Hope you all like this!
As he rode along in the wagon, nursing his ba-ba, occasionally, someone would come close to the wagon and smile. While billy would smile back around the nipple of his ba-ba, he would reach out and take hold of Sharon’s pant leg, looking for some physical reassurance that Mommy was still close.
They all moved into the elevator, and after the door closed, when they started to move down, Billy fussed. “He doesn’t like the feeling of dropping. I should have remembered that.” Sharon chastised herself. Quickly kneeling down next to him, she gave him a hug, saying “It’s alright Baby, it’s supposed to feel that way.” with a reassuring smile.
Billy didn’t like the way his tummy dropped. That scared him. Clinging to his mommy until the elevator stopped, he smiled when she spoke.
“See Baby, it’s OK. It’s all better now.” Sharon told him with a smile.
It took fifteen minutes to get down to the Diagnostic Imaging Center, and another two hours to get the films done.
Billy had not been happy when his mommy went into another room, leaving him alone with April. She had explained that she had to change clothes so she could be with him when they took his picture, but that didn’t help when she was gone. He had clung to her when she came back out wearing the funny green clothes. It only took a moment for Sharon to calm him down though.
After sitting with Billy, filling out two forms, Sharon carried him into the MRI suite. She was thankful when she saw that this was an “open MRI” unlike the tunnel that she had seen when Rick had had one done two years ago after an accident at work.
The room was practically bare, except for the huge machine, with one half resting on the floor and the other hanging from the ceiling, separated by about three feet of space. The technician pushed a button and a narrow table slowly extended along a track from between the two parts of the machine, toward them.
“I need you to lay him down flat on his back for me, with his head right here.” she told Sharon as she patted an area of the padded table that was inside what looked like half of a plastic cage.
“Alright Sweety, I need you to lay down here for me.” his mommy told Billy. He was scared. He didn’t like this machine. As Sharon tried to lay him down he clung to her.
April seeing his reaction, quickly asked the tech “Can he have these?” as she picked up the Pooh Bear and his blanket from the wagon.
Billy watched as the tech took both items one at a time, squeezing the length of them, a few inches at a time, looking for any metal. He was grateful when she handed them both to him and announced he could have them.
Sharon asked “Can he have his pacifier?” with an expression that said “Please tell me yes.”.
“It would be better if he could do the test without it, but if it will help him stay still, we can do the first set and see if it causes any problems with the image.” the tech explained.
Billy’s eyes teared, hearing he might not be able to have his binky. When she said he could, he smiled.
“Alright Baby, I need you to lay down here for me.” Sharon told him again. He allowed her to lower him to the table this time. Taking his Pooh Bear, she placed it in the crook of his right arm and laid his blankie over his tummy, under the hospital gown, so he felt the soft material against his skin.
April moved to the other side and explained “Sweetheart, we are going to need to put tape on your head to help you hold it real still, OK?” as she took a wide roll of tape and pulled a three and a half foot length or so from it. She tore the piece off and centered it on his forehead, pulling the tape down as the tech positioned his head, taping one end to each side of the table. This essentially immobilized his head, preventing him from moving it in any direction.
Billy didn’t like this at all, and proceeded to cry, attempting to reach up with his right hand and pull the tape free.
“You’re alright Baby, I promise.” Sharon told him as she took his hand in hers. “the tape is going to have to stay there for a little while, you’ll be fine. I will be right here with you.” she explained.
This calmed him somewhat and he resorted to nursing his binky. Seeing how well Billy responded to April, the tech tapped her on the arm and pointed to the top of the cage that she would have to place over Billy’s face.
April gave a nod and leaned over so Billy could see her easily. Looking at those sad eyes she felt terrible as she knew he wasn’t going to like this part. Thinking for a moment, and giving Sharon a look that said “Please bear with me, he’s not going to like this.”. She told Billy “we’re going to put your seatbelt on Baby, just like in your car seat.” with a reassuring smile.
Billy was accustomed to riding in a car seat. His size prevented him from being able to ride without it. So, he didn’t react as they put the straps to hold him to the table over him and secured them in place. That made Billy feel better. He knew then he wasn’t going to fall.
Thankful for his acceptance, she told him “There’s one last thing we need to do Honey,” as she held up the other half of the head piece. “This needs to go over your face Sweety.” she said. As he started to cry, she said “It will only be for a little while, I promise.” as she dropped it down over his face to lock into place with the bottom half forming an enclosure. When Billy started to try to reach up despite the straps holding him down, April reached for the cage.
“Leave it.” Sharon said, steeling herself. It was hard watching him cry fearful tears, but this test needed to be done. Reaching up under the large opening at his chin, she placed her palm on his face. “You’re OK Baby, I promise.” she said hating herself for having to force him to deal with this. “You’ll be fine.” He calmed almost immediately when he felt her touch. “I’m going to have to take my hand away in a minute, but as soon as the picture is taken, I’ll put it right back, OK?” she asked him.
“OK.” Billy responded, with tear filled eyes, and then returned to nursing furiously, seeking comfort.
