I just want to say thank you for all the prayers that I know have gone up on Gracen's behalf. I certainly felt God's peace and presence today....and I think the news was good.
We all had a pretty good night's sleep and we woke up around 4:30 this morning. We left our house at 6:03, which was 3 minutes behind schedule. Not too bad! We had to be at Children's Hospital by 8:00 and we were concerned about the morning traffic. Thankfully, we arrived at 7:45, even though the traffic was pretty congested from Alabaster all the way to our exit.
When we first arrived, I just stared at the building, even though I had been there many times before, and thought, "We should not be here. We should be at home watching cartoons and doing our regular thing." I started to get that nervous, yucky feeling. I started praying and honestly started to feel better. We made it to the correct clinic and started the registration process. All the people were very friendly to us and to Gracen. After, we did all the paperwork, we headed up to the second floor to the clinic where Gracen's procedure would be performed. You know I started crying in that elevator. Not an ugly, snot rolling kind of cry, just eyes filling up with tears, kind of cry. I guess it was just the anticipation of what was about to be done to Gracen. What parent wants their child to hurt, ya know? To make matters worse, she was laughing and smiling, happily investigating this new location. Little did she know what was about to happen!
We had more paperwork to complete in the second waiting room, which in all honesty, gave me time to collect myself. My parents arrived shortly after I completed that set and their presence brought me a GREAT sense of relief. We headed back to have the Gracen's catheter dye test around 8:35 or so and we were completely done at 9:07, which included undressing her, talking to the technicians, and redressing her. That in and of itself is a praise. I was told that it could take up to 45 minutes or longer , depending on how long it took Gracen to completely empty her bladder.
When the technician inserted the catheter, Gracen let out a high pitched scream and then started to cry. Two technicians held her legs down and Gene and I held her arms. She cried and squirmed and fought almost the entire time, which was heartbreaking. I just wanted to scoop her up and run away...like that would solve her problem. She emptied her bladder and then the nurse filled it up with dye and she emptied her bladder again, over the course of several minutes. She did give us some moments of calm throughout the procedure which gave us a chance to take a deep breath.
Gracen really did great and the tech. said she got great pictures and everything that she needed. That technician was really good and really quick with that catheter. She had it in Gracen in what felt like 5 seconds.
We had to wait a good hour to see the doctor and discuss the results. Gracen does have reflux of urine between the bladder and the kidneys, meaning that some of it goes back up into the kidneys rather than all exiting her body. This is causing kidney infections, not just UTI's. The right ureter tube has a reflux grade between 1 and 2 and the left ureter tube has a grade of 3. (For those of you who read Facebook, I said it backwards there.) The highest grade is a 5. The doctor said that 60-70% of all children grow out of this without surgery. That is what we are hoping and praying. Thank the Lord, they didn't find something really horrible today. Basically we found out what we already knew.
The plan is to go back in 6 months (Oct. 29th) for an ultrasound just to monitor the kidneys. Then Gracen will have another catheter dye test (ugh!) 6 months after that, at the end of April 2011. We are praying, and want to ask you to pray, that the reflux is gone a year from now. Over the course of the next year, she will take a low dose antibiotic to prevent infections....or at least we hope it prevents infections...another prayer request. If the reflux is not gone after one year, we will follow the same plan for another year.....6 months=ultrasound, 6 months later=catheter dye test, all while continuing the antibiotic The doctor said this could continue for several years. If she continues to have kidney infections, UTI's or other issues, a surgery to correct the anatomy will be performed. We are certainly praying that it never gets to that point.
I am suppose to watch her for any signs of an infection such as lethargy or fever, and take her in to collect urine if I suspect that something is going on. I am already a worry wart, and I just know I will be taking that child to her pediatrician every time she even whines. Crazy! Pray that God gives me the intuition to just know in my gut when something is wrong.
Thanks again for all the prayers and sweet phone calls and emails. I appreciate it so much!
(Sherry, I received your sweet message and it meant a lot!)
If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I will answer it the best that I can.
I will certainly be keeping you updated with concerns, prayer requests, and praises.
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