About mid-morning, we were told HJ was to head to get a bone scan. They wanted to look beyond just the leg, to make sure whatever was there wasn’t elsewhere. HJ wanted to ride in his racecar, with a nurse pushing his IV, myself pushing the car and my mom and sister joining in. Partway through the Children’s Hospital, we noticed Herky the Hawk was standing at the check-in desk. Everyone was excited to see him, so it seemed. I knew that HJ really doesn’t like costumed mascots, and tried warning everyone. I suggested walking by. I frantically looked at Herky hoping he would get the hint. HJ sat in his race car, stone faced. I knew he was getting ticked. For some reason, this encouraged Herky to get down by the car. The nurse said to get a picture as HJ decided to get the hell out of there. He broke free of the racecar, tugging at his IV. He started bawling, and freaking out. He was clinging to me, and upset as can be. And then we were supposed to make him lay on an x-ray table. The very thing that caused his first melt down the day before. He was still sobbing when we got to the lab. He took one look at the table and tried making a break for it. I was asked to hold him down as they tried to get some pictures. They started about shoulder level. By the time they had made it to his waist, not only was he still freaking out, but he was in desperate need of a bathroom. Taking in IV fluids throughout the night made him have to go REAL bad. They handed me a urinal and told him to go right there. The kid who usually can’t go to the bathroom anywhere in public was told to pee in a cup I was holding while standing by this machine he despised and desperately wanted away from. They finally showed me the closest bathroom, and we made it inside just in time for HJ to pull his pants down and pee. All over himself, the floor and me. We hadn’t made it to the toilet. So now, we are in a teeny, tiny bathroom. HJ, myself, a ridiculously large IV stand, and we are standing in pee. I cleaned up the floor as best I could, and took off HJ’s clothes. He was upset at the situation and couldn’t stop crying. I again felt completely out of control and the tears came. I asked if they had anything HJ could wear and I was handed a pair of children’s scrub pants. I tried wrapping his wet clothes in paper towels and walked out. I suggested to the tech’s it might be best if I wasn’t in there, and they took HJ in the room while I walked out the door. And once again, I lost it. I could hear my baby crying and there was nothing I could do to make him feel better. After a few minutes, the tech brought HJ out. She mentioned how still he laid when I wasn’t in there.
We made it back to the room and were told the MRI had been scheduled for 2:30, someone would be up around 1:30 to bring us down. HJ still hadn’t eaten or drank anything. Luckily, he wasn’t complaining. My sister and her husband convinced me to go to the cafeteria with them. I finished up a coffee, and ate some food, but couldn’t stand being in the cafeteria while my baby sat upstairs. I made it back to the room and heard there had been a cracker that HJ found. Nana swooped in and crushed it in his hand. He was less than thrilled with her. We went back to the playroom, distracted him by bringing toys into the room and put in a movie. I was laying in the bed with HJ when we were told it was time to go to the MRI.
For the MRI, HJ was going to be sedated. He was given an iv with the “stuff” to put him to sleep, and he got to lay in my arms while this happened. Once he was out, I laid him on the bed and gave him about a zillion kisses before heading back to the room. We were told it would take about 30 minutes to an hour. After about 45 minutes, I was asking for my baby.
That is when the oncologist walked in the room. Without HJ. My heart dropped to the floor and I jumped up. That is when she said that words that I had been needing to hear for 24 hours.
The mass on his knee was benign. The images from the bone scan showed clearly what it was. It’s official label is an occeous lesion of the left femur. The lesion is a benign cortical desmoid. I cried again, but tears of joy. I hugged the oncologist. It was what I had been hoping for, nothing. She said this was found through the bone scan and the MRI had yet to be read, but as of this moment, we were going to check out that day. Once HJ got back to the room, woke up and had something to eat, we would be free to go. I packed our bags instantly.
This is one of those days that I hope only happens once in a lifetime. Where you can go from having the worst day of your life to be crying tears of joy.
The orthopedic team came in shortly after and shared the good news again. They said we would just need to have imaging follow-up, but otherwise, we were free to go. The nurse came in and gave us our check-out paperwork and said once HJ was back in the room, we would just have to wait a bit.
A little later, sleeping HJ was brought back into the room. The anesthesiologist mentioned he woke up right before the end of the procedure, so they had to give him another dose. He would be sleeping for a while longer. My family waited patiently, but after a while my sister and her husband had to leave to get home. My mom and I sat and waited. And waited. Poor boy was tired. My mom left for a bit to do a few things, and as she did the orthopedic doctor came back in.
It turned out the MRI did show something else. HJ had fluid in his hip. This meant they might be doing testing tomorrow and we were no longer checking out. The important thing is HJ is fine, we just needed to figure out this next step.
He left, and I was puzzled as to what this all meant. I waited. And waited.
Eventually the doctor came back in and said that HJ had something called Toxic Synovitis. Basically, an infection that had not left his body (most likely a sinus infection a few weeks before) had caused the infection. Instead of me rambling on how I interpreted it, here is some info:
Toxic synovitis, also known as transient synovitis, is the most common cause of hip pain in children. It is caused by a viral infection that sometimes (but not always) settles in the hip-joint. The virus causes swelling at the hip-joint, which makes walking painful. Usually just one hip is affected. But later on, the virus can pass to the other hip.
Toxic synovitis is more common in boys and affects preschool to early school-aged kids, but younger kids also can develop it.
Apparently, there is a nerve that goes from your hip to the knee. This pain is what caused them to x-ray the knee. It was by chance that the lesion in his knee was even found. Had he not had the infection, this could have gone unnoticed.
Toxic Synovitis can turn bacterial. In that case, they have to do a surgery to release the infected fluid. I had to watch for fever, redness or pain. HJ’s pain was getting less and less, so they felt it would stay viral.
I was told that we could still go home that night, but had to come back in 4 days to make sure it was clearing up.
Now I just needed HJ to wake up. The doctor tried before leaving. We tempted him with his dinner that had arrived. Finally, I grabbed one of his cookies to enjoy while we waited. While I was unwrapping the cookie, he opened his eyes, said, “THAT IS MINE”, grabbed the cookie and fell back asleep.
He started to eat it while he was half asleep, but the cookie is what finally woke him from his slumber.
I got to share the good news that we could go home. A nurse came in to give us new discharge paperwork and a prescription for the pain. A doctor came and gave him his final check-up, and he insisted on making a last stop in the play room. On this last trip, he got out of his racecar and said, “MOM WATCH!” and he ran 4 steps. I about cried of happiness seeing how much better he was then the night before, and at how relived I was with our situation.
He got to go out cruising down the hallway.
HJ had a follow-up after 4 days with the orthopedic team, and all went well. He doesn’t have to see them again until November. He has a follow-up with the oncologists in a few weeks. HJ still has memories of the shot in his arm and getting pictures of his bones. Things he really doesn’t want to have to do again.
But the good news is, he is okay. My baby is okay!