Monday, September 17, 2007

Operation Deep Breath

OK, so my new least favorite thing in the whole wide world is the MRI truck at the Dan Marino Center in Weston, FL.

Alex, Sophie, Edie and I trekked down to the Dan Marino Center this morning for Sophie’s C-Spine MRI. Her appointment was at 9:30, but I tricked myself into thinking it was at nine so that I could get us out the door in time to get to our appointment on time.

No food after midnight and no liquids for two hours prior to the procedure. Hmmm. This means that Sophie’s daily request for ‘cheeios, milk and honey’ would have to be denied. I am almost certain that this kid must dream of cheerios all night with the way that she asks for them immediately upon waking. It is without fail the moment she walks into our room, after greeting us with GOO MORNING, MOMMY!, we hear “can I some cheerios?” or “I have cheerios?” To say the least, I was a little stressed about having to tell her she couldn’t have any this morning. I briefed her last night about going to the doctor today, explained to her that she couldn’t have cheerios, and she seemed ok, but only the morning would tell.

Well, this morning she came in asking for cheerios and my stomach turned. I told her gently that we’d have to wait for cheerios until after the doctor looked at her brain. She nodded and smiled. That’s when I knew that you all were praying.
Operation Cheerio Distracto: successful.

Nana picked up Charley and drove her away, with both Sophie and Charley waving to each other like crazy and Sophie screaming, “Bye CHOLLY!”
Operation Charley Drop: successful.

So we headed down to Weston with the radio playing the Way and Brant and Nikki and REALLY just enjoyed the trip. Considering our mission, I was unnaturally relaxed. I’m usually in prayer most of the way down, and today I was able to enjoy our car ride and thought mostly about landscaping. Yeah, I’m not sure why, but I thought a lot about landscaping. Operation Safe Transport: successful.

Arriving EARLY to the DM center, we were greeted with smiles as usual and Soph was excited to be there. She is a true comedienne, descended from the Keefe lineage and she has us and many others smiling and shaking our heads in the waiting room. Still pretty relaxed – not thinking about landscaping anymore, but still have complete peace about this whole situation. Operation Waiting Room : successful.

We’re called back to MRI, and start prep. The room is painted with fish and Dude Crush, Dori and Nemo are friendly images that greet us. We go over more consent forms and explanations and ok, now we’re ready for the hard part. Sophie is not scared of much. We gave blood just a couple of weeks ago and she didn’t shed a tear. But she wasn’t held down or put on a bed for that. I think that for a sensory kid like Soph, being held down is more than just being held down. She is a mover…her life is about ceaseless movement. Even during sleep, Sophie moves….every two hours she wakes to rock and reorganize that part of her body that says, “move…you’ll feel better.” So for this kid, high chairs, car seats and any threat of immobility is extremely uncomfortable. Being held down and immobilized is terrifying and she let us know that this morning. If I heard ‘HELP ME’ once, I heard it five hundred times. Once her IV was in and she was able to sit up, she was fine…onto the truck. Operation Needle Know-how: successful.

Much to his disappointment, Daddy had to stay back with Edie. He’ll get his turn next month for the brain MRI. He was terribly disappointed. I felt bad leaving him.

The DM center has a portable MRI center, so it’s a big tractor trailer outside of the building. It kinda reminded me of one of those fair rides that has the virtual roller coaster inside it…but this was no roller coaster! Soph was great…they let her sit up, took her shoes off, kept her socks on (no nail polish allowed …. ?), and I held her as they pumped the sedative into her tiny little body. The anesthetist told me it was going to be fast, to let her fall asleep on my shoulder.


