Saved by a Grandchild….Once Again

So many times our grandchildren say things to us that we think at the time…..we should write that down lest we forget it…..and we don’t….then we forget.

Needless to say, this week I had to have an MRI of my brain… biggie here….just a test. I only mention having the test because of something that my youngest grandson said a couple of years ago was what got me through it.

Now, I’m a retired nurse practitioner….long history of nursing….background in critical care…..cardiac surgery…yada yada yada. I can’t count the number of patients that I have sent down to Radiology for an MRI and accompanied most of them due to the critical nature of their illness or injury. And like a compassionate nurse that I am, or was….reassured those that were conscious that they would be confined, enclosed, hear some noises and with my most calm and reassuring voice told them they would make it okay and it would be over soon.

Fast forward to having the test yourself. Still….no biggie I think…..I’m not really ill and I know what to expect…, what’s the big deal you think. Everything goes as planned, the technician is not someone I know personally but is very kind and efficient, much like I used to think of myself. He explained what would happen and of course I already knew being the intelligent, astute person that I am, after all…..with my background…really….you think you need to explain to me? I think these thoughts to myself, I didn’t say them out loud, I was the very nice patient.

He offered me a set of ear plugs……told him I couldn’t hear anyway, that’s why I was there…..he said take them, you’ll hear this. So I did. I got into position and was slowly entered into the machine. Vertigo and hearing loss were my problems, so I figured it best to just keep my eyes shut the whole time lest I get nauseated or anything and I surely didn’t want to have to call out for help.

The first noises I heard I though were really strange. I even questioned to myself if everything was okay with this machine. I had always explained to patients that there would be a whirring noise…etc…

There were no whirring noises…..there were noises like my head was in a drum and someone was beating on the drum with a sledgehammer!  Some noises were repetitive like 5-10-15 beats…..then someone responding in another area with 5-10-15 beats….some noises were almost science fiction like……some were like continuous jackhammer noises. Brief, very brief breaks between the loud strange noises.

This went on for 15 minutes or more and I felt surely, it was getting toward the end of the scan, but I was just about to lose it…..tears started running down my face and my head was wedged so that it wouldn’t move and I sure didn’t want to move because I knew it could mean starting over at some point and I didn’t want that……then Matt’s face came into view……and I remembered him asking me when he was about 5 years old if I knew how to right a bike. Of course I told him, yes…..I knew how to ride a bike. Guess at that point in his life he had never seen me ride a bike so it was a logical question for him.

Well anyway, he said…..I can tell you how. Now this is coming from a kid who is still riding a bike that’s training wheels haven’t been removed. But he was so serious, he said…”NeNe……just stay focused, and keep on pedaling…..”  So I stayed focused and made it through those last few minutes of the scan. I couldn’t stop the tears from streaming, but I did not move my head because I was focused on this child’s sweet face and his wise advice of just stay focused, and keep on pedaling. They brought be out for a breather and to inject the contrast and back into the machine again for a few more minutes of scanning. And I survived.

I know the chances of any of my previous patients reading this post is most likely zero…..but I would just like to say to all of my patients that I so calmly, coolly, and collectively reassured that having an MRI would be okay, and that it wouldn’t be too bad……….that I didn’t know my you know what from a hole in the ground……and I apologize!

Matt, Maggie & AJ  with my 93 year old Dad

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