The week following her birthday, Lila had a MRI of her brain and neck. The main reason for the test was to rule out any problems in the neck that could be causing Lila’s head tilt. The neurologist also thought it would be good to have an MRI in her file — I guess to have something to compare with if she should ever need another one. I had major reservations about doing the test. In the month before the scheduled MRI, Lila’s head tilt all of a sudden went away one day. When she was tired it would reappear at times and there were three days where it was pretty bad, but other than that, her head control is under control. I didn’t want to put Lila through sedation just to have the images in her file. I needed to be convinced, so I called the neuro’s office several days before the MRI. An office staffer — not the doctor — called back to say he thinks we should go forward with it, because the head tilt could come back and we want to make sure everything is anatomically correct in the neck. In my heart, I knew her neck was fine.
We checked into Children’s Hospital at 7:30 a.m. The parking ramp, the walk through the skyway, past the gift shop, the smell of the hand sanitizer was all too familiar. We checked in at security and they even printed my badge using the picture they’d taken of me the day after Lila was born. Eh, not pretty! The worst part for Lila was getting an IV in her hand. I held her while she cried and two nurses poked her with the needle and wrapped it up so she couldn’t pull at it. We were with Lila right up until the started the procedure and then we had to leave. It was awful. Ten seconds after they administered the anesthesia medication, her tiny body went limp in my arms and she fell asleep. I kissed her and laid her on the table — that massive MRI machine.
An hour later, Lila was already waking up, but still a little groggy. She did great and although I was so sad for her, I enjoyed the extra cuddle time as she slowly woke up. We were taken to recovery where I rocked her in the same style of chair I did when she was in the NICU. The beeps of the same monitors and the hustle and bustle of the nurses was a bit paralyzing for me. “Can we go yet? Yes, she is drinking milk, she’s fine, can we go?” And within 20 minutes, we were back home and back on schedule. For Lila it was like nothing ever happened and she went right back to her cute happy self.
Meanwhile, I got on the phone with the neurologist’s office to find out results. “Overall, good news. Normal neck and spine and no changes to the brain from the previous ultrasounds.” But I had a few more basic questions and the woman on the phone didn’t have the answers. She’d check with the neuro and get back to me, but it would have to wait until Monday. Annoyed, but fine, I can wait until Monday and spend the weekend thinking about it.
Next time I’ll tell you about the second most insulting and offensive thing I’ve ever been told to do by a doctor … and what I did about it.