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What can I expect with DD2's MRI scan on Wednesday?

(37 Posts)
mumgoingcrazy Sun 07-Jun-09 21:04:29

That's it really. I'm absolutely dreading it, all I know is that she'll be under general anaesthetic for about 20 mins (scanning brain).

Do I speak to the anaesthetist first? How long will it take for her to come round? How long before she'll eat/drink (can't go until she does)? Will she be groggy for a few hours/days?

I just don't know what to expect and I'm tying myself up in knots about it when to the pros it's probably so routine.

She is 2 this week. Any shared experiences would be greatly appreciated.

meltedmarsbars Sun 07-Jun-09 21:37:55

dd2 has had mri, the anaesthetist should be able to answer all your recovery questions at the time as it is dependent on the type used, - dd2 had chloral hydrate I think.

To be honest the mri is only a picture and doesn't always tell you answers - its all down to what can be interpreted - which wasn't a lot in our case.

Be prepared for the sudden shock of seeing your child unconscious if this is the first time you've had this happen. It can feel quite emotional but the staff are usually very well prepared and kind.

good luck, and happy birthday!!

mumgoingcrazy Sun 07-Jun-09 21:44:00

Thank you meltedmarsbars. I didn't know there were different types of anaesthetic blush. Are there any pros/cons as to which ones to use?

I think seeing her unconscious is my biggest worry, I'm not sure I can cope with it. I get quite emotional when it comes to DD2 anyway.

meltedmarsbars Sun 07-Jun-09 22:15:23

I don't have the training that the anaesthetist will have!!! They are the experts in this field, that is why they usually have a chat with you before theatre. Our daughter can't have some sorts because of her metabolism.

Widemouthfrog Sun 07-Jun-09 22:22:34

DS was given something to relax him, sorry can't remember what before going down to theatre. We met the anaesthatist who explained what would happen. I held DS's hand while he was anaesthatised - he wouldn't tolerate an injection in his hand so they used a mask. It was very quick, professional and not stressful. As soon as he was asleep i had to leave. He was in the scanner for around 30 mins but it was nearly an hour before I was called to see him in recovery. He did not want to wake up, and went back to sleep for a couple of hours. The other kids were in and out much quicker than we were.

When he did finally wake fully he ate a banana and some milk and we were finally discharged. Make sure you have something with you that DD will eat - my DS is fussy due to his ASD and the hospital were trying to get him to eat toast even though i told them he wouldn't eat it as it was different from home.

It was a very long and tiring day, but DS knew nothing about it - he kept asking when the doctors were going to take the pictures of his head after it was all over.
Try not to worry. Glad you will have the support of DH - I went on my own and it was a long and lonely day.

lou031205 Sun 07-Jun-09 22:51:12

DD1 had an MRI in April. She wasn't allowed to eat after 8am, then clear fluids until 12pm.

They preferred to use an injection of anaesthetic, but I told them DD1 wouldn't tolerate being canulated, and they agreed to a gas induction. I sat her on my knee, and she was asked to blow up a balloon, which knocked her out. I then went for a coffee, and returned to the ward. When DD had had her scan, I went to recovery to collect her.

She did have a needle in her foot when she came around, but they were very considerate when I asked for it to be removed ASAP, and they did.

At my hospital, they did the MRI's in age order, so the youngest child went first. DD went down at about 2.30pm, and was back on the ward by 3.45. We left at about 5pm, after DD had a piece of toast, although she could have eaten anything she fancied.

I think the key is to be prepared for your DD to be weepy, or not, tired or not, etc. Just go with the flow, and try not to worry too much. Once it is over you will be one step closer to an answer.

mumgoingcrazy Mon 08-Jun-09 10:17:53

Thankyou all of you! This is very helpful and I feel a little more prepared now. Our appt is 10:30 so won't be able to eat anything after tea the day before so I'm expecting a lot of crying just from being hungry. She can have water before 8:30am and that's it.

I think if I'm honest with myself I'll be surprised if the scan shows up as normal. DD2's OT, Paed and geneticist have all suggested some sort of brain damage so I'm preparing for that....... I think.

I'll definately ask for the mask as the main reason for her severe tactile defensivness in the first place was canulas at an early age so hopefully they will do this for me.

Thanks again for the advise.

madwomanintheattic Mon 08-Jun-09 11:43:42

they decided to use a mask with dd2 as they were anticipating more problems canulating (sp?) and wanted her 'out' before they tried - she's got rubbish veins from her time in scbu. it took five of us to hold her down, but i'm glad they did use the mask as she screamed blue murder when she woke up, and found they had left the canula in, just in case. (they had managed to get it in her foot in the end lol - she was extremely unimpressed)

it was fine - they let me take her down in the buggy rather than on the hospital bed (she's hosp-bed phobic) but they had to bring her back on the bed (v funny - i heard them coming from about a mile down the corridor and they had to discard bits of bed along the way because she was trying to escape), and they kicked us out as fast as possible... (i think she was upsetting the others tbh)

it will all be over and done with - she was down for about 40 minutes in total - and then you can have a glass of something nice xx hope it goes well!

lou031205 Mon 08-Jun-09 12:40:14

BTW, DD didn't have a mask until she was almost out. She just had the end of the tube to 'blow the balloon up'. Perhaps this might help if your DD is tactile defensive?

mumgoingcrazy Mon 08-Jun-09 13:57:05

I'm liking the idea of a mask more and more. When she had bloods taken it had to be done from her foot not arm.

