CT Scan

Zoe fell unconscious in our driveway in June. We went to the ER that afternoon and followed up with her pediatrician afterward, and the consensus was that it was just a fluke. She has not fallen since, but she did complain of headaches for a couple of months, so her doctor ordered a CT scan at the end of November.

I called the nurse ahead of time to try to figure out what to expect. Zoe can’t even hold still long enough for me to put a pony tail in her hair, so I was pretty sure she was not going to be able to get the CT scan without sedation. We told Zoe what was going to happen and explained that she would need to hold still or they would have to give her medicine. She said she could do it. I was still skeptical, but she seemed very sure of herself.

As soon as we walked into the room with the CT machine, she said, “Uh uh,” and started backing out of the room. I grabbed her hand to bring her back in and she tried to pull me out of the room with her.

We tried everything. Christian got up on the table and showed her what would happen. It seemed like we were starting to convince her, but she freaked again as soon as they showed her how the table would move.

We tried to reason with her. We tried to ask her nicely. We tried to tell her how brave we knew she was. We tried to be stern and tell her she had to do it. We tried to bribe her. We said we would go to the toy store as soon as we were done. Christian even told her he would give her a car for her 16th birthday, but she was not to be convinced.

They led us to a room and they put some numbing cream on her hand to prepare for an IV. Another nurse brought in an iPad and distracted her with a Tinkerbell game while two nurses worked on the IV. When they finally stuck her, she gave them the death look and screamed her head off.

We had to take her earrings out and the feathers out of her hair so there wouldn’t be a shadow on the scan. She was p*ssed. She screamed and screamed. I promised the nurse that she is usually a sweet little girl, but at that moment I certainly wouldn’t have blamed them if they didn’t believe me.

I’ve mentioned that my girl is stubborn, so she FOUGHT that sedation. I’ve also mentioned that she is strong. She may only weigh 32 pounds, but it was a fight to keep her down. She cried and thrashed and tried to pull on the IV tubes. She kept turning over, getting the tubes tangled.

Once she was FINALLY out, they took her for the CT scan, which took about two whole minutes. Then they took us back to her room and said they would try to wake her up in 15 minutes.


When they came back, she looked like this:


They said they would give her another 15 minutes, but when they came back, she looked like this:


After 15 more minutes, she was still like this:


We tried picking her up and moving her around, and she was like this:


Finally, we got her to swallow some Sprite and they said we could take her home. Christian carried her to the car and she rode home like this:


Christian carried her to our bed, and for the next seven hours, she looked like this:


When she finally did wake up, eight hours after having been sedated, she started throwing up. She was still sleepy, so she could barely hold her head up. Imagine me trying to hold her limp little head over the puke bucket, while holding her hair back at the same time. Yeah. It was not fun.

After a while, we started to get concerned. She couldn’t hold anything down. She had not had anything to eat or drink in 24 hours except a few ounces of apple juice and a sip of Sprite. She hadn’t peed in more than 14 hours. I called the on-call pediatrician, and she recommended that we go to the ER for IV fluids. I REALLY did not want her to have to have two IVs in one day. It was 10:30pm. I told her if she was still getting sick at 11pm, we had to go.

Miraculously, about 10:45pm, she turned a corner. She was finally able to keep some Sprite down and she got up to pee.

She was so hungry, and she kept asking for potato chips. I had to tell her that wasn’t a good idea, but promised her she could have some chips the next day.

She finally fell back to sleep around midnight, and she slept until 7am, when she opened her eyes, looked at me, and said, “CHIPS!”

She was still a little groggy for part of the day, but was obviously feeling much better.

Of course, the CT scan came back normal, and I don’t think she’s complained of a headache since. I feel bad that we put her through all of that and it was nothing, but I know I would have felt a lot worse if something was wrong and we did’t catch it.



3 thoughts on “CT Scan

  1. I still remember the night before Valentine’s Day when Lissa was in kindergarten. In the early evening, she complained of a pain in her tummy. When I asked her to point to it, she pointed right where I’d expect her to point if she had appendicitis. I worried but watched. As the hours passed, her complaints got more frequent, and at 11 p.m. I thought I’d better take her to the ER; missing appendicitis is not something you want to do! So we went. The ER was almost empty, so people buzzed around us for hours. Lissa got an x-ray. She got blood tests. She was examined by everybody other than the cleaning lady. She ranged between looking miserable and seeming to be in great pain. This continued for hours. Finally, at 3 or 4 a.m., when I was so tired that I could barely see, she suddenly sat up in her gurney, gave me a big smile, and said, “I feel fine now, Mommy; can we go home?” I still don’t know whether whatever it is (we never figured it out) went away, or whether she remembered the Valentine’s party in her kindergarten class was the next morning. Wow, do I not miss those times!

    • That’s funny, Margie. I think it’s a bit odd that Zoe hasn’t complained of headaches since the CT scan. Noah has had strep three times since August, and has ended up sleeping on our room each time. We were suspcious that Zoe’s headaches might just be for attention, but we certainly didn’t want to be wrong about it. I’m wondering more and more now. 🙂

      The pediatrician said that people can get post-concussion headaches for up to six months, so I guess we hope that’s what this was.

  2. Pingback: 2011 didn’t suck (or blow) | My Minivan Rocks!

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