Tuesday, February 16, 2010

When it comes to a baby, making tough choices gets tougher

If anyone would have told me that I could fall so totally, completely, head-over-heels in love with a guy in just two months, I would say they were crazy.

But it has happened.

Of course the guy in question is my sweet little bug, Ben.

It was two months ago today that I met Ben, and it did not even take two seconds to love him, let alone two months.

It was love at first sight.

Not that this has been all peaches and cream. We have had our ups and downs these past two months. But all in all, the ups are far greater than the downs.

Ben is a sweet-natured baby. He can look serious and contemplative, but when his little face breaks into a grin that grows wider and wider until his whole face smiles... I melt.

So it seems so unfair that we now are dealing with a medical issue. It seems so unfair that any baby would have to deal with any medical issue, but it is especially rough when it is your own.

When I was pregnant with Ben one of the doctors found something on the ultrasound: There was some extra fluid in Ben's kidneys. We were told that it would most likely clear up and resolve itself before he was born. But I still had ultrasound after ultrasound to monitor it.

And right up to just before he was born, the fluid was still there.

We then were told that most likely it would resolve itself soon after he was born.

When he was just a day old, Ben had an ultrasound of his own. The fluid was still there.

At that point we could only wait and check it again when he was a month old. And there it was, the fluid was still there after a month.

So now we get to the point where we are referred to a specialist.

At this point it still does not seem to concern the doctors terribly and so we don't worry about it too much, but we make the appointment to see the pediatric urologist.

We are told that what Ben has is called hydronephrosis. Basically there is a blockage somewhere along the urinary system. It can be anywhere from the kidney, down the ureters, at the bladder, etc. Whatever it is, it is causing the fluid to build up in the kidneys.

This could be a problem because it can lead to permanent kidney damage if it does not resolve spontaneously or if it is not treated.

The verdict from the urologist is that Ben needs a more comprehensive test. The ultrasound shows that there is a fluid build up, but it cannot show where the blockage is or how serious it is.

And until those things are known, they cannot treat him. So we have an appointment tomorrow to have a test done.

A test that scares us more than we like. It is called a Mag 3 lasix renogram.

What it means for Ben is that they will have to put in an IV and a bladder catheter then inject him with a radioisotope. A camera will then track the isotope along the path from kidney to ureters to bladder until they can see where the system is backed up.

Yes, radio as in radioactive. According to the doctor and the research I did, the exposure is less than a regular x-ray. Sorry, but this does not make me feel better.

And in order to do this test he has to be completely still for about an hour. And the only way to make sure a 2-month-old stays completely still is to sedate him. Again, this does not make me feel better.

But we were told by more than one doctor that this test will give us the most complete picture of what is going on with Ben. So we will be there tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. to get him signed in.

We will watch as they put in an IV. We will wait while our baby goes through something that the doctors say is fairly routine, but that for us is the complete opposite of routine.

And what then? Well, that depends on what they find. There are different treatments for different things based on where the blockage is and how severe it is.

It is easy when the doctor tells me they need to do some test or procedure on me. No big deal.

But when it comes to a baby, that is a whole other story. He has no say in it. We have to make the right decision for him. We can only take the information we get from the various doctors and try to do what is best for Ben.

So please, whatever it is you do for luck or divine intervention, please do that for Ben. Cross your fingers, say a prayer, rub some worry beads... We will take all the good thoughts we can get.

1 comment:

Jacque said...

Oh, I'm thinking of the three of you as you go through this. Ben's such a sweet, happy-looking little boy. He'll pull through this like a trooper. :) Big hugs your way.