A Good Friday
Black Friday began on a bleakish note for us. Charlie dutifully got into the white car at 7.45am and walked into the waiting room of LabCorp, to get his blood drawn for testing. After a half-hour wait during which the receptionist, with a quite large sigh, prepared all the paperwork for the tests, Charlie sat down in a chair opposite a technician, Jim and me standing close by. He said several "no's" once the rubber strip was tied around his upper arm and the needle and vial produced, and then it was clearly time to get out, Jim getting Charlie back to the car while I told the front desk, we'd have to reschedule.
Charlie's neurologist has wanted him to get a number of tests done since the summer, some to test for various genetic conditions, some due to the medications Charlie is taking. Charlie had gotten his blood drawn back in the spring with Jim and my parents beside him. Alas, the lab was unable to perform many of the tests. Jim and I had been hoping that that would be the end of it but, vae nobis, it was not.
Once home, Jim and I formulate a Plan:
- I contact the neurologist and ask if all those tests are really needed? (I.e., do we really need to draw that much blood from Charlie?)
- Jim plays the role of LabCorp Location Scout to ascertain if it's the right sort of setting.
In the past, not being able to have a successful experience with the testing would have made us feel like this Friday was a truly black one indeed. Jim and I reminded each other that we needed to do exactly the opposite, that Charlie himself comes out of such situations feeling vexed and ashamed and just not so great.
And we all had a good Friday. It was the last day of my parents' visit and they spent a good part of the day making paper-wrapped chicken. The little parchment packets of chicken, marinated in soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, and green onions, are perfect lunchbox food. My dad had cut up a stack of neat rectangles of parchment paper after we'd cleaned up the Thankgiving dinner and, yesterday morning while my mom chopped and mixed, he and Charlie and I made a fast trip to Pathmark to get one more packet of chicken breasts. Charlie (we have photographic proof, you can see it above!) helped to pack up the chicken, counting out eight pieces per Ziploc with my mom.
Charlie had a lot to work through after a tough start to the morning, not to mention the lingering effects of his cold, Thanksgiving festivities, my parents' visit, a short week at school. And, of course, it's only the second week of him being at his new school. He asked to go to his favorite diner all day long. While not always very happy to hear he'd have to to wait, he did, and his patience endured through a last-minute detour to my office in Jersey City.
Mom left about half the chicken in the freezer. We'll see how long it takes (Saturday afternoon?) before Charlie fishes it out for an anytime snack. But you can be sure, I'm safeguarding some for at least two lunches next week.