April told him “OK, you’re going to feel the table move now. Don’t be afraid, it’s supposed to.”. She paused a second and then pushed the button that caused the machine to slowly move him between the sections, into the scanner. She was thankful it was his head they were scanning and not his tummy, as it only had to go in a short distance for this. “You’re such a good boy!” she told him with a pat on his tummy, as the table had stopped moving. “Alright Baby, this machine is going to make a loud buzz. It’s OK, it’s supposed to do that. Don’t be afraid, it’s just a noise Sweety.” she told him. Looking over to the tech, she asked quietly “Can you run the scanner for six seconds or so so he can see what it sounds like?”
The tech nodded.
“I can’t be in the room when the scan is done.” April told Sharon. “You’ll be able to hear us through the intercom system. I’ll talk to Billy throughout the testing. I’ll also let you know when to hold his face and when to remove your hand. You can hold his hand throughout the test.” she explained as she moved a plastic chair up so Sharon could sit.
Taking the seat as the other two moved out of the room and closed the door, Sharon took Billy’s hand in hers and felt him grip her tightly. “It’s OK Baby. I’m right here.” she told him.
Through a speaker, Billy heard April tell him “OK Baby, Mommy’s gonna take her hand off your face, and we’re gonna turn on the machine so you can see what it sounds like. If you get scared, squeeze Mommy’s hand. She won’t let anything bad happen to you, I promise.”.
“Sharon, take your hand away, we’ll run this so he can see it won’t hurt him.” she said.
As Sharon removed her left hand from his face, Billy squeezed her right hand tighter. “It’s alright Sweety, I’m right here and I’m not going anywhere, I promise. Nothings going to hurt you, I won’t let it.” she told him.
Two seconds later, the MRI machine started making a loud buzzing noise and Sharon thought Billy would squeeze her fingers right off. He had a death grip on Pooh. Speaking loudly as she gently caressed his blanket on his tummy, she told him “You’re fine Baby, Mommy’s right here. The machine isn’t hurting you, I promise. It just makes lots of noise.” she explained. Hearing her words, he slowly eased the pressure on her hand.
After the six seconds, April could be heard through the speakers telling Billy “See Baby, that wasn’t so bad. It just makes lots of noise.”. Six or eight seconds later she said “We’re going to do the first set of films, this will take about seven minutes. You alright Sharon?”
“I’m fine and so is Billy.” Sharon told her.
“OK, here we go.”
As the machine started the noise again, Sharon began caressing his tummy again. With her hand on his tummy, her forearm was resting on his diaper and she felt him wet as the sound started and he squeezed her hand tightly again. “Poor baby, it scared the pee pee out of him. He’s going to deserve something special for putting up with all of this.” she mused.
Billy did fairly well through the testing, only requiring them to stop once when he cried for his ba-ba. Soon they were sliding him out for the last time.
When it was all done, Sharon picked him up and held him close, drying his tears with his blankie. “You were such a good boy!” she said. “I’m so proud of you!” she added and gave him a kiss. He didn’t like the MRI scanner, but at least he wasn’t scared to death of it, especially since she knew he would need more scans before this was all over.
Fifteen minutes later, Billy was happy again, as he alternated between nursing hi ba-ba and smiling at folks as they went by the wagon on his way back to his room. She didn’t think the elevator would bother him going up, but just in case, she knelt down and gave him big hugs as they started moving.
As they neared his room, Billy finished his bottle and took his binky. No sooner had they turned the corner, he smiled a big smile, put his arms out in front of him and exclaimed “Gamma!”.
Phillis, after receiving a nod in answer to her questioning expression to Sharon, rushed over, picked Billy up and wrapped him in a big hug, kissing him several times as her eyes teared. “I love you Baby!.” she told him between kisses. Having a hard time keeping her emotions under control, she just rocked him back and forth silently.
Everyone had noticed the missing “R” from his greeting, and Sharon wondered just how far back things were going to move. He’s gone from an active, albeit small nine year old, to a toddler overnight. While she had no problem dealing with him as a toddler, it scared her to think he would regress much further. In less that twenty four hours, he’d gone from having to be forced to mess his diaper, and hating the feel of it, to proudly announcing he’d gone poopy, making no indication he wanted to be changed, and falling asleep in his messy diaper.
If she used his past to gage him by, those actions alone put him closer to eighteen months than two years. At two he had hated the feeling of a messy diaper and was quick to make it known he wanted to be changed.
The other thing that got her attention was that Billy showed no anxiety at all at seeing his grandmother for the first time, dressed in nothing but a diaper and a hospital gown, nor did he show any notice of her hand patting his wet diaper. He had cried, devastated, when he learned his grandmother knew he wanted to be a baby. He behaved now as if this was just as things should be.
Dr. Richardson walked up to Sharon at that moment. With a smile, he asked her “Do you think he will be alright with your mom for a bit? I want to talk with you and your husband about where Billy is, and what we can expect.”.
Looking over and noticing him for the first time, she motioned for Rick to come over. Turning to Billy, she asked him “Would it be OK Baby, if you and Gamma snuggled for while? Mommy and Daddy need to talk to the doctor for a bit.” and kissed his cheek.
Billy looked anxious for a moment and then looked at his grandma.
Phillis said “Lets go get you changed, Baby, you’re all wet.” as she tickled his tummy making him giggle. Turning to Sharon, “We’ll be fine Hon.” she said and moved toward his room.