So… The MRI scan went as smooth as my legs (once I get the time to shave them).
We were running on time and I thought we would be sat around for ages because you know… hospitals.
But we were ushered straight into the ward where we were greeted by the nurse who would be looking after Pebbles and when I asked if we could have a hospital cot bed instead of just a hospital bed, she managed to order and bring the cot up within five minutes. The nurse weighed Pebbles and soon after we were introduced to the paediatrician anaesthetist, who explained the procedure.
For an MRI scan on a child, the child is usually put under a general anaesthetic other wise they would knock the child out using gas. We also filled in a load of paper work about Pebble’s allergies and general health just incase of any complications.
We were second in the queue that morning, the doctors decided the line up based on the age and the childs needs. An example of this would be if the child was diabetic and needed food quickly, that child would go in first. A child who is put under anaesthetic, must have nil by mouth from 12.00am the night before. The child may have water or juice before 6.00am but no milk. (I am lucky because Pebble’s father read the letter correctly, so he didn’t give Pebbles any juice or water after 6.00am)
A kind nurse came to put some “Magic Cream” on Pebble’s hand which numbed the skin around the area where the anaesthetist paediatrician put the general anaesthetic in, through a needle. Pebble’s did not like being woken up and examined, then cold cream put onto her little hands. Pebbles does not like different textures so being forced to have a cold mushy substance on her hand ticked her off. The nurse was kind and patient with Pebbles which set my mind at ease. I would like to add Pebbles was extremely well behaved considering the circumstances.
Just after the cream was put on, the nurse came to us and explained that the MRI machine had broken down. Which meant Pebbles could drink juice until quarter to ten but she wasn’t allowed to have any food before the MRI scan in the after noon. We were bumped up to the first on the list for the afternoon scans which meant Pebbles wouldn’t be able to eat before about 13.30pm.
Whilst we were waiting a play specialist visited us and explained that we could play in the waiting area or she could put us on the list to go and play in the “sensory room”. There is only one sensory room in the children’s hospital and only one family is allowed in per time. The list is based on the children’s needs and as Pebbles wasn’t making any fuss we just went and sat in the waiting room, which was full of toys and games.
Pebbles was also asked to provide a urine sample. There are four ways to get a urine sample;
- A small plastic bag is placed around the child’s private parts and stuck on with medical tape. This is usually used for babies.
- Some small absorbent “gauzes” are put into the nappy. These are like the make up removal dry pads you get from local stores.
- A pad is inserted into the child’s nappy and urine is squeezed out of the pad, like the gauzes.
- If the child is old enough or capable the nurse will give the mother a sample pot and would be sent to the toilet.
Because of the lack of pads in the department, the nurse attempted to use the plastic bag and put gauzes underneath in her nappy. We were afraid this wouldn’t work as Pebbles did not like a plastic back taped to her lady parts and pulled the bag off. Luckily the nurse was able to squeeze enough urine from the gauzes in her nappy, that the nurse didn’t have to go around the wards hoping they had a spare pad.
Pebbles played with me and her father in the waiting room. Pebbles grand mother had given us a lift to the hospital but stayed by the cot bed to make sure none of Pebbles things were stolen.
Pebbles father and I smoke, I am sorry if this offends fellow parents who do not smoke. We had been in hospital since 7.30AM that morning and I needed a cigarette. Pebble’s grandmother looked after her whilst we went for a cigarette. So for Mother’s who smoke, who need to take there child into hospital, try and bring some one with you. This isn’t just for smoking, it is also a good idea to have an extra pair of hands when you need the toilet or if your child has an over night stay and you need to freshen up. This also applies to having breaks, every body no matter how saintly you are needs a break. It helps when you start to get stressed out to just take a walk.
12.30AM rolled up and we were confused why the nurse hadn’t put more magic cream onto Pebbles hand because magic cream wears off after 2 hours. She explained that they would only be able to put one dose of magic cream onto her hands as it would irritate the skin. The magic cream also may not work now. Which meant Pebbles would feel the needle being put into her hands. Luckily Pebble’s father, Declan volunteered to take her in as I would be a complete mess watching little Pebble’s suffer.
The afternoon anaesthetist paediatrician came in and introduced himself and the nurses asked us to prepare Pebble’s cot to go into the MRI scan. We left her favourite Tinky Winky toy in the cot and took out any other toys. She was also asked to put a gown on which was really strange to see some one so small in a hospital gown. Then the nurse put a name tag on her ankle and on Tinky Winky’s wrist.
Declan carried Pebbles to the room, only one parent was allowed in, so I sat outside. Declan was asked to restrain Pebbles whilst they tried to put the needle in. This did not go well as she was struggling and got blood on Declan’s t-shirt. In the end the anaesthetist gave her some gas and she went floppy. From my point of view, I was sat on my own, outside in the waiting area I heard Pebbles screaming and then there was a sudden silence. After Declan came out with blood on his T-Shirt and I started to panic. He explained that every thing was okay and the nurse walked us back to her cubical and another nurse pushed Pebbles cot to outside the MRI scanning room.
Whilst she was under, we all went down to the cafe and had something to eat. I was still quite upset because Pebbles blood was on Declan’s shirt, I was locked out of a room she was in and she was at her most vulnerable and I wasn’t there to protect her. This is normal. The play assistant explained that every Parent who goes through this cries. Declan was a trooper and stayed strong even though I was loosing my shit. She also had a cannula put into her hand for some Genetic blood tests. A Cannula is like a tap inserted into your hand to make taking blood easier.
About an hour later the nurse came back and said one of us could go with her to retrieve Pebbles. Declan kindly let me go and get her. Literally all I did was stand next to her cot as we walked back to her cubical.
She was knocked out for around about two to three hours after (This was usually her nap time). After a couple of hours the nurse encouraged us to wake her. At this point she was starving so she had some toast and Declan had brought her some chicken bits. Pebbles ate like a horse! I cuddled her so tightly, you would think I had been reunited with her after spending years a part. The nurse removed the cannula from Pebble’s hand and put a plaster over the cut which she said would have healed by the time we got home.
The hospital are allowed to discharge the child after witnessing the child having something to eat and something to drink. The nurse did warn us that she might sleep for longer than usual and let us go home. We dropped Declan off at his house then went home and ate like pigs in our pyjamas and stayed up all night watching tele. Pebbles luckily recovered quickly and was back to normal the next day.
I hope this helps some one whose child is about to have a MRI scan.