Tuesday, April 27, 2004

ANNA GETS AN MRI -- 4.27.2004

Last Thursday, it was the 22nd, I had to bring Anna into Fairfax hospital to have an MRI, to rule out a brain tumor. While this sounds really ominous, its not that bad. Let me explain. When Anna was diagnosed with a Lazy Eye, which is a fairly common occurrence, they need to rule out some potentially dangerous things that might be causing this. So for instance if the odds of having a brain tumor, once being diagnosed with a lazy eye are a thousand to one, from the other direction, if you have this particular brain tumor, the odds are ninety-nine in a hundred that this Lazy Eye might occur as a symptom of it. So while the danger was small, it had a large potential downside and had to be ruled out.

All this is well and good, but when you start talking about things like a BRAIN TUMOR that relates to my oh so cute 5 year old daughter, its not a good thing. And to make matters worse she has to go in for an MRI. This means general anesthesia. There is no way in hell you are going to get a five year old child to voluntarily lie on her back and get slid slowly into a gigantic ominous tube and lie perfectly still while listening to strange snapping an humming noises. Its not going to happen. Also, to make matters worse, Anna had just had anesthesia when she had tubes put in her ears a month back, from which she learned several important lessons. One, anesthesia sucks. Two, doctors lie to you and can not be trusted, especially when describing how much something will hurt. Three, when you come out of anesthesia your ears hurt.

I of course cheerfully volunteered to be the bad guy and to bring her down to get the test done. We brought some toys and games to the radiology waiting room, and spread out on the floor playing Crazy-Eight’s with Clifford’s dog bone shaped playing cards. This was in the sharp contrast to most of the other people in the waiting room, which was a somber bunch of elderly people in wheelchairs. We waited about an hour.
The nurse brought us in to changing are, where Anna went in to the bathroom. The anesthesiologist leaned in to me and whispered. “You are going to need to hold her in when we give her the gas, she’ll probably start kicking and fighting. Most of them do.”

I gulped. Anna came out, and she was still pretty cheerful. This faded, though, when we went into the room with the great big scary machine, and she had to sit on my lap on the stainless steel table. Then, as instructed, I held Anna in a bear hug. As predicted, she started to freak and kick and fight and scream. I held her while the doctor held the mask against her face. I felt dirty, like I was betraying her. Then, just a few moments later really, she was out. I went to the waiting room.

About half an hour later they rolled her in to the pediatric recovery room when she was coming out of the anesthesia. She was very pissed off. She was screaming and kicking her legs and (of course) asking for her mommy. Not her dad of course, I was the bad man who held her down when the evil doctors gassed her. This is just my imagination of course, I don’t think Anna stayed mad at me. After she came out of her anesthetic fog we went to McDonalds, a place where children have been carefully trained to associate with happiness and french fries. Anna was starving; she hadn’t been allowed to eat or drink all morning and by now it was 2:30 in the afternoon. After lunch we had some ice cream and all was well again.

We found out the next day around three pm that there was no tumor. This particular ordeal is over, and everybody is fine.

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