Helpless (adjective) — Your 2 year old having a brain MRI
I mentioned on air that on Tuesday morning my 2 year old son would be having anesthesia for the first time. He needed to have an MRI of his brain. While we don't have any results yet I'm happy to report that Atticus tolerated the anesthesia just fine.
You simply never know about anesthesia when a person is having it for the very first time. And a 2 year old seems particularly fragile. But as I mentioned Monday, this is nothing. I have great admiration and respect for so many parents out there who deal with far worse. Newborns hours old having open heart surgery. Children born with lifelong chronic diseases and trips to the hospital that become more routine than grocery shopping. I don't know how these parents cope, because just this little thing Tuesday morning had my wife and me feeling so helpless.
For those wondering why he needed this, here's the brief back story. After a normal, healthy, uneventful pregnancy, Atticus almost died at birth. They'll never know why. But he was born lifeless, limp, not breathing and completely blue head to toe. They had to revive him. There was no time to get him to NICU; NICU came up to him. Within seconds that delivery room was suddenly as crowded as a NYC elevator. It took two full minutes before he showed any sign of life whatsoever. We would learn later that in those first two minutes he was considered as having less than a 20% chance of survival.
I'll never forget the moment my tears went from tears of impending loss to tears of joy when he suddenly twitched and a gurgle came from his lungs, then a small pink spot replaced the blue on his chest and slowly spread to more pink from there. Soon he was wailing, moving, alive.
Everything seemed perfectly fine. But by 18 months or so we started noticing that he wasn't saying as many words as he should be and he had certain sensory quirks. My wife being a special ed teacher knew what to look for and we went to work getting him evaluated. Because of New Jersey's high rate of autism it was one of our concerns. But we've been told by every expert and screening that he's most definitely not autistic. It seems he has something called a sensory processing disorder along with a speech delay. Then we were told 50% of children who had the kind of traumatic birth Atticus had have some form of a sensory processing disorder. The good news is they say it's perfectly fixable and we've been getting him the therapies recommended, like speech therapy and occupational therapy. Experts tell us by about age 4 these children have gotten past all issues. Still, we worry if something is being missed. There's apraxia of speech to wonder about. There are neurological things to wonder about, which is why a neurologist recommended an EEG, and the MRI which he had Tuesday. Like every parent, we're taking things one step at a time.
So our amazing little trooper made it through his anesthesia and MRI just fine, and I'm offering a few pictures of his busy morning.
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