It's A Yes Or No Question - CAT Scan Time

Kalvin was not happy about having a CAT scan.  He knew it involved needles.  We couldn't tell him otherwise.  He opened the door to the room where it would all take place with complete trepidation.

You gotta love Children's Hospital.  Their signs make you smile.
And much to our surprise.  We were blessed with the Red Sox room.

The four walls were covered with decoupage that was made to look like Fenway Park.  We were told that the artist used pieces of old record album covers to decoupage the walls with.  He had inherited the record albums from his father.  The details were incredible. 

It was a great distraction for Kalvin.  For a minute or two.

You can see the fear all over his face.  This fear was all about the needle.  Not about lying in the tube.  Just about the needle.  Earlier in the day Kalvin had an echo and EKG which made it a very long day for the little guy.  When Kal gets tired, he doesn't deal well with stress.   Read about the echo appointment Here.

He was starting to get really upset.

  We had to just move forward.  We needed to get the needle over with.  We have been blessed with some very patient nurses over the years.  Today, they all weren't quite as patient as the best out there. 

But he was great once we got the IV in.  The IV (needle) is needed to administer the contrast (radio active dye). 

Ahh, the radioactive agents.  Something I have learned to block out.  A coping mechanism I acquired over the years and have used quite frequently.   I just "block it out" as if it is not happening.  As if it is not  r e a l.   Probably not the best approach, but one that helps keep me somewhat sane.  Most of the time. 

I don't like the idea of radioactive dye entering Kal's little body.  For this reason,  I have asked that the lung scan be removed from his annual checkup,  unless deemed absolutely necessary for a particular reason.

I didn't see any way around this CAT scan.  Dr. Kim needs the images to get a more accurate look at his femoral artery and the artery they will be stretching in his abdomen.  Dr. Kim will be using the stretched portion of his abdomen artery to replace the damaged portion of his femoral artery.  For more information on Kalvin's upcoming novel artery stretching procedure read here.

You can see Kalvin's dad off to the left,  touching Kalvin's hand.  I was off behind the protective glass shield.   Away from the CT scanner because the nurse asked me if I could be pregnant.  I hemmed and hawed silently to myself.  Stared at her.  Blankly.  In an instant my mind was reeling back to another  time.  The nurse then snapped at me, "It is a yes or no question.  You either are or you are not."
Well, that isn't really true now,  is it?   I could be.   But don't know yet. 

The fetal heart forms the third week after conception.  Before the mother even knows she is pregnant- most of the time.  Once you have a heart baby,  you think an awful lot about those three weeks.  Could it have been something I did that caused my baby's heart to be like this?  Was it the cleaning spray I used to clean the bathroom?   Perhaps the toxins I breathed in on my walk to work?  Did I have a glass of wine?  Was it my shampoo?  My makeup?   Something I ate?   Did I take aspirin?  Advil?  Tylenol?

 What caused this to happen to my baby's heart?  Was it genetic?  Or was it simply bad luck?  Could it be that we were that 1 in a hundred  for absolutely no known reason. 

The truth is, no one knows the answer.  Yet.

I found myself staring at a radioactive machine and thinking "what if I am pregnant?"  It would be a miracle.  And then quickly I decided,  I was not exposing my possible miracle to this radioactive material.  Even though, I  had just let them pour the radioactive agent into my seven year old's veins.
See how it plays with your mind.  The guilt.
 So I chose to stand off to the side where I felt I would not worry about the "yes or no" question.  I would then be able to carry on with my day with one less thing to worry about.
When it was all over,  we celebrated.  We took Kalvin to Fenway Park.  We knew it was closed.  There was not a home game on this day so we did the next best thing.  We had lunch at the great Jerry  "Rem Dawg" Remy's sports restaurant right next to The Park

Where our waitress was very patient.  And Kalvin did not eat a thing.  He was too busy watching sports on the ridiculous number of televisions which included two gigantic behemoth screens.

One end of the restaurant opens onto Boylston Street and the other onto Yawkey Way. The ends are made up of floor to ceiling windows that were opened wide allowing the fresh air to flow through.  It was a great ending to a very long day.


  1. Hello There, my name is Ashley and I am stopping by to say hello. I am loving your blog and the great posts you are putting out there.

    Thanks so much.

    If you have some free time would you mind stopping by our blog as well at:

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  2. Thanks Ashley!! I will surely stop by your blog and check it out. Thanks for letting us know you were here.


  3. Hi Kristin! Thank you for your very kind comment on my blog. Wow, you are a warrior mom if I've ever met one! You guys have been through so much already! That picture of fear on Kalvin's face is heart wrenching, and I'm not even his mother! I can only imagine how you must feel. Great job, big guy! (And you too, Kristin!)

    1. Thank you Erica, for your kind words. I love your blog and the concept behind it. I hope to live more they way you speak of in the coming year. It should be a BIG year for my family-changes are all ready happening:-) Thank you again for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I will continue to draw strength from your blog and will keep in touch. All the best, Kristen

  4. I could see myself doing just what you did -- questioning what you did to cause the heart defect. It seems like we often need to find someone...something to blame.

    However, Kristen, you aren't to blame. You're a wonderful mother. Kalvin's condition really could've been a spontaneous happening (mutation). But more than anything, I think he's a testimony and you're his story-teller. It is my suspicion that you are helping others cope with their relatively similar situation. This doesn't make anything easier or better for you for Kalvin's condition, but know there is a spiritual purpose.

    My most positive thoughts and biggest hopes go out to you and your family!

  5. Thank you, Mandi, for your kind words. I sincerely hope that my sharing of Kalvin's stories is helping others at least know they aren't alone. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment. And thank you for your positive thoughts-we love those:-) All the best to you and to your family, Kristen