Two weeks after Denham went to be with the Lord, Ethan's first MRI was scheduled. The hospital that was doing the MRI was 45 minutes away from home, so we had a long time to ponder what was about to happen. When I told my dad Ethan would have to have this MRI, he explained what happened when he had them so many times before, but we soon learned a child's MRI is not exactly the same.
We checked into the hopsital and were immediately sent to the Radiology Department. I had to fill out a ton of medical history forms. It never occured to me how much I know in my head about Ethan's medical history and could answer every question. D knows what to ask the doctors and I can provide history. (God knew what He was doing when he put us together.)
I turned all the paperwork in and the nurse gave me one more form. Consent for the MRI with all the "what ifs" and "the hospital is not responsible for" and it scared me. Death was mentioned quite a few times and so I asked for a consulation. What can expect from this MRI? The nurse told me we would be working with one of the the best technicians and he would explain everything.
Ethan's name was called and we went back to what to looked like the emergency room ... only quieter and cleaner. Really sterile. (You have to understand I worked with a medical company for 7 years and had seen all the major ERs in my area and most of them leave a lot to be desired) Anyway, they had us get Ethan in a hospital gown and get in the hospital bed while D and I sat on each side of him. A nurse came and applied some gel on the back of Ethan's hands and applied medical tape over the gel so he could not wipe it off. She explained that Ethan would be put to sleep for the procedure and they have would have insert an IV to administer the medicine.
Ethan has always been a curious child and he wanted to know every little detail. The tech came in, greeted us and began to explain to us what the procedure would involve. In the room next to us we could hear screaming from another child who was getting an IV put in. Oh yeah .. now I am really sure we are doing this. The tech explained that Ethan would get the medicine put in the IV and would instantly go to sleep. They needed Ethan to be very still in order to get the pictures they needed and most children do not like the noise the MRI machine makes. Sounds like a VERY bad rock concert. VERY BAD .. beyond heavy metal. I'm just saying.
It turns out of our tech was a DOCTOR, not just a tech, who was young, had great bed side manners and had completed these procedures with children many times before including his own son. He took time with us explaining what would happen and tried to calm our 6 year old Ethan down when he saw that Ethan was getting anxious. Me, I began to sob. Not outloud, but tears were overflowing. The doctor gave me some tissues and tried to calm me down as well. I could not believe that we were sitting in a hospital about to do this AND I kept brushing across a belly that was no longer there. My hormones were all - over - the - map. Poor D, I know he could not figure out what to do ..
Anyway, the got the IV in Ethan's little hands, the doctor did it himself and we were off the radiology area with the machines in them. By now I had a huge migrane headache and needed a very dark room. I stayed in the waiting room while D went in with Ethan. The test lasted for 45 minutes or so and when they opened the door Ethan was knocked out. I had never seen him this limp. They told us it would take us a while before he would wake up so they wheeled us back to the radiology holding area. D described for me what happened and I have never seen that look in his eyes before. He said that when they put the medicine in Ethan's IV, in less than a second Ethan dropped down on the gurney. One minute they were talking and the next minute Ethan was out like a light. Very scary to hear, very scary to see and very scary to think this boy is only 6. While we were waiting for Ethan to wake, a baby was wheeled in the next room and again, I thought, thank you Lord .. I don't think I could do this with a baby.
The nurse came over and said she needed to begin to wake Ethan up and he would be VERY combative and that we needed to brace ourselves. The medicine affects children in different ways. Ethan began to wake up and began to mumble and eventually he lit up when he saw the Dr. Pepper. They use cold drinks or soda to assist in getting the children awake so they can make sure they can swallow properly. Ethan immediately wanted to get up and walk, but he didn't realize he had "drunk legs". He was talking crazy, like a druken soldier and nothing we said made sense to him, all he knew was, he was ready to go. They told us to watch him for the rest of the day and night and that he would not be able to eat until later that evening. I forgot to tell you that he had not eaten since the night before and he was hungry, really hungry and he did not want us to keep telling him he couldn't eat yet. We are also on alert because they said the meds could make Ethan turn blue or he would stop breathing. Not highly likely, but it could happen and of course that is all I needed to hear before we went home.
We signed the release paperwork and waited for the doctor to come back in and tell us what this mass/tumor was. He back in the room to tell us he was sorry, but we would have to wait until we saw Dr. Anthony before we could get the answers we needed. He knew what they scans said, but he just could not tell us. I kept trying to read his face and held on to every word he said looking for answers that were not there.
It was just like they said all the way home. Ethan was trying to unbuckle his seat belt and get out of the car. Thank goodness for childproof door locks. Once we got home, D had to carry him in the house and we both had to watch him like a hawk, because he kept trying to get out of bed .. he still did not understand his sea legs. At one point me and D were literally holding Ethan's legs still because one parent was not enough to hold him down. It was another 2 hours before Ethan could have solid food and of course he chose mac and cheese and mashed potatoes. He did fine for the rest of the evening, but there was no way he could go to school the next day, so I stayed home from work and we stayed in bed ALL DAY ...
We didn't get to see and hear from Dr. Anthony until 2 days later. Another 45 minutes drive to the doctor's office. We thought alot and the drive was silent. We finally got in to see Dr. Anthony and he told us Ethan had a tumor the left temporal lobe of his brain and it was in a very difficult place for removal. Dr. Anthony had seen 2 other children that same year with tumors in the same region on the brain and those two children had already had their tumors removed and were doing well. BUT FOR ETHAN .. the story would not be the same.
The location of the tumor is what worried the doctors. Ethan's tumor was buried deep, deep in his brain and could be attached to brain tissue and from what he could tell, if they tried to remove it, it may render Ethan paralyzed with partial blindness and loss of memory and speech. We just sat there trying to make sure this wasn't a dream or nightmare. Dr. Anthony said he didn't know whether or not the tumor was cancerous and he wasn't even sure they could test the mass because of the location and if you go in test, you might as well go in to take it out and that was something they were not prepared to do.
He gave us the name of our neurosurgeon, Dr. Bradley and told us that we would have to see him soon to discuss Ethan's case. He would make the arrangements for us and let us know when we were to head to see Dr. Bradley. The good news .. they were very good friends and worked out together almost everyday and he would talk to Dr. Bradley the very next morning.
Hebrews 11: 6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (King James)
Never before in our lives would God's word begin to reign over us and rain on us in this manner .. as we would begin a new journey with Ethan, but more importantly with our Lord. Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus! Jehovah!