Wednesday, March 24, 2010

MRI, Episode II: The Wrath of Kid

Nolan, playing with his "prize."

We started our day at 6:00am, waking Matt early to feed him before Nolan awoke. Then we woke Nolan, gave him his Nexium and a small amount of diluted apple juice, and headed up to the hospital. Check-in was uneventful, though Nolan howled at the indignity of the medical bracelet around his ankle.

Buffalo Children's has always been an "easy" hospital for us, because they have always had a "siblings allowed" policy. With no family in the area to watch Matthew, it has always been a policy we loved. Unfortunately, they changed their policy- and failed to notify us. Upon check-in, we were told that Matt and Dennis would have to stay in the lobby area. If we had known about the policy change, Matt and Dennis would have stayed home, because Buffalo Children's is the least "child friendly" hospital in the world, as far as facilities go. The lobby area has nowhere to wait- no chairs, no waiting room... nothing. The waiting room is on the second floor, where siblings are not allowed to go. For the record, they also have no changing tables in the bathrooms: if you need to change your child during a clinic visit, the dirty tile floor or the chairs in the waiting room are the only available space. There is a small cafeteria, and Dennis was prepared to stay there for the entire day with Matt.

Don't get me wrong- I totally understand the policy in the wake of the latest flu season. I just wish we had been made aware of the policy change prior to arriving with the entire family in tow! Next time, I'll handle Nolan on my own and Dennis will stay home with Matt.

I headed up to the 9th floor with Nolan, and he began to scream. He was upset at being separated from Matt, and hysterically yelled, "WHERE MATTHEW?" at the top of his lungs. There were several other families on that floor with siblings in tow, which was a tad frustrating- apparently we were the only ones to get singled out for this new rule. He continued screaming for so long that they couldn't get good vitals on him. His O2 levels wouldn't go above 95% and his blood pressure was high. The nurse got us a small private room (he was frightening the other children) and called Dennis. Then she phoned security and told them to allow Dennis and Matt to the same-day surgery ward. In a few minutes Matt and Dennis arrived, which calmed Nolan considerably.

Our MRI was scheduled at 11:00am, but things were a bit delayed. We were brought down to radiology at about 11:45, and Nolan began to really freak out in that area. This area is the waiting room for his most unpleasant procedures: the VCUG after his painful PUV ablation surgery, and the upper GI which required an NG tube. Luckily, they didn't hold us there for long, and moved us into the MRI waiting area for the duration of our wait.

We talked to the anesthetist and to the MRI technician, and then I brought Nolan to the MRI machine to be sedated. He cried, but fell asleep quickly with the gas. I left the room, and we all went to the surgical waiting area until he was done.

45 minutes later, I was called back to the waiting area. "Mad as a wet hen" is an understatement for Nolan's mood. No one has witnessed such wrath from a two year old before. He was screaming, writhing, and pushing himself away from the nurse trying to soothe him. This was the same nurse we have had for prior procedures, so at least she recognized him.

We had to stay in the recovery area for about 20 minutes. She explained that they had to fully intubate Nolan during the MRI (I never found out if this was because he quit breathing, or if it was preemptive because of the central apnea). With a sore throat and the IV attached, he was an unhappy camper. We got him some apple juice, and he started screaming, "I want my HEARING!"

I had given Dennis his hearing aids prior to going into the MRI room (no electronics are allowed near the MRI machine). The nurse went into the waiting room to hunt down Nolan's "hearing." From Nolan's perspective, being in a scary, painful environment with diminished hearing must have been terrifying. We got his hearing aids in, and he calmed down a little. He still yelled at any nurse that happened to walk by, just to let them know he was still angry. The nurse in the curtained area next to us had to stay behind her curtain, or else Nolan would wail in protest.

We did have to go to the 9th floor for about an hour after the procedure for monitoring. Luckily, the room already had cartoons on the TV and the nurse brought both boys popsicles. It is amazing how a popsicle can erase toddler-anger instantly. 1 hour, a "Coobie-Doobie*" sticker, and two popsicles later, we were allowed to leave the hospital.

Dennis and I were STARVING (Nolan was pretty hungry, too), so we headed to the Olive Garden for a belated lunch/early dinner. Then we went to the mall to ride the escalators (hey, it's cheaper than Disneyland) and to buy Nolan his prize: a kid-sized hockey stick.

I'm not too fond of the idea that we get to repeat this entire scene in three weeks. Luckily, the recovery room nurse is on duty that day and will request Nolan to her area. This will be nice, because he sort of "knows" her and familiarity helps to keep things calm.

It will be about a week before the results are available. I am pretty sure they'll be normal (considering the normal MRI when he was 11 months old), but getting the official "normal" report will be reassuring. Until then, we are playing outside and enjoying the fresh spring air!

*Coobie-Doobie is "Scooby Doo" in Nolanese.


Herding Grasshoppers said...

You deserve a Mommy Endurance Trophy, Leah!

Glad it's over... for now.

Ericka said...

Wow! That's sounds like a tough day!
Miles freaks out anytime we are in a Dr.s office and we take out his hearing aids. It's like they know whats coming after the aids come out.

xraevision said...

Oooy, tough day! Your whole story sounds a bit familiar to me. I'm thinking now that booking X's MRI sooner rather than later may result in less trauma. It's amazing how cartoons, sugar and prizes make everything better.

And cute photo. X is obsessed with hockey and he's already a more skilled player than us!

Krystal said...

What a day! I am cominmg to understand the frusteration of a "normal" test. They don't help much with answers!

You are a great mom!! Enjoy spring with your sweet boys!

Julia said...

Oy ve. That sounds like about five long, hard days packed into one. Find some time for yourself this week, and recuperate a little. Long hot bubble bath?

Pattie said...

Wow. How rotten of them to single you out with the "sibling policy". At least they allowed you to break the rules (cough cough!) enough to calm him down.

Fingers crossed for more good news.....