May 29, 2013

Anxiety

One week from today, SB has a follow-up MRI. Given the nightmare we went through last year, my anxiety level over this upcoming procedure has been high. But, that was assuaged a bit today.

I met with the head of Pediatric Anesthesiology at our local children's hospital. We discussed last year's event in detail, and wrote out an official plan for avoiding a repeat.

Last year, I was so unnerved by my child's condition I was unable to be her best advocate. It is something I regret, and I intend to never let it happen again.

That SB suffered from a severe case of emergence delirium last time is a certainty. We reviewed all the things that went wrong and what should have occurred.

Unfortunately, the chances she will experience the same symptoms next week are high.

It is possible the abnormality found in her brain in the first MRI is the cause to her strongly negative reaction to anesthesia. But many times, doctors never know why it happens. Once it does the individual is likely to have such responses again.

We will have the same anesthesiologist this time around. I am comfortable with that. After I filed my formal complaint, he called me from vacation and apologized profusely. He was extremely upset by what had transpired, said it should not have happened and if the nurse had come to get him, he would have treated my daughter for emergence delirium immediately.

I have requested that we have no interaction with said nurse this time around.

The first thing the anesthesiologist will do next week is use a different combination of anesthesia drugs. They will also insert a breathing tube and keep SB's IV in after the MRI is complete. The anesthesiologist himself will observe her as she comes around, rather than a nurse.

SB will be taken to the regular recovery room versus remaining in the MRI suite. There, they will be prepared to administer certain drugs which could help control the psychosis. However, that does not always work. IF it does not, she will be monitored closely to ensure her safety and comfort.

We will not be going home until she is completely recovered and herself.

This time, I will also have hubby with me. He did not come last year because we assumed it would be routine and simple. He felt terribly guilty after what went down and the trauma it caused me.

There was no way we could have known. Nonetheless, he has vowed I will never take SB to that hospital without him again. (I did have my mom with me last year, thankfully. Don't know what I would have done without her.)

Of course, the whole point of all this is to hopefully gain more information about SB's seizures. The more information her doctors can gather about her brain, the better they can treat her. IF there have been changes since the last MRI, further testing will be needed. Which would require anesthesia. That was discussed during my consult today as well.

Knowledge is power. Having a plan in place makes dealing with a potentially difficult situation much easier. I'm grateful the staff at the hospital has taken our experience seriously, accepted accountability for what happened and taken charge of making sure it doesn't again.

Although this mama will still be nervous next Wednesday. Nothing can completely suppress a mother's concern for her child.

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