Sunday, June 17, 2012

And we were just starting to have fun....

Julia's audiologist moved recently from the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh satellite office in Wexford to the main campus in Lawrenceville. It takes the same amount of time for us to travel to either location. Lawrenceville is just more trafficky-scarey-anxiety inducing.

This audiologist is irreplaceable, so I decided to deal with my anxiety. Tim accompanied us on our first appointment for new ear molds. Julia's summer hearing test was my second time navigating into what I consider "the city." I still couldn't find the right parking garage and had to utilize some deep breathing relaxation techniques. Finding the valet helped as well.

My efforts were rewarded with the most amazing waiting room ever.

After taking the "grape" elevators to the third floor, we checked in and received a restaurant-style pager. Very necessary as so many playthings drew us far from the "alligator pod" where we were to present ourselves for our appointment.

At the push of a button, this machine transports a ball through a maze of wire track. It could easily occupy the whole family for our short wait, but there's more to see.

This train layout enclosed in glass is operated by a series of buttons on the outside. The kids can drive the trolley from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood and send circus people flying through the air.

There's an elaborate fish tank (not pictured) housing Dory and Nemo look alikes and a super cool crab. Little tables and chairs, a couple of touch screen computers so the kids can color by tapping the screen, and a slew of televisions showing various cartoons make the place so entertaining I'm afraid we might have to stay after the appointment just to take it all in.

The hearing test part of the day was uneventful. Julia's hearing is blessedly stable. She presented her audiologist with a painting. For months Julia had worried over the state of the new office.

"She probably doesn't have anything on her walls!"


Now she has this spectacular painting of the parts of the ear.

Our next regularly scheduled visit will be next summer. Julia will be heading into third grade by then. I will have to wait a full twelve months for the reassurance of a fresh audiogram. I think I'll miss our six month check-ups. It figures we'd finally stabilize and warrant only yearly follow-ups just when we find a waiting room that's worth the wait.