Today we continued our survey of Atlanta’s healthcare system by visiting the Children’s Healthcare Of Atlanta Egleston location. Egleston is actually 10 minutes away from our house on the Emory campus, so the drive was short and pleasant. I also think this may well be the 7th hospital we’ve visited in the last 2 months. Perhaps I should start a hospital ratings website when this is all done…

As I mentioned last week, the goal for today was for Fiona to receive an MRI to better diagnose the root cause of her hearing loss. When we entered the lobby it was quite clear to me this was hands-down the nicest hospital I’ve ever been inside. Nicer still then the Scottish Rite location I blogged about a few weeks ago. Beyond the immaculate cleanliness and “newness” feeling to everything, it had a very airy architecture sprinkled liberally with technology and relaxing “aquatic” artwork (aquariums, water sculptures, etc.). I shudder to think of the cost.

The lobby, if you can even call it that, was pure child nirvana showing not one, not two, but THREE different kids programs on different TVs. See if you can spot them all below.

Egleston Waiting Room

Egleston Waiting Room

As we sat waiting (not long mind you), I noticed a funny looking room off to the side: it had open glass, 7 or so microphones, and various pictures and posters on the wall. My curiosity got the best of me, it was clearly a studio of some sort, but what was it doing in a hospital?

Seacrest Studios

Mystery Room

Well it turned out it was a studio donated by Mr. American Idle himself, Ryan Seacrest (kindof obvious in retrospect, but it was so out of place for me in that context). Apparently they use it for various interviews with celebrities and fund raising events for the hospital. I of course asked what celebrities they’ve seen – most are sports stars I wouldn’t know (not because they aren’t famous, but because I’m lame and don’t watch sports), but they also had a recent interview with…

…wait for it…

the “Biebs” himself, hunky teenage heartthrob Justin Bieber. OMG LOL OMG TTYL! Life is just  TOO good!

So Justin Bieber you say? Well that was just too much to resist, so I had to get Fiona’s picture in front of his cardboard likeness. I’m sure she will grow up to have absolutely no clue who this is, and my what a shame that would be…

Fiona and Biebs

Fiona and Biebs

Celebrity gawking aside, we were soon escorted to our own private room by way of the “butterfly” elevator. Apparently the Wonka Glass Elevator was out of service today.

We soon got down to serious business. Since Fiona is so young, she had to be sedated for the procedure. We watched a short Simpsons-like “so you’re about to be sedated”  video, and then the nurses prepared Fiona for her IV. Mom and the nurses were fantastic, but clearly this was not Fiona’s favorite part of the day.

Wait a minute!

Wait a minute!

Humor aside, I won’t lie: it was pretty sad watching your baby get sedated. You feel so powerless to help your child, and worried silly something will go wrong. The staff, though, was fantastic at setting us at ease and assuring us she was in the best of hands.

Mom holding sedated Fiona

Mom holding sedated Fiona

They soon took away Fiona in a gurney to get the MRI done. We were not allowed to follow, which was probably for the best, so we had about an hour to kill. The nurses gave us two options: we could hang out in our private room (which had cable TV, of course), or we could walk around the hospital and they’d call us when it was time to come back.

We chose to walk around – first grabbing some lunch at the cafeteria. The food was decent by hospital standards, and far better then the Northside cafeteria I frequented during the delivery. Eliza was also in heaven as they had Chick-Fil-A sandwiches.

We had more time to kill, so then strolled around the hospital garden. Yep, the hospital garden. The flowers smelled quite nice.


Egleston Garden

By this time Eliza was rightfully abusing me for taking so many pictures, but I had to joke since we hardly get out of the house now, this was the closest thing we’ve had to a vacation in 12 months. Kindof a funny commentary on how much our lives have changed over the last year.

As we returned, Fiona was soon carted back in. The procedure went great, but we won’t get the results for 3-5 days. Sorry for those who’ve read this far looking for the results, but you’ll have to come back to hear more.

