Tuesday, August 4, 2009

When A Bump Is, But Isn't, Just A Bump

I was pushing Jack on the swing. He asked me to push him on his butt because his back was hurting. I didn't pay much attention.

Later we noticed a bump there. We took him to have it looked at. The doctor scheduled an MRI.

I got to be in the room with him. It was an open-sided MRI machine. It looked like a giant UFO. We talked about being an astronaut and pretending to be a Pokemon.

I reminded him he had to be very still. I remembered my own MRI and how I was enclosed and cried through the whole thing. I would tell him that story when he was finished with his own. He laughed. He was braver than I was. I told him I was claustrophobic. He told everyone I had a disease.

The technician taped a vitamin to his back so the radiologist would be able to focus on the spot we were concerned with when reading the films. I couldn't stop thinking of the story of the Princess and the Pea, worrying that he wouldn't be comfortable laying on that vitamin.

After 35 minutes, they conveyored Jack out and we waitied for the doctor to read the films to see if he needed the contrast injection. It took 20 minutes for that decision, with Jack still strapped down and me rubbing and rotating his legs, which had begun to go numb and tingly. The doctor was consulting with a patient with sad news after a mammogram. I wondered if that would be us soon.

Jack needed the contrast. His eyes got big, he started breathing heavy, but was fine after he heard everything that was going to happen and she showed him all of her tools. Jack has to have an explanation and see all the implements before moving forward. His doctors and dentists know this about him. Seven more minutes and he was done.

We couldn't wait for our results. We had to go pick up Luke. We would have to distract ourselves for 48 hours and try not to think the worst. The radiologist called 15 minutes later with a preliminary report. I ran home and jumped on the Internet. Probably a mistake given the oodles of information with no specific explanation behind it.

We kept the weekend full. We went to see Harry Potter. Jack and John went to a Cardinal game. Jack played in his All-Star game. Jack and Luke had a sleepover at meemaw's. John and I went to a Cardinal game. I tried to ignore Jack's unopened box of school supplies on the dining room table. I can be too grim.

The doctor called. Syringohydromyelia. A rare disorder. Jack has always been unique and continues to be so, even in illness. Jack hasn't been experiencing symptoms from the disorder so may just need monitoring and not surgery. We have an appointment with a pediatric neurosurgeon to figure out our next steps.

The bump the vitamin was taped to? Didn't even show on the MRI. Without the bump, we wouldn't have discovered the syrinx in his spinal cord. And maybe we didn't need to. Maybe Jack would have gone his whole life never experiencing symptoms. Or maybe not. I have to think that bump showed up for a reason.


OhCaptain said...

That's so scary. I'm glad you found it. Hopefully it's just one of those weird things you'll just need to know is there and move on.

Beth Cotell said...

Praying for your son!

Anonymous said...

Oh, that's so frightening! Is there a plan of attack, or just wait and see? How's he feeling? How are YOU doing?

Unknown said...

hey there, sue told us about the bump when she was out. I'm sorry to hear about the disease, but like you said, thank God that bump let the doctors see to the real problem. Those small miracles seem to always toe the line between burden and blessing

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

A Word To The Wise 4 All Moms!
I have listened to doctors, teachers, counselors as well as social workers dish out advice about our children and some of it is well taken, but all must be critically perused and evaluated by us, were the mommies! Who could possible know our children better than we do?
Some children have adverse reactions to sugar and some do not, however experts would like to paint all children with the same broad brush. Teenagers having problems in school is a good example. The first direction the experts seem to like to pursue is Attention Deficit. However a wise individual would first pursue the basics such as: Are their marital problems in the home or some type of alcohol or drug abuse? Is the child fighting thru Identity issues such as sexuality? These are just a few of the possibilities that could be causing children problems and us Mommies and Daddy’s need to make sure everything is being addressed before we push it off on a medical condition. I’m not saying we don’t look at everything; however it seems we live in a society that loves to turn directly to medication to solve a problem! Just watch the evening news and I’m sure you will see what I mean. The drug companies are now pursuing us directly to get us to ask our doctors for their drugs! The government likes to preach “Just Say No to Drugs”, and then they pitch them at every opportunity!
My 16 year old was being tortured by mean girls via email and was heartbroken. She was having some acne issues as we all did but they were extremely mean to her in nature. It was not easy but I found a site that carries Cyber Bully Alerts warning the children to STOP sending these emails as they are being watched and logged and will be prosecuted. We all know what this kind of meanness can lead to with teen suicides and all. I found the cards at www.hatecards.net and they did the trick! The torture stopped for Sarah and that was good enough for me. We need to find ways to overcome and adapt to protect our kids.
We can care for runny noses and chapped bottoms, but we must look out for our babies through high school and educate them to think for themselves until they learn too!
At Home Mom in MN

Kathy said...

I'm really to sorry to hear that. I hope they are able to take care of everything without surgery.