Jack In 100 Years
Aloha Friday

Sophia's MRI


A week ago, Sophia had her MRI at CHKD. She has central sleep apnea, which is different than the obstructive sleep apnea that's far more common and well-known. Unlike that form, which is when you stop breathing because something is blocking the airway (it's common in heavy people; I had it before my surgery and want to get another sleep study to see whether it's gone away or diminished significantly, at least), central sleep apnea is a rarer condition in which the brain doesn't communicate well with the lungs and the message to keep breathing doesn't quite get passed down, during sleep. Kind of scary, when you think about it. So her neurologist at the children's hospital ordered the MRI to see if there was a structural reason in her brain for the disorder. We'll meet again with her next week for the results.

We were at the hospital for about six hours. Her test was originally scheduled to be at 1400 (2 PM), but we had to get there at 12:30 for check-in, and all that fun stuff like getting her IV put in, and filling out a billion forms and stuff. You know the drill, right? We had dropped off Chloë with her Girl Scout leader beforehand, because I knew she wouldn't make it back for her meeting at 1600, but Jack was with us. The difficulty with that was that Sophia wasn't allowed to eat anything, and both kids were hungry. So you have one kid who CAN eat and one who CAN'T, and you pretty much have to deny both of them food to be fair to the one who isn't allowed food. For what turned out to be three hours, by the time they took her back for her test.

Jack at chkd

You can bet he ate like a champ in the hospital cafeteria when she was taken away, and as usual was a mess with food all over his face. (I don't know if it's just our family, but my kids are not clean eaters! They wear their food all over their lips and cheeks. The heck?! When does that end?)

Anyway, we spent a long time in the café, just chilling out and getting a change of scenery after the long time spent in the pre-procedure room, and then we went to the waiting area to let Jack watch some cartoons and, well, wait. I had my second boo-hoo of the day, there. Sedated for her test, Sophia, who is very active even in her sleep, was unnaturally still, and besides that, it's just that it was my baby, and I had to cry. And cry I did. (Note to the hospital: Invest in softer tissues, please.) I mean, I know it wasn't surgery or anything, and I know she wasn't a super-sick kid coming in there for chemo or some other horrible thing, so I felt a ridiculous being so tearful, but I couldn't control the tears. The nurses understood. They said it was common.


After we realized we were in the wrong waiting area, we were walking to the MRI one, and Jack was commenting on everything he saw. "Oh, there's the room we were waiting in, and there's a picture of (something I can't remember), and that's the MRI room, and there's Sophia, and..." "Wait, what?!" We stopped in our tracks and took a few paces backward. Yup, there was Sophia, already out of her MRI! Much less time had passed than we expected. The nurse stepped out of the hall to say that she was still asleep and had just come out, but they would be waking her in a few minutes.

Of course, I wanted to be with her, and so did Rob, but only two people were allowed by her side at a time. So Rob stayed with Jack for awhile in the waiting room, watching telly, and then we switched off. She was very groggy when they did wake her, but she absolutely wanted a drink and some crackers. They told me not to feed her - to let her do it herself, because being able to meant that she was ready to take food. She had no problems and ate her little baggy of Teddy Grahams between short snoozes. She didn't like their apple juice, so we gave that to Jack and let her sip my Diet Sierra Mist instead. Not quite Sprite or Ginger Ale, but it's what she wanted.

Finally, it was time to release her, and they wheeled her out to the van that Rob had fetched. We had to have him sit in the back with her, so her head didn't flop forward and block her airway. That was a chore; he kept having to reposition her. She seemed depressed and just... sad, in the intermittent moments when she woke up. It broke my heart to see her that way, since this is a normally happy-go-lucky, devil-may-care child. We picked up Chloë from her Leader's house, and Leader's youngest child, who is one of my Daisies with Sophia, came running out to see her friend. "What's wrong with her? Why does she look like that?" Poor Soap was just so out of it! Daisy Friend was sweetly caring, but we sent her back in the house, so we could get Soph home to rest on the couch.

Around 9:15 PM, a good six hours later, she suddenly woke up and asked for some dinner. And she was up for good, running around and bouncing off the walls like her usual self.

Gotta admit, those few hours of quiet were kind of nice, once I got used to them. Life in this house is pretty hectic, often chaotic, and always noisy. Shushing the older two children so Sophie could sleep, we had a few hours' peace, and I enjoyed the time. But she was back to her old self eventually, and I will say, I like her much more the way I know her, troublemaker that she is. That's my girl!

As for the results, I'll keep you posted. And one more thing. I just want to say how grateful I am that we have an excellent children's hospital nearby, and that our insurance is willing to send us there when necessary, because they took fabulous care of both us and our daughter. For you locals, support CHKD when and how you can. Thanks.