Monday, November 17, 2008


This morning, Monkey Man and I made a quick stopover at Starbucks for some fuel before we drove up to the hospital on the other side of the city for his x-ray. I was hoping to get there a little early for the mere fact that parking is usually a bitch there and I wasn't entirely sure where we were supposed to go once we got there so we needed some fudge time to figure all that out.

Once we got there, I found a parking place right up front (score!) and after chugging my drink we headed on inside. One slight misdirection and then we ended up at "outpatient registration" where a very unfriendly and apparently ice-hearted woman checked us in and then walked us down the hall. Seriously, she must have been a total kid-hater because she made no attempt to engage Monkey Man at all, and I barely got more than an icy stare.

It was at this point when I received our little surprise. It wasn't an x-ray at all. It was a freaking CAT scan! I started to silently freak out as we sat in Radiology with a million other people, most of whom were at least double my age. Monkey Man had brought the WalMart Christmas Wish Book along so he was happily chattering away as he selected about twelve pages of goodies for himself. Finally, a nice older lady called out, "Mr. Builder?" I started across the room with Monkey Man in tow and she said to me, "I'm looking for Mr. Builder." "Um, yeah, this is Mr. Builder," I said as I presented Monkey Man who was clutching his precious WalMart book and grinning from ear to ear. She seemed to be surprised, probably because most of the people in the waiting room probably had underwear older than Monkey Man.

More paperwork. A few more minutes of waiting and then it was back to the CAT scan room. The technician couldn't have been nicer - not only did he have a 6-year old son himself, but he was a Star Wars fan so he chattered away with Monkey Man as he positioned him on the little bed part of the machine. He asked if I wanted to stay in the room or go back in the booth with him, and as much as I wanted to look inside Monkey Man's head to see what was going on I figured that it was probably better to stay there with him. I donned the lead apron and the tech disappeared back into the booth.

The machine whirred to life. A cross-section of red lasers formed a target on Monkey Man's forehead. My stomach felt sick. This was real.

"Mommy! There are laser beams cutting through my skull! This is awesome!" crowed Monkey Man. "It's like being in Star Wars!"

And just as quickly as it started, it was over. The tech told me the results would be ready in one or two days and the doctor (my brother-in-law) would be in touch. He patted Monkey Man on the head and asked if he was okay...."Yup. That was way easier than that time I got the spinal tap!" he said cheerfully.

"Spinal tap?" asked the tech.

"It's a long story. A really long one," I sighed.

So this morning, after meeting up with Joey so he could whisk Monkey Man away to school, I got online on the American Lung Association website to read up on childhood asthma. Two things stuck out immediately - night coughing, and chronic sinus infections. Huh. We have both of those. But the website was very encouraging about treatment options and it seems like we are on the beginning of a good path. Last night, he slept the entire night without a single cough...I woke up at 2:36 AM so freaked out that I actually stumbled into his room to make sure he was okay. And he was.

Monkey Man went on to school and got his report card which was handed out on Friday. Unfortunately, Joey allowed him to open it and he was crushed to find out that he didn't get all E's, he got a few S's. "I think we're in trouble, because he read it and he was PISSED," warned Joey. So I made sure that when I picked him up tonight that I let him know how proud we were of his hard work and we made a special trip to the Armpit of Hell (a.k.a. Toys R Us) to pick out a little reward. I am all about bribery.


Gretchen said...

It is not bribery - it's positive reinforcement.

Scary about the cat scan - hopefully you're on the path to some answers!

Tree said...

We suscribe to a little bribery - ahem, positive reinforcement - as well.

I am so glad that MM is sleeping better (and you, too!) and I hope that it means better health down the road.

MPPs Mom said...

lots of huge hugs for the Monkey Man, what a brave little guy! Love how he thought it was cool to have the lasers on him, my guy would have been the same way!
giant hugs for you too!