Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ashley's having surgery

My sweet little Ash kept getting sick this Fall... 104 degree fevers, coupled with being very tired and not wanting to eat... which stresses me out since she typically has a surprisingly great appetite for a teeny tiny 39 pound, 7 year old girl :) Thankfully there was one other little thing I noticed with each sickness - her urine smelled particularly strong. Each doctor visit resulted in a positive urine culture for a urinary tract infection. She took antibiotic after antibiotic and was sick again within days of finishing the latest prescription.

Our doctor sent us to Cardon's Children's Hospital to have x-rays and a test done.

The test was not nearly as fun as the pictures appear, in fact it was pretty awful. (At one point she yelled "Mommy, Help me! Save me!" ...Yes, I cried.) The test is called a VCUG. A catheter filled her badder with a radio-contrast liquid. Then the radiologist, using real time x-ray, watched the contrast enter her bladder and looked at her anatomy. We watched as the contrast moved up one of her ureters and back into her kidney. This is called Vesicoureteral Reflux - which means that there is a problem with the value system where the ureter connects to the bladder and it is allowing the urine to travel from her bladder back up to her kidney causing chronic kidney infections. This can be dangerous because it can cause scarring and damage to the kidney. They also assign the reflux a grade from 1-5 depending on severity, one being the least. Ashley's reflux was given a 3.

Usually this problem is discovered when children are much younger, as they are born with the valve defect. In this case they often will out grow the defect. Given that Ashley is 7 and the grade of the reflux, our pediatric urologist felt that surgical correction would be the best treatment. It is an open surgery where an incision will be made in her lower abdomen and the ureter will be rerouted in the bladder to prevent the reflux.

Ashley is having surgery Monday, December 19th at Phoenix Children's Hospital. We will check in at 8am. The surgery will begin between 9:30 and 10am. It is a 3 hour procedure. Ashley will be in the hospital for 1-2 days after the surgery.

Yes, I am feeling stressed, worried, anxious... She is my baby girl... and this is not fun. I will be so glad when this is behind us and she is dancing and twirling around the house again. Please say a little prayer for her, for her doctor, and maybe for her mama too.

XOXOX --Wendy