All right I feel better. Which means this post is pretty boring.
Reads & Recommends, the What Bad News? edition

Glad I've seen it, never want to go back

For most of my growing up my parents were elementary school teachers with the Department of Defense, meaning they taught the dependent children of military families stationed overseas. I lived in Europe, mostly Italy, from 5th through 12th grade and one of my most enduring and firmly ingrained memories is of my dad's unrelenting frustration and exasperation with The Military. 

They lost things. They were unforgivably slow. The right hand didn't know what the left was doing. The pile of paperwork was ridiculous. The hoop jumping was ludicrous. "Your tax dollars at work!" he liked to explode, which meant nothing to me because I didn't PAY taxes and also "your" tax dollars were paying for my multiple sports trips all over Europe so, you know, AWESOME. 

But anyway. That's a little bit what my day at Children's Hospital felt like. Except that it was also one of the most impressive places I've ever experienced. 

So Emma had to go get an ultrasound - wait, an x-ray - wait, WHAT now? - plus have a consultation with a general surgery doctor to discuss issues she'd probably rather not have me write about on the internet. Let's just say girlfriend needs the big bottle of Miralax. And I finally got around to making the appointments and soldiered through the inevitable confusion between what our ped wanted and what the hospital thought our ped wanted - don't worry, I won't explain it because IT IS NOT INTERESTING.

But when I got to the campus this morning - I'd never been there before - and discovered this easily navigable, least intimidating, and possibly most beautiful hospital I've ever seen (if a hospital can be called beautiful?) I felt very... I don't know. Kind of like, "OH. Well. They'll take care of us HERE." 

Even though I went to the wrong place and never (I found out) went to the first desk I should have stopped at, everyone was friendly, cheery, pleasant, helpful, easygoing. I wasn't nervous to begin with, just stressed about having to do something new, but I felt even LESS whatever I WAS feeling. And the waiting room was GINORMOUS and full of TOYS and BOOKS and CRAYONS and I felt like, "Why don't I just come HERE on a rainy Thursday morning?" 

But then bureaucracy set in. The change to an x-ray wasn't made official somehow and I had to wait around for that. Then I had to wait around for something else. Then I receptionist found me kneeling under a table picking up all the crayons Emma dropped and apologetically told me I would be waiting longer because while they appeared to have the appropriate paperwork, they couldn't read the appropriate paperwork.  

FOR SERIOUS? It was an hour before they brought us back for a five minute procedure (during which Emma screamed mightily) and we could go home. 

At home I sat around feeling stressed about going back at 4. To alleviate this I watched the newest episode of Nashville and gawked dreamily at Sam Palladio. Phillip came home early, my in-laws showed up to whisk off the big kids, and Phillip and I took Emma back for the "consultation". 

Except I didn't really know what the consultation was for? I KNOW. BAD PARENT. But I was so confused by this point, I wasn't even really sure they got the right x-rays. My doctor had left a message on my cell telling me "everything looks normal!" and we would wait to see what the hospital doctor said. (About what? The spinal thing? The anatomical issue thing? BLARGH?)

And then we waited some more! During this wait, however, Phillip was entertaining Emma and I was admiring the hospital's check in procedures, the color coded doors and spaces, the amount of space, the ocean theme, the PEOPLE. It's not like I interacted with them, but you could just tell. These were Marvelous People. 

We met some more marvelous people when we were [finally] called back for the exam. Because! It was an exam! Not a sit down where you peer at x-rays, which is what I thought. BUT WHATEVER. A resident and a student came in to talk to us first and they were SO NICE! And so SMART! Maybe a little bit handsome! They asked heaps of questions and wrote heaps of notes. Then they disappeared to go find the Real Doctor, who was older, just as nice, not quite as handsome, but infinitely smarter. This man just EXUDED "I know what the heck I'm doing." And after asking heaps of questions, performing an exam (during which Emma screamed mightily) and spending heaps of time with us, his official diagnosis went something like this: "Uh, why did you come here?" 

He was not rude or condescending or impatient with us AT ALL. The opposite, almost. But I have a feeling our ped might get a Sternly Worded Letter. He went through a big list of people he thought we should have seen before we saw him. Which made me feel stupid, like I should have known better, but it's not really the sort of thing a SAHM with an English degree takes into her own hands. 

Our ped DID say there was a "less than 1 percent chance" this was an issue, and I knew that too, and I knew it was probably overly cautious or whatever. It's still nice to know neither of those things are the issue, like at ALL, and it was kind of fun to hear the general surgery doctor comment on Emma. How big she is, how strong, how she forgives easily (after screaming her head off, she smiled and waved at the doctors when they left.) 

So yeah, kind of this "dude, this hospital IS as super amazing as everyone says" and "REALLY? REALLY? THE PROBLEM IS WHAT NOW? AND I COULD HAVE JUST STAYED HOME?" Probably very dull for you, but one for the blog baby book for me. Thanks for your good thoughts. :) 

Comments

april

I'm glad that everything seems to be okay, after all of that! What a pain of a Thursday though, and the nerves of the lead up! Happy Friday!

Anonymouse

I realized when I read this that I've been to Seattle Children's Hospital. They were a client of mine for awhile when I had an actual career in my former life. Weird how that went out of my head.

Glad Emma is okay!

AmyRyb

Glad she's all good. I DID have a really condescending specialist with my kid once. I was slightly concerned about him having some sort of heart condition because his oxygen level was never as high as it seemed like it should be (like, they'd take it at one specialist he visited and ALWAYS think it wasn't working right). I sensed a trend and it freaked me out, so I asked if there was any chance it might be an issue. The ped thought it was worth checking, so she referred us. We went, he got checked, and the doctor was like, "I don't know why you're here." I tried to explain, and ended up crying because I felt like some stupid, over-concerned parent who was wasting her time. It was horrible. The peace of mind was nice, but geez...

Carrie

Children's is amazing. Every single person we've ever interacted with there has been friendly and calm and comforting. We are so blessed to have tha hospital in our area. Glad EJ's stuff was nothing! Can't wait to see her walking next week!!!

HereWeGoAJen

I'm so glad that it ended up being a "why are you here?" Although it would have been nicer if you didn't have to be there at all.

Christina

See, this is why I haven't made that apppointment with the pediatric neurologist for my daughter's headaches yet. Because even though she told the pediatrician that she gets them multiple times a week and they wake her up at night, guess what? She's had ONE in the last three weeks. I'm thinking my girl just kind of exaggerates for effect, am I'm not in the mood to go through all that just to get the "why are you here?" response. Or, alternately, I'm a Very Bad Mom. Take your pick.

Crystal Payne

My son didn't gain enough weight by his first birthday, and my ped sent us to a children's hospital specialist to find out why...and we had to go twice a month, into the city, for a whole year (with my toddler daughter in tow). He went through heaps of tests and a minor surgical procedure before finally being told that he just needed more calories. Well. I wish that was MY diagnosis.

From then on I fed him Ramen noodles and cookies every day and his weight is now on the chart. Hooray!

I'm glad Emma is normal, healthy, and walking! Hooray again!

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