Friday, September 3, 2010

Things were going so well...

Things were going so well yesterday morning.

After waking him from a sound sleep, I reminded Drew that he was not going to school, but we were to spend the day at All Children's Hospital for his follow-up MRI and second appointment with the neursurgeon (about his recently diagnosed Chiari Malformation... a malformation of the base of his brain).

He got dressed calmly and seemed at peace with what lay ahead. Knowing full well that our little boy did not like needles (Drew made a lasting impression at the radiology center we went to in July when it took four adults to hold our panicked, screaming child to the gurney while they inserted an IV for sedation), I was pleased that he seemed so emotionally stable.

We made small talk in the car as our family of four traveled south on the interstate toward the hospital. And while we checked in and completed paperwork, Drew enjoyed an episode of Phineas and Ferb on the waiting room's television.

Things were going so well...

And then our son's name was called. I stood up to take him back while Daddy offered to stay in the lobby with Miss M. As we passed through the enormous double doors that led down a stark hallway, I heard the distinct whine of panic setting in. By the time we got to a room, Drew was in shambles. Sobbing hysterically, he began clawing, clinging and begging. The sweet nurse tried to reassure him. I tried to redirect him. Nothing worked. So, between his hysterical pleas to go home and his 587 questions about what the nurse was doing every time she moved a muscle, we managed to get an IV needle placed and taped to his arm.

Because of a backup in the MRI lab, we were sent (Drew in his little scrubs) back out to the lobby until a machine became available. This was a good time to regroup with Daddy and Megan and calm down a bit. The baby was toddling around the waiting area, as doctors, nurses, and hospital staff oohed and ahhed over her pig tails and chunky thighs.

Things were going so well...

And then a familiar odor caught our attention. I tried to pawn diaper-changing duty off on my poor husband (after all, Drew and I could be called back for his MRI at any moment), and it almost worked until I realized that I had neglected to pack a single solitary diaper in my bag. I had formula, bottles, wipes, a change of clothes, various toys, several snack selections, and a few good books, but NO diapers.

So, I sent Daddy to the gift shop where he said he'd seen several baby-related necessities early. He was sure that they'd have diapers, too. "Size 4!" I called out after him, and then turned back to tend to my 2 kids.

They were busily playing together near the big wall recognizing all the important benefactors of the hospital.

Things were going so well...

Until I noticed a little something on the floor next to my squatting toddler. "Oh NO!" I thought. "It can't be!" But it was. The contents of her diaper had exceeded it's capacity and were now contaminating the pristine, sterile floors of the hospital's busy thoroughfare.

I quickly grabbed wipes and began to clean up the floor and my child, fervently praying that the deliverer of diapers would be back soon. At that exact moment, I looked up with relief to see my husband walking back toward me. The relief quickly disappeared when I noticed that he was empty-handed.

"They didn't have size 4. They had size 5 diapers with overnight protection. Do you think that will work?"

A few hours later, I realized how close my husband came in that moment to losing a limb. Surely he could surmise from my position on all fours, wiping the floor with baby wipes and holding my 23 lb toddler awkwardly upside-down over one shoulder that pretty much ANYTHING would be better than the current situation. I think I actually responded with, "Size 5 will be fine!"

Once the baby was cleaned up and changed, we went back toward our waiting room where we listened to some beautiful piano music and watched a little more t.v. Drew had settled down nicely with all the distractions of the lobby.

Things were going so well...

And then our pager went off, summoning us back to the MRI station. Within milliseconds, Drew was a basketcase again. Hysterical, sobbing, clinging and clawing his way up my body, he challenged my deepest resolve to maintain some semblance of authority and order while speaking with the kind, sympathetic anesthesiologist. Seeing what a mess my child was, she asked me to carry him to the doors of the imaging room and hold him while they administered the sedative that would put him, mercifully, into a deep sleep. He clung to me, all the while asking the doctors the same questions over and over again... shouting them directly into my ear as I did my best to hold him still. I couldn't see if they were anywhere NEAR getting the medication pushed through the IV, but I finally felt his little body go limp. I breathed a sigh of relief as I handed him over to the wonderful staff so they could take pictures of his spinal cord and brain.

