Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hospital visit #1

So, today was our first visit to the hospital for Jacob's eventual visit to the pulmonary specialist. He needed to get two procedures done that will help them evaluate him at the appointment next week. He had to get a scintiscan, which checks to see if he might be aspirating food into his lungs, which can masquerade as asthma. He's got a persistent wheeze, and there's a chance that that's the cause. He wasn't allowed to eat for three hours before the 8am procedure, so I had to get up at 4am to feed him. He barely woke up but ate well and went right back to sleep. He woke up about 7:15 and we immediately got him dressed. Shortly thereafter we were in the car and on the way to the hospital. I think the change in his schedule was enough to keep him from realizing he was hungry, because he was in a pretty good mood the whole time. Once we were there he had to drink some formula with a tracer mixed in, which helps them see what's going on inside him. He was strapped into a soft vest which kept him from moving around the table, though we could still play with him and give him toys during the scan. The scanner machine moved in above him and he had to lay there for a half hour. Then he had a short break, then back under for another minute. I think that depending on what that minute showed he might have had more coming, but he had digested enough of the tracer that they couldn't do any more. He cried for about the second half of the half hour, so I spent most of the rest of the time trying to sing him songs, which quieted him down a bit. Overall he did pretty well.

Then we were off for a chest x-ray. That was interesting. They had an apparatus where he more or less sat on a bicycle seat (legs hanging down through holes, basically), and a clear plastic tube held him up. The tube kept his arms in the air, too. He screamed through the whole thing, but they said that was good because it provides a better picture of the lungs. After two pictures, he was done and was happy to be in Craig's arms. He screamed through getting dressed and bundled back up, but was asleep by the time we made it to the parking ramp...guess he wore himself out!

Overall it wasn't too bad. I mean, I won't lie...it's not fun to watch helplessly as your baby gets scanned or is stuck in a tube, but I suppose it could have been worse. Out in another room of the radiology department was another little baby (12-18 months) who was hooked up to an IV and looked like he was actually a patient in the hospital. So even in this situation, I felt pretty lucky. I really wished in the middle of it all that I had some medical training and could read the scan and x-rays as they were happening, but I guess we'll just have to wait until next week to see what they have to say. One thing that freaked me out was that the paperwork said that they were also checking his heart size. I have no idea what that might have to do with any of this, but that was a little scary to see. Hopefully it's nothing and just a really precautionary measure for some really rare, random thing (you know, "while we're in there..."). Anyway, it's good to have it over. We do have to go back for a quick scan again tomorrow (a 24-hour followup, I think to see if the tracer is completely out of his system or if some of it is stuck in there), but that should be quick and painless...I hope. No more fasting, at least. But on the bright side, we've had a nice day as a family. Soon we'll be off to Buffalo for Craig's mom's annual Mardi Gras campaign fundraiser, which should be a good time as well...with great food!! Have a great day!

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