Monday, 15 October 2012

Taking the piss

Today was one hell of a long day.

I had to take Morgan's urine samples to hospital for them to test to ensure that her UTI is gone.

That, in itself, sounds simple enough, no?

It would have been, had the doc I spoke to about a week ago over the phone given me clear instructions.  This was not the case though - seems like the generic attitude is "If we know how to do stuff, and know what the random abbreviations and bombastic terminologies mean, then so should everyone else."

First thing in the morning - before I had even had my coffee, I joined my mum in the First Attempt at collecting said urine sample from Morgan.

We had to use this plastic bag here:

The yellow rectangle seen on the right bag gets peeled off and beneath it is adhesive that covers the oval hole.  Around the hole is padding, which can be seen on the left bag.

Honestly, the moment I opened it, I was perplexed.  You'd think a plastic bag is easy to figure out.  I couldn't make out if the adhesive was meant to be able to seal the bag once the sample has been collected, or whether it was meant to be used to stick the bag to Morgan's girlybits.

Having a squirming baby on the bed, threatening to maybe-pee-maybe-not doesn't make it a good time to google instructions on how said plastic bag should be used.

I figured I'd use the adhesive bit to be able to seal the bag.  To me, it made more sense than risk causing an allergic reaction by applying the adhesive to Morgan's skin. After all, I don't know what allergies she could potentially suffer from at this point in time.  Having friends who are severely allergic to adhesive makes me think twice before I apply it to someone's skin.

I had a gut feeling that this would end up in disaster by the time I get my arse to hospital - but I thought "Fuck it. There is only one way to find out."

So - about 5 minutes later, I convinced Morgan to drink some of her milk, which prompted an instantaneous pee stream.

Bag safely sealed and stored in my bag, and Morgan's ID number also safely tucked inside my bag, I set off to catch the bus to drop off the sample.

Some half an hour later, I got to hospital.  15 minutes later, I found the right ward, only to find out that the bag had leaked, and therefore the sample was no longer usable due to it not being sterile.

That was when the nurse I spoke to explained exactly how much urine was required, and how the sample should be collected.

Seems like after the plastic bag is used to collect said sample, sample then needs to be transferred into this container:

 I was also told that they actually would be needing 2 - not just the one.


Thankfully HSS managed to pick me up from hospital, and help me get Morgan to provide us with the required samples.

Since she isn't able to pee on demand, we ended up having to trickle some water on her belly and for me to gently prod-slash-massage the bladder region of her belly.

A few minutes later, I had both samples safely stored in my bag, and once more we set off to hospital.

Once we got there, I spoke to the same nurse-dude again, who referred us to some she-doctor who was more interested in catching up with her friend-she-doctor and to gossip about the new ward that is being set up rather than telling us wtf would be happening or whether we needed to do anything else.

After standing some 5 minutes behind the counter of the nurses' station waiting for her to tell us that we could go, listening to her blabbering the day away, I asked her whether she needed to tell us anything or whether we could go.  She-doctor goes "Oh sorry yes you can go."  The look on her face said 'Where did you two come from? Are you martians? What was I doing?'

According to HSS, I used "The Voice" when I asked she-doc whether we could go.  To quote him, there were icicles and ice stalagmites forming with every word I said to her.  I suppose I do not appreciate rudeness.

To me, this was the equivalent of someone walking into a French Cuisine restaurant for the first time, not knowing what to expect, placing an order for some dish they don't know exactly what it should look like, and not knowing whether cutlery should be used to eat said dish.  Some guidance from the person attending to your needs would be immensely appreciated, I would think.

Anyway - enough ranting and raving.

The good thing that happened today is that I could spend a lot of time with Morgan.  I can never get enough of her.  I enjoy her company - she's awesome.  She was in a good mood today, so was quite laid back and playful.

Can you see them teeth? :D Oct2012
Taking pics of them teeth is pretty difficult!! Oct2012
This tends to be the outcome whenever an attempt is made :D 15Oct2012

Saturday, 6 October 2012

When the going gets tough

Lately it has been very difficult to keep up with life.  There have been a string of incidents where the phrases "everything you touch turns to shit" and "everything blows up in your face" can start conveying how stressful it has been.

It all started when Morgan was admitted to hospital with the UTI.  This was on the 17th of August.  Since then, we haven't had a break from negative events.  Two days after being sent home, we ended up taking her back to hospital and were told she had bronchitis.

Then, the moment she started recovering, we had a bike accident and I ended up unable to walk due to a severely sprained foot caused by the bike falling over it when we skidded - and this lasted about a week.  The moment I started hobbling and limping around, my elder sister's dog bit HSS, putting his hand out of action for about a week.

Just when we thought things were finally settling down, this week happened.

As a follow-up to the UTI Morgan had encountered, she had to undergo two medical tests - the first of which was on Tuesday 2nd October 2012.

