Being a mommy is hard. I knew it would be hard in lots of ways like sleepless nights, eating cold meals, temper tantrums, poopy diapers, etc…but what I didn’t think about was how overwhelming the responsibility would feel at times. So much of this little girl’s future rides on what decisions I make for her, how I choose to care for her well being. Here’s where I’m coming from…
Remember how Sam was sick with a UTI & spent her 1st birthday in the ER? And last week I took her for an ultrasound to see if the UTI was from a genetic problem? Well after the ultrasound I spoke with one of the pediatricians from Samster’s group practice and she advised me that she didn’t think it was necessary to continue with further testing, specifically a VCUG which is where they insert dye through a catheter and watch to see if it bleeds past the bladder. She said that we could wait and see if Sam got another UTI first and just assume this first one was from poopy bacteria getting in her chacha. It seemed to make sense but then I got a call from the other pediatrician in the group who advised me of the exact opposite! I spent almost 30 min on the phone with her going over Samantha’s case (she’s actually the lead doctor but had been on vacation when Sam 1st got sick) and she really urged me to get the test done because if Sam did have Reflux (a condition where their little urethra ducts aren’t tight enough to hold the urine from back flowing into the kidneys) then it could be causing her permanent kidney damage! What?!
So one Dr’s saying the test is very invasive and not necessary yet the other is telling me to get it done ASAP because if it’s positive it could be very dangerous! And they’re both from the same practice!!!
P and I talked about it and although a catheter is not fun it’s not SO terrible that it would outweigh the benefits of being cautious and knowing for sure if she had reflux.
The appt was today and we had to go to the hospital where she was born to have it done, it was crazy walking back through those doors, the three of us, one much bigger & louder than she was the first time around. I felt so bad for her because she was in SUCH a good mood, she was chatting to everyone, tottling up and down the hallways, hugging and kissing her babydoll, no clue what was waiting for her. The procedure itself actually wasn’t TOO bad, although if you ask her I’m sure she’ll have several choice for you.
The setup is the worst part. They strapped her down to what can best be described as a 2′ by 4′ and then after the catheter was put in place they put restraints on her legs and feet. SCREEEAMMMM DID SHE EVER! P and I did everything short of singing and dancing to distract her (ok, we might have sung a few bars of ‘the ants go marching’) but she was NOT having it. She did the high pitched, piercing, blood curdling, baby murdering scream of all screams and continued with this scream well after the painful part was over. Samster tends to be a bit dramatic & likes to drive her point home. We were able to watch the real time xrays on a tv as the dye made it’s way through her bladder, it all seemed pretty good but then we saw it, the dark lines of the dye starting sprawling out past her bladder like little creeks. She had Reflux. My heart dropped, my poor baby.
Now I know there are MUCH worse things she could have. This is treatable and her case is only a 2 on a 1 to 5 scale but still, I really didn’t think she would have it. I thought this was just a precaution, she’s not supposed to actually be diagnosed! It makes my heart break a bit. Then the worry starts, what does this mean? What if they’re wrong? Everytime she feels the slightest bit warm I’m going to be worried that it’s a fever which is the only sign of another UTI. I honestly don’t know how parents of kids who are REALLY sick do it, the responsibility feels so overwhelming. What if I had chosen the other route? It’s not like a doctor wasn’t recomending it. If she was the only Dr. we’d seen I wouldn’t have even known that another doctor would’ve felt so differently. And Samster wouldn’t have been tested, and her kidneys could’ve been damaged, ACK!
So what I’m getting at is tonight I feel a really heavy burden at the realization that I can’t screw this up, I can’t make a wrong decision when it comes to taking care of her, that’s my job as her mommy. I’m her advocate, guardian & watchmen. So tonight I’ll let myself feel overwhelmed but tomorrow I have to get it together and start doing some research. The Dr. wants to put her on antibiotics for the next year to help prevent repeat UTIs or kidney infections, (which does seem to be standard procedure from what I’ve read so far) and then we’ll do the VCUG again to see if she’s outgrown the condition. I feel weird about putting my baby on an antibiotic every day for the next year, that must have some sort of effect on her little immune system. Not to mention antibiotics have always given her terrible diarrhea…ugh, I just don’t feel good about this. Maybe a second opinion would be good? Or a urologist? The Dr. said I could take her to one if I wanted but that it wasn’t necessary…then again where I have I heard that before?