Friday, July 8, 2011

Puffy foot: MRI at Children's

I have mentioned in passing before that Andrew was born with a puffy right foot.  He came out this way, which freaked the midwives out a little bit.  His foot hasn't really changed since then.  He's been examined by 4 doctors, including a pediatric orthopedic specialist, and many nurses who all have said the same thing: It has great circulation, all the proper reflexes are in place, the legs and footpads are symmetric, it doesn't seem to cause him pain, and he is able to stand on it/kick with it equally with the left foot.  We're not sure what is wrong, exactly, so we should just wait to see if it resolves on its own or if he grows out of it.

Our pediatrician originally surmised that it had fluid in there, as most swollen things do, then the ortho guy suggested that it was vascular - either blood vessels or lymphatic vessels that grew extras for whatever reason - and now we're back to thinking that it's fluid again.

Fascinatingly, it appears that Travis also had a puffy foot when he was born - his left.  His dad thought he remembered this, but we were able to confirm it in Ohio last week when we uncovered Travis's baby books and albums.  It turns out that Travis's mom wrote in a day planner *every single day for Travis's first four years of life.*  (Makes me feel like a slacker for keeping a mere blog.)  So here are a few entries from 1978 with regard to the foot:

Feb 6, 1978 (just over two months old): "We will go to Doctor's Hospital to get X-Rays taken of his left foot."

Feb 8: They saw the specialist, who recommended one of those orthopedic braces we all had with the bar between the shoes.  (This didn't have much to do with the foot, more with the "legs turning out."

Feb 18: They got the brace.  "Travis did good with his new shoes and bar on.  He did keep kicking them off - especially the left foot that is still swollen from birth."

March 6 (just over 3 months): They saw the specialist again.  "The swelling on his left foot is practically gone."

So Travis's seems to have resolved on its own.  Even more interesting, now we are hearing that there are family stories of a great-great-grandfather who had puffy ankles his whole life and a great uncle who had disproportionately large legs.  It's fascinating - this seems to be a genetic, inherited thing.

At any rate, Andrew's pediatrician decided it was time to take a look in there and see what's going on.  And because it appears to be a soft tissue thing, MRI was the tool of choice.  And because one needs to hold perfectly still for an MRI, and we have a squirmy worm, he had to be under general anesthesia for the procedure.

So yesterday, we, along with Grandma Joyce, headed over to The Children's Hospital for an MRI.

First they took his weight:

Then they took his history:

Took his blood pressure on his leg:

But he was so squirmy they needed to take it again on his arm:

 Then his pulse ox from his toe:

Then he flirted with Nurse Holly:

We met the anesthesiologist:

 He had to wait to eat because of the anesthesia, so when he started to get hungry, Grandma rocked and put him to sleep:

Then it was time to take him away.... and Mommy cried a little.  (God help me if he ever needs to have a serious procedure or surgery done.)

Grandma and I poked around the first floor of the hospital.  As hospitals go, Children's is a pretty fun place to hang out.  Then we sat in the cafeteria to wait for our pager to go off that he was in recovery.

He was still sleeping on the gurney when we got back, with his chin propped up and a nasal cannula helping him out with some oxygen:

This was the little face mask they used to give him nitrous - enough to relax him to get in the IV with the main anesthesia:

He slowly woke up and tried to nurse, though he was a little drunk and uncoordinated:

After a quick diaper change, we were good to go.

On the way home, as he woke up more, he realized he was super hungry, so Grandma soothed him by letting him give her finger a hickey until we stopped for a nursing break.  We finally made it home in spite of a monsoon that hit during rush hour and having to drive all the way across town.

Andrew was a champ and had a good evening and a good night in spite of the traumatic day.  We'll get the results of the scan soon...


  1. I'm a little freaked out by that blue guy that looks like he's in the middle of falling off the roof of the hospital.

    Hope all is okay. The point when they take your kid away to do something to him is pretty freaky, I remember that with Evan's penny procedure. It just doesn't feel right to walk away and let somebody drug your kid.

  2. Amy, I bawled like a baby when they took Drew away for his first surgery. (all 2.5 hours of it, sadly they have just gotten longer the older he gets). He was 2 months old at the time and I remember the social working saying to me "What's wrong Mom? Pregnancy hormones?" Yeah, you are taking my two month old away for surgery and it is pregnancy hormones!
    I am so glad that you got to go home the same day. Our children's hospital has the policy that any infant that receives general anesthesia must spend the night in the hospital. We have never gotten out of a surgery without at least two or three days in.