Thursday, April 28, 2011

not so routine after all

Back in November, Kai's Cardiologist made a comment about doing an MRI "in the future" just for some more information on his heart. He'd already had a heart catheterization in 2008, which gave no indication to the cause for his cardiomyopathy and nothing further for Dr H to go on, so that was disappointing. I just wasn't expecting it to come up sooner rather than more future-thinking.

Kai was scheduled for his MRI at the end of March. Now that he's older, he tends to understand more and I need to explain procedures better. I can't just say he's seeing the doctor and leave it at that anymore! So I tried to let him know that it was a rather simple test, it wouldn't hurt, he wouldn't even be touched by anything, he was just going to be put to sleep for it. I think that caused him concern though, because he kept asking about that. Why would he be sleeping? How would they put him to sleep? Would he wake up during the testing? Questions like that. Both Hunny and I have had MRI's (for his knee and my back pain years ago) so we told him how they worked like a more detailed X-ray machine, except you were in a box for a long time and couldn't move. (Sleeping through it would've been a great option for me!)

The day before his procedure, I had to take Kai in for a meeting with the anesthesiologist. He was excited to be missing school and I was feeling anxious! I remembered his surgery over two years ago and how I almost passed out as they put him to sleep! I was keenly aware it could happen again, and felt nervous about the day of his exam. I didn't expect I'd react upon meeting the anesthesiologists! They came in, we shook hands, they talked about the procedure, and I started to feel hot to the point where I could feel sweat beading on my forehead! I don't recall hearing much of what they said, as I wanted to pass out, but I remember leaving with the feeling it would be just a routine MRI: put him in the machine, take a few pictures and scans and we'd be home in a few hours.

The next morning was an early one for us, and not knowing how traffic would be on a drive into Vancouver at 6am, we left extra time for us to arrive. So, of course, we got there a good hour early! Thankfully they left us in and got us set up. The nurses told me that the whole thing would be a good 1/2 hour, then we'd be in recovery for an hour and go home. Routine. First, he had to have an X-Ray though. (not too sure why....preggo brain and all!)

I went in with Kai to see the anesthesiologists, and to keep him distracted while they put an IV into his hand. He'd already been wearing a numbing gel on them for an hour, so he really wouldn't have felt it, but neither him nor I were expecting it. I told him they'd just give him a mask to help him sleep, like they did with his catheterization. So when he noticed, he started to cry, and I started to feel woozy. How embarrassing. He's crying about it hurting and the blood is draining from my face and pooling in my ears and I'm having trouble hearing. (I've discovered the closer I am to passing out, the less I can actually hear of anything! Voices and noises sound so far away.This is quite common I guess!) I was trying to comfort him, but I had to sit down!

And that's how it all began.

I found out it wasn't so "routine" after all. I was told that they were putting him to sleep (which literally took 3 seconds after they put whatever-it-was in his IV) not to keep him still or comfortable, but because they needed to speed up his heart and slow it down for different tests, as well as getting him to hold his breath. I wondered how they'd do that, but the anesthesiologist cryptically said they "had their ways", and I'm sure that I likely didn't really want to know. According to the info sheet I was given, the MRI would be 1 1/2 hours, so already I had two different times of length.

I sat in the waiting room, had an hour nap (sortof, what I could manage in a chair in a waiting room full of other parents), wandered over to Starbucks for a snack, tried to access FB and my BBM (there was bad reception so that didn't go over well), thumbed through a few magazines and made some acquaintances. Three hours pass and I'm starting to wonder if I should be concerned. I was just about to ask at the nurses station when I was called to see Kai in the recovery room. (Usually a doctor comes to see you prior to that to let you know how it all went, so I was confused. I never did talk to anyone about the MRI, other than to hear that Kai's blood pressure dipped at the end. Not hearing anything bothered me, but hopefully I'll learn more from our own doctor.) Apparently this was a special cardiac MRI.

After a few popsicles and insisting they hadn't taken him in yet, and telling all the nurses that he missed breakfast AND lunch, Kai was allowed to go home! He was sleepy and chatty and cute and spent the rest of the day on the couch. Not that I could keep him still or resting, of course!

Now we wait. I don't know how long it takes for doctor's to get MRI results or when we'll hear from Dr H for another appointment, but it's been a month. I hope we get some answers this time. But even if we don't, I'm happy with how well Kai's been with his condition. Considering there isn't much info out there on a child with this type of cardiomyopathy, he's doing really good.


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