Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Our MRA Experience

The day started at 4:30 am when I got up to feed Kieran. I was told it was ok for him to eat up to an hour before we got to the hospital and I wanted to fill up his belly as much as possible so that he wouldn't be too hungry while we were waiting for the MRA.

We arrived at the outpatient surgery wing of the hospital just after 5:30 (was told to be there between 5:30 and 6,) and the intake nurse was surprised to see us. She said that most of the radiology staff wouldn't be there until 6:30 and they had Kieran scheduled at 7. We considered packing up and grabbing some breakfast, but the only place that was open was McDonlads and neither of us felt like loading up on grease, so we sat and waited. We were called back by a radiology nurse at 6:30 so that we could sign the paperwork and be ready for them to take Kiearn at 7.

While we were filling out the paperwork, the nurse asked when was the last time he ate. I told her it was around 4:30 and she paused and let us know that he shouldn't have eaten after midnight. I let her know that when the hospital called to confirm his name and insurance information, I specifically asked when was the last time he should eat and was told up to an hour before. The nurse said that she would check with the anesthesiologist to see what their recommendation would be, that there was a chance we'd have to cancel, but we'd go ahead and fill out all the forms anyways.

Around 7, we were moved back to a room in the MRI department. It was pretty sparse, just a bed, two chairs, a TV and equipment needed for monitoring vitals. Keegan and I sat down in the chairs and waited until someone told us what was going to happen. Eventually a nurse came and said that the anesthesiologist wanted to wait long enough for the food to make its way through his system which meant our 7 am appointment would have to be moved back to their next available which was at 9:30. It was inconvenient, but I'm happy they got us in at all!

The next few hours were spent trying to console a baby who was hungry, tired and cranky. Unfortunately I forgot his pacifier at home, but I thankfully brought a bottle of pumped milk for after the procedure (thinking he was going to be too groggy to nurse,) so I stuck my finger in the bottle nipple to prevent him from sucking in air, and let him suck on it. Keegan and I both walked many laps around that tiny room trying to bounce and rock him to sleep.

At 9:30, a nurse came in to get Kieran. She had us change him from his snap up PJs, to a onesie that snapped at the crotch and pants. I'm really glad I brought them because otherwise he would have had to be wrapped up in an adult hospital gown! This was the hardest part for me. We weren't allowed to go to the procedure with him, and I was afraid that he would freak out being surrounded by people he didn't know doing things to him that were scary and he couldn't understand. We kissed him goodbye and the nurse took him away. I had a mini breakdown and cried in Keegan's arms for about 30 seconds, and then we sat down to wait.

We were told the procedure would take about 20 minutes and then he would have to spend some time in the surgery recovery room to make sure he was coming out of the sleeping medications ok. 20 minutes passed. Then 40. Then an hour. We started getting worried and wondered what was going on. After an hour and a half, a nurse came in to tell us that he had just gotten out of the MRA and that he was in the recovery room doing well. They had to wait until he was awake enough to cry for a while and then they would bring him down to us.

Another half hour passed and we finally heard the wheels of his bed rolling down the hall. The nurses had "swaddled" him up in a huge heated blanket and his little head was poking out the top. I wish I had gotten a picture, he looked so tiny! He was making these little whimpering noises, ones that resembled the noises a young puppy makes. His eyes were shifting everywhere, kind of like he couldn't focus on anything. We knelt down to his level, spoke softly, and gave him lots of kisses. He was still hooked up to an IV and what I think was a pulse ox machine, so the nurses had to unhook him before we could pick him up. The only time I really heard him cry was when the nurse had to take the tape off his hand that held the IV.

We were told that we had to stick around until he could prove that he could swallow. We took out a bottle of pumped milk and tried to get him to eat. He had a poor latch because he was falling in and out of sleep, and he kept trying to breathe while he ate which caused him to choke and sputter. We did a lot of burping because he was full of gas and after a while, he eventually ate an ounce out of the bottle. I also let him breastfeed for a few minutes because I was horribly engorged after not feeding for almost 9 hours.

After we were discharged, we packed everything up and left around 12:45. We stopped for lunch because Keegan and I hadn't eaten yet, then headed home. Kieran slept during lunch and the entire ride home, but then woke up once we were home to eat. He eventually became more alert and gave us some smiles, but he was pretty quiet all day. He went to bed early around 8 and passed out immediately.

Thankfully the preliminary results show nothing is wrong in his brain. We haven't spoken to his doctor yet, so we're not sure what the next step will be. Overall, the entire experience wasn't as bad as I expected, but it's not something I want to have to go through again. Thank you all for your thoughts and well wishes!


  1. I'm so glad that so far things look good! Continued prayers! It's horrible to have to stand by while this sort of thing is going on with your child! you're doing amazing, hang in there!

  2. What a long day in the medical system! You guys are troopers. Thankful the prelims look good and hope for more good news from the doc.

  3. Hoping things continue to look good! The thought of him with a tiny little IV in his hand broke my heart, but I admit I chucked at the thought of him in a great big blanket on a gurney. Big hugs and much love to you guys! xx

  4. You have way more patience than me. I would have been flipping out before the procedure even started due to all the misinformation! So glad to hear that it looks okay so far!

  5. ugh, so heart breaking that you weren't able to be with him during the test! I feel like I would be chasing nurses and Dr.s down the halls demanding to see my baby, lol! I'm probably their worst nightmare. I really and hoping everything comes back ok. Hope the Dr. can put all worries to rest!

  6. We will continue to pray that everything goes well for you guys! My little guy was in the hospital in September for the Enterovirus d68 and it was awful to watch him. Then he had an EEG and an MRI two weeks ago because he was have seizure like spasms, so I know the helplessness feeling and how hard it is to watch them :( Prayers to you!

  7. what a scary thing to go through! hope all the outcomes are good love!