I have to say that I couldn’t have hoped for Little Red’s MRI to have gone any better. Partially due to my own less than desirable experience with this particular hospitals anesthesia department, I was more than a bit anxious. However, during my meeting with the director of anesthetics several weeks ago, I was repeatedly assured that pediatric anesthetists are in a completely different ball park. But, enough about that. It was still extremely vomit provoking in the lead up to the procedure simply because it was happening to our child.
I think with any medical situation there can be a certain feeling of helplessness and vulnerability and both Hubby and I agreed that we could probably cope much better if it was one of us adults. I dunno’. It was just a big day after a big couple of years. But, like I said, it was handled fantastically well and the staff were very sensitive towards me (and I’m assuming, parents in general).
We arrived early (around 7am) and after filling in various paperwork, was admitted to a day ward. There were a few other babies around the eighteen month mark also having MRI’s, although I did notice theirs were all booked in for thirty minute intervals and Little Red’s was for an hour.
We had a chat with the anesthetic nurse around 8:30am. Then, about 9:30am it was our turn to walk down to where the MRI would take place. I held Little Red and Hubby followed with Copperhead in the pram. He couldn’t come in because there wasn’t room in the small waiting bay and we were already warned that only one of us could be there when the anesthetic was administered. So it was just my girl and I from this point onward.
In my previous post I told you incorrectly that her whole body would be scanned, when it was actually just her brain and spine. I had misunderstood our pediatrician so it was explained to me by the radiologist that a whole body scan isn’t ever really done because it would take a LONG time. However, as part of her brain scan the ocular pictures her ophthalmologist requested would be included.
ADMINISTERING THE ANESTHETIC
There were two anesthetist nurses doing the checklist like asking names, date of birth and what the MRI is scanning. The anesthetist, Doctor Kim, then arrived. She, well they, all had such an approachable and professional demeanor. Kim put me at ease instantly, again explained the procedure and what I could expect. Then it was time…
Little Red had been playing with my keys so I let her continue to do so while I sat in a chair holding her in a half sitting position. While Kim held the tube that would attach the face mask near LR’s mouth we all sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and did the hand movements. Itsy Bitsy Spider followed and Kim told me I would begin to smell the gas. She jokingly assured me that it wouldn’t affect me otherwise she’d be asleep all day!
The mask was put on the tube and held next to LR’s mouth. I was pre-warned that I would probably have to hold LR’s hands down but she only did one big body jerk and then the mask was put on. Apparently she would have been “pretty bombed” at this point and then it was only a matter of seconds before she was purring like a walrus in her usual snoring way. (Don’t worry, I remembered to get my metal keys off her!)
She was moved fairly quickly to the bed that was adjacent to us. Kim at the head. It was quite confronting seeing her lying down like that. I expected her to look like she was sleeping but she actually just looked limp and unconscious. It wasn’t nice.
You did really well. Now give her a big kiss… We’re going to take really good care of her.”
I kissed her soft cheek gently a few times and tried to hold back the tears. The nurse opened the curtain and an MRI guy had been waiting to escort me back to the corridor to wait. He asked me if I was okay and reiterated again that I did really well. His demeanor was amazingly lovely. He spoke to me really kindly and clearly about where I could wait and where my baby would be in recovery.
My heart was beating hard in my chest and as I exited the MRI area Hubby was there waiting with Copperhead. I started to softly cry as he gave me a big hug.
WAITING / MRI
After Hubby and I had composed ourselves outside of the MRI/X-RAY area, we walked to get a coffee. We decided to treat Copperhead to her very first babychino, because we feel it’s important to also have special individual moments with our other children. We didn’t want the day to be all about Little Red (even though it kinda’ was) because her sister was having a big day at the hospital too.
As I clutched my phone, we did laps of the hospital. I’m not normally a phone person, I keep it in my bag most of the time so it was a horrible feeling holding it in my hands, knowing it was because if anyone called I was probably needed urgently. Waiting is always one of the hardest parts, isn’t it?
We found ourselves outside of the recovery area a few minutes before we were told to get there. It was absolute torture waiting to be collected. Kim came to tell me everything had gone well and that it probably wouldn’t be long until I could go in. Half an hour easily passed and it was agonizingly slow. I practically ran in there when I was finally called!
Little Red was only just stirring when I arrived by her bed in the recovery area. The nurse quickly greeted me and I immediately started talking to my baby. I asked if I could pick her up and soon enough she was in my arms. LR snuggled in and I stroked her head and told her “mummy’s here”.
She was pretty dozy for about half an hour and went between having a brief look around to resting on my chest. Then it was time for her apple juice.
Now, the girls have never had juice before so you can imagine LR’s eyes when she tasted it. It was seriously like it was the best thing ever and how could I have been holding out on her?!
After about forty minutes in recovery we made our way back to the ward. As we exited I passed her over to her daddy and they were both beyond thrilled to be reunited.
We were warned by several medical staff that LR might be off her food for the rest of the day. Instead she actually wolfed down the lunch I had packed her and had a couple of bowls on the go at the same time! She then polished off a yogurt and soon after, her extra large milk bottle!
We were discharged after two hours of observations which was awesome. The girls were two hours past their nap time and severely over it, so the last half an hour was pretty tough going trying to keep them calm and/or occupied.
The girls slept, but not for as long as we’d hoped. Actually it was around ten minutes after Hubby and I had climbed in to bed for a quick snooze ourselves that the cherubs woke. I don’t think either of us had drifted off before the chatting and tiny cries started.
It was a very long day indeed.