Yesterday was the first of two big days for Peanut this Month. Now that we’ve got the B12 and clubbed feet under control we’re starting with her paralysis. She had to go down to Children’s to get a detailed MRI done of her lower spine.
We still don’t know why her legs are paralyzed, so this is the first step to digging deeper to find the problem, and hopefully a solution.
Before they sedated her they told me she’d wake up groggy and irritable. When they sedated her they took me to the scanner and had me rock her to sleep. I rocked her for ten minutes while fighting her to stay snuggled in her blanket. She was fighting me tooth and nail. After about fifteen minutes I shifted her to a more comfortable position and the sedation hit her like a brick wall. Her beautiful little blue eyes got droopier and droopier. She snuggled her head into my chest and just like that, she was out cold. The nurses came in and I watcher them lay her tiny little body on the table that slides into the MRI. This thing is huge, and the loud sounds it makes are scary and intimidating. It’s as loud as a jack hammer. (Listen to these various MRI sounds. You’ll get a good idea why they like to sedate kids…) I looked at her helpless sleeping body and thought of David and Goliath. There was just no way… it was so big.
They gave her ear plugs and padded and propped her in various places. They said it’d take about an hour and they’d be done. They offered for me to stay in there with her, but I opted to wait outside the room until it was done since she was asleep. If she woke up and got scared they should get me and I’d go in by her then.
About an hour and a half later they came and got me. As we walked back to the MRI scanner the nurse told me that she woke up 3/4 of the way through. My heart skipped a beat! *My poor baby! All those loud noises and I’m not there!* She told me she just laid there and looked around though. They went in and gave her some ‘sweet-eaze’ on a nook and she was content (sugar water… sugar stimulates endorphin release to help calm a baby). She just laid there for about five minutes and fell back asleep and didn’t cry once. I was so proud of my little trooper!
When I got around the corner she was bundled up in her nurse’s arms smiling and squealing in delight at her. She saw me and let out an even louder squeal and threw her arms around. She was just so happy! The nurse laughed and said she’s one of the happiest babies she had ever seen come out of an MRI. Not to mention totally not groggy at all!
I was so proud of my little trooper. She has gone through so much and to come out of a scary experience like that so happy makes me feel so good. She doesn’t dwell on the frightening things, she moves forward to the happy things. She’s always been like this too.
(side note: When I showed up one of the nurses came right over and started fawning over Peanut. She was saying how Peanut got so big and looks so good. Come to find out she remembered Peanut from her MRI’s she had to get in her first weeks of life while she was at Children’s. That was nearly five months ago. I was shocked and thrilled that she remembered my sweet little Peanut all that time! Especially considering the hundreds of other kids she’s seen between then and now. She said she remembered how beautiful and sweet Peanut was and she loved her name so much. It really touched me that a nurse in one of the busiest hospitals in the states remembered and adored my little girl. It just goes to show how infectious her personality is!)
Now we wait for a couple days for the doctor to call us with results. If he finds something in the spine that is the cause of her paralysis we may or may not move forward depending on whether it’s treatable. Chances are we will just know what happened, but there is nothing we can do to make her legs work again.
To be honest, although we’re going to do everything we can to treat her I’m not holding out a lot of hope that she’ll ever walk again. Not because I don’t want her to, because I absolutely do. After a lot of fretting and worrying I’ve finally accepted the fact that she will probably be in a wheelchair, and that it’s fine. It’s one thing to say it, but it’s another thing to truly feel it and accept it in your heart. *It’s okay.* She’s still a beautiful, sweet and energetic little fireball ready to take on the world. It still makes me sad knowing what trials she will have to face in the future, but I’m learning to put her disability on the back burner and move forward with her real life. Although she will be ‘restricted’ by her wheelchair, I know she won’t be held back by it. She won’t let it become ‘who’ she is.
At first I thought that because she was born with her disability she won’t know what she’s missing. But over time I’m remembering I’ve known a few people who have had an accident and ended up wheelchair bound. They were sad at first, but they moved on with their lives and lived their lives just as they would have otherwise. Most importantly though, they’re still happy. I’ve realized that whether you have or haven’t walked doesn’t matter, it’s about accepting your life as it is right now and moving forward.
The same could be said for anything. Losing a loved one, losing a job, losing your sight, losing your life savings… they’re all hard to deal with in their own way. But what’s important is how you deal with it and your outlook on life. What’s important is that you deal with your sadness, then move forward. You take what’s happened and tell it, “You can’t get the best of me! I’m better than this!”. You overcome and continue on your path to happiness.
I know I need to be strong for her and show her that just because she’s in a wheelchair it doesn’t mean she can’t have fun or be happy. Just because she’s in a wheelchair, it doesn’t make her a different person or a bad person. On the contrary, she will be stronger. She will be sad at times, and she will feel left out at times, but she will overcome. She has me. She has husband. She has her twin sister and her big brother. She has grandparents, great grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. She will have many friends and acquaintances when she’s older. Through her life I want her to remember the giant support system she has and remember that she’s loved by many. I want her to stay happy and optimistic. I want her to come out of hard situations with a positive attitude. Just like she did with the MRI.
All of us will be by her side, accepting her for who she is, not what she has. She’s the girl who squeals, laughs, loves and trusts with all of her heart. She’s the girl that comes out of adversity smiling and laughing. She’s got her Mother’s determination, and her Father’s ambition. She will have her brother’s protection and her sister’s support. To all of us, she’s just Peanut. Sweet, happy little Peanut. I know she will be great.