It is that time of year again, and we are looking back on our annual trip to UNC Chapel Hill. We go every 18 months now and meet with Carter’s brain surgeon that performed the original brain surgeries to remove Carter’s brain tumor when he was two. These normal trips can drive up anxiety, and really get the entire family up in shambles. Two trips ago, they couldn’t get an MRI and consult on the same day, so we had to do the 4 hour drive twice. In between, a nurse told my wife over the phone that she thought there was some regrowth, and had our family in chaos for the weeks it took to get us back in. Just for the surgeon to tell us everything is fine, and nurses should’t read scans for the first time with a patient on the phone.
Well this time we had our own little issue to worry about, as Carter has been getting migraines since October and they bumped up his MRI by a few months to make sure everything is fine. Not to mention, we also had Carter getting his shots (https://fromtumor2autism.com/2019/05/23/getting-shots/) recently, and he was terrified to go here at all.
So we left on July 4th to drive from Chesapeake Virginia to UNC Chapel Hill. We stayed at the Hampton Inn for the night, about 2 miles from the hospital, since Carter was scheduled to be the first one on the scanner and we had to be fully checked in and ready to go to sedation by 6:30. The kids love staying in a hotel, and it was free for us so it was enjoyable.
(I will be doing an infographic and post for military families to explain medical travel and travel pay soon)
This morning, everyone got up and was ready to go. There is no drinking or eating for anyone, since Carter can’t until he gets off the scanner. The entire family doesn’t say anything, even 7 year old Kinley understands that her brother can’t eat and drink, so she waits until he goes to sedation. Let’s just take a second there, #proudparent moment happened when she didn’t mention it one time. She was a trooper and just sat patiently until Carter was sedated.
Carter still has to get gassed and then sedated with an IV for his 45 minute brain scan, as he will not sit still for the MRI to do its job. We are hoping next go around he will be able to watch a movie on the goggles and not be sedated, but we will see. I promised him no shots today, and that I would protect him. After the scan, he rose out of his sedation like a boss, long before the nurse had anticipated. He started to try and rip out his IV, and of course he called us a liar and that we tricked him. I tried very hard to explain that he didn’t get a shot, but that he got a medicine to keep him asleep, but it didn’t matter. We were liars to him, but we cured that with a new movie and some Buffalo Wild Wings.
We left the hospital around 9:30, and had a few hours to get Carter some food, and take him to get his movie. He picked Garfield, going back to our old comic strip days. We had a 1:00 appointment with his buddy the surgeon, so we didn’t have time to nap from our early morning wake up.
Once we got to the Spine and Imaging center, we eventually made it back to see the surgeon, who informed us that the image looked great, no regrowth, and the headaches were not from the brain or any tumors. Kelli had migraines as a child, so of all kids, why wouldn’t Carter get something else he needed to fight through. All in all it was a great day, Carter is doing fine, and we made it home safe and sound with enough time for me to jam this article up. We are so excited, and relieved from this trip. We continue to thank God for his healing power, and will get ready for the newest adventures we face down the road.
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