Thursday, June 16, 2011

Eighteen months Post Reflux Resolution

It is impossible to believe, but it has been 18 months since Owen's last surgery. You may remember, two months after being told that the bladder reconstruction was not successful and that we would have no choice but to augment Owen's bladder with bowel tissue and just let him continue to reflux, Dr. Gazak had to go in and remove the stent that remained in one of Owen's kidneys. With no medical explanation, those two months allowed Owen to heal. One shot of deflux into his ureter and his reflux was resolved. Such a wonderful blessing; a true miracle. Yes, it has been 18 months since then. In that time we have only had two follow-up appointments with Dr. Gazak. The second was on Tuesday. It had been 9 months since the last appointment. Nine months since he had blood work to check his kidney function or a renal pelvic ultrasound to check for hydronephrosis. During the ultrasound, I looked at the images on the screen and felt very uncomfortable, even scared. There were several large black spots in Owen's kidneys, which means hydronephrosis. I couldn't stop the panic from creeping in. What was wrong? Why were his kidneys so dilated? How many steps back were we taking? Were we going to have to start this awful journey all over again? I could also tell that his kidneys were much longer than they were the last time I got to see them. Trying to calm myself down I thought, maybe something is going on that I don't understand. We moved to an exam room where we waited for Dr. Gazak. I was terrified. He came in and told us that all of the pertinent levels in his blood showed normal kidney function. We began our normal routine of going over the ultrasound images on the exam table. He used a pen to outline each kidney, then looked at me and confirmed my worst fear- There is a lot of dilation. Much more than last time. I thought I might be sick. He quickly hypothesized that the dilation could be result of Owen having a full bladder. Maybe the boy had to pee. Wes whisked Owen off to the bathroom with a specimen cup in hand. Owen peed in the cup, which he thought was pretty cool. Until now urine collection has involved either a catheter or a urine bag. After he had emptied his bladder, Nurse Judy took another look at Owen's kidney through ultrasound. We were all immediately relieved at the sight of two white and fuzzy kidneys. Just how they should be. To say that I was relieved is a huge understatement. Dr. Gazak came in and confirmed that both kidneys in fact looked perfectly normal. Normal!! Dr. Gazak told us that this had probably happened because Owen is starting to potty train himself. His kidneys were not dilated because of reflux, but because he had been holding his urine. This also means that we have been given the go ahead to start actually working on potty training. Dr. Gazak recommended that we put Owen on a two-hour voiding schedule. He is still in diapers right now, but doing very well with the first part of the process. He goes to the potty like a champ, and sometimes even decides to do so on his own. Even we were given quite a scare at first, the appointment ended with great news. Little Man is doing great! We are now on a one year follow up, a place that I never thought we would be.