(For those of you who have just started following, the entire story involving Ava's kidney condition leading up until now can be found here - Part 1 and Part 2).
Tuesday, Nov. 1, we took Ava up to the Children's Hospital of UMPC for her kidney consultation. We didn't really know what to expect. For all we knew they quite possibly could have been planning to schedule her surgery for that very same day. Regardless, we were prepared for whatever they were planning to do.
We arrived on time at a half and hour past one o'clock in the afternoon. After the nurse had taken her vitals (bp, weight, height) we went to our examination room to wait. The first doctor who came in discussed the same information with us as our doctor in Morgantown, just confirming what was functionally going on with Ava's right kidney. After the medical history was complete, she then preformed a renal ultrasound on Ava (this was actually Ava's second renal ultrasound; she had one completed the early part of this year shortly after her UTI). The results of this ultrasound were again confirmation of the progress of her kidney abnormality. Once the ultrasound was complete, she suggested that we have a VCUG (voiding cystourethrogram) completed. She wanted to confirm whether Ava's kidney also has vesicoureteral reflux, which is an abnormal movement of urine from the bladder into the ureters or kidneys. This procedure was not something we were looking forward to having done. It involves having a catheter placed and filled with a radiocontrast agent and is then watched while it moves through the bladder and urinary system. The thought my little girl having to go something like that sounded just horrible!
We had no other choice. We had to know the results of the procedure. So, we were sent to the second floor to have the test completed. Only one parent was allowed to come with her, so Jeremiah chose to go. I stayed with Audrey in the waiting room. I hated not being able to go with her, but I knew this was better. I didn't know how long it would take, and knowing Audrey, she would want to be fed during that time. Plus, I'm sure I would have cried during the whole experience anyway. Jeremiah kept his cool and was very encouraging and supportive of her while she was going through it all. I'm not even sure how long it took. I just remember seeing her walking out of those doors and me running to her grabbing her up! I never wanted to let her go again. I could tell that she cried during the majority of the exam because her face was swollen and bright red. They were so nice to her after it all by giving her a princess tiara, a little purse, and loads of stickers.
We went back up to the third floor to finish up the consultation. The urological surgeon came in to discuss the results of the VCUG, and thank Jesus, they were negative. What a blessing! We then discussed the upcoming surgery to correct her kidney abnormality. He explained it to us like this... she'll basically have a laparoscopic surgery performed to remove the portion of her ureter that is obstructed, replace the portion with healthy tissue, and then have a stent placed inside the kidney to drain the excess urine. The stent will then be removed after a certain amount of time (probably 6 weeks or so) making sure the kidney is then filtering and draining on it's own.
Here are a couple shots just as we were leaving the hospital. (I apologize for the quality - I only had my ipone on hand at the time).
Ava did experience a good bit of discomfort following the exam. She cried several times during urination and had several hours worth of bloody discharge. And the poor little thing had an awful night of trying to sleep as she woke up crying almost every half hour. We also heard her cry out "No" several times during the night. It's possible that she was having a nightmare about the procedure. But, thankfully, the following day, she was back to her very sweet little self!
Her surgery has been scheduled for the end of January 2012. Again, I'd just like to thank everyone for all of your kind thoughts and prayers. We truly appreciate the encouragement and support.
I'll be sure to keep you posted with the results of her surgery and all other updates regarding her current kidney condition.