He was so brave!
But it was difficult for him. We practiced and watched the videos that I posted. We talked about what we were doing and that it wouldn't hurt. That was Nick's concern, if taking the pictures would hurt.
We got there really early to miss traffic. Our appointment was 545 in the evening, which means that we are more likely to be bumped by all of the emergencies through the day. That was ok, we brought books and toys to distract us.
We saw the waiting room empty and then start filling up again. I asked a couple of times if we could have the gown for Nick to change into, even if it was early. Apparently I asked at shift change and no one passed on the message. When I asked again they said they were delayed (which I completely understood), but I said that I wanted to get Nick ready early because it will take us a long time.
Even so, after we struggled to get in and out of the non-accessible bathroom we had 3 different people try to open the door (why no one knocks anymore, I have no idea).
After a while we were back to waiting. And then it was our turn.
Nick was a little bit nervous going in, but he had his brave-face on.
We used his wheelchair so he had the most mobility until we got to the room. Then I carried him onto the bed. I completed a similar MRI questionnaire before going in with him (for any other moms who read this, one of the things that was on the list was an IUD device, luckily the answer was no... and if you don't know what that is, it means you don't have it).
The MRI tech asked if I had a book (which a did... an e-book, which of course can't come in). His head went into a cage thing to keep it still
They gave him some video glasses to watch a video. But the earmuffs wouldn't fit in the cage so they gave him some earplugs instead (#1 thing I would change)
Then they told me that I could sit in the rocking chair set up a couple feet away. (#2 thing I would change) I got some earmuffs but could still hear the MRI, but not much else. They had 2 fashion magazines that I flipped through while waiting. I have no idea who long it took (probably about 45 minutes) but all I could see was Nicks legs and feet.
Occasionally they would say overhead they just needed a couple more pictures and to try staying still.
I could hear this noise that I thought was part of the MRI, but it ended up being Nick crying. They stopped because Nick was moving too much for one of the pictures and they took him out of the MRI. Nick was sobbing and all red. I was heartbroken.
I sat him up and we uncovered him, and he said he would try again.
I stood right with him and touched his legs and feet so he knew I was there, but I could see how hard he was working to stay still, but he was still heaving and crying. (This was pretty much all I could see ... not my photo)
So we stopped. They said there was another machine we could wait for if we wanted to try again for the last series of pictures. So after about 1 hour at this MRI machine, Nick said he would try again in another machine and we went back to the waiting room.
After about 15 minutes we were ready for the new room. This time I stayed with Nick the whole time, they had Antman on the TV (they were worried it was too old for him, but it was Avengers and he's watched it before). They also made sure they could fit the ear plugs and the earmuffs on.
He was so brave and stayed still the whole time! About 15 minutes of pictures
For being so brave Nick got a game and a blue freezie!
Then we got to change into his new PJs (storm troopers) and we were out of here! It was about 9pm.
Nick later told me that his head was hurting "so much" because of the noise, and that he forgot that he could say something in the microphone. He says that he doesn't want to do another MRI for a long time, or at least until he's 8.
Some things that I would definitely do differently.
Headphones. He needs the earmuffs, not just the earplugs. If the earmuffs don't fit, we need to problem solve and find a way. It is too painful without the earmuffs.
Stay right with him. That's nice that there is a chair over in the corner, I'm not here to sit in a chair, I can do that in the waiting room. I will stand and touch Nick so he knows that he isn't alone.
Practice using his voice. Practice being loud to say he was scared, or it hurt or he needed a break.
Bring a paperback (because standing/sitting there for 1 hour and not doing anything was really boring... I read all of the articles in the fashion magazine)
Hope that in the next 2 years (which is hopefully the next time we will need an MRI) that Sick Kids will have made their bathrooms in the MRI department accessible (no more struggling with doors)
We see his neurosurgeon in a month to follow up on the results