I had a long day in Seattle on Thursday with a few appointments to further determine the outcome of Anna’s kidney condition and to just get more information, in general.
The first appointment was at Children’s Hospital bright and early in the morning. She was set to get a Lasix Renogram. It was extremely difficult for me (and her!) right from the start!! In order to do the renogram, Anna had to get an IV started and what an extremely difficult 10 minutes that was…….they tried 5 different spots on her feet and arms to find a vein and poked her all 5 of those times until they finally got it complete. Anna was screaming like I had never heard her scream before!! What agony!!! It was rough, but they finally got the needle in, everything in its place and I was able to nurse her to calm her down right before she was wheeled into the room for the procedure. Thankfully, she did calm down and I was so glad I was able to go with her into the room. It was actually quite an “easy” procedure and Anna did SO WELL. She was strapped down to a table in a nice, comfy, warm room and they “injected” liquid (can’t remember the name of it), and had many monitors showing the flow of all this liquid through her body. It was amazing to see. I sat right next to her and had my own monitor and was told this procedure could take up to an hour! I was concerned how Anna could last that long, but she FELL ASLEEP! Yay! It was pretty cool to see the inner workings of her body and was so glad that it was completed in 40 minutes!!
Among other things, this test would show everything the doctors need to know about her kidneys and how they are functioning. Anna has a duplicated renal collecting system on her left kidney, which, essentialy means that she has “two” kidneys in one. She has two ureters coming from one kidney that both empty into the bladder. She also has what is called a ureterocele inside the bladder where the ureter from the upper part of the kidney enters the bladder. A ureterocele is basically a balloon-type of prolapse inside the bladder that may obstruct urine flow. This information we knew going into the renogram. We were eager to know what would become of this! Our next appointment with the Urologist was the same afternoon, so we found out the same day!
It was good and bad news all in one. Bad News—-The upper part of Anna’s left kidney is not working at all. It basically doesn’t serve a purpose to her. It is yet to be determined, though, what should be done with it. BUT, the Good News is that we don’t have to act on it right away. We are basically going to have to watch it very closely in the coming months, and she will have to have ultrasounds every 3 months until she’s two. If there is no infection and no other problems with it, we can re-evaluate our plans with it when she’s around 2 years old. The urologist said there’s no need to jump in, have major surgery, and take out her kidney, with Anna being so young. It just didn’t make sense. Plus, sometimes the non-working portion of the kidney has been known to shrink on its own, so that is what we’re going to be praying for!! We are so relieved that she has a normal, healthy right kidney and that, even though, only half of her left kidney is working———-Half of it is working!!
I have been living with one kidney for almost all of my life—I had kidney cancer, a Wilm’s Tumor, when I was just 2 years old and had to have my right kidney removed. I am living proof that you can go on and live a full, healthy, happy life with just one kidney!
We are still a little apprehensive, but are so relieved with the results. God is good!!! Thanks to all of you for your continued prayers for our sweet little Anna!!