DD2 has just learnt to blow (food, bubbles etc) so the balloon idea may work. The only problem may be that she is also orally defensive so is very funny about what touches her mouth. Hopefully we'll have understanding staff and will cut her some slack when it comes to her quirky stuff. She's only (almost) 2 (and delayed at that) so reasoning and understanding are pretty hard with her.

Thanks again for all the advise, I'll get DH to read this thread tonight as he's also dreading wednesday.

LollipopViolet Mon 08-Jun-09 15:51:14

For what it's worth, I have had both CT and MRI scans when my sight was being diagnosed (some already was but other things weren't). I was sedated for both, I was 6 for my CT, and 7 for my MRI scan. I found it an OK experience, but I remember the machines make a very loud noise, especially MRI scanners, so was given ear plugs for that one. If your dd will be under a GA, I'm not much help but if you want to ask anything from someone whos been there done that, feel free.

mumgoingcrazy Mon 08-Jun-09 19:36:09

Thanks Lollipop, she will be under GA just because of her age and needing to be completely still. How long did it take for you to come round? and also did you feel normal afterwards or groggy for a while?

Is sedation better than GA, or will that not even be considered because of her age?

Roll on Thursday

feelingbetter Mon 08-Jun-09 19:58:57

DS had his last week.
We went in the day before when he was checked over by the anaesthetist and passed fit for GA. Had his last feed at 2am, and was allowed water till 6am.
At 7.30, they came to prepare him and added numbing cream to all the usual 'access a vein' areas, and at 8.30, I took him down to radiology in his buggy.
They made him nice and warm on the bed and I cuddled him whilst they inspected the vein sites (complete waste of time in my fat rather rounded DSs case) and decided to try and access one after he was asleep!

They put a mask over his face and gave him gas to send him off to sleep as I held him and talked to him. He was in the land of nod within about 10 seconds. I was allowed to wait there, but was feeling a bit wobbly so went for a well earned cup of coffee, hoping the walk would kill some time.

He returned to the ward about, 90 mins after we had left. He was furious! It was funny, the anaesthetist came up with him and said that there was no coming around with him, click of fingers, he was awake and shouting his displeasure!

I gave him a big cuddle, and 15mins later (after much fighting, shouting and wriggling) he was allowed some water. Then some more. Then after about 10 mins in total we gave in and gave him a big milk feed as he was obviously starving (there is a reason he is so chubby).

He was awake and playful for about an hour, the he slept soundly for about 90mins. Then he had another feed!

He had 1/2 hourly obs taken and the doctor saw him at 2pm, witnessed a very wet nappy and said, he had done so well we could go home!
He did very well.

I think you have to stay a minimum of 4 hours after the GA and they must see a wet nappy before you are allowed to go.

Good luck, I hope it goes well for her. It is a relief to have it over and done with.

mumgoingcrazy Mon 08-Jun-09 20:10:59

Thankyou feelingbetter. That's great they did the canula after he was asleep, I hope they will do this for DD2 as well as I'm really worried her tactile defensivness will come back (it does whenever she's ill or stressed).

I didn't realise we'd have to be there so long after the GA. Is it just the wet nappy they look for before they discharge you? I thought they had to eat and drink as well? DD2 doesn't drink anything at the moment, we have to spoon it in so I'm a bit worried how this will go. It might be a very long time before they get a wet nappy.

How old is your DS?

Wispabarsareback Mon 08-Jun-09 20:29:24

Hi mumgoingcrazy. My DD2 (22 months) has had two MRI scans under GA (one heart, one brain). The brain scan was just last month. It was fine.

I can't see why they wouldn't put your DD under using a mask, and then do the cannula once she's asleep. We've had horrific experiences of attempts at inserting cannulas, but each time DD has had a GA (she's had three now), she's gone under incredibly peacefully in my arms. It's an emotional experience though - of course it is.

My DD's brain MRI took about 45 mins, and she came round straight away. (The cardiac one took several hours, and she took hours to come round after that.) She was incandescent with hunger! We took her home about three hours after the scan - they wanted her to eat, drink and produce a wet nappy. And she was fine, no ill effects at all, delighted to get home and slept very soundly that night. The worst part is the starving before the GA. (My DD eats little and often because she is the incredible vomiting child, so filling her up in advance of the starvation period wasn't really an option.)

Hope it goes well and that you don't have to wait too long for results.

feelingbetter Mon 08-Jun-09 20:41:16

Yes, sorry, they do have to eat as well. DS will be 1 next week and is only eating solids when he feels like it intermittently at the moment, so they did not force him to have solids, just plenty of milk and water.

