Thursday, May 15, 2008

Around the Moon and Back Again

Charlie had an appointment at eight-thirty this morning at New Orleans Children's Hospital. It's not my favorite place, but they put in Charlie's shunt, so we've been going back there for periodic check-ups.

I live about 45 miles from New Orleans proper in a little town. Google estimates that the drive will take exactly an hour. Factor in construction and early-morning commuter traffic, and I wasn't sure exactly how long it would take. For this reason, I slept at my parents' house last night. Google estimates that the drive from their house should take twenty-four minutes. I have no idea why the hospital insists we come in before nine for a CT scan. The last appointment I had was for 7:30 and they wanted me to be there fifteen minutes early. The employees weren't even there yet. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

I didn't count on some wild Louisiana weather changing my plans a bit.

I left the house forty-five minutes before our appointment. The night before the weather had been crazy--power outages, tornadoes in other parts of the state, flash flooding, and all that fun. It wasn't a hurricane-scale situation, but just one of those things that can pop up in the spring (or summer or fall, hell, any time in south Louisiana).

Traffic was slow. There was standing water on the shoulders and sometimes in the roadway itself. A tree had knocked down a light pole and power line into the middle of the street. I was rapidly become late.

When I arrived at the hospital, it started to come down in sheets. Children's Hospital has virtually no parking and definitely nothing convenient or covered. Mostly, you can park on the street. I grabbed a spot and got out of my car to get my umbrella from the trunk. By the time I got my umbrella open, I was completely soaked. I mean, my bra was soaked through and my jeans were becoming an uncomfortable second skin. I had to step in a huge puddle just to get to the trunk, so my feet were wet too. Ugh. The umbrella was pretty much useless since the rain was coming in sideways. To get Charlie into the building I was going to have to unload and unfold the stroller and then get him into it. Then, push him down the street until I came to an entrance. After some quick assessment I decided "no way in hell," threw the umbrella in the car, blasted the heat, and started driving back home.

It was just a check-up. I called and explained that the weather made coming in impossible and they told me to call Monday for a re-schedule. We drove slowly but surely the 45 miles home, listening to our Fisher Price alphabet cd all the way. We arrived with enough time to take a quick (warm!) nap before the OT came.

Not too shabby.