Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Jenelle had her MRI today. It was a very long day, but overall she tolerated it very well, and she was just perfect! Though Jenelle was a trooper, the day wasn't flawless. I'm a firm believer that the many prayers and positive thoughts everyone has been giving Jenelle helped our luck today.

The whole event started the night before when I tried to keep Jenelle awake as long as possible, and fed her a large meal at around 10:30 p.m. The pre-op instructions said that she could not have any "solids" after 3:30 a.m., and nothing at all after 7:30 a.m. I put her to bed at 11:00 p.m., and woke up at 3:00 a.m. to give her a bottle of formula. My goal in keeping her up that late was so that she would sleep most of the morning time when we couldn't feed her. It worked like a charm. I also woke her up at 7:00 a.m., and gave her a few ounces of pear juice - she was so sleepy, she didn't even take the whole bottle.

We arrived at St. Joseph Outpatient Pavilion and checked in at 9:30. Jenelle's MRI was scheduled for 11:00 a.m., but for whatever reason, we had to be there at 9:30. She was starting to wake when I approached the front desk at 11:00 to find out what was keeping them from calling her back. Apparently our room had been given to another child in need, and we were next on the list. Soon we were taken back to another waiting area to wait for a nurse to come out to give us some details. As this small waiting room began to fill up with other patients that were waiting behind us, we realized something was wrong. Soon the nurse came out to tell us that the MRI machine was broken, but that they had a repair person there who could hopefully fix it. Jenelle was awake at this point, but not fussy, so we opted to wait a little longer.

Another half hour later, the nurse came out to tell us that they were still working on the machine. At this point we asked her to look into what appointment times we could get if we rescheduled. The two other patients behind us were older (ages 3 and I think around 7), but they too were getting hungry. Another half hour and the nurse came to tell us the machine needed another repair person, and we would have to reschedule. At this point, even if the machine were fixed, we lost the anesthesiologist for the day. The nurse went back into the room again to get the schedule, and then returned to tell us they had an opening across the street at St. Joseph's Hospital, and they would take Jenelle and one other patient immediately. What a relief!

We then walked across the street to the hospital, and they took Jenelle into the pre-op room to prepare her for the anesthesia. We gave them some history, changed her into a gown, signed information forms for both Brett and I, and then took off all of our metal jewelry - apparently the MRI uses magnetics, and you can't have any metal on at all, or it might come flying off. The Anesthesiologist spoke with us briefly about the procedure, and said we could be with her when he used a gas mask to put her to sleep, but that we had to leave as they administered her IV. The IV was necessary not for anesthesia, but to pump diagnostic fluid into her so that her vascular system would show up on the MRI. We were told this was an important tool when searching for tumors. He also warned me that with her chubby arms and legs, it might be difficult to find a vein.

I held Jenelle as we walked her into the room and placed her onto the MRI machine. The doctor held a mask over her face, and she tried to wiggle away, but eventually she fell asleep with her eyes partially open. Brett and I then left to wait for the doctor to get us once the MRI was complete. After about 40 minutes, we were taken to the recovery area, where Jenelle was alert and cranky. The anesthesiologist told me to hold her because her smelling me and feeling me so close would help her to calm down. They told us the anesthesia would make her cranky for about a half hour, but then she would settle down and be sleepy the rest of the day. I gave her a bottle and once they removed her IV, she was calm and no longer crying. I asked the doctor if they had a difficult time trying to find her vein, and he just smiled and said, "yes"... apparently, from the marks on her arms and legs, it took about 5 pokes to finally find a vein. Fortunately this was done after she was asleep. Once she was released, we took her home and she ate again 2 hours later and went to bed early that evening. I expected her to wake up that night, but she slept though the night and into the late morning the next day.

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