Wednesday, August 5, 2009

July 9

On the morning of July 7, Doug was headed into work when a fist size rock was kicked up by the truck in front of him and smashed his window right in front of his face. He called me to tell me about it as I was packing up to take the kids to Anchorage for audiology appointments and to pick up my mom and dad.

I left for Anchorage around 2:45, knowing I was running late. I HAD to be there at 6:00 to pick up some paperwork from the audiologist. There is only a short window of time for construction in Alaska - maybe three months - so EVERYTHING is under construction. As I was headed through a construction zone, a HUGE rock went flying past the driver side window and I heard a smash near the back of the car. I thought, "Shoot, now I have a big dent in the side of my car!" Then Brenden yelled, "Mom, my window is broken!" The rock had hit the large rear side window at the back of the suburban and smashed it to little bits. There was a big gaping hole, but we were just lucky that it didn't go all of the way through the window and smash Brenden's face. We got Brenden all moved, but Nolan was asleep. I left him in the rear seat and hoped he was far enough away from the glass that he wouldn't get hurt.

I spent the next hour and a half of driving on the phone with Doug who was trying to arrange for a new window in Anchorage. Everyone was closed and without our policy number, no one would help us. Doug was still at work and I was driving and wasn't going to risk trying to find the number in the glove box while I drove. Finally, he came up with a random number, gave it to the lady, and I was scheduled for an 8:00 a.m. window replacement the following morning in the parking lot of my hotel.

There is pretty much nowhere to stop between here and Anchorage, so we trekked on. Every time an RV or large truck passed by, the whoosh of air knocked out more and more of the window. By the time we got to the audiologist's office, there was little left. We were 15 minutes late, but I called ahead and told them I was running late and they left the paperwork out for me. I parked directly in front of the main entrance of the hotel, backed into the parking spot and hoped that my car would be ok until morning. We went swimming that night - an interesting thing to do with two toddlers and one mom. Brenden can't swim, but he was on his own. (I find it completely alarming that MY kids can't swim. I spent 99.9% of my childhood in a swimming pool - whether for fun or swimming laps on swim team.)

7:45 the next morning, I woke up and left all of my sleeping children in the hotel room. I gave them all a talk the night before: If I am not here when you wake up, STAY IN THIS ROOM! Not the greatest choice on my part, but I really needed them to be refreshed and awake for the 4 hours of audiology appointments we had scheduled later in the day. 8:00 I am sitting in my car waiting. 8:15 I go back and check on the kids. 8:30, still waiting. 8:45, I call the window people. No one was ever coming. I spent the next 45 minutes on the phone re-arranging for my window replacement. Finally, 10:00, they came. While we waited, we walked around the float plane lake and watched the planes take off and land. The boys had a blast! 11:30, I put Ethan down for a nap in the bathroom in the hotel room. He slept briefly and we headed to the audiologist.

Brenden had the first appointment - I stayed in the waiting room with the other two. He did awesome. I bribed and bribed and bribed that kid beforehand. Then Ethan had an appointment. I again took a risk and left the other two in the waiting room. Then Brenden had another appointment. Then Ethan's hearing aids got programmed. Poor Nolan had to sit, and sit, and sit - for FOUR whole hours.

I truly feel for Nolan. He is so patient. He waits and waits and waits and his turn never comes. He sees me drop Ethan off for physical therapy (which, even as an adult, looks pretty dang fun!). He sits and watches Ethan get one on one play time for an hour with the speech therapist and all of her fun new toys. The longing look on his face tells all - he wants so bad to play with those toys and have that kind of attention from an adult. I wish there was some way to make it up to him - the best I could do was to buy him the toy he wanted from Target. It was more than I wanted to spend, but that boy has earned it!

Ethan is cochlear implant eligible in the high frequencies, but not in the lows. That means he can hear things with ok volume, but he lacks understanding of words because he can hear the vowels, which carry volume, but not the consonants which provide meaning. It is so frustrating to know that he will never learn to speak with hearing like that, yet there's nothing I can do but wait, teach him more sign, and make sure he can see my lips when I talk to him.

Late that night, my parents arrived! They stayed the night in the hotel with us and the next afternoon we made the LONG trek back home. I had my parents fly into Anchorage so I could show them how beautiful Alaska was on our drive home. There were 40+ wildfires burning at the time and the air was so hazy that we couldn't see anything. It's beautiful though, I promise!

Our usual hotel travel

Lake Hood and the float planes
We stopped in Sterling to check out the wood carvings

Doug had a yummy taco dinner all ready for us when we got home and then we headed out on the lake.

1 comment:

Ter said...

I am so sorry to hear of the mishaps you conquered during that time, we have been ill here at my house and without a vehicle for sometime that we haven't been able to get to church, and then we lost our phone... so ... it is hard to keep in touch with everyone... Erin if you need me or Mollie to watch the kids just come on over I am ALWAYS at home... you need a mommy day to the spa....hint hint