Celebration time and thank goodness that is over!!

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! 😉

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15 thoughts on “Celebration time and thank goodness that is over!!

  1. thank you for sharing this with us all. nothing worse than having to sit in hosp. while child undergoes surgery. the min. seem like hrs.. wish i had thought to take photos with daniel and all his surgeries. you take beautiful photo,s danielle, and 3 gorgous girls to practice on. you both seem very caring parents. hope everything is behind caitlan now. lovely family. love all the klimenko,s. xoxoxo

  2. Hi Dan,
    you know that in general I love your photos… but these ones together with the post are so strong and they say it all… I believe that it is really over and it is time to celebrate and be greatfull for all the noise the kids make, all the little refusals that upset parents from time to time… most important is the happy, smiling, healthy kid.
    You are very strong and you as a family will overcome anything that comes accross… All the very best and many happy days together where little misbehaviours of your kids are actually welcomed 🙂 Take care xox Hana

  3. Dan,
    Only you could make such a heartwrenching & worrisome event look so very poetic.
    The way you captured these moments are absolutely beautiful, every picture says a thousand words. It certainly is now time to celebrate such a precious life we all have and the hurdles we face reignite how much we should be reveling in the sunshine after the rain. A huge sigh of relief and gratitude that Caitlin is great!
    All my love Melly xxxxx

  4. Very nicely documented Dani. I believe lots of parents have no idea how to prepare themselves for their babies going into any type of surgery. I don’t know how I would cope. Pictures are fab and “boo boo” is as gorgeous as ever. Wishing her good health for the remainder of her long life.

  5. Hi There Danielle,

    Wow this sounds just like us. I was searching the net for Dr Delaney and came across your beautiful blog. Dr Delaney is operating on our little man in 2 weeks as he also has a very englaged kidney ( since 18 weeks) and he is now 4 and has been in terrible pain and Dr Delaney is operating on him on the 11th of May. It is so scary as he is totally unaware of what is about to happen and I can’t stop seeing the incision mark that will be on him before I cover him up every night. I am terrified of the operation and just wondering how Caitlian coped with it all. Was she in much pain after the surgery and how is she doing now? I would love to hear from you.
    Kind Regards,
    Tameka

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