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. :)