I always assumed road trips would be easier the older the kids became. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only are there the toys and books and giant Bob and Larry and two purses and three pair of shoes and every conceivable fashion statement, but on top of it all is the food. The curse of Abilify is the constant compulsory eating and subsequent weight gain, which is devastating. It’s not just the vanity that’s devastated, but the health risks and family history of diabetes and high blood pressure and high cholesterol and digestive issues and heart problems. Our up and down struggle with Abilify can easily be measured by the pound. It’s terribly difficult to have a school-aged child on a restrictive diet, but even moreso with a child that doesn’t understand why they can’t have the terrific food the kid next to them is eating. It means no one can eat cake if she can’t eat cake. Otherwise, she’ll eat your cake.
For a week before we left, I ran errands buying diapers and prescriptions and snacks. For a week, I baked “healthy mini muffins” and low-fat brownies, just to hide all evidence of their creation before picking her up from summer school. Four days before we left, the laundry started. At least two outfits are needed for each day for the first five days and even more panties. It’s two days in the car up there, a day of vacation at the sort of halfway point in Chicago and no one knows what the first day of the Mayo Clinic will bring. Factoring in Savannah only being 80% urine trained and not bowel trained and food spills and possible car sickness (which has Luckily only happened twice on road trips), it adds up to a lot of laundry. Two days before we left, the food rationing began. Nutritional information was divided by servings then multiplied back to an acceptable caloric intake and then the food divided into the new serving size, bagged and labeled with both name and calories. This was done with two kinds of mini muffins, brownies, peanut butter cookies, cheese itz, corn chips, low fat graham crackers, pretzels, chocolate covered acia berries, snappeas, and lentil snaps. Of course rations have to be made that look the same for everyone in the car, or else it’s not the same and she’ll want their’s. Then the food was divided again into storage and Day One driving, which includes a 90 calorie fiber bar and 100 calories fudge striped cookies, and they must be fudge striped short read cookies. It took five hours over two days to ration the food with a previous six hours of baking beforehand.
All foods were packed and loaded Thursday night before we left, in hopes of concealing their whereabouts for as long as possible on the drive, which wasn’t very long.
My parents and I left with the kids bright and thirty-minutes-past early Friday morning. The kids were wonderful. Joseph had mapped out and printed up our Google route, and Savannah is always ready for a road trip, especially with Grandaddy and Nana. As we left East Tennessee behind us, we all looked forward to the adventures that awaited us on our quest for answers at the Mayo Clinic.