Sunday, October 17, 2010

Urology News

On Friday, Owen had a six month appointment with Dr. Gazak to make sure all is well from a urology standpoint. In all the times we have been to his office, I think this was only the second time he was there on time and had not gotten stuck in surgery. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem waiting. If it were my child that he was operation on I would want him to be there instead of rushing to the office. Still, it made for a much shorter visit than we are used to. Owen still got a chance to climb around in the play house that is in the waiting room. Then it was time for his renal pelvic ultrasound. I was a little worried about how this was going to go. When he was very young he did great during the ultrasounds. He would pretty much just lie there and let us move him to the appropriate positions. The last time he had one (six months ago) it was a disaster. He cried, he squirmed, he screamed. He basically made it nearly impossible to get a good view of his kidney and bladder as well as look for his ureters. Luckily he was perfect during the ultrasound. When he was supposed to lay on his back he did. He didn't even mind the ultrasound jelly on his belly. He got a little bit on his finger and asked Nurse Judy to wipe it off. He was talkative and response to Judy and she loved it. There was a period of time where Owen was not such a fan of doctors' offices (wonder why?) and wanted nothing to do with anyone wearing scrubs or carrying a stethoscope. The kid is no dummy, he'd had enough! He even let Judy carry him to the other exam room to wait for his appointment with Dr. Gazak.

When Dr. Gazak came in the room he was greeted pleasantly by Owen, instead of the uncertain once-over that had become fairly common. Owen has always loved Dr. Gazak, but he also fell into the category of "I'm going to be a bit on guard with you since I'm not sure what your intentions are". After exchanging pleasantries, Wes and I both noticed Dr. Gazak holding Owen's ultrasound photos and were anxious to hear the news. The news was: Owen's ultrasound looked wonderful and he is doing great. I was able to breathe a tremendous sigh of relief. I had been so scared that we may hear something unexpected, and it was just awesome to hear that my Little Man is really better. His right kidney (as you may remember this was the one that sustained the most stress due to the reflux) has grown substantially in the past six months. It had been a bit on the small side due to its having been battered by Owen's disease. Also, the images showed no substantial hydronephrosis to speak of. This is a first. I asked about any further increased risk of infection for Owen and Dr. Gazak said it isn't really something to be extra concerned about. He said if he did develop an infection, it would be like that of a "typical" child and would most likely remain a UTI or in the worst case a bladder infection. I have actually been given permission to stop worrying about Owen's kidneys! I'm not saying I'll have an easy time doing it, but it sure is an awesome goal to shoot for.

Owen doesn't have to go back for another check-up and ultrasound for another 9 months. We have graduated from bi-annual visits to every 9 months!

As I've said so many times, I feel so blessed and I am so proud of Owen for coming this far. He really is amazing. I also feel truly blessed that so many people have taken interest in his situation and for the outpouring of caring love and prayer. Thank you, again and again and again!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A life saved

Two years ago today Owen had his first of six urology surgeries to save his kidneys and ultimately his life. His first surgery, a vesicostomy, alleviated the pressure that his bladder reflux was inflicting on his kidneys. Unfortunately it was not a permanent fix, and he went on to have surgery about every two months to bring him closer to where he is now. As of his last urology appointment 6 months ago, his reflux was resolved. His kidney function has remained normal, which is wonderful. Tomorrow we go for another 6 month follow-up appointment with Dr. Gazak, Owen's life saver. We hope and pray that things will look good as they did at his last appointment. Of course these appointments are always scary and cause quite a bit of anxiety. The waiting and wondering is so taxing.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Vacation, Business and a Birthday

That's right, I'm behind again. Things have been crazy busy here as usual. Here's a quick run-down.

At the end of September Wes and I were able to travel North sans kiddos for the wedding of one of Wes' childhood friends. The boys were in good hands as my parents, aunt, sister and brother-in law came together to watch them for the long weekend. They had so much fun I doubt that they even realized we were gone. We made the drive, stopping for 4 hours in Richmond, VA for Wes to meet with a colleague and look at some equipment. This was no fun at all, as it is a long drive and I just wanted to get there. We arrived at Wes' parents' house in Pennsylvania just in time for dinner. This was only the third time that I have been back to our hometown in Pennsylvania in the more than two and a half years since we moved South. It still feels strange for me, especially staying at my in-laws' home, which is where Wes grew up and lived while we were dating. Friday we had a nice day hanging out and running some errands before heading to NYC for Eric and Abby's wedding.

The wedding was beautiful. Wes and Eric met when they were 12 years old and grew up together in the same neighborhood in Pennsylvania. After high school they went their separate ways, but kept in contact. The wedding was at St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in Manhattan and the reception was at the W Hotel in Union Square. Both beautiful. Being back in NYC brought back a lot of memories from visits in the past. I guess in general living in such close proximity to Philadelphia and New York City for all of those years is just completely different than living in the suburbs of Charlotte on a gorgeous lake where life just moves at a slower pace. It was just wonderful to be able to make the trip, but made me realize how much I love where I live now.

We got home from our trip (which totally wrecked me) on Sunday, just in time to celebrate my dad's birthday. It was great to see the boys after being away. Wes then had to leave to go on a business trip that next Friday. His week was a crazy one, preparing for the trade show that he was to be attending in Chicago. He was gone until the following Thursday, making for a long week for all of us. Again, I am lucky to have family close. I am especially blessed to have a family in which we all stick together and help each other. My sister and brother-in-law watched one of our dogs and the entire family pitched in to help me with the boys. It made it a whole lot less stressful than having to be a solo parent for an entire week. As I've said before, it really helps that my boys have such a close relationship with their extended family. Regardless, by the time Daddy finally came home I don't know who was more excited- me or the boys!

This past weekend, Saturday to be precise, was Wes' birthday. My darling husband turned 30! He jokes that he is now an old man, but 30 is by no means old. I am proud of all that he has accomplished in his 30 years and the man that he has become. It is hard to believe that I have known him since he was 16. We truly have been through so much together. Wes' parents were able to be here visiting and celebrate the birth of their youngest child. It was very special for our family!