Today has been one of those days where I just want to sit back and ask ‘Huh?’ Jenni and I had doctor appointments first thing this morning with a brand new internist. I had met the doctor before, when I went with my dad to see her. She is very nice and I had told her I would be seeing her eventually. Well, eventually was today. The rain was coming down in buckets as we drove to her office and I brought Jenni an umbrella because she would be freaking out if the rain was hitting her on the head. As we trudged across the parking lot (and as I was looking more and more like Ihad swam the breast stroke over there instead of driving), I kept hearing this slogging-type-noise. Just as we approached the office door I noticed that Jenni’s new sweat pants were extremely long and the bottoms of them were completely under her shoes. You couldn’t see her feet, it was as if she had on sweat pant shoes. (Nice first impression). So after I get her in the office, and seated, and am literally wringing out her pants (which are now soaking wet up to her calves), I give her a quick once over and she looks like she should be on an episode of “Hillbilly Handfishing!” We finally get ushered into the exam room and the medical assistant took all of our information. She was pleasant and I had no problem with her. The doctor came in and she was great. Nice, young doctor who hasn’t been burned out yet. The assistant came back in to give me an EKG and she glances at Jenni and said to me “I have a relative whose like her….. but he’s a lot lower than her.” Lower? You can’t be talking abour her height because honey, if you are, he must bordering on the realm of dwarfism…. because Jenni is SHORT! I knew she meant her relative was mentally functioning on a lower cognitive level than Jenni and I was a little ‘happy’ to hear it because truthfully, I don’t hear that too often! Then, here is the kicker, she said “And I have another relative who is like her (Jenni) too, but she has a touch of it. They look the same so I know she has it.” Huh? Got news for you sweetie…. you dont HAVE A TOUCH OF DOWN SYNDROME! This girl was not being facetious or mean or sarcastic at all. She was dead serious! It struck me as strange though, becasue she works in the medical profession and I would think she may be a little more ‘in tune’ with seeing patients with Down’s or anything else….especially if these are her relatives! Just because her relative may have almond shaped eyes doesn’t mean she has a genetic chromosomal abnormality. I tried so hard not to smirk over the whole ‘touch of it’.
Then Jenni and I head to the lab for blood work. I went first and the technician asked me to verify my name and birthdate. When it was Jenni’s turn, I told the tech that “She doesn’t speak, has no verbal skills.” So, Jen sits down and the gal asks her “Can you tell me your name and birthdate?” Another “Huh?” moment. I just shook my head and when Jenni didn’t answer her I spoke up and said “She doesn’t speak, has no verbal skills.” The tech was really nice though and was so patient with Jenni. As soon as the needle went in her arm, that arm flew in the air and the needle was torn out and the syringe was being bounced around the room. Most people would have given up right there, but this phlebotomist continued to draw the vials of blood without complaining, so I wasn’t irked when she asking Jenni her name . I wasn’t irked really, I am SO used to things people say. When Jenni was born and when I knew for sure that she had Down syndrome, I knew I had to finally tell our next door neighbors. They were an elderly couple and so nice. I remember being outside in the yard and telling Al (he must have been 70) and he said something to the effect of ‘Oh that’s a shame. Maybe you can run over to Sav On and pick up something to help her with it. It could clear it up.” I wanted to scream “I WISH!” As my mouth was hanging to the front lawn I tried so hard not to laugh. But I blamed it on his age and he wasn’t being anything but himself.
After I had Jenni a neighbor was pregnant and had a few months to go before she was due. I offered her all of my maternity clothing because I had NO USE for them anymore. The reason I offered her them in the first place was that she told me while I was pregnant that she loved the style of them and the colors and wish she had more of her own. Instead of her declining politely, she tells me ‘No, I think it would be bad luck.” Uh, let me get this straight. You like my clothes, they will fit you, but you won’t wear them because of part of a chromosome might just hitch itself on to the 21st chromosome in your baby’s genetic make up? Hon, that ship has sailed. If it was going to happen, it would have happened when conception took place! I just couldn’t get over the fact that she would give me that answer. Just a ‘No, I bought some new things’ would have done just fine. What ever.
I think I’ll do a blog on ” Things People Say”. It could be quite entertaining (and fortunately I have encountered MANY of these