8 March 2016

Rumer's Story, part 5

MRI scan and echocardiogram

Friday 22nd to Tuesday 26th May 2015
21 weeks pregnant

We spent the weekend googling information on Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) and calling family to update them. We were both worried and surprisingly normal. I remember reading all the survivors' stories on the CDH website and then braving reading the stories of the non-survivors and crying. It was a long bank holiday weekend.

On the Tuesday we had to get up early to go the MRI. It had taken a lot of chasing on the Friday to get the MRI booked as they had to find us a slot. It turned out that they were on top of it but we hadn't found out until 16.30. Fortunately there was a transport strike that day - I can't remember whether train or tube - but whichever, it meant that they managed to slot us in.

Finding the MRI department took us ages, but eventually we arrived in the deserted waiting room with no idea as to whether we were in fact in the right place. When the receptionist arrived, they didn't have us on their system so we still didn't know if this was where we should be; however, at 09.15 they called us through. Claire Kennedy, the doctor we'd met in FMU, was there to greet us and there was a research midwife whose name I can't recall too.

They discussed the purpose of the MRI - to look at the hernia - and also that they were doing some research and would we mind if they took some brain images too. We were also invited to take part in another piece of research looking at scanning techniques, which meant having an ultrasound in addition to the MRI. We agreed to both. We were told they wouldn't be able to feed back about the hernia today as the radiologist was in Scotland, but they could tell us about the brain imaging. They told us it would take about 40 minutes and Chris was sent off (he went to buy a book which proved useful when waiting for our many future appointments).

I got changed into scrubs and then was taken into the MRI room and lay down on the bed. I was given earplugs and headphones and asked which radio station I wanted - in the end the radio was never turned on. I was put into a tunnel, and it took forever! Rumer was not so keen on the MRI either: having moved only a little prior to this time, she decided to kick, especially when the beeps got loud and went on and on. Finally we were done. Apparently Rumer's movement had made it difficult to get clear images. They offered to feed back to us about the brain imaging, but as the MRI had taken an hour and a half, we had to rush across the hospital for the echo. We said we would come back after the echo to hear the results.

We headed across the main hospital and into the separate children's hospital, and went to the first floor where the fetal echos are based. We were lucky to be in a hospital where they do them; this was the regional centre and people had travelled miles for one. We waited and then were showed into a dark scanning room by Dr Cook, the ST8 (senior junior doctor) cardiologist. The room was very dark and peaceful. Dr Cook told us that Professor Evan Marshall may come in at some point. The scan went on and on; we gave up on trying to work out what anything was; occasionally a glimpse of an arm come into view but mostly we had no idea, and Dr Cook didn't talk. About halfway through, Prof. Marshall came in and took some measurements. I wondered if there was anything wrong, but it was far from clear. We hoped for a good outcome - at least something minor. At times we fell asleep. The echo concluded and we were asked to come into the quiet room to discuss the results.

1 comment:

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