Katie’s Adventure — Trip 1

Today was technically the second, but really the first part of Katie’s adventures through the land of pediatric surgery and diagnostics. All told, this went about as well as we could possibly hope.

We got up at an ungodly hour of morning to feed her before she went in. She needed to have eaten four hours prior to going in just in case sedation was needed for her. I went in to get her at 5:55a. She was still sound asleep. I touched her gently, she rolled away from me. The only way I could get her to wake up was to pick her up. Then, she was awake. Poor thing.

She ate her usual bowl of Earth’s Best Oatmeal (she LOVES this) and had her bottle. She was finished with the whole thing at 6:25a. I let her play in her seat (helps to keep the spitting up to a minimum if she plays in her feeding seat for 15 minutes after she eats). While she was doing this, I got dressed, and started putting Ben’s adventure bag together as he was going to play at a friend’s house. An aside, we are blessed with awesome friends who think nothing (or very little) of taking our energetic, not quite potty trained, almost four year old for a significant part of the day, and find ways to keep him entertained. It’s a relief to not have to worry about him — at all — while we’re dealing with these other things.

We finished getting everyone ready and left the house for our trek to All Children’s, St. Pete (with a brief side trip to drop off Ben). P was worried because he had only been able to get out there once and hadn’t been able to find the parking lot or the entrance. With me along, we managed to find both easily and arrived with plenty of time to spare.

After receiving our visitor’s passes, we checked in in the radiology clinic and sat in the waiting room filling out a very small amount of paperwork related to the possible sedation. We had pre-registered, so we didn’t have to do all the regular admittance paperwork. Katie was tagged and we waited more.

When we were called back, we went straight to the CT room. They had me lay Katie down on the scanner bed and they started strapping her onto the table. This was not something that Katie went for at all. She started sobbing before they had all the straps on her. We tried giving her a pacifier. She didn’t go for it at all. Katie has been off pacifiers since she was three months old.

So, we were taken to the radiology holding area where they asked us questions about her weight and so forth and we waited for a nurse practitioner to decide what drug they were going to use.

After about fifteen minutes, she looked Katie over, made a decision and then we waited a few more minutes while they prepared her medicine. It was given to her orally, so no IV thank goodness. She started getting drowsy fairly quickly, but would not let go for me. I handed her over to P and he managed to sway her all the way out. This was a first for him … two children and an untold number of friends’ children who have been rocked by him in the past, this is the very first time a child has fallen asleep in his arms.

It was like moving Jell-o she was so loose and thoroughly out. We took her back to the CT scan room and it was very easy to put her on the table lightly strap her in place and take the scans. It took maybe five minutes for them to get the scans they wanted.

We took her back to the holding area to wait for her to come out of sedation. The nurses shooed us off to the cafeteria as it was lunchtime and neither of us had eaten yet. So, we left Katie with them and went quickly to the cafeteria. Let me take a moment to say that their food is actually edible. I wouldn’t necessarily order it as take out, but for hospital food, it was really quite good. We were there about 20 minutes when we received a call to let us know she was awake.

We hurried back upstairs and found a small group of nurses fussing over her as she laid on the gurney. We didn’t have any clear liquid for her, so they gave us some pedialyte which she drank and held down for a few minutes. With that we were free to leave.

We won’t know the results of the scans until our doctor receives them, but I feel confident that we’re not going to be surprised by the result. We are both feeling much more confident about our decision to use All Children’s as a result of this experience.

Monday, Katie will meet her neurosurgeon. I’ll be sure to report that experience as well.