How Aaron Rolls

Aaron and I had a day together on Thursday.  It was a day full of things that he loves…..pizza, buying a DVD, going to see a movie, watching Wheel of Fortune, and a back tickling session before bed.  Oh, and a doctor visit first thing…..which is the most important thing, but only to me.  That is definitely not the most important thing to Aaron.

We were having Aaron’s first visit with his new Epileptologist.  That’s a mouthful!  At least his name is easy…..Dr. Lee.  I never know if a new doctor is one that we will like and trust.  I also never know if a new doctor will like and understand Aaron, which is nearly as crucial in Aaron’s treatment – in my opinion – as his knowledge of medicine.

Aaron was his usual impatient self in the waiting room.  Aaron doesn’t tolerate waiting very well.  We should change the name of the room to the sighing room…..or the grumbling room…..or the impatient room.  And don’t think that Aaron doesn’t notice who came after us but is called before us!  Observant Aaron indeed notices, and indeed doesn’t care for my reasonable explanations.  This is one reason I carry a supply of mints in my purse.  They help a tiny bit to ease the pain of waiting, for Aaron and for me.

A nurse called us in, a new nurse to us.  We missed you, Jen, if you read this!  Aaron sighed as he passed her, and he sighed as he stood on the scales……after removing his shoes, of course!

“I’m tired,” he grumbled.  He wasn’t even particularly excited to see that he had lost some weight.  Why is weight loss wasted on the unappreciative, I wonder?

Aaron got up on the table and promptly lay down, but I promptly told him he had to sit up for his blood pressure check.  Watching him sit up was quite a sight for new nurse, with Aaron nearly rolling off the table……new nurse trying to help him sit……and him finally sitting upright after a few kicks of his legs.  Wow!

New nurse and I were filling in the blanks about Aaron’s meds and doses, and of course Aaron plopped back down on the exam table.  Now I was sighing.

New nurse left and soon in walked a young medical student.  He had questions of his own, some of which he asked me and some of which were unspoken but were written all over his face as his eyes darted off and on to Aaron.  He was kind, but young and inexperienced, I imagine, in the ways of special ones like Aaron.  It’s so interesting to me, and actually amusing, to see the looks on the faces of those who are trying to decipher Aaron.

By this time, Aaron was totally comfortable on the exam table.  This is how Aaron rolls.

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Medical student left, and soon Dr. Lee knocked softly and entered the room.  Medical student was with him.  Dr. Lee was instantly comfortable with Aaron, shaking Aaron’s hand as Aaron rested on the table and then shaking mine.  I knew right away, as we first spoke, that I liked him.  He was thorough, knowledgeable, in charge but in a soft way, and very good with Aaron.  He even did Aaron’s exam while Aaron remained in his prone position.   He went over lots of Aaron’s past history, and had a plan for future treatment as we talked.  But nothing new will happen until Aaron has a video EEG in June, which will require a hospital stay of several days while Aaron hopefully has some seizures after meds are removed.  Stressful, but a necessary and needed way to see what’s going on in Aaron’s brain now as compared to his last video EEG years ago.

Aaron was happy to finally struggle up and off the exam table, get on the elevator, in the van, and go to Sam’s for a quick pizza lunch.  Home to let the dog out, a run into CD Tradepost for his DVD, and finally we were at the theater.  We were finally going to see Rogue One!

I paid for our tickets, with Aaron standing close and observing everything carefully.  As I signed the receipt, I noticed that the girl behind the counter was having a bit of a struggle with our tickets.  She was holding one ticket, but seemed to be tugging on something under the counter where our other ticket should have been printed.  Soon she was on her knees, working on the ticket machine, I guessed.

“Sorry,” she said as her eyes peeked over the counter.  “My machine isn’t working.  It’s actually totally stopped.”

It did not escape Aaron’s attention that Mom was holding only one ticket.  His mind was calculating the fact that we needed TWO tickets.

“You mean we can’t go to the MOVIE??!!” he asked in a panic.

The girl assured him that we could go.  She was in the middle of calling the ticket taker on her walkie talkie to explain things.

