Logo, part 1
Logo, part 2
  Wednesday   October 29, 1997




The Usual Suspects

All together now: Happy birthday to Chuck, happy birthday to Chuck...

It wasn't exactly a day chock-full of celebration... On this day in 1962 a doctor in Rockford, Illinois gave a final tweak to the forceps and I was dragged kicking and screaming into the world. It somehow seems appropriate that 35 years later I spent much of the day in another doctor's office with another kicking and screaming child. Yes, Zoe went to the doctor.

After another day and night of fevers spiking up to 105, I decided enough was enough. I tossed Zoe in the Cruiser and hustled her over to see her pediatrician. She didn't enjoy her visit. The doc poked and prodded at Zoe for awhile without coming to any firm diagnosis, then decided to get blood and urine samples. That didn't exactly make Zoe's day...or mine.

The blood sample was easy enough, all things considered. I just grabbed Zoe in a bear hug while Phlebotomist A wrestled to hold Zoe's arm out and Phlebotomist B jabbed a needle into it. 30 seconds of struggling and screaming later, they had their blood samples. Zoe got over it quickly. My ears are still ringing.

The urine sample was another challenge entirely. You see, 18-month old babies don't pee on command, and even if they did they certainly don't have the control necessary to stream it neatly into a specimen cup. What do you do in that situation? You tape a plastic bag over the appropriate plumbing orifice and wait. And wait. And wait. And then you wait some more. And that's what we did. Zoe, who usually seems to need changing 2 seconds after getting a fresh diaper, held her water with a vengeance. She had her blood drawn with the bag on, and was still wearing it an hour later when the office was closing. We finally gave up and decided she'd wear the bag home and I'd bring the sample back in the morning -- assuming she ever gave one up. I was walking out the door with her when I decided to check one last time and...eureka! She peed!

2 minutes later the doc had diagnosed a urinary tract infection and written a prescription to cure it. Zoe's fever is now down to a manageable level and we feel better knowing what the problem is. Unfortunately, now that Zoe's feeling better, she's feeling worse. She's been fussy and clingy and cries at the drop of a hat. Very unlike her, but I guess you can't be perfect all the time. Considering how good she'd been when her illness was a mystery and she was burning up with fever, we're not going to hold this minor behavioral backslide against her.

With Zoe's ailment under control, I then proceeded to the party portion of my birthday. Beth and I left Zoe with a babysitter and met my family at the Italian restaurant in Silverlake my brother works at. It was a nice, low-key dinner whose highlight was a dual star-sighting. First we caught a glimpse of Long Duc Dong from Molly Ringwald's career apex, "Sixteen Candles," which made for a long round of bad duck dong jokes, then ST:TNG's Worf came in for dinner. Neither of them brought presents for me. Fortunately, my family did.

I got the usual shirts from my mom (with receipts enclosed since she knows she has no clue to what I like to wear and expects me to exchange them), a computer game from my sister, IOU's from my brothers, a coffee mug from my brother's girlfriend, and from Beth a gift that has an impact on you, Gentle Reader. She gave me a 56K faxmodem, which means I'm smoking on the Net even faster than before. How does that impact you? It means my journal entries will upload that much faster, so you can read them that much sooner...

...when I write them.





Copyright 1997
Chuck Atkins