Max had a "routine" MRI and Pet Scan today at The Children's Hospital. Routine for Max, anyway. His neurologist wants to check and see if there are any significant changes to his brain, since his last EEG was different from so many previous ones. He's getting older, and growing, and developing. So naturally - his brain will change, and it's good to have pictures along the way.
We had to get up at crazy o'clock this morning to get ready and get down there by 7:45am for check in. We got in and back to our room, and they went right in to start his IV. Max is a notorious "hard stick". His veins roll around, so as soon as they find one and stick the needle in, it moves and they've lost that opportunity. This morning was no different, and it took 3 nurses to finally get a good on in the side of his foot.
After he was hooked up with the IV, the EEG tech put an EEG on to monitor his brain before and while they injected him with the radioactive isotope that made the picture light up for them to see the parts of the brain that were overactive.
They wheeled him back and got ready to inject him with the propofol, or general anesthesia to make sure he slept and held still for the duration of the tests. He was a Fussy Gus, but it took literally seconds for the medicine to work and he was OUT! We gathered our things and were taken to the waiting room to...wait.
While we were waiting, I got to thinking about being there. This hospital that we rely on so much for the care of our son. This hospital that has saved his life. This hospital that has become a comfort zone. This hospital where we "belong". That last one struck me as strange.
Belonging to a hospital? Feeling comfort there? Those aren't traits one usually thinks of in a place where sick children are. But for us, Children's is a place where we don't feel abnormal. Where the people we encounter actually look at our son, and talk to him, and treat him...and us...like we're normal. Maybe because they've seen it all. Maybe because they love their jobs and love to take care of children. Maybe they pump the happy gas through the halls.
When the tech came out to get Max, she introduced herself first to him, "Hi Mr. Magoo...I'm Becky! Hi Mom and Dad..let's go back and get him started.". We're always called 'Mom and Dad' from the occasional staff members/nurses/doctors we encounter. Except for by his regular doctors...they know us by name...and insist we call them by theirs. It's like we're a big group of friends working together to make him "all better"...whatever that may mean that day.
I never leave there feeling less than, or not the same as anyone else. There is never pity in the voices of the nurses or doctors. They know we don't need it, nor do we want it. There is never discouragement from trying what we think might help him. They know we know our son better than they could. There never ignore the fact that Max is a kid like any other that comes through there, and deserves the respect and admiration any other child would. It's one of the only places we go that I feel like he is truly paid attention to, and valued for who he is, no matter what his capacities in life are. And I so appreciate that.
When they were finished with both the tests, the nurse came out to the waiting room to get us. We went to the room he was in and saw a very sound asleep little guy. Oh if I could just bottle that up and take it home! I bent down to give him a kiss and he stirred awake. In usual post-anesthesia fashion, he threw quite a fit. Kicking and yelling and crying and then falling back into his drug induced sleep. It's always a funny sight to me.
They gave us our discharge papers, and instructions on what to look for throughout the day and night, as a cause for concern. Mostly a blah blah blah...you know what to look for...call us or 911 if you have to.
Then they sent us on our way with a "good bye, have a good day"...and a "Bye Bye Max, I hope you have a good rest in the car buddy!".
We got Max home and in his chair for eating and more sleeping. He's been a little nauseous today, and a little pale. Which was to be expected after the anesthesia. We should know in a couple of days if anything was unusual or alarming on the tests. Like I said in the beginning, just routine, so not expecting much in way of feedback. It's mostly just data.
I guess what this whole post is about, in it's own rambling way, is to say it's so good to have a place like Children's to take care of Max and us when we need them. And even better to not have to stay!