Option Number One was the deflux injection.
Pros: It's a noninvasive and quick procedure.
Cons: It still requires surgery and has an 80% success rate.
Option Number Two was full out surgery.
Pro: The success rate is considerably higher than that of the injection.
Cons: It's big time surgery with a c-section type incision and recovery time.
Option Number One seemed like the obvious way to go but apparently some say, why bother, it may not work, and jump right to the surgery that will work. Well, I'm making it seem like the obvious decision but spina bifida complicates matters a bit. If you have spina bifida, chances are high that you have a neurogenic bladder and those with neurogenic bladders have a lower success rate with the deflux injection. We were also told that they may not be able to do the injection if Anna's bladder is inflamed but they wouldn't know if her bladder was inflamed until the surgery was underway.
The last minute urodynamic study was completed to gather more data as to whether or not the deflux injection was a viable option. After the study, her urologist said that she was a good candidate and surgery was scheduled for the next week. We waited until after our NH vacation to tell Anna what was happening. I first told her that we needed to go see Dr. P again. She was not too happy and asked if he was going to do the same test. The urodynamic study was extremely uncomfortable for her so I told her that he did have to do a test BUT she would be sleeping through it. She was okay with that. I specifically did not use the word surgery.
We were told to be at the hospital at 12:30 (afternoon) and because she was going to be knocked out, she wasn't allowed to eat anything after midnight the night before. She had a snack of yogurt and granola right before bed and because she's not a big fan of eating first thing in the morning (neither am I), I was hoping the no food bit wouldn't be a big deal. Let's just say that if this was Allie, she would have been a bear from lack of food. We arrived in Boston before 12:30, and waited for about 10 minutes before we were whisked into the preparation area. The surgery was schedule for 2:45 and we were told right away that they were running behind.
This waiting area was fairly comfortable. We had our own cubby. Anna was snuggled up in a (hospital) bed and she had her own TV with access to the Disney channel. This kid never once complained about hunger. A few times she told us her tummy was growling and once, right before they brought her into surgery, she stated that she was hungry but there was no complaining. None. No whining, no crying, no fussing.
She had a very long wait. They didn't come pick her up and wheel her to the operating area until 4:15 and then from there, we had an hour wait until she was brought into the operating room. The hospital staff was fantastic. Although there was a significant delay, they provided updates and apologized profusely. It's surgery at a hospital. We couldn't really get mad. Anna had brought three buddies with her - Buttercup, Zebe and Zebe's mom, Mrs Gomez. While waiting to go into the operating room, one of the nurses took Buttercup and gave her a hair net and mask and returned her to Anna wrapped in a warm blanket.
If your kid has undergone surgery, you know how emotionally heart wrenching it can be accompanying them into the operating room. I kept my emotions in check by reminding myself that this was a quick, routine procedure. There are parents who do this not knowing if they'll see their kid again. Anna was given some happy juice and appeared inebriated. She was relaxed and face planted into her pillow a few times.
Although the procedure itself was short, Anna was in the operating room for almost 90 minutes. Her urologist emerged with good news. He said that we had been doing a great job with the intermittent catheterization - there was no inflammation of the bladder which allowed him to proceed with the deflux injection. It will take some months before tests can be run to determine if the procedure was successful but he was happy with how it went.
Anna was a mess in recovery. They didn't get us back to her before she woke up and she kept focusing on that. It had been 24 hours since she had eaten so I'm sure that didn't help matters. In speaking of it now with her, she doesn't really remember what happened in recovery. Here's an example:
Anna: "I looooove yoouuuuu."
Me: "I love you too, sweetie."
Anna: "Okay, now shush."
Although that's not far from the real Anna.
She kept looking at the monitor clipped to her finger and asking what it was. We would tell her it was a monitor. Three minutes later, she would look at her finger. "What IS this?" "Buddy, it's a monitor."
Fingers crossed for success. Anna has already told us that she will lock herself in the bathroom if she has to do that again.