I was terrified as soon as I saw her eyes start to get heavy. She fought it….he told me she was fighting it…..I was watching her lose consciousness and I was completely horrified and terrified and all I wanted to do was grab her off the table and run. All I kept thinking was her brain is tiny…please don’t let there be too much medication for her to handle…are you using more than you would use for a 12 month old’s brain? They laid her down where she yawned a couple of sweetest yawns and then took a giant deep breath that almost brought me to my knees. Oh God, please protect her. They keep checking the monitor…keep looking, keep listening, I’m watching them watching her. The anesthetist tells them to ‘keep her hand straight’ and sounds perturbed. I’m still nervous, and can’t imagine leaving her side. She is too vulnerable, so tiny, so precious, so sweet.

In come the ear plugs and headphones (which are ALWAYS too big), and I am told to come back in 45 minutes to get her. I am not happy to have to go, and wonder how they quickly they can make it to the waiting room if something goes wrong. The instant I have this thought, I ask myself ‘Where is your mustard seed, Julie?’

I look for Alex and Edie in the waiting room. They have gone outside. I finally feel safe. Seeing the man that adores that little girl as much as I do (maybe even more) makes me feel safe enough to shed a couple of tears, letting the fear escape my body through the salty tears that I rarely afford myself. He reaches out to me and holds me and says “I know.” And he does….we talk about what just happened. I cry some more. We both agree that Thursday is too soon to have her next MRI. We will cancel and move the appointment to October. We both admit that we haven’t prayed enough together lately and that we need to.

This is a long 45 minutes and we stay outside until we start to sweat. That takes about 18 minutes. ;) We are relieved when the doctor comes to get us and tells us that she is awake. I am completely flustered, hand Edie to daddy, keep the diaper bag, pass him her shoes and we do this weird dance of stuff and baby and try to figure out what the quickest way to Sophie is. They make us move our car (?), so I go back. The doc tells me that she is awake and that she did fine. I am relieved beyond belief. After thinking terrible thoughts and extreme craziness, Sophie is awake. Oh, halleluiah. Operation Sweet Sedation: successful.

I go back to my little girl who is cold and mumbling. She has goosebumps everywhere and has two fingers strategically placed in her favorite spot just behind those two front teeth. I am so happy to see her. I want to jump in the bed with her. I rub her head and cover her up and she turns her head and looks up to me and says slowly “doctors love me.”

Funny girl. Yes, Soph, EVERYONE loves you, baby. We are debriefed and shuffled out of the center through the back door. I stay in the back of the van with her….she is crying and extremely emotional. We spend the next hour and a half listening to her cry about everything. She is drunk. Alex and I think it is funny for the first 5 minutes.

We get to Nana’s to pick up Charley who is SO excited to see Sof ee-ya. She notices her band aids and bracelet and ask ‘whaz wrong wi sof ee-ya?’ Charley also made her first poo-poo on the potty at Nana’s. It is a big day for everyone.

As soon as we pull up to the house, Sophie asks for Cheerios. And Charley follows. They eat Cheerios for lunch….Sophie eats FOUR bowls. She is so happy to have her Cheerios. Finally. What a patient little girl.

I am happy to put this day in the books. Glad that we are home, safe and sound and that we have had one more day with our precious family. So glad to know that we are loved, that our children are loved and that nothing on this planet happens by accident. We feel privileged to be taught humility and gratitude in very specific ways everyday. We feel kinda like Ester and know that God has a plan for us, with this, right now.

Looking forward to another bowl of Cheerios tomorrow, I end this day with my sleeping Hero Husband next to me, my girls all asleep (no sedative necessary), and my God who has gently scooted me through this day with His giant, steady hand.

Operation Deep Breath: Successful

Post Script: A huge thank you to all of you who prayed us through this day. I know that you are all loving me and my family in ways that I admire. A special thank you to Emily. We covet your prayers....don't helps us both. ;)


Kelly said...

oh wow, you're really going to reschedule the next one? I'd be too antsy to wait. It always takes them so long just to read the dang things and get back to you with results! I'm glad that everything went so smoothly. Now we'll just wait patiently to hear what the experts have to say.

CresceNet said...
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