For the past two days, Sonya and I have been at NYU Langone Hospital in Murray Hill, attempting to get her a CT Scan. Her initial appointment was scheduled for Monday, but it turned out that our ENT had authorized the wrong type of exam – and thankfully, a radiologist noticed and canceled it. Had he not done so, Sonya would have been exposed to radiation for no reason…
We were able to secure an appointment for Thursday at 2:30 p.m. instead. Sonya slept in the UBER on the way over, but when we arrived, she was groggy and still waking up. Her sleep disrupted by the fact that it was 20 degree
s outside. We waited an hour for the appointment and finally made our way into the room.
The test – a temporal bone scan – would only work if Sonya was perfectly still – a feat that she would only accomplish if in deep sleep.
Of course, as soon as we entered the room, Sonya woke up immediately. Her big grey eyes mesmerized by the lights on the machines and the computers. The room had a glass wall through which you could see another room of technicians and computer screens.
The CT Scanner is about the size of a small car. It consists of a surface to lay upon beneath a circular structure that produced a light breeze. A screen on the scanner displayed Sonya’s name and birthday. Sonya looked so small lying on the base of the machine. I held her hand and stroked her eyebrows and cheeks, hoping to get her to sleep.
Sonya stared at the technicians and when she caught their eye, she smiled. There is just something about this child – she is always working to connect with people. It’s amazing. While Sonya was in a great mood, the technicians had looks of concern on their faces.
As a new mom, I am only getting to know my daughter. While I have cared for her for three and a half months, as she develops, her tastes and moods change. Typically, nursing will accomplish the goal of getting her to sleep, however, so I offered to try that. The technicians put me in a small room and turned the lights down. Sonya immediately took to the breast, sucking voraciously. She takes about 10-15 minutes per side, and every five minutes a technician would peak his or her head through the door – to see how I was doing.
When she had finally finished, Sonya looked up at me with tired red eyes, and milk dribbling down her chin. Were we at home, she would have gone to sleep immediately had I swaddled her and rocked her to sleep – singing Norwegian Wood (she is a Beatles fan!). But here, her eyes darted around the room. She yawned and then stretched – bending backward – her cue to me that she no longer wished to be held. As I continued to hold her in my arms, she kicked and struggled. Then, she pooped. A loud gas and then warmth! It had exploded up her back and onto my pants and sweater.
A technician poked her head back in, “everything okay in here?”
“Yep yep. We are fine. Just going to change the baby and then hopefully she will sleep,” I said. Although I knew that a diaper change was never followed by sleep. The cold baby wipes only disturbed her.
With Sonya changed and dressed (and with poop soaked through my own clothes hastily wiped off with a baby wipe) I held Sonya and walked toward the door as a technician simultaneously opened the door to check back in. She looked at Sonya and frowned.
“Still not sleeping, eh?”
Her disappointment was frustrating. I mean, here I was, covered in baby poop – doing my darndest.
“Nope…we might have to reschedule this test.” And at that minute, Sonya’s head dropped, she produced an enormous belch and a fountain of white curdled milk poured out of her mouth and on to her clothes and my arm.
The technician made a “yikes” face, and then offered us a bit more privacy again.
I sighed and looked at Sonya. She smiled.
Despite my grievances against the U.S. healthcare industry at large – and our ENT who made the earlier mistake, of course – the technicians at NYU were wonderful. They told me that I could come back tomorrow and as soon as Sonya is asleep – they would push other patients aside and attempt to scan her.
On Friday I rushed over to NYU as soon as possible – around noon. Sonya again fell asleep in the car ride, despite my efforts to avoid it. When I wheeled her in, the staff immediately made way for us. Yet, as soon as I put her on the table, her eyes popped back open.
Three hours later I was still struggling to get her to sleep. We returned home in defeat – as Sonya slept happily in the car.