Wake Me Up When It’s Over

Yesterday Rhema had her scheduled MRI at Children’s. The purpose of the MRI is to identify starting points for her seizures and see if there is any structural damage in the brain. Since Rhema has not really been responding to medication, we are hoping that the MRI might provide us with some information. We will not have the results for another week or so.

I had to take Rhema by myself, and Brandon stayed home with Hope. As hospital visits go, there was a lot of waiting. Waiting makes both of us antsy. In the MRI waiting area, Rhema was not the least bit interested in Mickey Mouse on the TV or the crayons and coloring book I had brought. She preferred to run around the room, jump up and down on the chairs, and then pound on the receptionist’s computer keyboard. At one point, she found a pad of sticky notes on the desk and began ripping off sticky notes one at a time and throwing them in the air with a “Whee!”

While I was filling out paperwork, Rhema was jumping on a chair and a man came out and sternly told her to be careful and to stop jumping. He was completely ignored. I almost laughed, but simply said, “Thank you.” I mean, how do you even begin to explain?

Rhema noticed a woman in the room who had just started unwrapping her expensive Au Bon Pain sandwich. At this point Rhema realized that she was FAMISHED – (I hadn’t fed her because she had to have an empty stomach for the anesthesia).

The scene unfolded in slow mo: I lunged for Rhema as she dove for the “Chicken Ceasar Asiago on Ciabatta” sitting nicely in tin foil on the woman’s lap.

Too late.

She didn’t eat it, but she managed to get her hands on it and “disassemble” it a bit.

“I’m so sorry,” I said, as I tried to rearrange the sandwich with the tin foil wrapper. Then I placed the sandwich back in the woman’s lap before she could say a word, grabbed Rhema and we went for a walk. It occurred to me later that I should have at least offered to buy the lady another sandwich, but these things always occur to me after the fact.

When we returned to the waiting room, the woman was gone, thankfully. Instead, there were hospital volunteers dressed up as clowns who were able to get Rhema to color a little bit.

Rhema did well with getting her IV. This is pretty awesome for a child who can be very tactile sensitive – she cannot stand stickers, band-aids, or having an admission bracelet on her arm. She’s kind of used to the IVs and needle pricks by now. But the problem is always keeping her from pulling the IV out. The nurses wanted to give her IV fluids before giving her the sedation drug. So we waited and waited while the fluids dripped in. Rhema cried and fussed and fought to get all the tape and gauze off her arm. We tried distracting her with bubbles and singing and stickers (forget it). Rhema kept jumping off the bed, taking my hand and leading me to the door. She wanted to leave, IV pole and all.

Finally the sedative was added to the IV, and I held her in my arms. Most kids fall asleep quickly. Rhema, of course, fought it. The nurse even mentioned that we might have to give her another “bolus”, which is another strong dose of the drug. But in one quick instant Rhema was suddenly silent with her pretty head drooped over my shoulder. The nurse smiled and whispered, “I think we won.”

The nurses were so kind and wonderful. I love good nurses. For a moment, my heart feared as I looked at my little girl asleep – so uncharacteristically still with her mouth half open, cardiac monitor on her chest, oxygen in her nose, pulse monitor of her toes, blood pressure cuff on her leg, head tapped. She looked like an angel. Just before she was slid into the MRI chamber, Rhema started sighing softly, and one of the nurses said it sounded like she was singing.

We’ll wake you up when it’s over, little one.

3 thoughts on “Wake Me Up When It’s Over

  1. Pingback: Ice Ice Baby « Autism In a Word

  2. Pingback: Autism Goes Out to Dinner - Part 2 « Autism In a Word

  3. Pingback: Waiting rooms « Autism In a Word

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