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!!!

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