And I headed out to join the rest of my family in the main lobby. We had several hours to kill and enjoyed a nice quiet lunch at the cafeteria, followed by a walk through the gift shop (I can pretty much find a reason to shop anywhere at any time apparently). Then we let Miss M have the run of the corridors. She took full advantage of the wide open spaces, stumbling around while carrying my cell phone up to her head. She was adorable and an amazing distraction as we waited.

Drew came out of his anesthesia like a champ. A loopy champ who'd maybe been hit around the head a little too much, but a champ nonetheless. He got Gatorade in the color of his choice and a Coca Cola flavored ICEE when we left the radiology department. We made perfect time in order to get to his appointment with the neurosurgeon.

Once we arrived and checked in with neurosurgery, we were immediately ushered back to a room where Drew was offered a root beer flavored lollipop (his favorite!) by an incredibly nice physician's assistant. It wasn't long until the doctor came in to speak with us. We caught him up on Drew's symptoms since we'd seen him last and let him know that, despite some headaches, frequent urination and tingling in his extremities,

things were going so well.

Unfortunately, Drew's MRI images (taken only an hour before) were already up on the doctor's computer screen. And his findings were, in his words, "Worrisome" and "Concerning". The bottom line was that our boy needs surgery to correct his Chiari Malformation. And he needs it relatively soon.

We received a lot of details about what his malformation was affecting, how it could best be resolved, and when they would like to get it done.

We are looking to schedule the surgery sometime between late September and early November. And after about a six week total recovery period, we are really looking forward to things going well again sometime soon!


Christy said...

Oh Jenny... I am praying so hard. It feels like it's happening to my own daughter after them being friends for so long and so close in age. Does this mean that he could be fine after surgery? I have been wondering that and praying so! Also, do NOT take Megan with you to any of these appointments again. You can leave her with me - I'm right on the way to the hospital. I don't mind at all and I know how crazy it can get already without a baby along!!!! There are angels all around your sweet boy right now, protecting him and caring for him. I'm sure you are being able to feel His presence in new ways as He cares for YOU too!

Amber said...

Jenny, I will be praying!!

Anonymous said...

Dr Barth Green is tops in Florida

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love your courageous, handsome astronaut and cute, cute lady bug!!! How precious! We are praying for all of you, especially Andrew. Thank you for the update. We love you all.
Mom and Dad


We were at the hospital all day and were looking for you. Sorry I missed you and butterball...oh i mean buttercup...while you were shopping! I had the same MRI meltdown problem with Shakira who weighs almost should have seen the big, burly, "holder" they brought in for her when she had her MRI of the brain. I still get the giggles thinking about him.It goes without saying that we are diligently praying for Drew and i am so thankful this was discovered NOW and not when it became emergent which obviously it would have in the future. PS... The poo on the floor? Classic.

Two Shades of Pink said...

So I had to tell you about Cati's prayer tonight. We were eating dinner explaining Andrew's surgery the best way we could regarding his brain that is located in his head...oh dear this was taxing... but told her we need to be praying for her friend Andrew's head, his surgery, and for God to take care of him. Here is tonight's prayer straight from Cati's lips:

Dear God, please take care of my friend Andrew. He doesn't feel good. He needs to go to the doctor and have a short (we think this is surgery)...long pause...He needs to be able to get in the water and stick his head up and swim in the water with the alligators. In Jesus name. Amen.

Maybe prophetic? Like The Crocodile Hunter? Dunno. But it reached the Throne of Grace and I am betting there were chuckles. We are praying sweet friend and we love you!

Lisa said...

I found your blog after you visited mine. My son is also not a big fan of needles (when he has to get routine shots, he screams so loudly that I'm sure he scares other kids in the waiting room). I'm sorry the day was so hectic, and I'll be praying for Drew and for all of y'all. I hope he can have the surgery soon, and that it goes as well as possible.