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Old 07-08-2013, 07:57 PM   #1
Bellaroo
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MRI with sedation...suggestions to make it easier?

Our little guy (who will be three in September) is having an MRI of his brain. He will be under general anesthetic.

Any suggestions on what we can do to make his wake-up time more comfortable? He is non-verbal so any examples you can give of what your kids have requested would help. I can make extra pictures for his PECS book to make communication easier.

We are thinking of putting some special games on the iPad in the hopes that it will occupy him but I am at a loss for anything else.

We also have a three hour drive home. Is it common for kids to vomit after anesthesia?

Maybe I'm over thinking....

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Old 07-08-2013, 08:10 PM   #2
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Re: MRI with sedation...suggestions to make it easier?

Waking up, my son is almost always NUTS. He screams, thrashes, etc. Even at 18 months old, he was so violent we couldn't hold him or we'd drop him. He is verbal/age appropriate for speech, but unable to communicate coming out of anesthesia because he is crazed. It is very common for kids to be hysterical after general. Being in almost darkness helps. DS has had 6 surgeries, and the only one he wasn't nuts for he was only under for about 2 minutes (endoscopy). That one, he was just mad that some other kid was in the Power Wheels going back to surgery. He does not generally vomit. You are NPO beforehand, so the stomach is always empty. Usually, after he freaks out, he is exhausted and sleeps all the way home and the rest of the day.

Ipad games would be good, as would having his blanket/stuffed animals. Usually they have to eat and drink something before they will let you leave, so a favorite snack might be good.

If he has asthma, make sure to ask what their plan is for managing it while he is under. DS had an attack while under last year and came home a week later on oxygen, so now I always ask.

Bring your laptop. We can run Netflix at our children's hospital on the laptop.

Also suggest a nice bottle of wine for mommy for later that evening...
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:55 PM   #3
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Re: MRI with sedation...suggestions to make it easier?

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Originally Posted by luvsviola View Post
Waking up, my son is almost always NUTS. He screams, thrashes, etc. Even at 18 months old, he was so violent we couldn't hold him or we'd drop him. He is verbal/age appropriate for speech, but unable to communicate coming out of anesthesia because he is crazed. It is very common for kids to be hysterical after general. Being in almost darkness helps. DS has had 6 surgeries, and the only one he wasn't nuts for he was only under for about 2 minutes (endoscopy). That one, he was just mad that some other kid was in the Power Wheels going back to surgery. He does not generally vomit. You are NPO beforehand, so the stomach is always empty. Usually, after he freaks out, he is exhausted and sleeps all the way home and the rest of the day.

Ipad games would be good, as would having his blanket/stuffed animals. Usually they have to eat and drink something before they will let you leave, so a favorite snack might be good.

If he has asthma, make sure to ask what their plan is for managing it while he is under. DS had an attack while under last year and came home a week later on oxygen, so now I always ask.

Bring your laptop. We can run Netflix at our children's hospital on the laptop.

Also suggest a nice bottle of wine for mommy for later that evening...
Thanks for this. Every procedure to this point has been with him awake so we are so unsure of how he is going to respond.

My husband will be glad to hear that your son doesn't vomit. I think he was ready to wrap the car in cellophane.

I think I will make some PECS cards so that he can communicate that he feels scared, confused or wants to be held (and who he wants to hold him). Does your son's thrashing about last long?

And do you ever get used to these procedures? Is it even possible for them to become easier?
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:03 PM   #4
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None of my kids vomit after.. Hmm. We've had 10 sedation a between the 3 of them. Some were when they were verbal, others, no.

They tend to wake up, however they went down. So my middle wakes up fine. He also goes with the dr and lays down fine. No crying or screaming. My oldest... He wakes up like he is fighting off a murderer. Identical to how he is put down. Last time, I took him into the OR. That helped. He was still very scared, but he did not thrash, kick or scream on the table. He woke up much gentler that time. I was able to climb into my kids beds with them in recovery, at one hospital. So I held them as they came to. Made it safer.

My kids were way to groggy for much. So movies on the iPad were for ME. I imagine your child will sleep the whole way home.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:49 PM   #5
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Re: MRI with sedation...suggestions to make it easier?

Nope, you never get used to them. Esp after the asthma attack one. He flat lined twice later that day (it was for routine tonsils/adenoids), so now I am terrified every time we have to put him under, and we do it as little as possible.

