The MRI. Remember that? Yeah, I’d forgotten too, even though it was so horrible at the time. Funny how the world puts things in perspective for you sometimes.
My son had reported to me that he wasn’t “seeing out of both eyes” about a month and a half ago. I took him into the eye doctor, thinking it was about time for him to join in the family tradition of wearing glasses. Except the eye doctor didn’t find appreciable differences between his two eyes in terms of vision, and worried maybe it could be a sign of a larger problem. With my son being on the autism spectrum, there was truly no way of knowing if this was a recent occurrence or if this had been happening for years and he just hadn’t been able to express it clearly to us.
Yeah. So I spent the interim time between the eye doctor visit and the scheduled MRI scan freaking the $#@# out
The scan was done on December 12. Because my son is on the spectrum, the scan was done in the hospital, under anesthesia. Hospitals aren’t exactly warm fuzzy places. And despite every one doing everything they could to be super incredibly nice to my son (even putting a hospital bracelet on his stuffed bear, who was allowed to stay with him the whole time), it was a really unpleasant experience.
My little guy held it together pretty well until we made it into the room where the MRI machine was. He was still awake then, and they had a mask for him to breathe into to put him asleep. They were going to wait to put the IV in until he was asleep (smart move). But the mask and the huge machine and the four people it took to man it all not surprisingly made him very nervous. I held his hand until he got drowsy enough to let it slip out of my hand, and then they led me to the waiting room.
The scan took an hour. They scanned his head and neck. Once they were done, I followed his gurney with him still asleep to the same day surgery recovery area. Thankfully it was mostly empty and quiet, because when my little guy woke up, he was scared out of his mind. He cried, he thrashed, he really freaked out when he saw the IV in his arm that wasn’t there when he went to sleep. He felt nauseous, he was disoriented, and he just couldn’t hold it together.
It felt so, so very hard at the time. I remember thinking how terrible it was, how awful it was, what a terrible day it was. How I couldn’t wait to get home and let him snuggle on the sofa while I poured myself a glass (or three) of wine. I worried what the scans would show us, how awful the news could potentially be, and how I should enjoy these blissful few days of not knowing. Because life could be about to change.
Two days later, of course, the world did change. I didn’t have the news yet about the MRI. But obviously, I didn’t mind. I knew that whatever the news was going to be for us, it wasn’t going to be as bad as what had happened to those families in Newtown. Even if it was the worst news, I would have time to prepare my child and my family and myself for the worst, a gift those families didn’t have.
Finally, a few days later, I got the word that the results of the scans were normal. It was a relief, a pin prick of good news in the numbness of that week following Newtown, a week of funerals and sadness and fear. My little boy will be fine. My little boy doesn’t have the worst thing that can happen happening to him, and neither do we. We were lucky. Again.