Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The surgery.

As this blog is an attempt to document our lives, I must include the fun and the not-so-fun.  Around the time Ro turned two, he got sick. He had a nasty fever so we took him in to the doctor (not his normal pediatrician) who diagnosed him with "red ears" whatever that is and prescribed a generic antibiotic. The next day his fever worse, so bad that you could almost see the steam rising off his skin! I swear! ;) Mother's intuition spoke to me and said "Take him back in". So we did and this time we were able to get in to our regular doctor whom we loved! Fever was 103 + and Ro was just slumped over. She could tell something was wrong. We went over some things that could cause bad fevers, "Ear infections, UTI infections..." Wait stop!! I bell went off in my head. I had been complaining the past few days of how bad Rowan's diapers were smelling....the #1 diapers... DING DING DING! We have a winner. The doctor informed us that we'd have to catheterize him and test the urine just to be sure. I begged her to come up with some other way to test him, but after waiting an hour to catch some of his urine and having no luck she said we had to catheterize.  It sucked. Bad. And so it was, a bad UTI was the culprit of the nasty fever. 

We hurried over to UVMC to get a ultrasound of his kidneys before the closed, just to make sure he had two kidneys, etc. etc.  One kidney was enlarged, a sign that a bit of damage was already being done. The next step was a VCUG test which would include sedation, contrast dye being fed through the catheter, then X-rays as it came back out. It would track the flow of his urine and tell us if the urine was going back up into his kidneys (it should NOT do this!). 

20 days and another UTI later...

I was very nervous about the VCUG, but as soon as we got to the hospital I felt at ease with the staff. They were awesome and even provided a Child Life Specialist to be there with Rowan. She basically just distracted him with awesome toys. Ro got sedated and looked like this poor baby...

Here he is in the X-RAY phase. It took him a long time to relax and let it all out so they could take the pictures. The PA said he was probably pretty uncomfortable seeing as his bladder had been pumped full of fluids!
(Notice the P.L.S. holding Ro's hand and showing his a light up airplane toy! How did she know!?!)

A smile even! It breaks my heart.

The PA went over the XRAYS right there in the room with us as another PA played with Jonah. I mean really!? These people were awesome. It was very clear that there was urine where there should not be urine. BUMMER. His kidney was still enlarged. ANOTHER BUMMER. And it looked like we were heading down the road of surgery. TRIPLE BUMMER. First we would see a NP at the Children's urology Unit at Primary Children's Hospital just to make sure. 

The NP we saw at Primarys was awesome too. We lucked out with amazing healthcare providers for our boy. She went over Rowan's films and informed us something would need to be done. 3 options. #1: Daily antibiotics, wait and see if he out grows it...not likely with Grade 4 reflux. #2: Less invasive surgery. Not great success rate at all. If it fails then have second surgery which is option #3. #3: Reimplantation of the ureters which has a 98% success rate. I just couldn't imagine putting my baby through #2, having it fail and going in for #3 when he was older. #3 would be a wham, bam approach and sitting there in the doctor's office both Danny and I felt that is what needed to be done. We were very peaceful about our decision and the facility of PCH. We informed them that we would be moving on August 3. We looked at the schedule and they could fit us in before that so we booked and went home. 

Surgery Day.
We were nervous but held it together amazingly well on surgery day. I prayed and prayed for comfort for our baby and myself and received it. Ro had to fast and that may have been the hardest part of the day...he did not go into surgery until about 4p.m. The anesthesiologist and surgeon came out to talk and then came back about an hour later for our babe. I was about to lose it as I was told to place our sedated boy in the wagon to be wheeled off, but a tender mercy of hilarity helped us out. I went to put him in the wagon and he was so floppy that he smashed his head on the side of the wagon. He just looked at us all and smiled this goofy grin. He was in a happy happy place and didn't mind a bit. I wanted whatever he had! That happy placed seemed amazingly happppppppppyyyyyzzzzzzzzzz... Off he went to surgery. About two hours later I got to go back to recovery and help him wake up. He had some trouble and needed extra oxygen.

We got settled into our room and as soon as Ro drifted off into a medicated sleep I slipped out. I stayed at a hotel 5 minutes away with Jo while Danny stayed with Ro. I had never spent a night away from Rowan....bad night to have to be the first. It was a looonnnnggg night for everyone. No body really slept. I got this picture from Danny at 1:30 in the morning. Ro was checking out his new Brobee from Grammy.

Then he fell asleep with him...

 The next few days were focused on pain management, getting Ro up and about, and eating and drinking. 

Primary's awesome play room.

A smorgasbord to chose from. He chose buttered noodles and strawberries as his first foods.

Smiles for his Buzz balloon.

Thanks Grammy for your help and the healing powered Buzz balloon!

Taking a stroll around out unit.

Ro also got visited by a hospital dog named Molly. Highlight of the stay!

Home again home again jiggidy jigg. This is where the fun began. We had an extremely hard time managing Rowan's pain at home. There were many sleepless nights....two babies waking up all night is hard y'all. After much google searching we realized that Ro was having bladder spasms which is a common effect of this surgery, but one that we did not hear much about. We were given bladder spasm meds "just in case" but they turned out to be something we gave Ro every 8 hours for weeks. It was hard, really hard on all of us. Throw into the mix preparing to move, and we were in a pickle. I don't think I sat down for weeks unless it was to nurse a baby or comfort a very very unhappy boy. If there was to be a next time, we will not combine a major surgery with a move...ever...again. Finally, a month + after the surgery Ro is back to himself. We joke that he woke up from anesthesia and was launched into the terrible twos. Maybe someone in that happy place taught him how to sass. ;)

One thing that impressed us over this whole experience is how lucky we are to  have healthy (normally) children. There were so many children at Primary Children's that were very very sick. The little boy in the room next to Ro was obviously a return visitor as his parents were not with him for his stay in the hospital. I guess he had just been there too many times that they could not afford to be there with him. He had amazing nurses with him, however. Another mother noticed me wandering around lost and guided me to my destination while she informed me that she knew this place like the back of her hand. She had been there an innumerable amount of times since her son had been born (he looked to be about 5). I am grateful for health and happiness and EVERYTHING else...especially my family. 



  1. So sorry you guys had to go through all that, but so glad everyone is doing better and is healthy! Love you and kisses to those babes!

  2. Wow Em!! I didn't even know. I am so glad he is doing better. We need to get together and have a play date.