Friday, January 11, 2008

The Blessing of Misdiagnosis

Today my mother and I took Caleb to Primary Children's Hospital for a sedated echocardiogram. Sedated because children in the 1 to 4 age range have a very hard time being still long enough to get an accurate reading. And, since we wanted to verify definitively if he had a heart defect, accuracy was key.

Caleb has been under general anesthesia once before. A year ago, he swallowed a coin and had to have an endoscopy performed (this was in Peru and a major contributing factor for why we decided to have baby #2 in the US). For me, the scariest part of the whole experience was when the doctor administered the gas and his little 11 month-old body went from totally alive and moving to pale and lifeless in mere moments. So, I was not exactly looking forward to today's procedure. Further, upon arrival we were told that he would need an IV in order to receive the cocktail of medications - which, for his needle hating (read fearing) mother was definitely not a cause for celebration. But, Caleb was a trooper. He was attended by an unbelievably professional and solicitous team of nurses, technicians, administrative staff and doctors. They successfully inserted the IV on the first try and began administering the drugs immediately, including one with an amnesia effect to erase the trauma of being stuck with a needle.

Caleb is a very strong-willed, determined little boy. Something I'm fairly sure he inherited from me. Not to say that Kenny isn't determined, but he is, shall we say, more graceful and less vocal about his goals that I or than Caleb is turning out to be. This borderline obstinance was in play today as the nurses had to give him the maximum doses of all three drugs in order to get him fully sedated. Less than an hour later they wheeled him to recovery where we waited for him to wake him about 30 minutes later. He was pretty groggy, but still alert enough to know he did not want the IV in his hand, the pulse monitor on his toe, the blood pressure cuff around his leg or any blankets on any part of his body. He was distracted momentarily by juice and cookies and the Disney channel. Another 30 minutes later and he was ready to be dressed and discharged.
The highlights of the day were 1) confirmation from his doctor that the heart defect was a misdiagnosis and that our little boy is not just seemingly healthy, he is in fact healthy; and 2) a bright, blue blanket given to Caleb. I have participated in numerous service projects over the years to make and donate baby blankets for hospitals and other organizations. I have sometimes wondered about these blankets and where they go and if they make a difference. Today I know the answer. Caleb received one such donated blanket at the start of his procedure this morning and it stayed with him the entire day. He even wanted it with him when we got home and when he took his nap. I am grateful to the people who made this blanket that made my little boy feel just a little bit better in the midst of a not so fun day.

10 comments:

Ilene said...

Yay for healthy babies and good doctors! Yay for blankies at hospitals!

When Jackson had surgery to remove a cyst in his neck, he got a little beanie baby doll. I think a blanket would have been much more welcome.

Paige said...

so glad he is OK and adorable with that blankie!

Celia Fae said...

Good story. I like the part about the amnesia drugs and sedation. I hope you didn't have to watch him go under again, because that is the worst. I saw one of my kids under once and I will never forget it.

Lilita said...

Hurrah! One less heart defect in the family is always a good thing!

two forks said...

what a little trooper! i'm glad it all went well!

Denae said...

It is so scary to take kids to hospitals and give them drugs and needles. So scary. I am glad he's ok and what a great thing to have been misdiagnosed!! Thank heavens!

gab said...

Taking my kids to the hospital for things like this has aged me 20 years. Glad he is ok.

John Holly Levi & Faith said...

Levi recently had an MRI and it was so weird to see him under. So pale and dead looking. I hated it. But Primary Children's is THE BEST and I love the blankie thing too. Levi's was camo and he LOVED IT.

Great news about the misdiagnosis. Yay!
And speaking of comfy blankets, I'm still loving mine. It's so cute and cuddly and if anyone touches it or tries to steal it, they get in SERIOUS trouble!

Jessica said...

What a great post. I LOVE Primary's. (did you read the Ensign article about a donated blanket? Totally choked me up.)

Heather said...

So glad he's healthy- what peace of mind! And I couldn't agree with you more about not wanting to have much more than a cold diagnosis in a Peru hospital!

 

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