I got a big surprise last week in the form of a phone call. Remember that awesome neurologist I told you about from Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston? Mered Parnes, M.D., is his name, and he called last week just to check on Andres.
Pretty cool, especially since Andres has been essentially released from his care in order to follow up locally in Austin.
Once we got to talking, he said in thinking about everything, it would be a good idea for Andres to get a c-spine (neck area) MRI to take to our appointment with the neurologist in Austin.
Yay!!! (I won’t go into the details, but Chiari malformations are linked to other conditions down in the spine that can cause neurological issues.) In my Chiari research I had come across the associated spinal conditions, but I didn’t want to be the neurotic mama and insist on yet more imaging. I had asked our local pediatrician to order spine MRIs to take with us to see Dr. Parnes. He agreed to do it if I insisted, but he thought the neurologist ought to be the one to make that call. Not wanting to be the neurotic mama, I let it drop.
So, after Dr. Parnes’ call, I called the pediatrician to ask him to order the C-spine MRI, and the pediatrician suggested that we just go ahead and MRI the entire spine (double yay), since we’re going to be there anyway, and problems can occur at other places along the spine other than the C-spine with Chiari. (And, he doesn’t know this, but we met our deductible with the first MRI, so these additional films will only cost us $50 a piece. Not chump change, but it beats $500. Scoliosis runs in my family and Chiari kids have a much higher incidence of scoliosis, so even if nothing else shows up (which is what we are hoping), it will be great to have these early MRIs to consider as baseline. (I’m guessing scoliosis doesn’t usually show up until at least junior high most of the time.) Other than that, it will be such a relief to rule out the spinal issues related to Chiari.
So this is one happy mama, yet again.