At Bella's 6 month checkup, the doctor noticed a small (very small) cyst or lump on her lower back right over her spine. He sent us for an MRI, and we later learned that Bella had what is known as a tethered spinal cord. It is congenital (meaning it developed in utero and she was born with it) and thankfully we (or Dr. Mink) found it when he did. Her cord was basically attached to a small cyst of fatty tissue outside of her spinal column. As she started to grow, and her cord tried to ascend, it would cause her cord to stretch resulting in permanent nerve damage and developmental problems, such as difficulty walking, numbness in her extremities, and loss of bladder & bowel control. Surgical repair of it had to be done soon. She had surgery when she was only 8 months old. It could not have gone better given the circumstances. Her neurosurgeon was able to detach the cord without any damage. She stayed in the hospital for 5 days. The doctor thought everything went very smoothly and anticipates that she will not have any long-term problems.
Today we had a follow-up MRI. Her surgery was in April 2012, and this is second MRI since her surgery (her third altogether). Because of her young age and because she would not be able to lie still for her pictures, she has to be sedated. The worst part is always the I.V. and the fasting.
We were scheduled to arrive at 9:30 for her prep with her MRI scheduled for 11:00 a.m. She was not allowed any food and only clear liquids until 7:30. Nothing after that. Surprisingly, this was no problem. When she first woke up this morning, she asked for pop tarts right away. I was able to distract her by asking her to come get her makeup on like Mommy. During the car ride, she asked for a "gink" but quickly forgot she asked. She was very curious when we arrived at Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters. By the way, we are very lucky to have this hospital so close to us. I used to work there in the N.I.C.U. It's a great hospital (with great doctors and nurses) and we've always had great experiences there. It was cold and rainy today so Daddy dropped us off and parked. Here she is watching and waiting for Daddy in the lobby.
Bella has always been "touch-and-go" around strangers. Sometimes, she's outgoing. Other times, she cowers behind me or Josh and won't say a word. She usually warms up to anyone, however, if they stick around long enough. She warmed right up to the nurses and didn't see scared at all. She let them put the numbing lotion on her hands and cover it with clear band aids. She hates band aids. As soon as I ever put one on her, it comes right off. Stickers, too.
She colored while we waited for the numbing cream to work so they could start her I.V. The worst part was that they had to strap her down. That freaked her out more than anything. I don't think the I.V. stick hurt her too much, and as soon as it was over, while they were taping it up, she told the nurse "Thank you".
We walked around the hospital to kill time while we waited for our turn to go under the camera. We hung out in the lobby because Bella liked climbing on the stools and chairs. You can see the arm board didn't hinder her from climbing.
We couldn't go with her during the scans, which take about an hour. We had lunch in the cafeteria. As soon as she was done and awake, they came and got us. She was sitting up in the crib eating Teddy Grahams and drinking apple juice. She wasn't crying. She didn't seem overly relieved to see us. I couldn't believe how well she did today. She always amazes me with her spirit. Such a trooper. It's like nothing can get her down.
We don't get the results of the scan until later this week when we have her follow-up with the neurosurgeon, Dr. Dilustro.
My name is Kaci. I am a working mom of 3. Wife to Josh. Mom to Jackson, Cameron & Isabella. My life is dinner, homework, baseball, basketball, grocery lists, laundry, wine, video games, and bath time. I started this blog because I am passionate about photography and journaling, and because I wanted a place to write it all down, to rememeber little details so easily forgotten in the mad rush that is the life of a family of 5. Through my photos and words, I endeavor to capture our story.