Ledger screams/is hysterical for about an hour usually. It is very, very hard on DH and I. We know he won't remember it, which is good, but when he is so upset and you can't do anything to calm him, it is very frustrating. We trade off who sits in the chair with him just because no one person could hold him that long, and sometimes we have to lay him in the bed and just stand on either side of him for a few minutes til he calms a little before we can pick him back up.

It will pass, though. And hopefully you get the answers you need. And then, you will go home and pass out yourselves from the stress and worry of the day!
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:08 PM   #6
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Re: MRI with sedation...suggestions to make it easier?

This may not be an option but my oldest has had 2 MRI's without sedation. The first he was about 30months old for then second was more recently (he was 10). With the first he had to have a sleep deprivation EEG earlier in the day and wound up falling asleep waiting for the MRI. He made it through the entire thing, plus ABR and blood work. I would not let them do anesthesia on him because I couldn't accompany him if they did it so we were at a bit of standstill when he fell asleep on us. The second time he was old enough to understand what they needed. My youngest has been sedated with ketamine at the ER to have a bead removed from his nose. He was 5 at the time. He went down fine and woke up a bit loopy but fine. We were told he might be aggressive or afraid but he wasn't. He did keep telling dh and I that we weren't his real parents, that we looked like his real parents but we couldn't possibly be us. He recovered quickly and there were no effects past 20minutes or so. The Ketamine is different than general anesthesia though. He will need sedation again when he gets dental work done, possibly IV sedation.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:57 PM   #7
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Re: MRI with sedation...suggestions to make it easier?

My son has never puked after being under and I have lost count of how many times and different ways he's been put under and sedated for tests and surgeries. My son flips out after waking up from general anesthesia but he also has major medical anxiety so I am unclear how much is the drugs and how much is just his anxiety.

I guess the big thing is if your child has never been under you don't know how the drugs will affect him. I puke my guts out on morphine, my son handles morphine like a champ but screams non-stop over the top hysterics on Versed for five to six hours straight. Everyone is different and until he has been under there really is no real way to predict how it will affect him. Just do it in a children's hospital you trust and take note if there is a bad reaction so the docs know what to tweak next time.

Yes, I alway buy new toys and books for more involved hospital stays/procedures. We even keep special books that he can only read when at the doctors and therapy. New and special items are the only effective tools I have that work when trying to lessen his anxiety. Bring what ever fun distraction you can, better to have it and not need it. In our case distraction is always needed.

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Old 07-09-2013, 06:51 AM   #8
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We had to do general twice for my dd. 1 of them being for a brain MRI. Both times were similar coming out. She was very sleepy and mildly thrashing. It was like she was drunk almost trying to get comfortable. Once she was a little more awake I did hold her. No vomiting either time. Once she was awake and taking drinks and a light snack like crackers she was able to go home. She was just sleepy the rest of the day. I would take the iPad and things to do for before going back and for you while he's under, but for us it wouldn't have been useful while she was coming out.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:05 AM   #9
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Re: MRI with sedation...suggestions to make it easier?

My son vomited after. He was a bit restless when he woke up, but was otherwise fine. He is going back under this summer for dental work.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:26 AM   #10
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Re: MRI with sedation...suggestions to make it easier?

We don't have special needs, but my sons have been put under several times for routine things.

Both were still nursing and so I always try to nurse. I bring a blanket from home & get up in their stretcher/bed with them & snuggle. My boys did the thrashing hysterical thing too (at ages up to 2 1/2--no recent procedures) so I would be prepared for that.

Bring YOURSELF a drink bottle and maybe a snack that will help you (I bring hard life saver type candy) that way you can calm down while you're trying to shhh shhh your baby. (Your mouth gets dry fast.)

For my boys having the nurses constantly hanging around was bad...they see the scrubs & freak out. We had to ask the nurses to STOP checking on us, (recovery is just curtains, no walls, so if we needed them we just had to raise our voice).

They do have to eat/drink before they can leave & for us after adenoids/ear tubes he also had to use the potty. So, if he's still in a diaper be sure to bring a dry one to change him into if that's a requirement. (I needed one for surgery, one immediately after, then one as soon as he went pee--so back enough.)

If your hospital doesn't have popsicles ask if you can bring one--bc that met the eat AND drink requirement for us.
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