When we went in the night before, there were a family there who had been there all day waiting for their DD to produce a wet nappy. The nurses were weighing each nappy against a new one, so they could detect even the smallest amount. Thankfully for them she obliged at about 9pm! What time is the scan? Are you able to plan to stay in, just in case? May be worth mentioning to the ward staff when you go in.

And yes, the starve beforehand is by far the worst part!

mumgoingcrazy Mon 08-Jun-09 21:08:59

Thanks Wispa and feelingbetter, our appt is 10:30 so I guess the scan will be 11 onwards. We can't really stay in, but if we need to I guess we'll find a way. That hadn't even occured to me to be honest. Maybe we should take an overnight bag or something. Did you stay in becaus your DS was so young?

45 mins seems a long time for a brain scan, I can see time passing very slowly. DD2 won't be eating after her tea the day before, I was thinking of giving her her dinner late that day just to help her along a bit.

feelingbetter Mon 08-Jun-09 21:23:21

Yes I squeezed in an extra feed at about 1am, but he wasn't that interested (being asleep an' all!) but he did have some of it.

We stayed the night before as DS still has quite a nasty chest infection. He's had it for months now and the current thinking that it is due to reflux aspiration means its unlikely to go away any time soon, so even though the anaesthetist was happy to continue with the GA (DS doesn't really have breathing difficulties with it - just a hell of a cough and a bit of a wheeze) he wanted his oxygen sats monitored through the night. They were fine.
TBH it was very convenient, as we'd have had to be back at the hosp for 7am and tho we don't live far away, it would still have been an early start with a grumpy and hungry baby.

I spend a lot of time back and forth to the hosp with DS and one health crisis or another. Every time I take a bag and prepare to stay, we end up going home. So take one and hope the same law applies. If your prepared then you definitely won't need it!

Will she eat fluidy things? yoghurt, ice cream, ice lolly? Or wet fruit like melon?

mumgoingcrazy Mon 08-Jun-09 21:33:15

I guess it won't do any harm to have a few bits in the car in case we need it. Yes she eats everything except frozen things. Why?

feelingbetter Mon 08-Jun-09 21:41:14

Just thinking it might help keep her hydrated and speed up that all important wet nappy smile!

madwomanintheattic Tue 09-Jun-09 08:41:10

we didn't have to eat or drink after ours. dd2 was so absolutely distraught and screaming and fighting that they couldn't do any obs either lol. they just said 'if she's making that much noise there's not a lot wrong with her' and let us go after about 45 minutes (anything to bring peace back to the ward lol). as soon as they took the canula out of her foot she was much happier.

dd1 had a GA for something entirely diff, and they stuck to the rules with her (eating and drinking etc) but as she was 8 and NT it was fairly easy lol wink

i think they are reasonably flexibly with sn kids, at least round here.

Widemouthfrog Tue 09-Jun-09 10:16:31

Good luck for today mumgoing crazy.

UndertheBoredwalk Tue 09-Jun-09 10:22:39

Second all advice on thread, DD has had MRI's every year since she was 6 months old. We have one today and for the first time are going to try without anaesthetic now DD is 8. Not sure if she's going to manage it and stay still, but fingers crossed. Life without yearly ga's will be much better! grin

mumgoingcrazy Tue 09-Jun-09 19:53:34

feelingbetter, very good advise for getting that wet nappy, thanks!

Thanks all for sharing your stories, DH and I feel a lot better prepared for tomorrow and much less paniced now. Hopefully come Thursday we'll look back and wonder what the worry was all about.

Thanks again, mn to the rescue again grin

HairyMaclary Tue 09-Jun-09 21:09:30

Are you going to St. George's? They are very, very good and have dedicated paed areas for this. DS has had 1 MRI but 4 GA's. My DS2 has also had a GA For an MRI they do not put them under very deeply as they only need to be still, however it all looks the same to us.

I find that I sit on the bed, hold DS in my arms, very tightly and look into his eyes, telling him it will be ok. If they use the gas there will be a stage as the aneasthic takes effect where he struggles massively and becomes upset, that is the body's defence mechanism and it is is important to hold very tightly and keep calm yourself, it mean's it's nearly over! Once he's gone I lay him on the bed, give him and kiss and go out of the room to hug DH and cry on his shoulder. If at all possible have your DH with you, seeing them go under for the first time (or any really) is not fun. I am now quite firm and say that I will do it this way and have never had a problem with others trying to tell me to do it another way!

On waking DS is always very grumpy but I give him juice (not water, something with a bit of sugar in it) followed by favourite foods, always take a big packed lunch in, don't rely on the hosp, they want have it NOW when your DD wants it! He tends to eat and drink straight away and then fall asleep for a few hours to sleep it off. They can eat and rink as soon as they are back on the ward if there are no complications. (I had a nurse tell me otherwise once!)

Sorry this has turned into a bit of an essay and you've already had lots of good advice. It will be fine but you will probably find it hard, try to wait until she has gone under to break down if you possible can though. Good luck!

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