Monday, June 7, 2010

Kidney Infection (Part One)

My middle girl is a complicated one. In so many ways. This weekend we discovered she had a kidney infection.

We discovered my little girl had one abnormal kidney when I was pregnant with her. Oh, strong emotion. What does this mean? Will she be alright? What does this mean for her life. We got with the Urologist and talked about the possibilities and he settled my emotions.

"Most likely this means that she’ll only have one kidney. We might choose to try and fix the enlarged kidney or we might remove it, but we’ll probably wait a while until we do either thing. Her healthy kidney will do most of the work."

When she was born her pediatrician ran all sorts of kidney functions tests. They all came out normal. At about seven-eight months the Urologist ordered the big-gun tests for kidney functions. One test was a nuclear test where they inject nuclear dye into her, have her lay very still in front of a nuclear imaging machine and watch how the kidneys clear the nuclear particles.

My daughter did wonderfully. At that age she was such a cooperative, happy, still baby. I remember the horrible rashes she had then. I was always treating her skin with moisturizer and hydrocortisone and other medications. It was always out of control…especially in the diaper area. If she had a poopy on her for one minute (literally one minute) her bottom would bleed horribly. I think that started from the age that I introduced food to her. Anyhow, I told you my daughter was a complicated girl, but back to where I left off in my story:

The urologist also ordered a urethral reflux tests where they give her this special chalk substance through a catheter and take moving X-rays (many fast X-rays) to watch if there are any signs of the urine moving up from the bladder to the kidneys. Again, at seven-eight months, my daughter did wonderfully. Those would have been hard tests to give to a child who was more aware.

At about 10 months she got her enlarged kidney removed (hydronephrosis is what they call it). After they removed the kidney, they told us it looked like an over-inflated balloon that had lost its air and that it hadn’t been doing any of the work of her kidneys. They also looked around at the other ureter and everything looked “ok” but that they would monitor it.

When she was two or three she got another ultrasound (she had gotten several around the time of that surgery). The doctor said everything looked fine but that we would monitor it over the years. All along we talked about things to keep her kidney safe…watch for bladder infections…don’t give her cranberry juice because the oxalic acid in the cranberry juice can cause kidney stones…she shouldn’t do motorcross or football. That was the joke, she only has one kidney, so we don’t want her to do any extreme sports. (By the way, this girl of mine is soooo the football, tackling type.)

The ultrasound results did say things on it like hydronephrosis on this kidney looks stable. Or looks slightly improved. I was concerned by words like these because I didn’t know this kidney had any hydonephrosis going on. The Urologist showed me her ultrasound and explained what the radiologist was seeing when they wrote that and that although it showed some signs of hydronephrosis, it was within normal range of a kidney that did the work of two kidneys, and he wasn’t highly concerned about it.

My daughter had other (mild) issues going on. They weren’t mild to me though. Around four we were still having major potty issues. The Urologist is one of the people to talk to about this too.

This story is to be continued...

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