Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A New Chapter

In early October 2008 our lives were turned upside-down after Owen became extremely ill. We took him to a regional hospital, found out he was nearing the point of seizure and cardiac arrest, and were critical cared transported to a Children's Hospital downtown. You know the story, we spent 2 weeks there, much of it in the PICU as the doctors attempted to find a diagnosis. Owen was eventually diagnosed with Grade 5 Bladder Reflux and underwent surgery, a vesicostomy. That was the first of 7 surgeries that Owen has undergone. With the exeption of his cleft lip repair, all were urological surgeries meant to relieve the pressure being put on his kidneys. It has been a long road. My Little Man has fought like a tiger through all of it.

Surgery # 7 took place on January 18. We feared that the surgery would be postponed because of a repiratory infection that Owen developed that turned out to be the Roseolla virus. Luckily we were able to go ahead with the surgery. Dr. Gazak performed a cystoscopy, during which he removed the stent from the right side of Owen's urinary tract. He then did a cystogram, an x-ray to discern the level of reflux and the condition of the urinary tract. The cystogram was clear. The only thing he found was that the valve that he had created on the right side of Owen's bladder during the ureter reimplantation/bladder reconstruction surgery on October 19 was a bit weak. He was able to inject a shot of Deflux (a reflux medication) which is a binding agent that would strengthen the valve. The final result of the surgery- Owen's bladder is no longer refluxing.

Thus, the new chapter of our lives begins. We spent the first 16 monts of Owen's life worried and scared. He spent that time hurting, fighting and enduring surgery after surgery. We hurt and fought right along with our sweet Little Man. After an extremely negative x-ray after surgery in November, things didn't look so good for Owen. We were told that he would be ok, but would live with relux and the serious disablitiy of having a hole in his bladder to empty his urine for the rest of his life. It was devistating. That news has no place in this new chapter. After 16 months of awful illness, many hospital stays, countless visits to specialists and more worry and angst than I can express, Owen is out of the woods. Owen is healthy. Owen passes urine just like any other little boy. He made it. We made it.

Today I finally felt able to write this post. As wonderful as this news is, as excited as we are to have begun this new chapter as a family, as blessed as we are to have Owen's condition to have improved the way it has, it is also difficult to adjust. He was sick for so long, and all of the sudden it is as though a switch has been flipped. I love the switch. I am glad it was flipped. It is just going to take me a while to get used to this new lighting.

As always, I want to thank all of our family and friends who have kept us and especially Owen in their thoughts and prayers. It has meant the world to us, and we believe has been a contributing factor in where we are today. We feel very loved, and again we thank you.