When I was pregnant, ultrasounds showed that one of your kidneys was bigger than normal and I was told that it wasn’t a big deal and in fact, “very common in boys”. After you were born, our pediatrician, whom I love, wanted you to have an ultrasound for good measure.
The results were inconclusive and so more tests were ordered and a visit with a urologist was scheduled.
The urologist ordered a voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG), a technique for watching a person’s urethra and urinary bladder while the person urinates (voids). The technique consists of catheterizing the person, in this case little you, in order to fill the bladder with a contrast liquid. Under fluoroscopy (real time x-rays) the radiologist watches the contrast enter the bladder and looks at the anatomy of the patient. If the contrast moves into the ureters and back into the kidneys, the radiologist makes the diagnosis of vesicoureteral reflux, and gives the degree of severity a score. The exam ends when the person pees (voids) on the table while the radiologist is watching under fluoroscopy. Long story short, you did exactly what you were suppose to and your kidneys appear to be completely fine. We will have a follow-up visit with the urologist in six months.
Now on to the point of my post…
We had to go to Rady Children’s Hospital for each of these different appointments, one of the top pediatric hospitals in the country according to Parents magazine and it occurred to me while we were there how lucky your dad and I are to have such a healthy baby.
While in the radiology waiting room, I saw young cancer patients and children walking around in the hallways with what appeared to be oxygen tanks, IVs and other tubes sticking out of their arms and it broke my heart.
I had been bitching about having to take you to these appointments because I felt like they were completely unnecessary. You have none of the signs of kidney failure, but at the end of the day, it is my job as your parent to protect you and make you safe, no matter what, as long as it is within my power to do so and if that means having a few simple tests run, then so be. In other words, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and I had absolutely no reason to complain. These were minor tests in the grand scheme of things and although I think I cried more than you did when they inserted the catheter, I realized how blessed we are with good health.
I don’t know what the prognosis is for those children I saw at the hospital, but I wish them a speedy recovery and their parents all the strength in the world.
The best is yet to be and let’s hope we all stay well.