Tuesday, June 28, 2016

MRI Follow-Up

Parker had his first MRI 2.5 years ago.  6 months later we met with a neurosurgeon to discuss his Chiari Malformation that we hadn't been notified of originally.  We were advised to repeat the scan in 2 years, which brought us to today.  He had an MRI followed by an appointment with the neurosurgeon.  It was nice to have them on the same day so we didn't have to go back again, but it also made for a very long morning.  We left the house at 5:45 for a 6:30 check in.  It took a bit to get registered and in the room, but finally got his IV put in about 7:30.  He knew something was up right away, but did a really great job overall.
Blood Pressure
Numbing cream for the IV
 Children's St. Paul is getting a new MRI (it actually just arrived yesterday) so we had to walk to United Hospital to use theirs.  The buildings are connected, but it turned a 20 second walk in to 8 minutes with elevator rides.  Jimmy just stayed on the bed with him for the ride, which probably made us all a bit more comfortable.  It was much easier on Jimmy and myself since we kind of knew what to expect.
It still surprised me how quickly the sedative took effect.  I am sure his small size made it work faster as well.  I almost didn't get the camera rolling in time, but they barely press the plunger in and he was out.
 We waited in a nearby room for a few minutes while they got him settled, then the nurse walked us back to our room.  We grabbed a quick breakfast while we waited about an hour for him to return. (Food pictures aren't just for date night and vacations!)
 Esme was a trooper as well.  She has been sleeping until 3:30-4:30, but woke up at 1:15 last night.  This actually worked out really well because we were able to feed her again before leaving home.
 Last time it took about 15 minutes for him to start waking up once we were back with him, but it was almost immediate this time.  He was confused and disoriented, but was able to drink some apple juice and eat some snacks within 10 minutes.  He also did not like when they removed the IV, but I am sure it felt better once it was out.

 We were discharged from the hospital about 9:30 and our appointment with the neurosurgeon wasn't until 11.  We headed up to check in anyway in case they could get us in early.  Jimmy stayed there with him while I went to the cafeteria to get breakfast for Parker.  The doctor was being held up in surgery so we didn't get in early.  We were finally able to get a room a little before 11, but didn't see the doctor until noon.  It was quite a wait, but they gave us a free parking pass for the hassle which saved us $9.  He was pretty much back to normal by then, which made us all smile.
He had a head only MRI last time since they were not looking for anything in particular.  Now that he has been diagnosed with Chiari they did a head and spine scan.  They want to make sure he doesn't have any build up of spinal fluid, which can happen if the Chiari restricts the flow of fluid.  His scan from December 2013 is on the left below with today's on the right.  His Chiari is unchanged at this point which is very common.  If it were to change at some point it would likely get better and not worse.  
 All of his vertebrae are well aligned and spaced.  The dark line is his spinal chord and the white is spinal fluid.
Since nothing has since his last scan he will not need another for at least 5 years unless he starts exhibiting symptoms.  These include things like head and neck pain, problems with balance, poor fine motor skills, and difficulty swallowing.  We will return for physical examinations every 12-18 months to make sure he is not developing any spine abnormalities.  It was 6 hours from check-in to departure, but we made it and it was nice to get it out of the way before I head back to work.

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