I have some exciting things that I would like to be writing about, but I feel like I just need to get this crappy post out of the way first.
About a month back, Sassy woke up on a Saturday morning not feeling very well at all. She was running a fever and complaining of a severe headache, which she had never had before. We kept an eye on her throughout the day and pumped her full of Tylenol and Motrin in attempts to bring her fever down. I was on the phone several times with the nurse from Children's Mercy, discussing things to try next.
At around 8 pm, it was recommended that we bring her into the ER. She had a fever hovering very near 105 that would not come down more than a degree with meds. She still had this awful headache, which is scary to hear a (then) 3-year-old complain about all day. Like, a debilitating headache. She finally developed a nasty case of the chills that had her trembling for over an hour, which is when we made the call to bring her in.
Long story short- we thought it was going to be strep throat (Tyler had been diagnosed the day prior), but it turned out to be a UTI. She got some antibiotics, was feeling better within a day or two, and that was that.
Any time you go to the ER, they tell you to follow up with your doctor. So, a few days later, I called the pediatrician to see if they actually wanted to see her, and they did. We went in, the repeated the UA (clean) and I thought that was going to be that...
Until we saw the doctor. Dr. B asked several questions about the course of the day she was sick, and he concluded that based upon her high fever, complaints of headache, and lab results, it was his belief that she actually had a kidney infection.
OK, a bit more serious, but she was fine now...
However, he explained a disease called vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) that can often present itself with repeated UTI's/kidney infections. Quick anatomy lesson- we each have 2 kidneys with two ureters that travel down and attach to the bladder. When we urinate, there is a valve that prevents back flow of the urine up the ureter to the kidney. In people with VUR, that valve does not work properly, allowing urine to travel back up the ureter carrying bacteria, which leads to the kidney infections and eventually kidney scarring and possibly renal failure. Scary.
He explained that he wanted to order an ultrasound to rule out VUR.
So, when I went to set up the appointment for the ultrasound with the nurse, after a brief discussion, I came to the realization that an ultrasound was not all he was ordering. Sassy also needed a VCUG, which at her age, required sedation. Ick.
All this information was a bit hard to digest. I expected none of this going in. We went ahead and scheduled the diagnostic tests, and then I spent the next weeks debating whether they were necessary. I kept telling myself that it was all very extreme for one diagnosed infection. I came very close to calling it off, but decided that up until this point, I have always trusted Dr. B, whether I loved what he had to say or not, and this should really be no different.
Well, we went in for the tests Monday, and I'm sure you can see where this is heading...
Sassy has been diagnosed with Unilateral Grade III VUR. She has been placed on an antibiotic regimen to prevent breakthrough infections, and we need to follow up with a pediatric nephrologist to determine if we will proceed with surgical correction or attempt the antibiotics for a year in hopes that she will grow enough to improve the function of the valve. We just don't know yet.
I am so thankful that we proceeded with the test, and that she is only affected on one side. This should mean that, regardless of any damage that has been done to the one kidney over the past 4 years (hopefully none!), in theory she should have one bright, smooth, shiny kidney in there. I will go into more detail about our day of testing at a later time, and also keep you all posted with what happens next... as soon as I know anything!
Thanks for all the nice thoughts and prayers for our Sassy! Keep 'em coming, please!