Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How an Audiology Appointment Feels Like a Candid Camera Episode

Edison had her third round of hearing testing today. Hearing testing that requires her to be asleep. Though her first two appointments were challenging, she was still a fairly sleepy newborn. Today, ante was upped. Here's the scenario.

Picture a sterile, plain medical consultation room. There are bright fluorescent lights overhead, a super firm waiting room loveseat, and a computer cart. There is no rocking chair nor baby friendly surface/bed. The room is located at the end of a long hallway next to a stairwell. The stairwell is the place to sneak off to when making a cellphone call.

Now, add in a whole slew of wires, cords, in-ear monitors, and electrodes that when jostled just slightly will disrupt the connection and therefore the assessment you are trying to complete. When the electrodes do come loose, they must be reapplied with firm pressure, possibly some additional cold adhesive gel, and loads of tape. Oh, I did mention that those wires and electrodes are attached to a two month old that you are expected to soothe to sleep?!?

Yep. That was our morning.

Attempt #1 - Try to soothe Edison to sleep through nursing (generally the easiest and quickest method.) Just as she's getting drowsy, another patient, a child, decides he's not going along willingly and let's out a piercing scream. Edison is awake.

Attempt #2 - The audiologist grows tired of waiting and leaves the room. Mommy, more comfortable with the additional privacy, attempts nursing again. Edison is almost asleep when the audiologist pokes her head in to see if Edison is asleep. Edison is awake and the electrodes need to be reattached.

Attempt #3 - Daddy's turn. The overhead lights are shut off in the hopes that sleep will come sooner. Singing, rocking, and general snuggling with Daddy begins. Daddy and Edison as almost snoozing together when someone's cell phone rings and the call recipient begins carrying on a rather explicit conversation regarding his frustrations with his ex-wife. Edison is awake.

Attempt #4 - Repeat scenario #2. Edison is awake.

Attempt #5 - Repeat scenario #2. Edison is awake.

Attempt #6 - Inform audiologist that we'll crack the door to let her know when Edison is asleep. Begin lawn sprinkler soothing tactic. Don't know the lawn sprinkler? Well, you jiggle and sway side to side while shushing in a rhythm similar to a lawn sprinkler. Shh. Shh. Shh. Shh. Shh. Shh. Shh. Shhhhhhhh. Edison is getting drowsy when someone must take a phone call regarding the installation and subsequent cost of doorknobs in her new home. She is far from satisfied with the bill and numerous "upcharges". Edison is awake. Edison fills her pants. We change Edison's pants.

It is at this point that we begin to lose it. We are certain that at any minute someone's going to burst through the door and inform us we're on Candid Camera because surely we can't be expected to soothe a baby to sleep in this environment. At home, with all her favorite soothers present, it can sometimes take an hour to soothe Edison to sleep. The very thought of Candid Camera starts us to giggling.

The giggles gain momentum (and tears) as we place bets on how long we'll have to keep trying. Is there a minimum number of hours we're required to try? Will they charge us for the appointment if we are unable to run the assessment? Because we are soooo not paying hundreds of dollars for two hours of jiggling our baby in their consultation room.

It's at this moment, we realize that Edison is asleep. She has finally succumbed having jiggled right along with our giggles.

Now we'll never know how long they would have made us keep trying.

Oh, and the kicker? We have no further knowledge regarding Edison's possible hearing loss after the test than we did before. We still have to wait and see.


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Freaking ridiculous how kid testing is the least kid-friendly thing in the world, isn't it? Glad you managed EVENTUALLY. GAH!

Little Miss Sunshine State said...

There's GOT to be a better way. How frustrating.

suzanne @ pretty swell said...

Oh man. That sucks. But at least you guys got a little laugh out of it, right? :)

Hang in there, mama.

Allison Crawford said...

Sometimes the only thing to do is laugh, right? This parenting journey is an unknown path, and the comfort of laughter, especially with a loving spouse, helps us get through it. Sorry for all the problems this morning, but at least you now have a fabulous story that will be retold in future years!