Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Good news!

Last week, Anna underwent a testing procedure called a VCUG. Basically, her bladder was filled, via a catheter, with a dye/contrast solution and x-rays were taken of her full bladder and of her bladder empty. Now, part of this procedure is voiding (aka peeing) on your own so that the doctors can ascertain whether or not you are properly emptying your bladder. Although we told them that Anna could not void on her own, they did try, which I was glad to see. She started to pee and then stopped.

We have been through this procedure with all three of the girls. Anna has been through it several times now. When she was in the NICU, her team of doctors determined that she had been born with a grade 2 right kidney reflux. Reflux is rated on a grade of 1 through 5 with 5 being the worse. Grades 1 and 2 have an 85% chance of correcting on their own within the first year of life.

When the girls were approximately 5 months old, Emily was diagnosed with a UTI and bladder infection. Allie followed a month later. Because of Anna's reflux, it was suggested that both Allie and Em undergo further testing to determine whether or not, as identicals, they also had reflux issues.

As it turns out, Allie and Em did not have reflux, just oddly shaped openings between their right kidneys and their bladders. Further testing after their first birthday revealed that those openings had corrected without medical intervention.

With every appointment, Anna's urologist reiterates and re-emphasizes how important it is for us to maintain and preserve her kidneys. He tells us that this is OUR job. He makes it known that we need to work together as a team with him because he's not there on a day to day basis to cath her or to ensure that she receives her medication or to watch for signs of infection.

When a doctor discusses maintaining and preserving kidneys, you realize how serious this all is. It's always there in the back of my mind. The seriousness. But it always hits me whenever I hear it spoken.

Anna last had a VCUG in 2008. That test showed that her reflux had cleared on its own. Now, we were told that they couldn't be 100% certain that it had corrected itself. The good news from the test last week is that the reflux, again, was not present. (Yippee!) In addition, her bladder appears to be holding an average amount of what it should be holding. (Yippee!) One of the concerns was that her bladder was not stretching properly and therefore not holding what it should. One of the purposes of Anna's medication is to prevent the walls of her bladder from becoming tough and non-stretchy.

So I have to tell you what a little rock star Anna is. She didn't fight or cry or scream. Instead, she held my hand, remained calm and watched a Dora movie. The only time she became combative was after her bladder was completely full and they began to take x-rays. She kept grabbing at her tummy area while writhing in discomfort. This confirmed what I knew all along - that she can feel when her bladder is full.

We were very happy with the test results and Anna doesn't have to return to the urologist for another six months. He ended that appointment by telling us that we've been doing a great job, which was nice to hear. We are continuing to adjust her medication and supplements in order to hopefully work out some other minor issues. Baby steps on that front but that's fine. We'll take the good news!


Colleen said...

That's great news!
Nate always *falls asleep* during that test! I'm like how in the world do you fall asleep during that!

Hope's Mama said...

Anna most certainly is a little rock star.

JEN said...

You must be very pleased with the news :) What a little doll.

Cindy said...

This is WONDERFUL news! Anna is a rock star for sure. And so are you and Rich and Grammie.

Laura and Wesley said...

That's fantastic news!! Anna is such a brave little girl!! My 2 year old went through the same thing (UTI at 9 months old) and has been through the VCUG and DMSA scans as well. She also has Grade 2 VUR so we know at least that part of what you guys are going through. Keep up the amazing work!!

Wiley said...

Virtual happy dance!

Doubly Blessed said...

Awesome news!

Angela said...

Yay Anna!!!!

I think she deserves a turn in the Tangled dress for being such a rock star! ;-) I bet she'd agree!


P.S. As irony would have it, my word verification word is potte. I don't know if it's a real word, but I most certainly read it as pot-e. :-)

Krystle said...

Way to go Anna! Peyton freaked out during her VCUG & required multiple people to hold her down. She should take some notes from Anna.

How amazing to know that she can feel when her bladder is full.

So glad you got good news!

Tracy said...

So glad to read this!! Bless you all!

~Jess said...

What wonderful news! Anna is quite the trooper for going through that. Glad that it all turned out ok :-)

Kate Giovinco Photography said...

YAY Anna that is wonderful news.

And yay for mom and dad. You should be proud of all your hard work.

Wendy said...

This makes me so happy. Anna is just amazing <3 So are her sisters, Mamma, Daddy and Grammy!