Back at Sick Kids (again and again)

Laura We can’t seem to get away from the place: As of today two times in as many days, sheesh!

Yesterday’s session was totally elective. The Orthopaedics department is celebrating its 50th anniversary and holding a party in mid-November in the hospital Atrium. (Free food? Sure, we’ll go!) They’re putting together a videotape of patients’ families relating their stories, and I guess Dr. Unni put our names forward to get interviewed. It was pretty straightforward — we sat in a homey-looking room with the interviewer and cameraman, got asked questions about our great Sick Kids experiences, and tried to answer in a reasonably coherent way (we’re not entirely sure we accomplished the last one). It was an interesting experience despite the fact that Jon bailed in about 5 seconds once he realized we weren’t watching a video; only filming one. He spent the session off-camera, listening to his iPod.

Today was back to the usual gruelling hospital appointment. We went to the Orthodontics department to get some pictures taken. The first was the cephalometric x-ray, which takes a picture of the whole side of the skull to give the dentist an overall look at jaw and tooth structure. Unfortunately, rods are placed in the ears to centre the head, which is not very comfortable if the patient moves. Jon freaked at the weird sensation, and quickly degenerated into panicked screaming. He calmed down somewhat while Daddy demonstrated how it didn’t hurt—right to the point of getting an x-ray taken! (Luckily, these new-fangled digital x-rays use 1/10th the amount of radiation of traditional film x-rays. Mind you, Peter’s been getting more than his fair share of radiation from having to hold Jon still during all of his various x-rays over the years.) Jon’s first x-ray was unusable (not his fault); the second one was nice and clear.

We suspected that Jon wouldn’t be able to handle the panoramic x-ray where the machine circles the head while the patient bites down on a plastic stick and sits very still for about 15 seconds. We were right: a combination of uncomfortable positioning (wheelchair too low for machine; provided chair and telephone book a bit wobbly for Jon’s liking); Jon’s difficulty in staying still for so long; and his getting generally weirded out by the whole process—totally put the kibosh on any hope of getting x-rays. We did get a couple of practice sessions of biting down and sitting still, though, and we’ll have to do more at home. A huge thank-you to the x-ray tech Mirghan (sp?) who cheerfully and patiently spent an hour with us.

After this we headed down to the Medical Photography department to get a few regular head shots taken. I think we were all relieved that this was a relatively normal procedure.