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Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Follow-Up

Sorry to leave all of you hanging for an entire day after Emily's appointment, but life doesn't slow down just so I can write about it.  Thank you all so much for your thoughts and well wishes!  After our appointments yesterday I spent my afternoon calling my mom and spending time with Emily.  I don't always get to spend entire days with her so I took advantage of it, but now onto yesterday's appointments...

Nice and early Shawn and I showed up at our first appointment in the ultra-sound department.  It still amazes me how healthcare offices ask you to be prompt and early, yet you end up waiting well past the original appointment time.  When we were finally ushered into the ultrasound room I had flashbacks to my pregnancy.  We were in the same room where, around nine months ago, I saw Emily for the first time.  Now I was there having her kidneys assessed.  

We undressed her and she happily cooed as I held her in my arms as the technician smear goo across her belly and flanks.  I couldn't believe how well she handled the procedure as the little wand was pushed on her skin.  Emily was glued to the television screen that showed her tiny insides.  Her kidneys were easily identifiable and as they technician scanned over them they looked like a black and white photo just out of an anatomy book.  While I know a lot about medicine and healthcare I don't even begin to pretend I know what I am looking at when it comes to an ultrasound beyond the basic identification of organs.  Thankfully, the woman doing the procedure quickly filled us in.

Her kidneys were normal.

Thank God. 

There was no visible scar tissue.   Everything looked as perfect as could be and Shawn and I breathed a sigh of relief.  Then we wiped the gel off Emily and packed her back up.  The first appointment was over and we had a whole hour to kill before the second appointment with the specialist.  

While we were waiting we browsed the various stores inside the hospital.  Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center has a regular mall inside their hospital with a few specialty shops.  I spent a lot of time browsing very expensive Dansko clogs (any nurse knows and loves these) and the scrubs.  They also had a store with a ton of housewares and Christmas decorations.  Unfortunately I didn't buy anything since Emily had had just about enough of the shopping and began wailing before I could pick out anything to purchase.

We walked across the hospital to our next appointment and lulled Emily to sleep in the stroller at the same time.  The children's side of the hospital was beautifully decorated with artwork, sculptures, and colorful drawings of all kinds.  It was definitely a very nice, and special place for kids. 

Finally the pediatric specialist met with us.  She examined Emily and went over the ultrasound results again, confirming that they were normal.  Then she talked about what was next for Emily... a dye test called a voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG).  While the ultrasound was normal, she explained, it only showed that no damage had been done yet.  It did not rule out that Emily had completely normal kidney and bladder function.  The VCUG would do that.  Essentially Emily would be catheterized, her bladder slowly filled with a dye solution, and then x-ray images would be taken to determine if any of the dye refluxes into the ureter or kidney.  Should dye reflux into the kidneys then other steps, like surgery may be needed.  

Yes, that's a lot of medical talk, right there.

So we agreed to the test, which will take place in the next couple of weeks to month, and should definitively tell us if Emily will need any further procedures or if her urinary tract infection was just a fluke.  

What they couldn't answer was a question I had about the specific organism that was found to cause Emily's UTI, group B strep.  It isn't a microorganism usually found in urine.  Since I was group B positive during my pregnancy and, thanks to being sent home while in labor, didn't get the full recommended dose of antibiotics before Emily was born I wondered if there was some relation.  The specialist told us she had no idea.  Since Emily never had blood work drawn before starting antibiotics we will never  know if there is a link.  That means we may never know exactly the cause of her UTI, particularly if the dye test results indicate there isn't reflux (which is what we hope).  Regardless of an answer or not Emily is on prophylactic antibiotics to prevent another UTI, just in case, until the dye test is done. 

So, we are still in the process of determining what could be going on.  Hopefully it ends up to be nothing, in the end, but it will be at least a little while before we know for sure.  In the mean time she is acting like any other healthy three and a half month old.  

Holding her own bottle even! 


The Sweetest Days said...

I understood what you were saying, Jen. I do hope the upcoming tests are all good. As you know sometimes you never find out what causes certain ailments and somehow they just seem to rectify themselves. Let's hope thats the case with Emily's UTI's!

Smile Steady said...

What a sweet girl. Glad to hear everything looks good so far... hopefully it will all be okay in the end!

Rachel said...

Glad the ultrasound came out good. I've been thinking and praying!

kittyhere said...

Glad to learn that you & Emily have passed the first diagnostic hurdle.

You do a wonderful job explaining the whole medical procedures. I have a med tech sister you almost always goes totally over my head with medical jargon. I'd take you as my medical interpreter any day.

Best of luck on the dye test to come. Home Emily stays happy & symptom free until then.

Rosanne said...

I went through something similar with my son many years ago. Only he was 14 years old-not an infant. It's scary stuff when your child has to undergo diagnostic testing. Waiting results seems to take forever. I will be hoping and praying that your little Emily gets a clean bill of health!

Glyndalyn said...

Praise the Lord that things look good so far.

Shari@Rain into Rainbows said...

Many prayers for Emily & you as you go through all of this.

My DD had/has kidney reflux (bilateral I/IV). She had surgery years ago to resolve the IV and lives pretty much without any issues in the Grade I kidney.

Please feel free to ask me if I can help with any questions about any of it.

Thinking of you. <>

Stacy said...

It is good to know that it's not something serious with the kidneys. But my prayers are with you while the work is done to determine what is happening to your beautiful girl.

Anonymous said...

Phew. Hopefully the good news continues.


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