Cardiac MRI

A routine heart scan ended up being a pretty major milestone for Namine.

☝️ Doesn’t Namine look like a nurse in those scrubs? 😊

Namine has echocardiograms pretty regularly at the request of her cardiologist, and for good reason. She has double-inlet left ventricle heart defect, and while she is stable, her heart still requires vigilant monitoring.

Namine’s third and last heart surgery was in 2013, when she had what is known as a fenestrated Fontan. (Fontan is the name of the surgery; “fenestrated” means the surgeon deliberately left a small hole — which closed on its own — to relieve blood pressure.) Every six months or so she has an echocardiogram to monitor her heart’s performance, but the echo itself does not always allow a clear enough picture. To that end, Namine also needed an MRI following her most recent echo.

There was talk between us and hospital staff about whether or not to sedate Namine for the MRI. She wasn’t anxious about the scan itself, but they weren’t sure if she could hold still for the hour and a half (or longer) the MRI would require. To be perfectly honest, neither were we, knowing how antsy Namine can get. (But let’s be honest, spending the first decade of your life sitting in hospital beds would make you hate sitting still, too.)

But on the other hand, Namine is ten eleven years old (how is that even possible?), perfectly capable of rational thought and reasonable discussion. So we did what we always prefer to do, when the subject is Namine herself: we asked her what she wanted to do. We explained that she would have to lay perfectly still, no figiting, for however long the MRI would take; the alternative would be to sedate her, making her sleep throughout the scan.

After consideration, Namine decided that she would remain awake for the MRI. The hospital did have movies for children to watch during the procedure, of which Namine availed herself. She chose to watch three “Blue’s Clues” movies. Even so, she told us afterward that her legs hurt considerably for having been kept so still for so long.

This is something Namine has proven before, that she possesses the desire and willpower to endure discomfort and pain in the short term for longer term gain. She is certainly no stranger to working through pain in therapy, and she applied the same strength of will here.

Now all we have to do is wait for the results of the MRI.