Saturday, October 17, 2009


On the last day of Judy and Larry's visit, we drove out to BFE, also known as Mojave National Preserve.  We knew it was far, but we really had no idea of how far (which means that neither of the S men consulted an atlas... this is, frankly, shocking).

Seventy-eight miles from the Arizona border, we finally made a left turn and drove for another half an hour or so before arriving at Kelso Dunes.  Tom hopped out of his parents car, came over and said, "The dunes are gorgeous!"  I (who might have been slightly peeved from Tom not answering his cell phone and from driving behind Larry... who alternates between 10 miles over the speed limit and 25 miles below it) said, "Really?  It looks like a pile of sand.  We're too far away to know if it's gorgeous or not."

Pissy much?

We got out, sprayed on sunscreen (can this stuff really be healthful if one breathes it in? doubtful) and dragged along Mad's stroller.  Yes, it was a dirt path in the midst of the desert, but she was already an hour late for her nap.  No, car rides don't work like that for her.

Eventually the sand got too thick and loose to push the stroller.  For quite a while we all walked at Mad's pace, but she was the only one who enjoyed sitting here and climbing up and down there.  I sent Tom and Corey off to enjoy themselves.  Judy's pace put her somewhere in between us.  After forever 20 minutes of walking, Mad and I were about halfway there.  Tom estimates that to be 3/4 of a mile.  All I know is she and I suddenly had to turn back because that was the moment Mad had to fill up her diaper completely.

In an effort to avoid letting her sit down (thereby causing a case of SUIT, or "Something Up In There") and for maximum efficiency, I carried her.  Thirty pounds of squirming, squealing, stinky baby under one arm, football style, and a camera and a BPA-free cup without a lid (sure, Corey had asked where the lids were... yeah, I said, "I don't really care, let's get going," because we were already two hours late leaving), half-filled with water on the other side.  And a stuffed frog in my pocket that is really supposed to be "for show."

Mad drank most of the water and helped me throw the rest on the sand.  We passed a young couple heading up to the dunes.

"Did you see our abandoned vehicle?" I asked, wondering if the stroller and diaper bag were still there.

"Yeah, we were a little confused by that."  I'll bet you were!

When we came to the stroller, I didn't think it would be a good idea to lay Mad in it for a diaper change.  For one thing (and I know my Minnesota friends will not like to hear this), it was about 90 degrees.  Bare heinie on hot whatever-the-heck-that-fabric-is cannot be comfortable.

And again, the stroller had been pushed as far as it could reasonably go.  By Tom, AKA Muscle Man.  Not holding a poopy baby.

Mad and I joined forces to push that sucker out of the muck.  Yeah... I held her in front of me and she held the handlebar while I pushed.  It took about 10 minutes or so, but we got back to "just dirt."  I put all SUIT concerns aside and plopped Mad down in the stroller for the slowest, most difficult ride of her life.  Many apologies to the flora alongside the trail.  Sometimes it was just easier to go up to harder packed dirt.  And by easier, I mean I only felt like maybe wandering off into the desert alone was not such a bad idea once or twice while crushing the sides of a few (hopefully) hearty plants.

We made it back to the cars... about 10 minutes before Tom and Corey, who had summited part of the dunes.

Once everybody was reasonably clean and rehydrated, we headed off to the Train Depot and museum.  It was about 35 miles away.  I set the cruise control for four miles per hour under the speed limit.  Sometimes Larry was waaaayy off in the distance.  Sometimes he was right.there.  I now understand my husband's driving a little better.  My latest goal is to never, never ever utter the words, "You drive like your father!"

Mad fell asleep about two minutes into the drive, so I stayed in the car.  When Corey returned and I finally headed out, I realized that Larry had opted out of the museum.

"You okay?"

"Yeah, but I spilled my coffee.  I tried to call Judy, but there's no reception.  Can you see if you can get her to bring me a coffee?  Or a soda pop?  Anything?!"  Apparently I get my coffee addiction from Larry.

Instead of meandering through the lovely old building, I hunted down Tom and Judy, blurted out my urgent message and used the restroom.  By then it was time to go.  I'm sure it was fascinating.

Another 45 minute drive of playing tag with our cars brought us to Baker.  For anyone from Southern California, this is the town with the thermometer.  Since it's a good mid-point between Vegas and anything, there are also a few restaurants.  We chose one of the last remaining Bob's Big Boys.  It's been there for decades, but for at least two of them it was called the Bun Boy.  Now it's back to the old glory days of mediocre diner food.  I guess when you're 90 miles from Vegas and 90 miles from our hometown, quality is a second thought.  I mean, what are you gonna do?  Drive down the block?  Buahahaha!!!

After dinner we were all thrilled when Mad went over and hugged Gramma's leg.  Too bad for Gramma that she was hugging Corey and wouldn't short-change him for his sister.  Too bad for me that I was so slow getting the camera out and on.  The grandparents headed off to Vegas for a couple of days of smoky R & R and we headed home.

We'd like to thank whomever came up with the idea to bring the 15 freeway down to two lanes right after merging it with I40.  That way everyone who was returning from Vegas and the river on a Sunday evening could spent a lot of time together.  A lot.  Our 90 mile drive took nearly three hours!  Thank goodness for the restroom at the Train Depot museum.

In Mad news, we saw the neurologist again.  She said the results do show a "slight irregularity."  Then she changed to, "Let me look... uhh... mild to moderate."  Of course she also said that Mad was hyperactive (no... she's active, and she might be more than a little annoyed from having to wait over an hour for you to show up for work this morning!!) and that she had "three episodes" (wrong again).  And Madelyn should have an MRI, which will require sedation.  In the meantime we should start her on Phenobarbital. 

The risks of not taking the medication to treat something that we can't even tell for sure she's dealing with... or if it's simply part of the healing process from having a head injury?  "All the usual risks with medication.  And at first she'll be a little drowsy, but she'll get used to it.  The most common complaint parents have is that the kids become hyper.  She could get a rash.  And with long term use, anything more than 2-3 years, she could lose a few points cognition."

The risks of not medicating her?  "She could continue to have seizures or changes in her brain activity or she might not."

Seriously?  We're supposed to change her personality through heavy sedation... and I've seen kids on phenobarb... they're freaking zombies!  Add problems with hyperactivity and run the risk of diminishing her (admittedly outstanding... I'm just saying) intellect for a problem that we're not entirely sure she even has

Anyone surprised that we're not sticking with this doctor?  We'll be seeking out a doctor whose patients are primarily pediatric (not geriatric), for one thing.  Then we'll be questioning the validity of the EEG and whether or not having a recent head injury could invalidate the results.  We didn't pull that last part out our asses hats, in case you were wondering.  In the meantime, I took Mad back to our chiropractor. 

Not only did she not try to insinuate that Mad probably had a seizure and then fell (which she didn't... and if any of the doctors had been there, they'd realize that), Dr. C was very gentle and loving.  Mad did need an adjustment near the top of her spine, which she did not love.  Baby adjustments aren't like those for adults, so there was no big neck twisting or popping, just gentle pressure and some tapping to relax the muscles.  Mad was in my arms the whole time.  I might be a little envious that she got adjusted and I didn't.

Corey's girlfriend, Lisa, is joining our trip to the Pumpkin patch tomorrow.  Please let my feet stay on the ground and out of my mouth!

1 comment:

Spot On Your Pants said...

Oh God. We had this family trip about 5 years ago...good to know I'm not alone. And, hee hee, good use of my favorite acronym. BFE!

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