Hank: I almost totally forgot! How was your doctor’s appointment yesterday?
Molly: (riveted by nursery rhymes)
Me: It was a gift!
Me: Remember last weekend when Joana and Cristiano came over for brunch?
Hank: Yes, they are so nice and they are having a baby.
Me: They are, indeed. Well, after meeting me and hearing about my disease advancement they asked if I knew of Cristina, a physical therapist in Vizela who specializes in helping people like me and I told them I had and that I was on the wait-list to get an appointment with her because she is so popular and helps so many people have a better quality of life there is a queue. Well Joana is a psychologist, the kind that helps people with their feelings…
Pai: (interrupting with a mouth full of toast) Not like papa who is a scientist.
Me: Correct and Cristiano is…
Hank: An enfermeiro (nurse).
Me: Right, and unlike most people who listen and are empathetic and wish they could help when Joana and Cristiano saw (getting emotional) how difficult my health challenges are they both spent last week calling Cristina’s office multiple times and were able to get me an emergency appointment. Which is just the kindest, most generous thing ever.
Hank: That is really nice.
Me: I mean I just met them, but they really saw that we, all of us, were doing our best, everything we could, but needed help.
Hank: When you hurt I hurt, too and papa and probably Molly but she can’t talk yet.
Me: (nodding, taking his hand) I have been saying for a year, ever since I went to the ER in May of last year that I needed a plan of attack. I tell every doctor this. I need to be actively doing something and the rheumatologists I have met have a different opinion. They think that I should be calmly waiting of medication to stabilize my disease advancement before I am actively doing something. Which is the hardest thing ever.
Hank: I know this because that is why you have been in the house and resting.
Me: When we met with Cristina she had the complete opposite opinion and we spoke at length and formed a plan of attack. The exact thing I have been needing and Cristina is confident that if we work together that I can regain most of the mobility I have lost.
Hank: Really? Really, mama?
Me: (sobbing) I have hope. (deep breath) For the first time in a year I have hope.
Hank: Happy tears, right mama? I am so happy! I am so happy.
Me: (deep breath) Hank, I feel like for a year I have had an elephant sitting on my chest and I have finally convinced that elephant to get up and leave and I can breath again. It is going to be a lot of work…
Hank: But you love to work. You are a hard worker, you and papa are. I know you can do it.
Me: (crying) And when I said all of this to Joana and thanked them she was so lovely and supportive and said they understood because it is part of their job to not just listen, but to do all they can and give their best help to people, their family and friends and Joana said that she cannot wait for me to be well enough to have picnics, all of us when their baby is born.
Hank: You love picnics.
Me: (beaming, wiping my heart on my sleeve live a big, red stain) I do! I love them. Picnics are my absolute favorite thing.
Hank: You are the best at picnic food. (coming over to give me a hug) I am so happy, mama. This is what I needed, too. I am so happy.
Me: Me, too! (with my fist up in defiance) We have a plan!
Hank: VIVA (HURRAY)!
Me: (pulling myself together) Man, the things that can happen over waffles.
Hank: And bacon. Brunch makes everything better.
Me: (roaring with laughter) Truth.