15 May Wellness Wednesday – A brain tumor
A story of my oldest daughter, Makayla (who graduates from HS in just one short week!)
When Makayla was just three years old she started waking up several mornings a week and throwing up.
At first, I thought she had a case of the stomach flu that she just couldn’t get rid of. Then, it became more of a pattern. She would wake up, throw up, and be completely normal the rest of the day.
This went on for about a month a couple times a week when I started realizing something was off.
I had thought it might have been food intolerance, like how my son presented with food intolerance, but after tracking what she ate religiously, there wasn’t a pattern where I could connect the symptom with a specific food.
The next time we were at the doctors office, I mentioned it to the physician and he didn’t seem overly concerned but told me to track it on a calendar. If it was happening three or more times a week, then he wanted me to bring the calendar back in the next time I came in.
So, I wrote down on a calendar every time it happened. Makayla would wake up, throw up, and then be normal for the rest of the day. It happened several times a week for about a month.
Then, about a month later while visiting the doctor when my son was sick, I mentioned that I had been tracking Makayla’s symptoms like he had told me to, and I brought with me the calendar for him to see.
He looked it over, said I’ll be right back, I need to make a copy of this, and left the room.
Then, when he came back into the room, he said, “I’ve made an appointment for you at the hospital, I need you to take your daughter over immediately and have a CT scan done. When children wake up and throw up in the mornings it’s a very common sign in children who have a brain tumor and we need to do some testing to rule that out.”
I was scared.
I was shaking but I gathered up my baby Dallen and Makayla, and asked them if I could use their office phone to call my husband so he could meet me at the hospital.
I’m not sure how I got the words out of my mouth without bursting into tears or what I even said to Brandon except that they were testing Makayla for a brain tumor and I needed him to meet me at the hospital. The office was busy and full of people coming and going and the whole experience was overwhelming.
I remember the nurse who helped me dial the numbers knew what was going on and was empathetic and understanding in my discombobulated state.
I hung up the phone and walked with my two kids across the parking lot and over to the hospital where Makayla would have her CT scan done.
A brain tumor…
What would this mean for our family and our daughter? What would her future be?
I prayed harder than I had ever prayed before… Please don’t take my daughter, Lord. I‘ve lost my dad, I almost lost Makayla when I was pregnant (a story for another day) and now I might lose her again!
I know she must be a special spirit, please heal her and allow me to love and raise her in our home.
Brandon arrived at the hospital and they performed the CT scan on Makayla’s head. Then we went home and waited for a call from our doctor.
About 6pm our phone rang, it was our doctor telling us they had found something on the CT scan. There was something in her brain and she would need an MRI the next morning to make a definite diagnosis.
After hanging up the phone, Brandon called his dad, Roger, to explain everything that was going on.
In a few short hours, Brandon’s dad and his 2 brothers showed up at our house to help give Makayla a priesthood blessing.
(In our church we believe that the priesthood has been restored on the earth in these latter days and that men hold it to bless the lives of those around them, including their families. To learn more you can visit here)
I remember the 4 men standing over my squirrely three-year-old daughter, laying their hands on her head, and giving her a priesthood blessing.
Later on that night the hospital called to schedule Makayla for an MRI first thing the next morning.
When we arrived at the hospital that morning they checked us in, took her history, and then they told us they weren’t able to perform the MRI on Makayla. The scheduler had failed to tell us the night before that we shouldn’t feed her breakfast because they would have to sedate her for the MRI.
They apologized for the error but told us we would have to wait until that afternoon, when the food had passed through her system, to do the MRI.
It was a very long day with a very, very tired and HANGRY toddler.
But we made it, and headed back to the hospital ready for the MRI test.
When we got there, because it hadn’t been a full 12 hours, they decided to put her to sleep for the test, and then they would give her a shot of something that would wake her right back up. It was a little risky and they didn’t like to do it often but it was warranted in this case because there was no way my three year old was going to go into an MRI machine with loud banging noises and hold still let alone not completely have a melt down.
They sedated her and we watched through the window as they loaded her tiny, sedated body into the big MRI machine.
Then we waited in the hall outside her room until the test was done about 45 min or so.
Then, we were lead to a recovery room where they gave her the shot like they promised and she woke up. She was cranky and groggy but completely unfazed by what had just taken place.
They told us they would have the test read immediately and the results would be available shortly if we wanted to stay and the hospital and wait for them.
Which we did.
Then, they called our name, and we headed back to talk with the radiologist that had read her MRI.
He told us there was something in the lining of Makayla’s brain and he didn’t know what they had seen the night before, but today it wasn’t what it had appeared to be the night before.
Today it showed a pocket of fluid, a cyst, in the lining of her brain but no tumor.
I think we stood there not saying much and starring in disbelief because he said do you want to see it? Let me show you so you can see what I’m talking about.
He proceeded to show us her MRI and the pocket of fluid in the lining of her brain.
He told us that nothing else would need to be done and it shouldn’t need to be monitored throughout her life.
She was going to be okay.
Relief took over and we made phone calls to our family, letting them know of the good news.
It took awhile to process all that had happened… Gratitude filled my heart for my loving heavenly father.
Why had we been spared this terrible trial while others were not? Why had Makayla been almost taken from us twice in the three short years of her life?
How grateful I was for this amazing blessing and the events that took place to heal my daughter.
The faith that was required on the part of those giving her the blessing allowed her to be healed.
By accidentally feeding her that morning, and missing our first appointment, I really believe that was the window of time needed so our great healer could make my daughter whole after receiving the blessing.
After that test that day, Makayla’s symptoms completely stopped.
There were no more mornings where she would wake up and throw up. Her symptoms simply disappeared.
She was healed.
I’m grateful for this blessing, that Heavenly Father has allowed me to raise my sweet and spunky red haired, lively monkey Makayla. I look forward to what life has in store for her!
Love you Makayla!