Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Results...

Thursday was a tough morning. Had to take Katherine in for her sonogram and VCUG . The sonogram was to view her anatomy to ensure her kidney related anatomy was normal. The VCUG was to see if she had the bladder reflux. Thankfully, my SIL Debbie was in town from Canada and went with me to the appt. All I can say is Debbie, you rock. I was so shaky after that I'm not sure I would have been able to safely drive home.

First we had the sonogram. I had to hold Katherine in front of me, similar to a burping position while the tech spread the goop on her and scanned her back. This wasn't painful, but Katherine cried during the whole procedure. I'm sure it was a bit frightening for her and that she could sense my stress. The good news is she has two perfectly normal kidneys. Debbie was able to join us and was really great trying to comfort Katherine (and me.)

Next up was the VCUG. Here I went in alone with Katherine. I had to put on a lead vest and stand behind Katherine at her head and hold her arms down. She was laid down on a large table where they proceeded to insert a catheter. Now, this was the third time we've done this. At the pediatrician's office it was no problem. Here, the frickin' woman could not get the catheter in. Katherine was crying and screaming the whole time. It was awful. Finally, she brought in another woman, who after a few attmepts was successful. Now, I know my daughter is tiny, only 8 pds, but come on. This is your specialty. I was really upset at this point as they had caused my daughter what I considered undue pain and stress. Fortunately, at the point the doctor came in and he was great. Explained everything and said he'd had to do the same thing with his daughter when she was 2 months old. Basically verbally comforted me, which was exactly what I needed at that point.

Then, they proceed to insert the dye via the catheter. They fill up her bladder with the dye and then watch while she urinates to see if the dye refluxes back out of the bladder. Poor Katherine is crying this whole time, I think uncomfortable w/ the fullness of her bladder but still holds it for a few minutes until she finally relaxes. While this is happening, there is a huge xray machine over her whole little body that the doctor is turning on and off. I must have given him a strange look because he then tells me he's turning it on and off to expose her to as little of the radiation as possible. OK. This whole time, even while they were putting the huge lead vest on my I hadn't considered her exposure to the radiation. So there I am, feeling very surreal like I'm watching the procedure, not participating in it, and realizing for the first time that she is getting exposed to radiation. And she's so tiny and only 2 months old. All I can think of is all this radiation going into her little body and that I cannot protect her. Knowing myself, and that a flood of tears is imminent, I focus all my attention on comforting Katherine as best I can and manage to get through it.

The initial result the doctor gives is that they watched her urinate three times and did not see any reflux. Good news. But, they did find a diverticulum next to her bladder, which is a sign of reflux. So he wanted to go back and do another sonogram to see it for himself. When we did this, they couldn't really find it (sort of saw a small black area) which confirmed that he was correct as the diverticulum will only show up when the bladder is fully distended. So this was the bad news, as these usually only show up alongside reflux. While he didn't see reflux on the VCUG, he said it was still possible she has it, but it didn't show up during that particular urination. So he said I should wait and talk to my pediatrician about our course of action.

So I essentially thought we were out of the water until my pediatrician called yesterday. They want us to take her to a pediatric urologist for a second opinion, which won't be until Oct 28th. In the meantime, my pediatrician spoke with the doctor who performed the VCUG and they both agreed we should start her on a low grade antibiotic for the next six months to prevent future urninary tract infections. She does have reflux, a level 2 out of 5. I'm still not sure how that diagnosis came about since they didn't tell me that at the appt. So basically, I expect the urologist will agree to the prescribed antibiotic and in six months we will have to go through the whole procedure again. Joy.

I'm not thrilled about putting Katherine on antibiotic for such a long period of time, but because her UTI didn't show any typical signs of fever, it's quite possible she could get another one and we would not know. And if one were to go untreated, it could result in kidney damage. So, we will proceed with the antibiotic and hope for the best. Fortunately, I have a friend who's 9 month old is going through the same thing, so I have someone I can talk to.

I really want to thank all our friends and family for all your support through this. You've been invaluable and it would have been a much tougher road without you.

1 comment:

VerrySherry said...

oh, anytime it involves your baby and precedures like that it is so upsetting. HOpefully it won't take too much longer to fully diagnose and put on the road to better health! Sorry you have to go through all that. Sorry to Katherine too!