My Visits to the Spina Bifida Clinic at Children’s Hospital

image1Hi! I’m a happy and healthy 10 year old girl named Amanda. I love to write, dance and ride horses. I am also learning to swim. Oh yes, and I have Spina Bifida.

I make regular visits to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and especially to the Spina Bifida Clinic. So, I have lots of experience to share with you.

Here’s my list of pros and cons of going to the hospital:

1. Having a blood test. (con)
2. Seeing the doctor you like. (pro)
3. Meeting a friend who’s at the hospital for an appointment. (pro)
4. Taking a member of your family, or a friend. (pro)
5. Having to wait for a long time before a nurse calls you, or your pager goes off. (con)
6. Having to spend a long time in the waiting room before your pager goes off. (con)
7. Having surgery. (con)
8. Seeing lots of doctors with one appointment (pro)

Now that I’ve introduced you to the pros and cons of going to the hospital I’m going to introduce you to the surgery department.

I know surgery can be scary but, it can help you deal with a problem you have in your body such as:

• Clubfoot
• Broken bones
• Tethered Cords
• Mitroffanoff Procedure

The best thing about surgery at Children’s Hospital is that your parents can stay with you through the whole time.

The Spina Bifida clinic treats patients with Spina Bifida. A check-up there is like any other check-up except the doctors you see there are trained to treat Spina Bifida patients especially. You will receive a notice of your appointment and of all the tests that will be run that day. When you get to the hospital the first thing you do is find a place to park. There are two garages. Each garage has an elevator and is handicap accessible. When you first walk in the door you’ll see that there’s a big screen labeled: Where am I?  That screen can tell you how to find each clinic. It’s a great help to people who have never been there before. The hospital looks like a fun and interesting place with area named for different animals. There are lots of interactive areas in the waiting rooms. I especially like the nurses who are so friendly and helpful. My nurse, Georgia has known me since I was a baby. She really cares about me. I like how the doctors work as a team. My parents seem to trust them. Someday, I would like to be a doctor and perhaps treat patients with Spina Bifida. My own experience will help me.