I don’t usually use my blog for personal venting, but I am about to right now.
The back story here is that since my son was born at home and didn’t have all the usual poking & prodding, we had to go get an infant hearing screen done. I’m not sure if this is required by law in Maryland, but our pediatrician did say he recommends it since it’s non-invasive and he (and parents) have been surprised by infant hearing loss when they thought the baby was fine. Since hearing loss can have such an impact on development, it seemed like a wise thing to do.
The pediatrician gave us the order and told us to just go to the hospital. We decided to be smart and call ahead to see if we needed an appointment. We called the # for the lab on the slip and specifically said “infant hearing screen.” We were told that no appointment was needed, just come in from 7-2.
My husband decided he’d just take a day off and come with me, so I didn’t have to worry about getting both boys in and out & wrangled & getting my daughter from school on time (though he has very little time off left after having the flu & pneumonia last month.) So, we go in, wait our turn at registration, and are told that they do not do infant hearing screenings on Fridays. Great. We waited a good half hour total for someone to come “talk to us,” and found out that not only do they not do them on Fridays, they only do them on Wednesdays and you have to have an appointment.
So, I call to schedule and find out that they only do them at 1, 2 or 3:00. My husband works in a neighboring state that is an hour & 15 minutes or more away, depending on traffic. To minimize his time away from work, I took the 3:00 appointment. He came home at 2:00 to give me time to get to the hospital the required 30 minutes early. Relevant side note: it was a very nice day, over 50 degrees. In fact, my husband and son headed outside to play for the hour before they would leave to get my daughter from school.
Anyhoo, I spent 20 minutes trying to find a parking spot, before finally ending up on the 5th floor/roof of the parking deck. My son was not happy, but settled once I got him in the sling & started the long walk through the parking deck & into the hospital.
I was finally almost there when a truck stopped beside me and a woman leaned out the window, cigarette between her fingers, smoke wafting onto the 100% smoke-free hospital property and into my (and my son’s) face. She said “excuse me sweetheart” (remember that I am 30 years old and the mother of three.) I turned to her and she said “do me a favor and put a hat on that baby.”
Honest to goodness I didn’t mean to but I was so exasperated after all the driving and parking and walking that I instinctively turned my head, let out a little sigh and rolled my eyes. Mature, I know, but I’m thinking “you have got to be kidding me lady. I just want to get into this %^E#%^ hospital and get this over with.” Well what does she do? Raised her voice and said something along the lines of “oh you roll your eyes at me honey” and acted as though she was going to get out of the truck and hurt me.
So, I started quickly walking towards the front of the hospital and I did what any rational, hormonal post-partum woman would do. I cried. I called my husband and blubbered, then I started to get angry. Who does she think she is? Seriously?? My other kids wouldn’t wear hats so she would have loved that. I actually do usually put a hat on him. I have 3 in the kitchen near his car seat. Today I forgot. I was rushed to get out on time and it was so darn warm that I just forgot. I didn’t even wear a jacket myself so I wasn’t worried.
This woman was no more than 10 years older than me. If you’re not a little old lady, my Dad, my Grandpa, my husband (or similar), don’t call me sweetheart, sweetheart. I’m guessing she assumed I was a stupid, young first time mom that needed her to rescue me from my own stupidity & save my poor son’s cold little head.
I don’t doubt for a second that she would have gotten out and beaten me to a bloody pulp if I had said something back to her (my husband suggested something about minding her own business or her smoking.)
Almost forgot the conclusion of this story. I blew my nose, composed myself the best I could and went in to the registration desk. And waited…and waited…and waited. No one at the registration desk. At that point my son was screeching, flailing his arms and grabbing fistfuls of my hair. They had already told me that he had to be quiet & cooperative in order to do the test. My blood pressure was sky high, I was near tears, kept dropping the darn order, insurance card & photo ID I was supposed to have ready and now it was past my appointment time! I waited some more and dropped my stuff a few more times before I finally left.
A day and a half and a good $15 worth of gas wasted, and I get to tell the pediatrician that no, we did not do the hearing screen.
I need a do over.