I’ve never blogged about Munchkin’s heavy medical issues from when he was younger – they all took place long before I started this venture – so with what I have to share today, the timing is right now.
About two weeks before he turned 3, he and Seahawk (who was 5 at the time) were playing; I was in the other room sewing. I suddenly heard a thump, followed by screaming. Seahawk came rushing into my room telling me that Munchkin had fallen off the top bunk (we’ve since gotten rid of the bunk beds – even now that they’re older, I don’t trust the safety of stacked beds). As I was hurrying down the hall to the kids’ room, I asked Seahawk if Munchkin was bleeding. He replied, “I don’t think so.” To this day I don’t know if he was lying to avoid punishment (it came out later that he was at fault in the fall – they were playing pirates, Munchkin was at the top of the ladder, Seahawk said “reach for the sky!”, and Munchkin did) or if he’d come to get me before the bleeding started. in any event, by the time I got there ten seconds later, his nose was hugely swollen and his face very bloody. Without further hesitation, I loaded the kids into the car and drove to the ER. Hubs was at a book signing that day; thankfully I’d driven him, so I had the car.
At the hospital, they decided to do a CT scan to make sure he hadn’t done any brain damage in the fall. The scan was inconclusive. There was a shadow there that they couldn’t identify. No one was sure whether it was bleeding on the brain or something less sinister. To be safe, they took us by ambulance to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland for an MRI. I called my mom to come get Seahawk so I could focus on Munchkin. I also put in a call to my in-laws so they could pick hubby up and bring him to the hospital. As we were loading into the ambulance, the local hospital gifted Munchkin with a quilt.
Two MRIs, an angiogram, and four days later, Munchkin was diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation, or AVM. basically, he had a clump of “extra” blood vessels in his brain. Eventually, they would have caused him to stroke.
There was a question with the insurance we had to resolve before we could schedule the corrective surgery. The only doctor in the state who was qualified to perform the surgery (he actually invented the procedure!) wasn’t covered under our plan. Dr. Barnwell and his staff took care of talking to the insurance company for us to explain the severity of the situation. The surgery, with the right doctor, was approved. The initial fall had taken place September 5, 2009. His surgery was October 21, 2009.
This is his “after” MRI. I wish I could’ve found the “before” one at the time of this post; the difference is astounding. In the before shot, those white coils on the left side of the image (which is actually the right side of his brain) were a black muddle of misdirected blood.
How does this relate to “quilts for kids”? That quilt we received as we were getting in the ambulance really stuck me, even though it hasn’t really stuck with Munchkin. Because of someone’s generosity, he received a lovely gift. I want to pay it forward, so to speak. I was given a bunch of quilting materials by a friend of my mom’s a few weeks ago, so I’ve used them to put together these 5 quilts. There’s enough for one or two more. When I get them all done, I’ll take them to the hospital for them to pass out as they deem necessary.
I won’t ever see the kids who receive them, and I’m okay with that. I just want the quilts to be a blessing for them as the one we got was for Munchkin.