HSS and I took her to hospital for the micturating cystourethrogram [MCUG].

"The what?" you might ask.

"The MCUG is a technique for watching a person's urethra and urinary bladder while the person urinates (voids). The technique consists of catheterising the person in order to fill the bladder with a radiocontrast agent, typically cystografin. Under fluoroscopy (real time x-rays) the radiologist watches the contrast enter the bladder and looks at the anatomy of the patient. If the contrast moves into the ureters and back into the kidneys, the radiologist makes the diagnosis of vesicoureteral reflux, and gives the degree of severity a score. The exam ends when the person voids while the radiologist is watching under fluoroscopy. Consumption of fluid promotes excretion of contrast media after the procedure. It is important to watch the contrast during voiding, because this is when the bladder has the most pressure, and it is most likely this is when reflux will occur.

Vesicoureteral reflux (kidney reflux) is diagnosed with an ultrasound and VCUG. Children who have recurrent urinary tract infections are given this test to determine the risk of subsequent infections causing potentially damaging kidney infections."

Just out of hospital - Wednesday 3rd October 2012

On Wednesday, HSS and I took Morgan back to hospital for a check-up with her paediatrician.  Turns out, the results form the previous day's test were out... and therefore bad news was delivered to us.

Morgan has Vesicoureteral reflux on her left side, and since urine is re-entering her left kidney, it is causing her these UTIs.  I lost count of how many times the doctor used the word "unfortunately".

So yeah - we have an appointment with the paediatric surgeon on the 24th of October.

Both HSS and myself were quite shaken by this news, and needed to get away from everyday life for a short while.

We took Morgan to Buskett for the first time ever.

First family outing @ Buskett - 3rd Oct 2012

Being in the midst of nature tends to have a calming effect on me.  I don't know if you have ever sat in the shade of a tree, and after chilling there for a while, you walked away refreshed.  I know I have.  Being away from the daily bustle and rush of modern day life was a welcome break - where no one disturbs you, and you're given a moment to take a deep breath and just... be.

Being there, with HSS and Morgan, felt good.  It was a much needed break.  I enjoyed watching Morgan be amazed at the rustling leaves, at the changing light, and the different smells and natural sounds around us.  

We found a spot hidden from the world, where the ground was covered in grass [not the kind that gets you high, mind you], and where there was quite a bit of shade for us to enjoy. 

This led to Morgan's first True Free-range Potato Experience.  Free-range Potato is what I like to call her exposed bum.  Seeing as this nappy change was carried out in the middle of Buskett, it couldn't get any more Free-range than that, could it?

 Silliness ensued - 03Oct2012

At one point, we got Morgan out of her pushchair and  set her down on the grass, sitting up.  I was seated out of arm's reach from her, and asked her to give me her hands.

She leaned forward, and put her hands in mine - 03Oct2012

This, is what happened next:

She's awesome.

We took a bunch of photos whilst we were there, but these are my favourites:

Little Monster Attack! 03Oct2012

Love - 03Oct2012
:) - 03Oct2012
On Friday 5th October we were meant to take Morgan back to hospital for another test - this time it would have been a Nuclear Medicine DMSA Renal Scan.  A DMSA renal scan is a diagnostic imaging exam that evaluates the function, size, shape and position of the kidneys and detects scarring caused by frequent infections.  Technetium-99m DSMA (dimercapto succinic acid) is a radioisotope that is injected into the patient's veins through an IV prior to the scan. It goes directly to the kidneys.  A special camera, called a gamma camera, is used to take pictures of the kidneys and show how the kidneys are working.

This was not to be.

On Wednesday night, Morgan got high fever, so first thing in the morning, we went back to the hospital - this time to the A&E Room.  The Paediatrician on duty happened to be one of the doctor's following Morgan's case, so there was no need to explain the whole story.  A urine sample was collected, and 3 hours later I got a phone call to tell me that Morgan has another UTI.  Meaning, the DMSA scan needed to be postponed by another 6-8 weeks to allow the infection to be over and done with.

Fast forward to today - Today was the first day where fever was very low.  Hopefully by tomorrow it'll be gone.

I'm worried about what might happen next.  We were told that if Morgan doesn't undergo the operation,  she will be prone to UTIs all her life, and could end up with Kidney Failure of her left kidney.  I'm anxiously waiting for the Paediatric Surgeon's appointment, to find out exactly what is going to happen.

My greatest fear is seeing Morgan go into the operating theatre, and not seeing her come back out.

I'm thankful I've got HSS by my side to fight this battle with me - he's incredible.  In fact, this, is for him. 

To finish off on a positive note, Morgan's front bottom teeth have broken through.  I haven't managed to take a picture of them as yet, but as soon as I manage to, I'll be sure to post it. Damn, they're sharp!!!