Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The CT Scan Miracle

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that my baby boy Max has been through a lot this past year.  He has developed an incredible fear of Doctors and Nurses, and the most minor procedure in a doctor's office makes my normally happy boy dissolve into a fit of tears.   I dread taking him to doctor's appointments, because he ineveitably ends up sobbing and looking at me like I've betrayed him in some fundamental way.

Well, in preparation for craniosynostosis surgery #2 (currently scheduled for March 4th, *sigh*), we needed to get another 3D Brain CT done on Max.  3D Brain CTs are expensive suckers, so we decided to get it done before the end of the year when our insurance rolls over and we're stuck paying for it out of pocket.  I had it scheduled yesterday morning.

CT scans for babies or small children are a big undertaking, mostly because it requires the child to be absolutely still in order to get the images they need.  And if you've spent any time with a one year old boy, you know what a difficult prospect that can be. At Primary Children's Hospital they recommend sedation for kids undergoing a CT.  The first time Max was scheduled for one, I was a nervous wreck.  They make you prepare for a CT with sedation like you would any surgical procedure: fasting for a certain amount of hours, filling out pages of questionaires and consents, etc.  I cried several times at the thought of Max getting an IV and going through the sedation process.  When they were able to do the first CT without sedation wuth some creative wrapping and an interesting toy, I was thrilled. 

Despite our previous experience, I still dreaded the CT yesterday.  I know my little boy, and between his utter terror of Doctors, nurses and all things medical, and the fact that he is a very busy one year old, I figured the chances of getting him to hold still long enough for the CT were negligable.  I went into yesterday expecting that he was going to need to be sedated.  (I'm not against sedation or anesthesia in practice, but there are always risks.  He's just a tiny boy, and has already gone under general anesthesia twice in his short life and has more to come.  I'd like to avoid it wherever possible.)  My heart always aches for Max leading up to major procedures, and Sunday night was no exception.  I knelt on Sunday night, and said a prayer, asking God to protect my little boy and help him through the next day.  He had to be fasting for the procedure, and when he doesn't eat first thing in the morning, he gets cranky.  Add that to the fact that the CT was scheduled right in the middle of his naptime, and that we had to drive an hour to the hospital, and I was anticipating a very cranky boy.

The next morning, Max slept in.  In order to appreciate the small miracle that him sleeping in is, you have to understand that he and my daughter Abby rarely (rarely!) sleep past 6:30.  They can be awake until 11 pm, and they'll still be up before the sun.  Every minute he spent sleeping was a minute I didn't have to worry about him being hungry and cranky.  When he did wake up just past 7:00, he didn't even seem to mind that he couldn't have breakfast.  I didn't hear an angry peep out of him throughout the whole morning chaos.   When I loaded him in the van for the long trip to Salt Lake, I was prepared for an eruption.  He was asleep in his carseat before we reached Park City, and you could have picked my jaw up off the ground.

When we got to the radiology department, the technician was with us within minutes.  (Again, more scraping my jaw up off the ground!)  The tech told me he wanted to try to do the scan without sedation, and I told him I was willing, but wasn't optimistic about our chances.  The technician was an angel.  He started talking to Max, got a big basket of toys out and had Max laughing.  When we strapped him down and entered the CT scanner, Max of course started screaming, but the technician did everything in his power short of standing on his head to keep Max still.  At one point, he got out a giant plastic hippo and had me blowing bubbles while he voiced the giant hippo pretending to eat the bubbles.  Two and a half minutes from start to finish, and we were done.  No sedation necessary, and we were in and out of the hospital in ten minutes flat.

I left radiology with tears in my eyes, knowing that the Lord had worked a miracle for my baby to make the whole process easier for him, and for me.  The two minutes in the scanner weren't wonderful, but an IV sedation would have been a whole lot worse.  I sat in my van and gave a prayer of thanks for helping Max to sleep in, then to fall asleep in the car, then sending a wonderful technician to help us get through the scan without incident.

I know, I know.  Its a small thing.  But to me, it wasn't.  To me, it was proof that the Lord watches out for us, and wants to bless us every way that he can.  And it was evidence to me that God loves all of us, even the tiny babies, and can and will work miracles.


  1. That is a miracle. I'm so happy for you. When I focus on blessings like this I am so much happier.

  2. What an amazing answer to prayer! Our Father does know exactly what we need. :)

  3. This post had me in tears for some reason! I am sooo GlAD that you got through that without him having to be sedated! Our Heavenly Father is a miracle worker, just like you said! Isn't it amazing what the power of prayer can do!

  4. NOT a small thing. Wow. That's all I can say.


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