Monday, June 27, 2005

Stress, Lies, and Stomachaches

Today felt like one of those kind of days.

Last Friday when I got home there was a message from Ruth's pediatrician, reminding Tegan and I that Ruth had her two-year-old checkup on Monday. I noted it at the time and hoped that I would remember. I didn't do anything to make that happen except refrain from deleting the message from the answering machine.

This morning, in the daily grind of getting the kids ready for school and getting ourselves ready for work, I almost forgot. As we were exiting the house and getting in the car I remembered, but I didn't know what time the appointment was for. So, I ran back inside and listened to the message again (hooray for foresight!). It was for 1 pm.

Tegan had already started stressing about work, so I felt that it was my turn to take one for the team and take Ruth to her appointment. I knew that I had one meeting with my team at work, but that was in the morning. Other than that (and Tegan's softball game in the evening, I was golden . . . or so I thought.)

When I got to work, I discovered that an email sent on Friday (when I was out doing market research) was up in the air. Schedules had to start getting finalized on the massive project that I am overseeing this year and so the painful finalization was getting underway. I had already set up an informal meeting with the members of my team and this little meeting turned into a larger meeting with my manager and other people in the workflow. I got a bit stressed about it all, mostly because it was forcing me to confront what I had accomplished with this project and what has not been done. And in the process of getting these ducks in a row, I immediately began worrying about whether I was doing everything right. And since dates were finally being discussed and finalized . . well, it was all a bit disconcerting.

I am always on the edge of being worried about stuff, ready to worry about what I am doing wrong, ready to second-guess myself and assign blame (to me). So, when meetings get these sorts of decisions out in the open, I worry about it.

But . . . after all of that, I think things went fairly well. And the members of my team got a chance to hear some things discussed that I hope will let them see that what they are doing is important. It might sharpen their work habits a bit more.

And then, I had to take Ruth to the doctor. This involves picking her up from daycare, driving about 15 miles to our old residence in Hilliard to see our pediatrician. Even though we don't live there anymore, we haven't had reason to go to another doctor (except for days like today when I have to devote about two hours of my day to the trip down, the visit, and the trip back). And to make things even more exciting, I had to get back by 2:30 for another meeting that I had forgotten. And that was going to be tight. If I got stuck in the waiting room for any reason, I was seriously screwed.

Luckily that didn't happen and Ruth is in fine shape.

But, all the quick driving back and forth and the underlying stress of the entire affair, plus the extreme heat of a June afternoon brought back some bad memories.

Out of nowhere I started thinking of that very bad day three years ago when Tegan and I found out that she was having a miscarriage. She had not been feeling well all weekend and so we went to the doctor and heard the very bad news. After that, we had to schedule the grim procedure of completing the process that Tegan's body had already begun. And that meant some scrambling about.

Because Ariel was in daycare that day and this appointment was stretching into the afternoon, we had to figure out what to do about all of this. We had to go to the hospital and were able to contact our friends J & J. They graciously accepted the responsibility of looking after Ariel that night because I wasn't going to let Tegan go through this alone and I didn't want Ariel around for this. In order to make all this happen, T and I had to drive from the doctor main office to our house, throw some clothes together for Ariel, get her from school and take her to our friends house.

It was all this driving and stress and fear that brought these memories back today. I remember driving quickly (and probably angrily); I remember worrying that I was going to overheat the car (I think I did screw up the brakes that day). The whole experience was something I didn't want to remember very vividly . . . and some of it came back to me today. I wish it hadn't.

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