaron shows anger when he is scared or embarrassed, so he stood there saying, “I know!  I know!” as I went over the process……….knowing that he didn’t know but knowing that he was just ready to get this over with…..NOW! 

Then he asked, “Mom, you’re not staying in here, are you?!”  I assured him that I was not, and then I exited the bathroom and sat in the waiting area, hoping that things behind that closed door were going well.  It wasn’t long before the door opened and Aaron walked quickly out, happy to be rid of that bathroom and this whole ordeal……….and carrying his full sample cup.  So back in the bathroom we walked as I opened the little door and he set the cup inside……..and we were done, at last!! 

I fully shared Aaron’s relief, trust me!  I praised him for doing so well as we drove through the Burger Kind drive-through.  He happily chattered on the way home, where he placed his bacon burger on a plate………because he always must have a plate or a bowl on which to place his wrapped food.  And you can see in the picture that he also has a spoon, fork, and knife……which he didn’t use but which MUST be there, no matter what he eats………and his napkin holder, which he does use…….way too much…….many, many napkins with each meal.

And then the best part……….the strawberry jello!!  He watched me spoon it into a bowl, laughing at how wiggly it was.  And he enjoyed every single bite!  I was glad that we had made the jello the night before so that he could be rewarded for his peeing in the cup ordeal this morning.  Such a simple reward, but it meant tons to Aaron. 

And that’s how Aaron is………’s usually the simple things that either frustrate him or make him very happy.  The simple things that trip him up or keep him motoring right along.

That’s why I can say, for sure, that Aaron is SIMPLY amazing!

I Will NOT!!!

Aaron was up very early this morning, before 7:00.  I listened from the kitchen, wondering what was up.  He didn’t come downstairs, though, and soon I heard him turn on a DVD.  I decided not to bother him and just see how the morning would play out. 

I was heading outside to do a little more raking of small limbs and twigs that were left over after a huge storm last week.  Aaron came downstairs before I went outside, and proceeded to tell me that he was tired and that his stomach hurt, and that he didn’t want to go to Paradigm…….and furthermore, he had NO intention of going to Paradigm.  I just let him talk and I told him I was sorry he wasn’t feeling well………and then told him I was going out to do some raking.  I know not to push him too much when he’s in these moods.

I hadn’t been outside very long when I looked up to see Aaron walking toward me, his long pajamas swiping the grass, and his sweater and long shirt making him look not only hot on this summer day, but looking like an old man as well.  He watched me rake and he told me that he still wasn’t feeling well, and I told him that I was still sorry about that.  He turned and walked away, returning soon carrying his mulch trash can.  He sat near the trees and bushes, where the twigs and the bark are plentiful, and then he was quiet as he broke the wooden pieces into even smaller pieces.  I knew he was relaxing, in his Aaron way, and so I didn’t make him come in even after I was finished and as I headed for the house. 

After my shower, I looked out of an upstairs bedroom window and there he was……..still immersed in his thoughts and his stories as he snapped the little twigs into tiny pieces.  I poured his coffee, and then leaned out the back door to tell him that I would fix him some sausage if he wanted it.  I didn’t know what reaction I would receive……..but Aaron was compliant and happy to hear the words coffee and sausage.  He took a few more minutes for his thoughts and his stories to finish in his head, and then he stood up and carrying his trash can, he slowly came back to the house. 

Now Aaron was happy as he ate his breakfast and drank his coffee, then showered with no fuss and was ready to go when it was time.  Jackson hopped into the van with us, which made Aaron extra happy, and as we drove off he put in a new favorite CD and then began his talking……….but not before I told him that I was very proud of him for pulling it together and doing so well.  He was puzzled about what that term “pulling it together” meant, and so I explained it as we drove to meet his group.

Later today, as I pulled into the Sam’s parking lot, my phone rang and I saw that it was Aaron calling from Barb’s phone at Paradigm.  I answered, and right away told Aaron that I was getting ready to go into Sam’s and couldn’t talk long…….because Aaron will talk very long if I let him.  When he heard that I was at Sam’s, he excitedly said, “Mom!!  We went to Sam’s today!”

I expressed my surprise, and he continued, “Guess what I got there?”

I didn’t even try to guess because he rushed right on.  “I got a four berry milkshake!!  It had FOUR different things that have berry in it!!!”

He was very, very excited about the four berry milkshake…..and then he had me help him figure out what things have “berry” in them.  He was happy to hear of all the different “berry” possibilities and I was happy to hear how happy Aaron was today.  Later, at home, he remembered something else that has “berry” in it.  Strawberry Jello!  In fact, last Thursday Gary and I were getting ready to leave on a short vacation trip to Texas.  Aaron walked into our bedroom holding my container of pudding and jello mixes from the kitchen, setting them on our dresser and discussing with me the difference between jello and pudding……..and figuring out that one is wiggly and the other is flat! 

So on this evening, Aaron pulled out the pudding and jello container again, holding up the strawberry jello and asking if we could make it tonight.  I was tired…… was getting late……..and I didn’t really want to make jello, so I begged off and said we would make jello tomorrow. 

As Aaron stood in the kitchen with me, talking about jello,  I decided to tell him that in the morning he and I would be going to the air base early.  I told him that he was going to have some blood drawn for a test.  Aaron is so used to having his blood drawn that he hardly even reacted………but then I broached the other subject…….the other test.

“Aaron,” I said, “you also need to have a urine test.  That means you’ll need to pee in a cup, like you’ve done before.”  And Aaron stopped dead still in the middle of the kitchen, stared at me eyeball to eyeball, arched his eyebrows and straightened his back, and firmly said, “I will NOT!!” 

Oh boy.  So I assured him that he has done it before, and that he’ll be in a bathroom, and no one will be watching………and anything else I could think of to help him want to pee in a cup.  Then he said, “Well, you’ve never had to do that!”  And I assured him that indeed I have, many times……….and I thought about telling him how much easier this peeing in a cup is for him than for me, but I thought better of it. 

I decided that this would be a good time to make that jello, and Aaron readily agreed as he put the peeing in a cup conversation on the back burner and I put a pan of water on the front burner for our jello.  He wanted to help make the jello as I told him that the water had to boil first.

“Will you tell me when the boiling water part is over?” he asked.  I agreed, and later he stirred the jello and we poured it into the pan.  I told him that maybe we could have some tomorrow morning after we…..gulp…….get back from the lab – and peeing in a cup, but I didn’t remind him of that again.  Tomorrow morning just might be interesting.  Very interesting. 

I haven’t told him about the fecal test yet.  That’s going to be beyond interesting.  I think I need to go sit in the mulch awhile.