Thursday, January 10, 2013

There and Back Again: A Warm Welcome

Rae & Xavier
When we arrived to my Aunt Sue's home we were greeted with warm embraces and homemade soup (there's nothing like the loving embrace of family during stressful times...soup's not too bad either). I was still stumbling through the mental fog that drifted in just days before we left for Atlanta and my distracted conversation/listening was forgiven (they all knew my mind was elsewhere). Rae was entertained by her cousin Xavier and he was thrilled to have a "captive" audience. After dinner and some catching up I passed out (sitting up) on the couch and apparently kept assuring them I wasn't asleep (I talk in my sleep from time to time). It took a little convincing, but I finally went to bed.

In the morning, we fell into our usual routine...wake up, give Rae her medicine and a bottle, change her diaper, turn on Curious George, and make breakfast. Nothing outside of the realm of normal. Once that was completed we readied ourselves for our first (and only) visit with Dr. Shoffner. Armed with plenty of diapers, snacks & bottles, toys, Rae's iPad, the Big Book of Boo Boo's, and Aunt Sue's Garmin we boldly ventured out into the wilds of Atlanta.

*Tangent Warning*

I HATE Garmin's! (actually all GPS systems) I know there are many of you out there that swear by them, but I do not! It drives me bonkers having some disembodied voice barking directions, sometimes way before you need them, out of thin air. I also find them to be confusing and the dang thing had us so twisted around that we actually circled Dr. Shoffner's office before it told us to turn onto the correct street! Not to mention that the driver is constantly checking the Garmin to make sure they are in the proper lane which means they are not watching the road! Just give me an Atlas and I'm good to go.

*Tangent Over*

Colorful glass artwork on 1st floor.

Upon our arrival at Dr. Shoffner's office, we were greeted by name at the front desk (guess they don't get many patients on a daily basis). We waited no more than 3 minutes before Dr. Shoffner welcomed us and we followed him back to the exam room. I felt horribly intimidated to be in this man's office and know that his intelligence far exceeds my own (yes, I know he puts his pants on just like everyone else, but seriously...he is the leading expert in mitochondrial disease). I can only imagine that Dorothy felt the same way when she first met the Wizard. Once we became acquainted with each other my mind, almost instantly, went blank. This is not a new phenomenon. In fact, it happens quite often and usually whenever I am not alone at a doctor's appointment. My mind becomes fixated with some small detail: a random test result, Rae being a busy body, or the doctor's appearance. In this case it was all of the above.

Dr. Shoffner was pleasant and unassuming. I half expected him to be wearing a lab coat, but alas I was disappointed. He was wearing exquisite leather ankle boots, slim black corduroy pants, a fitted black blazer (not a suit coat), a purple collared shirt with coordinating tie, and a black sweater...with holes (Huh? Holes? Really?). Yup...holes...intentional holes, with finished edges, placed randomly around the sweater. Obviously, this sweater was not something one would find at a typical department store. I had to suppress a giggle (or two...I get the urge to giggle at the most inappropriate times). The rest of my thoughts I am keeping to myself for fear of coming across even more ridiculous (I promise I do take all of this very seriously). Once I managed to push this humorous observation to the back of my mind I forced myself to pay attention (as best as I could...thank God Jacob was there).

Dr. John Shoffner
Photo Credit:
CLP: Clinical Lab Products
He went over all the previous testing (ruling out any potential significance of the gene mutation previously discovered by Baylor)...<sigh of relief>... Did a quick exam of Rae. Made a few observations. Explained what he was going to do and how long it would take for results to be sent (8 weeks). He offered us reassurance in his lab & personnel's qualifications as well as his own credentials. He was confident (they all are) and reassured us that he would do his best to find an answer (they all do). He was also very patient, soft spoken, and not at all pretentious. I was worried he would be and was very pleased to discover otherwise.

Then as we were gathering our things and preparing to leave he mentioned he looked forward to seeing us all again (wait a sec...did I hear that correctly...he wants to see us AGAIN...we were told he doesn't do follow-ups). Even though he said this in a normal tone the words loudly reverberated off the tiny exam room walls. What peaked his interest enough to want to see her again? Guess we'll have to wait 8 weeks to find out (gotta love waiting).

Day two of our journey was coming to a close...two more days to go before we were able to seek sanctuary within the walls of our home, patiently (maybe not so much) and nervously waiting for the results.


  1. gosh, sounds like the right guy to meet! great to meet you via the love that max linkup!

    1. Welcome and thanks for reading!

      I hope he's the right guy. We may not get an answer the first go around, but we are hoping for some kind of closure.