This morning Tim took a personal day to take Anna to a specialist's appointment in Boston and I was a basket case.
To start this off and not cause a lot of worry, I want to stress that Anna is FINE. We weren't ruling out any horrible illnesses or anything. And the procedure/test the nurse had said she was to undergo was not some horrible thing, either, in the grand scheme of the medical world, but for her privacy that's all I'm going to say about the specifics of the matter.
I knew she wasn't going to like the procedure. It's one I had done as a kid and I remember freaking the hell out over it, and I was older than she was. I remember my mother almost in tears. I am told that when it was over, a nurse comfortingly tried to say "now that wasn't so bad was it?" and I sat up on the gurney, looked at her and tearfully said "HOW could you do that to a LITTLE GIRL?"
She left the room in tears and my parents began thinking about putting me in the performing arts. Hi, Mom!
So I knew Anna would be fine regardless. But I also knew she was going to be frightened, and cry, and it was going to be tough and I was almost in tears as she and Tim embarked on their drive to the train station. (Lest anyone think I am a horrible mother for abandoning my daughter on the brink of medical trauma, she had the choice and picked her daddy for a companion.)
"Bye Anna, be good and Daddy will get you an ice cream after."
"I only gonna cry at the hurting parts," she said solemnly, then smiled, and I almost sobbed.
The test was scheduled for 10:30. At 10 I tried to call to talk to her but couldn't get through. The phone rang before 11.
"How'd it go?" I asked with no preamble whatsoever. I didn't hear screaming in the background, or tearful requests for Mommy or anything. Did they drug her?
"She did great," Tim enthused.
"Really??" I was stunned. Literally stunned. This is the kid who sobbed like I was boiling her when she had to lay on her back for an XRAY and I was standing right there.
"It wasn't the test they said," he clarified. "This was some other type of ultrasound stuff. She didn't make a peep."
"Let me talk to her."
"Hi Mama!" Anna sounded like she could have been anywhere. She certainly seemed unscathed.
"Anna, you had pictures taken again?"
"Yeah, I did! It tickled! So soft...so soft..." I thought I heard, and then she started mumbling so Tim recovered the phone.
"Did you get all that?" he asked.
"Only that it tickled and then...something else? What happened?"
"Oh. She was patting my arm hair and saying it was soft. She's changed subjects."
Of course she had.
"Well, anyway, it went fine and we're just waiting for the doctor to see us so I'll let you know how it goes!"
An hour or so went by and I hadn't heard anything. I needed to know what train my two would be on, so I called back. This time I heard screaming. Rampant, loud, soul-shattering screaming. Tortured screaming. Wails.
"Tim WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?" I asked, possibly slightly hysterically.
"Tim! WHAT IS HAPPENING?"
More wails. More tortured screams.
"She won't pee in the cup so we can see the doctor," he said, trying to maintain a level tone of voice.
And there's another one destined for community theater.