It's All I Can Do

Day 89, Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ah yes, life with nearly non-existent eyesight has its funny moments.

This morning a young woman named Christina picked me up from my hotel to take me to a high school track. She and I were to be interviewed by a local newspaper reporter named Jordan at the track. I met her in the lobby and she led me to the passenger side front door. Then she went around to the other side of the car and got in, however, as we began to pull out, a deep voice spoke from the driver’s seat. Whoa, what?

It was her husband Perry who was driving. Christina had gotten into the back seat. They also had their eleven year old daughter and ten month old son with them. Their son, Liam, has cystic fibrosis. Their daughter does not.

Ah yes, but first stop? Yep, McDonald’s for my breakfast burritos.

When we got to the track the reporter was waiting. She asked me a few questions, but I REALLY prefer that those who either have cf or have loved ones with it become the center piece of local news reports. At some question, I do not recall what it was, I said, “Mom can answer that one better than I can.” I physically stepped back to indicate I was in someway removing myself from further questions for a while, and, oh boy, did both Christina and Perry answer the questions.

Christina answered one question in a way that will forever stay with me. The eleven year old girl is Christina’s from another marriage. Christina said that with her daughter, they had one pediatrician, one doctor, and “Well baby” check-ups. The check-ups had ever increasing time intervals between each one. Check-ups are to monitor the baby’s normal development, all of which is “normal.”

With their son however, they had multiple doctors, most of which were specialists. Liam goes in once a month for his first year of life. That once a month check-up may be extended into his second year, but it all depends on many factors.

So, with her daughter, she would go to the doctor’s office, a nurse would do some of the preliminary examination such as weighing the baby, measuring her and taking her temperature. The doctor would come in and basically say everything looks good and ask if there were any questions.

With Liam, however, they have one specialist after another coming into a room and discussing his or her findings and how Liam is doing compared to “normal babies” and as a baby with cystic fibrosis.
New moms are often a little overwhelmed with “normal” check-ups. Imagine what it must be like to be the mother, and father, of a baby with cystic fibrosis.

I was very impressed with Perry and his knowledge about their son and about cystic fibrosis. In fact, at one point he responded to a question by saying, “I do not think David mentioned this, … .” He filled in a lot of blanks that I had not gotten to. I thought if they were not answered by me in the beginning, I could always come back to them. For me it was important that this family be as much of the article as possible.

Once the reporter was done, we made arrangements for Christina to pick me up later when I was done with my miles.

With us also, was the principal of the high school, Jeff. He wanted to make sure that all my needs were going to be met. Of course one of my main concerns is, “Where is the closest bathroom? and, “Can you or someone guide me to it at least once?” “More if it is a complicated route?”

Jeff did just that. He helped me find navigational markers that would help me easily find the mens room.
At noon Jeff even came out to see if I needed anything to eat. I could join him and others if I would like, but, I have my water, peanut butter and Nutella. I generally do not eat a heavy lunch when I am running. I thanked him and he went on his way, and me on mine – around and around the track.

When I was wrapping up my final mile I called Christina for a ride back to my hotel. She is one busy woman. Along with being a full time mom, she is taking classes and cleans the instruments at a medical facility.

Her personal account of the comparison and contrast between a “normal” well baby check-up and a “cf” well baby check-up will stay with me forever.

Total miles: 20.21


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