Monday, July 28, 2008

Trystan's MRI

Friday was strange. I woke Trystan up at 4:30 in the morning, fed him a bowl of oatmeal, and put him back to bed. He was scheduled for an MRI to check for a tethered spinal cord at noon, and couldn't have any solid food after 5am. Then, clear liquids only until 9, and then nothing until after the procedure.

Withholding food wasn't as horrific as I feared. I had to keep him playing either upstairs in the bedrooms (he loves doing laundry), or in the basement play area (he loves the bounce house). If we stayed on the main floor, then he would probably have helped himself to a snack from the pantry. He is especially fond of raisins lately, and even carries the box to the kid-sized table to eat it. Did I mention that he's a climber?

He told me a couple of times that he was hungry, but was pacified by, well, a pacifier. And we left around 10:30, so it wasn't that long that he had to wait. The drive to Children's was a little surreal. One of the local radio stations was hosting a charity event and were playing Christmas music all day, and introducing themselves as The Christmas Station. July 25th. Christmas in July. (though why don't we say "Christmas in June", as June is 6 months from Christmas...July is a 7/5 split...makes no sense to me...)

The procedure center at Childrens was running a little behind, and so Trystan played with every toy in their cupboard at least twice. He even got to color with crayons (only a little got on the sheets to the hospital bed, I swear), and helped me to fill out a parent questionaire. (Did you see the yellow zig-zag? That was Trystan answering "No" to the question about metal plates in his head...).

Trystan had to be sedated, and because it is always hard to find his veins, they put him under with gas before attempting to start an IV. At that point, I was handed a pager and sent to the cafeteria to wait. Oddly, enough, the cafeteria was also celebrating Christmas in July, with a menu of roast turkey and mashed potatoes. I had pizza.

It was a little strange pushing around a stroller with no kid in it, but I wasn't the only one. I had a brief conversation with another mom whose son was there to see the surgeons (not Trystans, but one of the others in the same office), and who had been through the MRI for tethered chord. He had a different overall set of issues, but it was nice to share quick anecdotes. Her little boy wasn't expected to walk at all, but three months after getting leg braces walked into their neurologist's office on his own power. Kids are awesome.

Trystan awoke from the sedation very quickly. That is to say, he was sound asleep one moment, and wide awake the next. Wide awake and quickly divesting himself of all extraneous paraphanalia, like the oxygen tube in his nose, the pusle-ox meter on his thumb, and his IV. Luckily they had the IV taped down well, because I know from experience how much those things bleed when you pull them out too fast.

I was given instructions to not allow him to drive or operate heavy machinery, and to make sure he had fluids. He was only a little wobbly on his feet at first, and did not apreciate the fruit-punch flavored pedialyte. It was better in his own sippy cup, but still sub-optimal. He dumped most of it out in the car, in his carseat--his butt was wet and fruity when we got home. We left fairly soon after he woke up. If it were up to Trystan, he would have walked out a lot sooner--he kept trying to escape out the door while I was gathering our stuff up.

We don't have the results yet. Someone will call us, or our pediatrician, "soon". If the department is as timely with following up on test results as they were about scheduling, we might find out by Christmas. It's only 5 months away, after all.

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