Sunday, October 5, 2008

Same Old Story

We went to see Josie's urologist on Thursday. In some ways it was reassuring. After the confusing acid trip of our last visit where the doctor implied that it was a miracle that Josie's good kidney was still functioning (which previously had never been questioned - her good kidney was her good kidney and was supposed to stay that way!) and then mentioned that maybe she was miraculously cured and wouldn't need any further surgery (when the initial diagnosis was that her anatomy was so messed up that there was no way we would get out of this without major surgery), this time we were back to the original story. Her VCUG, done that day, showed that she still has grade V reflux on her left side so she will need to have major surgery in a few months. The surgery will involve reimplanting both of her ureters on the left side (she has two instead of one) and then "resculpting" her primary ureter on the left side. The reimplantation somehow results in the formation of a functional valve between the ureter and the bladder (this is the critical missing element in Josie's anatomy currently that allows lots of urine to backflow up to her kidneys). The surgery will involve a three to four day stay at the hospital and will include temporary stints in her ureters for a few days.

I was extremely disappointed because I was hoping for the miracle cure. I was hoping that Thursday would be our last visit to the pediatric urology department at the UCLA medical center. I was hoping that we would be able to come home and stop giving our daughter antibiotics three times a day. But no such luck.

So that is the crap news. Josie's kidney plumbing on the left side is still all messed up. The good news is that our guy has done this kind of surgery on little kids literally thousands of times and none of them has expired on the table. The good news is that we have a hospital with not one but literally tens of pediatric anaesthesiologists. The good news is that Josie has already had anaesthesia twice and did just fine. The good news is that Dr. C. says that his surgery will fix the problem. The good news is that a person has two kidneys and you can live on just one. The good news is that Dr. C. claims that even Josie's messed up kidney is 85-90% intact and that if anything happens to her good kidney, she could survive on her bad one. So that's all reassuring. We have tentatively scheduled the surgery for sometime in January.

Until then we have an extremely happy baby (except when she doesn't get her way) who has a complicated regime of antibiotics and pro-biotics all working together to keep her intestines happy and her kidneys infection free.

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