I’ve questioned whether or not to blog this post, but after some encouragement from friends and family and a complete stranger, here goes….
Our ‘Boo-Boo’, our little girl, Caitlin, was diagnosed with an enlarged right kidney whilst still in utero at her 18 week ultrasound. A follow-up ultrasound at 34 weeks, confirmed the same problem.
Two weeks after she was born, she had to undergo a very invasive procedure called a ‘renal MAG3 scan’. A renal MAG3 scan is a nuclear medicine test that allows doctors to see the child’s kidneys and learn more about how they are functioning.
This involved being canulated to a fluid drip and then being injected with a small amount of radioactive dye, and strapped – and I mean strapped! – down to a machine and have her insides photographed to determine why the fluid retention. This takes about two hours all up.
It was determined that her right ureter (the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder) had a ‘kink’ in it, so the kidney could not drain properly. It was operating at about 30%, so stress was being put on the left kidney as it was compensating for the right. This is a relatively common problem in children apparently, and it is not life threatening, so we are very thankful in the scheme of things.
In all, she had three MAG3 scans to decide whether we needed to proceed with surgery. I will say, little ones are very aware of what goes on and their experiences. Caitlin whimpers whenever we walked into a doctor’s surgery! 😦
So, after nearly two years (Caitlin will be two in February), her surgery, a Right Pyloplasty, was booked in for Monday 5th September, 2011 at Westmead Children’s Hospital. She had to fast, not even water, from the night before, so that was going to be a drama in itself! Have you ever told an 18 month old they cannot have a drink??!
I felt a little funny packing the camera and deciding on what lens would be best to use, as I packed for a two day stay, but I thought this is something that should be documented, something that should be remembered as we have come through the other side relatively unscathed and for the better, even if for our own memories! What made me decide to share was one nurse in recovery who stared at me taking a few snaps. I must have looked uncomfortable because she said to me, I wish more parents would do that. I then thought, what the hell!!! We really are blessed to have a healthy little girl who has overcome a little hurdle in life, and that should be shared and celebrated.
I carried her in to the prep room to help administer the gas to relax her. Whilst the anaesthetist and nurse sang Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and I blubbered, after a short struggle, she closed her little eyes and was asleep.
Nearly three hours later we were called to recovery to find her hysterical! Catheterised and still canulated, she was struggling to get away from all the faces she had not seen before. I picked her up and one of the nurses got her a bottle of juice. As soon as she got it, it was gone. She was very thirsty! Seeing that was worse than having her put under an anaesthetic!
I will say that her surgeon, Dr Danielle Delaney, was magnificent! A lovely lady, a great bedside manner and a true professional. And the nursing staff we dealt with at Westmead were fantastic!
Our thanks to you all for looking after our little Boo-Boo so well and thank goodness that is over! 😉