A Visit to the Normal Zone

by Lillian Csernica on June 25, 2014

Measured against a typical day around here, today was positively Normal.  I do not use that word lightly.

I had an appointment in San Jose today.  Since I’d be in that area anyway, I called up the pediatrician’s office and made an appointment for John.  His blood pressure has been running high lately.  This is a concern for all the obvious reasons, with the added worry that his medication might be contributing.

We don’t see the pediatrician that often these days.  When Michael sees a doctor, it’s usually one of the specialists.  When John sees the doctor, which is maybe twice a year unless he gets really sick for some reason, he’ll see either the pediatrician or the neurologist.  Our usual pediatrician wasn’t available today, so we got to meet one of the newer members of the medical group.  New to us, anyway, given that the two main doctors there are a married couple who were recommended to us by the OB/GYN who delivered both Michael and John.  That makes 18 years total we’ve been going to this particular doctor’s office.

When John was little, the waiting room had a playhouse where he could climb inside and then slide out.  There was a big abacus on the bottom floor and a big clock with moveable hands up on the second.  Now and then another kid would get in there with him.  As John grew, that got to be a tighter fit!  So today I was startled to see the playhouse is gone, replaced by a moderate plasma screen up in the corner and a reasonable salt water fish tank against the wall.

John parked himself in front of the fish tank and proceeded to relate to the fish in the same way he relates so easily to cats, dogs, goats, horses, sheep, cows, llamas, and emus.  That was fascinating to watch, and kept both of us busy until John was called into an exam room.

I’m so used to the finer points of talking to Michael’s specialists that a doctor appointment with John is almost too easy.  The “new” pediatrician gave me quite a bit of useful information about both of John’s medications in the context of teenage patients in general.  That helps.   Like all special needs families, our world tends to be quite circumscribed, but within that world there is a whole other universe of specialized details.  It makes me grateful all over again for John being able to walk, talk, eat, and care for himself.


I’m happy to say that the pediatrician thinks John’s blood pressure is fine, along with his height, weight, thyroid, and general health.  That was a relief.  I’m no fan of blood tests, but I really hate seeing people stick needles into my boys.  When it’s time for the back-to-school physical, we’ll check on John’s allergy to peanuts.  It would be good to know he’s outgrown it, but as Dr. Whitney said, when you jump out of a plane, odds are good the parachute will open.  Still, there’s always the chance that it won’t, so it’s best not to jump out of the plane at all.  I agree.  Better to continue making sure John avoids peanuts in his food than to risk the need to use his Epi-pen against anaphylaxis.

On the way home we stopped at KMart to pick up a boogie board for John.  We just gave one to his best friend last weekend during Lucas’ 13th birthday celebration.  Now that John has his own, he and Lucas can go to the beach together and have fun with their boards in the surf.  The waves at the Santa Cruz public beach are not exactly legendary, but that’s all for the best.

At the moment, John is in the kitchen baking chocolate chocolate chip cookies.  Soon he will put his pajamas on and we’ll watch a movie while we eat the cookies.  The R.N. will go off shift and I’ll put Michael to bed, then kiss John goodnight.  The cats will curl up in their spots, I’ll back up my writing and editing for the day, and then I’ll watch Netflix or read before lights out.

I’m used to living in crisis mode.  Now and then I get to visit the Normal Zone.  Nice place.  I’ll have to come back again.



Filed under autism, cats, chocolate, Family, Food, Goals, Humor, Special needs, Writing

2 responses to “A Visit to the Normal Zone

  1. robbear13

    In a world where “normal” is hard to come by, it seems that you had a relatively useful and not-so-stressful day. Great!

    Blessings ad Bear hugs!


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