Tuesday, January 3, 2017

An MRI and the North End

Back over the summer, Anna's neurosurgeon ordered a new baseline MRI of her brain/shunt.  The previous baseline was almost eight years old and if she should have headaches or other symptoms of a shunt malfunction, an updated image of her shunt would be helpful for diagnosis.  The original baseline from eight years ago was actually a CT scan and not an MRI, and I remember a discussion regarding an MRI versus a CT scan.  Because Anna was so young, a parent with her to comfort and assist is helpful.  Because I have a dental implant, there was a question of whether or not I could accompany her during an MRI.

We'd been trying to set up this new MRI for months and the way it works sounds antiquated but apparently that's how these MRIs are scheduled.  We couldn't just call the MRI department of the hospital and ask for an appointment.  The assistant for Anna's neurosurgeon had to contact MRI and wait for them to get back to her with a date and time.  She would then mail us an information sheet with the appointment on it.  We were trying to schedule it for a day where she wouldn't miss school.  She hasn't really missed any school this year so it's not a matter of missed days adding up.  She views missing school for appointments as some sort of punishment so we try to avoid it, if possible.  The first appointment sheet arrived via snail mail.  The date given was December 17th (a Saturday) and I thought for sure that it was a typo.  It wasn't but unfortunately, we had to ask to reschedule because it was at the same time as the Christmas party for Rich's side of the family.  The next appointment sheet arrived with two days after Christmas listed.  Yes!  Not only would we avoid a missed day of school but Rich had already taken the day off from work and I wouldn't have to worry about my tooth.

The jury's still out on whether or not I can accompany Anna during an MRI.  The woman who checked us in wasn't very easy to understand and had a hospital gown with metal snaps on it for Anna to wear.  She made a call and they told her to go with it, seeing as there wasn't time to find a substitute gown.  Later, Rich told me the metal snaps had interfered and they had had to remove the gown.  So when I told that woman I couldn't go with Anna because of a dental implant (which is listed on the information sheet she gave Rich to check out) her response was, "Eh, you'd probably be okay."  I'm not sure that's something I want to test out.

Anna was so, so brave.  When I brought her into the changing room, she began weeping and told me she was scared.  Thankfully, they took her right after that so she didn't have to sit and think about what was going to happen.  It was super quick too.  They were only gone for ten minutes.

Because her appointment was in the middle of the afternoon, we all went with her and had tentative plans to grab dinner afterwards.  It was on the warmer side for December so we decided to check out the line at Regina's, which didn't seem too long at first glance.  We waited for maybe a half hour or so - just a little bit longer than I would have liked.  They have heat lamps under the awning so you can stay warm at least for a portion of your wait.  That pizza is so very delicious.








(Not bad for handheld.)


BreezieGirl said...

Glad the MRI was quick! I'm so surprised they gave her a gown with snaps. My sister had to have several MRIs (and later surgeries) on her hips as a teenager and we learned quickly how to avoid the gowns (sports bras without clasps and workout apparel).

Anonymous said...

Did Anna's shunt require resetting after the MRI?

Sarah said...

No shunt revision. All is good right now. If her shunt malfunctions, they will know what her brain looked like when all was good.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you understood. My son has a programmable vp shunt which needs to be reset by his surgeon after MRIs. Does Anna have a different type?

Sarah said...

Oh, sorry. No, her shunt is not programmable. No reset.