Hamsters Or Zombies

Last Thursday, Quinn and I trekked into Boston during morning rush hour traffic for yet another act in his neurologists’ three-ring circus– an MRI rapid-scan.  Here we are checking in with the pediatric imaging center at Mass General:

Nurse: Do you know what we’re going to do today, Quinn?

Quinn:  Take a picture of my brain. (pause, then deadpan…)  To see if there’s a hamster in there.  Or if I’m a zombie.

Nurse:  (momentary surprise, then a chuckle)

Mom:  (totally laughing)  Is that what Will told you, Quinn?

Quinn: (laughter, now that he’s pretty sure, even if he wasn’t totally sure before, that Will was teasing)

What can I say, these are my boys, and they sure make me laugh!  Quinn did really well with the MRI, which– thankfully– was a rapid scan image requiring only a cumulative five minutes of being totally still in the “donut” machine, rather than forty-five or whatever it normally is.

I was standing at his feet while they did the image, peering into the tunnel to try to see how he was doing, when I saw his little chest heave and his mouth curl.  At first I couldn’t tell if he was getting the giggles or beginning to cry, but it quickly became clear that he was scared and fighting tears.  Though we fought through it, counting the “drumbeats” of the machine together to distract him, the technician delivered the news that he’d been moving just a little too much for them to get the image in the last two-minute scan.  He would have to do it again.

Brave little guy that he is, he went back into the machine and held it together for, not just the two-minute scan we had discussed (that would have been a count to 40 ‘thrums’), but for another whole five-minute scan (a count of 95, with me talking through some of the thrums to make sure we didn’t cross 100!).  He came out teary but composed, and the first thing he asked was, “Mom?  Do I still get a donut?” (That was the treat we’d agreed upon for after the appointment).

Yes, Quinn.  You definitely get the donut.  And I get a coffee.

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