Thursday, July 18, 2013

Preparing A Child for an MRI

In a PREVIOUS POST, I mentioned my daughter had a sleep-deprived EEG done, due to some new onset seizures. The EEG showed epileptiform discharges, which basically means she has some form of epilepsy. She was put on medication (Keppra) to keep the seizures under control, and was also scheduled for an MRI.

My blogging friend, Sylvia, also has a teen daughter with epilepsy and autism. She has been dealing with yearly MRI's for the majority of her daughter's life, so I asked her what to expect and if she had any advice for us. You can check out her response on her blog: 

While my daughter's situation is a bit different than Sylvia's daughter, I did glean some helpful advice from someone who has gone before us. (Thankyou, Sylvia!)

This past Tuesday was the day of the MRI. She did really well with it all, and we are now waiting for the results.  Here are some of the things we did to give us a more pleasant experience, some of which were already mentioned on Sylvia's blog: 

  • My husband and I went together and shared in the care of our daughter, as well as kept each other company.
  • We made sure we arrived in plenty of time, so we didn't feel rushed and more stressed out.
  • We asked my parents to watch our son, so we could keep our focus specifically on the needs of our daughter during this time.
  • We prepared our daughter ahead of time with explanations of what she could expect.   
  • We prayed and had our family and friends praying.
  • I bought lots of Jell-O and clear fruit juices ahead of time to keep her tummy somewhat satisfied, since she wasn't allowed to eat anything for 8 hours prior to the test. (This was because she needed to be sedated in order to keep her completely still during the test.)
  • We distracted her prior to the test with a favorite movie.
  • We allowed her to bring a favorite toy for comfort. (The toy of choice this day was a stuffed Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.)
  • Before they inserted an IV into her hand, we allowed them to give her nasal Versed, a medication that was sprayed into her nose in order to relieve anxiety. She did not like the spray up her nose, and had a few tears, but it was very brief. They also used a numbing spray on her hand, Pain Ease, before inserting the needle.
  • We were there with her before they took her to the MRI room, and were there with her when she woke up.
  • We stayed calm and reassuring, which always helps to keep her calm as well.
  • As soon as we were done with the testing, we left the hospital and headed back to a more comfortable environment.

Maybe this will be a help to someone else who is preparing for their young child's or special needs child's first time MRI. Feel free to contact me with any questions.


  1. Great news! Thanks for the mention! Never heard of nasal versed! Gonna ask about that! Sounds like what I should give her before we ever leave home!

  2. All this is very dear and special to me. You cannot ever know how it is on my heart.


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