Fiona woke up about 10 minutes later, and we were able to go home probably 20 minutes after that. As I’m writing this now, she’s continuing to sleep in the corner. A traumatic 5 hour day at the hospital for little miss Fiona, but all is well and she’s sleeping it off now.

More to come on Wednesday when Fiona gets fitted for hearing aids. The busy week continues…

10 thoughts on “MRI Day

  1. Amanda

    You guys seriously crack me up! Glad you are mixing some humor in with the serious stuff! Sounds like of the three of you, Mark was most impressed by the Biebs connection. LOL! BTW – I know firsthand how it feels to watch your kid get sedated… not fun at all. What a journey you guys are on! Can’t wait to read the hospital reviews…

  2. eewiza

    Amanda, it was awful!! I am so glad the MRI is over. It was completely heartbreaking when they put that IV in (I think its the loudest I’ve heard Fiona cry) and of course the sedation part was awful. I mean everything went as smoothly as you could hope for…I just wish she didn’t have to go thru that. I guess its good that she won’t remember it when she is older. And a week prior she had blood drawn at Egleston as well. This should be the hardest part for a while. No hospital visits in the near future. The important thing is that the procedure went well and Fiona is fine and it is over. Its so tough seeing your baby cry in pain. 😦

  3. Julie

    Poor Fiona had a rough day. I am sure that had to be a really hard for both of you as well. I enjoyed the humor that you worked into the post and of course the pictures. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

  4. Kristi

    I’m sorry you guys didn’t get the results today. I was afraid that might happen but was hoping they had told you otherwise. The waiting is the worst part! I’m glad you had such a great experience at Egleston, we love it there too. Well, as much as you can love a hospital. 🙂 I’ll be thinking about you guys while you wait to get the results, praying you get the answers you are hoping for!

    1. Eliza

      Thank you so much Kristi! I kind of knew going into it today that they would need to send the info to the ENT first. Then he would need to call us and let us know the results. I just forgot to tell that nice piece of info to Mark, haha!! I do hope this week goes by quickly so that we aren’t twiddling our thumbs waiting for the results. Please be a candidate for CI, please be a candidate for CI. Can’t wait to meet up with you in ATL soon!

  5. Aunt Florence

    Please don’t make Fiona a fan of Beiber. He doesn’t act so nice most of the time. Come on, you really don’t watch sports, Mark? No Red Sox Nation or Patriots? Praying for an easy day for Fiona on Wednesday.

    1. Mark Isham Post author

      lol, i do try to catch a celtics game from time to time, but its far between. Then again, married to a Georgia Bulldog its hard to avoid college football season, especially when there’s beer involved 🙂

  6. Chad Meisner

    Hey guys…been following when I can and caught this last post regarding Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta(CHOA). Stephanie, my wife, has been a Pediatric ICU nurse for over 15years at CHOA and has many great friends…including doctors, specialists, etc. I can’t say enough good things about the hospital, staff, etc., as I think they are one of the best in the country! Stephanie would be glad to talk to you both about what you’re going through, the hospitals, etc. etc. etc. We should have you over sometime soon for dinner, drinks, etc. It’s overdue anyway!
    Steph has moved on to a research position and is actually interviewing today for a management role at CHOA, but she still has all her contacts and would be happy to share.
    As a side note…not that it’s a comparison at all….but Ava, our youngest, has to have tubes put in her ears when she was very young. Everything worked out fine and the ENT physician we used was amazing! Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still there.

    P.S. No comment on the Beiber, except that my wife got a pic when he was there and was told that he made the kids wait over an hr. before he came out of his trailer.


    1. Mark Isham Post author

      Hi Chad, thanks for the reply and the nice words. I didn’t know that about Stephanie, that’s awesome to hear! We also have a good friend who works at Egleston as well, so she’s been very helpful in giving us the low-down. I agree, excellent hospital system. I’ve been very impressed.

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