“We can’t go to the MOVIE?!!” Aaron asked again.  And I scooped up my receipt and my ticket……ONE ticket……as I thanked the girl and turned to leave, taking Aaron’s arm as I wondered why this had to happen to us, of all people.  To Aaron, who must have everything just right……and a jammed, turned off ticket machine is anything but just right!

We walked toward the second most anticipated feature…..POPCORN!!  All the while, I was explaining to Aaron that all was well…..that we could go to the movie…..that the ticket taker knew we had both paid.

“But you only have ONE ticket!” Aaron argued.

I explained again as we stood in line.  It was a fairly long line for a school day, I thought.  And so did Aaron, who proceeded to sigh again.

“So we can both go to the movie?” he queried as we waited our turn.

I told him yes, very thankful that a second line opened.

“CAN I HAVE A LARGE POPCORN??” Aaron bellowed as we stepped up to the counter.  There was that look on the young man’s face, so I smiled and put him at ease.  Aaron was not going to jump over the counter, I wanted to tell him.

“So we can go to the movie?” I heard Aaron ask again as I juggled our popcorn order, cups of water, Aaron getting straws, and Aaron getting a HUGE wad of napkins.  HUGE!!!  Why does he always do that?!!  How many other people saw that?!

But that’s how Aaron rolls.  It’s like napkins are a security to him.

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He was super happy that we both made it through the ticket taker matter, and that our theater was only a short walk away.   I was super happy to see only two other people in the theater.  And VERY SUPER happy that we got the seats on the very back row, with the wall behind us.  Aaron could stretch, and make minor noises without disturbing anybody.  He couldn’t kick seats in front of him, or pull on them if he got up or got excited.

We sat down.  I exhaled, leaned back, and totally relaxed.  Only three more people came in, for a grand total of seven movie goers on this day.  Another reason to relax.

But Aaron was not sitting back.  He was not totally relaxed.  He had placed his popcorn on the floor, not to be picked up and eaten until the movie actually started.  Not when the lights dimmed.  Not when the movie instructions about talking, cell phones, etc., started.  Not when the movie trailers began.  Only when the Rogue One movie was actually and for real on the big screen would Aaron pick up his popcorn and start eating.

In the meantime…..

As soon as we sat down………popcorn placed on the floor………napkins squished in one cup holder……..water in the other cup holder…..Aaron pushed up his shirt sleeve in order to see his watch, which is always pushed halfway to his elbow.

“It’s 2:02,” he said.

“OK,” I answered in my relaxed mood.

“When it’s 2:02,” he asked, “does that mean it will start soon?”

I knew we were in the countdown.

“It won’t be long,” I assured him.  “It starts at 2:15.  So how many minutes is that?” I asked him.

“Thirteen minutes,” he flatly answered.

We sat there in blessed quietness, me continuing to relax.

Aaron pushed his shirt sleeve up again.

“It’s 2:04,” he informed me.

I just shook my relaxed head.

And munched popcorn…….because I have no strict rules about the proper popcorn eating time.

Soon, the sleeve pushing happened again.

“It’s 2:10,” I heard in my relaxed state.

I guess it was 2:15 when the lights dimmed and the announcements started and the trailers played and all the other stuff happened on the screen.

The movie started, FINALLY, and Aaron promptly reached down for his popcorn.  It was only then that he leaned back, partially, and ate to his heart’s content.

I only had to hush Aaron a few times, and try to answer questions a lot of times, and wonder why Aaron was so obsessed over whether Luke was in this movie!!

“Where’s Luke?”

“Is that Luke?”

“Maybe he’s Luke?”

“Will we see Luke later?”

I am THE most uneducated person to ask about Star Wars, but Aaron will ask anyway.

But it’s OK.  We were on the back row, all relaxed…..with popcorn…..and a wad of napkins……and water to slurp with his straw……which is how Aaron rolls.

Actually, I’ve learned to roll with Aaron in most situations, relaxed or not.  That’s because Aaron is going to roll the way Aaron rolls, and usually there isn’t a lot I can do about it.

May as well roll with it, and smile, and enjoy the ride with Aaron……Aaron’s way.

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