MRI'm not looking forward to it.
In the past several months, there have been numerous occasions where Quinn has been walking along and has literally run smack into something -- a wall, a door, once a parked car. Almost always this happens on the right side of his body, the same side that has been quirky since birth. All of his birth marks are on the right side of his body; when he was a few months old, I specifically asked the pediatrician about the shape of his head because it was almost as if his skull were slightly askew inside his skin - favoring the right side. None of these quirks has ever turned out to be anything of import, even though the birth marks, a large reddish-purple one on the bottom of his right foot and a larger and lighter tan one directly above his right knee, never faded as the doctors predicted. They are examined at every appointment and shrugged off with no concerns. My early worries about his skull were explained away years ago, and now I see a perfectly symmetrical skull when I look at Quinn's head, so apparently the mild asymmetry did work itself out as I was told it would.
Since Quinn has always had more falls than Bryce due to his less cautious nature, it took John and me a while to realize how often he was running into things. We were concerned, but he never hurt himself beyond a bruise or a scrape, and we went on with our lives as normal. A few months ago, though, the word "headache" strangely entered his vocabulary. We aren't headache people, so he wasn't picking it up from us, and we started noticing separately that he brought it up at unpredictable times with no common denominator -- bright lights, loud noises, not wanting to do homework, etc. Finally we compared notes and determined that we'd both heard these mysterious headache complaints enough times that between that and the clumsiness, we should at least take a trip to the doctor and talk about how to start ruling out the scary options, like latent tumors that provide only mild symptoms but abruptly and life-threateningly rupture before anyone realizes something is wrong.
We went to the pediatrician over a week ago, and I assumed we'd be laughed out of the office and told to find something better to do with our time than make up illnesses in a perfectly healthy and happy kid. That's not what happened, which means our doctor takes us seriously and also wants to rule out anything horrible. But, she didn't have an easy answer for us, either, which is disconcerting while we wait to have the various procedures and tests scheduled to rule out those unlikely but horrible items.
He had his eyes checked first, with all of us, including the eye doctor, assuming his eyes would be the culprit. But, no. They did every possible test they could do with a five-year-old's eyes. Depth perception? Perfect. Vision? Perfect. Peripheral vision? Perfect. Eye structure? Perfect. The worst part of the eye appointment had nothing to do with the results of any of the tests; it was Quinn's repeated and impassioned sob-screaming of "I HATE THIS PLACE!!" after the funny nurse and doctor he trusted held him down and put stinging dilating drops in his eyes. The staff was pretty unsympathetic, too, and in fact seemed to think that Quinn's hatred of the dilating process was strange and annoying -- something I found strange and annoying considering we were at a pediatric opthamologist's office, a place where I would assume screaming children would not be a novelty.
The next appointment is for an MRI, something both the pediatrician and the eye doctor (while ignoring Quinn's crying) thought would be a good idea, even though neither of them think we'll find anything horrible or even mildly scary. Even the very small chance anything is there is apparently enough reason to rule it out, though. So, the radiology department called me a few days ago to tell me how to prepare for the experience: "We usually have to sedate young kids because they have to stay still for 40 minutes and he'll have to have an IV for the contrast. So, is he a mature 5?" I stopped my hysterical laughter for long enough to tell her no, only to realize the eye appointment was a cake walk compared to even five minutes of what we're going to go through at the MRI. "He can't eat for four hours leading up to the MRI. When he gets there, first we'll numb the spot in his arm where the IV will go, then we'll put the IV in and wait for him to fall asleep. Sometimes they're really cranky for 30 minutes before they fall asleep." Ohdeargodinheaven. Sometimes other kids are cranky. Other kids who like candy and can learn patience and have fear of authority figures and can go five minutes without a snack and not spontaneously combust. She told me it was my choice whether or not I wanted to be in the MRI room with him, and that she is required to be there to monitor him the whole time. I don't think she realizes who she's dealing with. It's not a padded cell he'll be in while he goes through the "cranky stage," after not eating since dinner the night before, right? Okay, then I think you'll want me in the room with you to help sift through the carnage that was once your MRI waiting room.