Thursday started out really early with an appointment time of 6:00am (and a 4:00 wake-up call). We left our house at 5:15am and the questions began. Anna Kate seemed to be okay until we pulled into the Scottish Rite parking garage. Reluctantly, she and her American Girls got out of the truck. We got checked in and Anna Kate seemed to be okay.....well, until the nurse called her name! She begged for "NO SHOT IN MY HAND". To our surprise, the nurse said "Okay, we can try this procedure without any sedation". He told us they would give it a try and if it didn't work out then the doctor would have to sedate her. So off we went into the MRI room, no sedation but tears flowing down her cheeks. Honestly, we did not think she could be still for 40+ minutes (and to add a loud, loud machine). Dan and I talked to her and she assured us she could be still and watch a movie! To our surprise, she got up on the table, the radiology tech placed the head gear around her and moved her into the machine. Because she was NOT under sedation, we were allowed to stay in the room with her. She did GREAT ~ the tech had to stop the scan only ONE time. Anna Kate started calling me...she needed me to scratch her foot.
After the scan, we headed over to the Neurosurgeon's office. We had the pleasure of visiting with "Dr." Christy (really a nurse) and Dr. Boydston. The previous scan was compared to this scan....Sweet words were spoken ~ STABLE and NO CHANGE. Her ventricles remain enlarged but no more so than the previous scan. After a complete head to toe assessment on Anna Kate, Emily and Mia (the two American girls she HAD to bring), Dr. B went onto to say that the Chiari is aggravated by growth. Typically, a Chiari surgery doesn't occur until adolescents. Growth causes the chiari to become distorted leading to neck pain, headaches and difficulty swallowing. For now, we are just to monitor her for the leading signs and symptoms. Dr. B suggested that we come back in 3 years for a follow-up and scan.
Although the uneasiness continues and she has NOT been released permanently, we are clinging to the words - STABLE and NO CHANGE. At 4 1/2 years old, Anna Kate has endured more than most will ever go through in a lifetime. She is such a brave, little girl and now we know that she can sit still for more than 5 minutes. Again, thanks for your calls, thoughts and prayers! They mean more than you will ever know.