May 6, 2010

Exam Rooms and Alien Probes

After some miracle and/or glitch in the scheduling department, the ENT docs were able to get Owen in last-minute for an appointment today. So I carefully packed up his bag with all of our essentials and managed the one hour drive to the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. I used to be overwhelmed and confused by this place, considering that it's about the size of a small planet and probably even has it's own zip code. However, we have frequented it enough times that not only do I find myself at ease there now, but at one point today I found myself directing an elderly couple as if I were a greeter on the payroll.

We arrive in the "Otolaryngology Department", which thankfully had posters of ears, noses and throats hanging everywhere just to clarify what otolaryngology was. Our appointment was at 10am, and efficient as ever we are ushered back to the exam room at 10:13am.

Now to anyone that has had to sit quietly in an exam room the size of a postage stamp, you know how incredibly boring it can be. There are only so many times you can read those informative posters on the wall about washing your hands before it makes you become a paranoid germaphobe. Owen got tired of hearing about the hygiene instructions pretty early on, and my attempt at making funny faces were failing miserably due to this appointment's proximity to naptime. I felt like I was in there a lifetime, so I snuck a peek at my cellphone to check the time and sure enough - I had been there an entire lifetime. It was now 11:32am, over an hour of exam room solitude. Is this one of those dreams where I walk out and it's weeks later and everyone has been turned into zombies?

I stuck my head out into the hallway, and since I saw no moaning creatures I decided that I would ask the next person that walked by if I should reschedule my appointment for a time when there might actually be employees working. Luckily, the next person that came down the hall was the doctor.

We discuss, and she informs me that we need to scope Owen's throat with a camera that looked an awful lot like the robot on "War of the Worlds". I'm instructed to hold Owen's arms and legs to keep him from squirming, while a nurse holds his head still and another doctor manuevers the scope. As you can imagine, my baby thought this was just incredibly delightful and was squealing in pleasure. Oh wait, that wasn't pleasure - it was HORROR. Screams of horror. Can you blame him? He had an alien probe going in his nose. But then, as if we weren't having enough fun, the doctor says to me "Mom, could you sing or something to try and calm him down? His screaming is making it difficult." Seriously? He's being physically restrained and a camera is being forced into his throat, and you think that Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is going to help? This isn't American Idol, lady. Take your pictures or go find someone who has actually practiced medicine on a small child before.

After they had fished the camera out of Owen's right nostril, it was decided that Torture: Round Two should commence next Wednesday in the form of a laryngoscopy and endoscopy. Luckily, this time they will give the poor child some anesthesia. But I bet I'll be stuck reading the same hand washing posters...

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