Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It Ain't Enough

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If you ask me, it isn't supposed to be like this. My child is breastfed. And I am a breastfeeding snob. I believe my child should be invincible because I am breastfeeding. And she should be invincible because I used no drugs during delivery. She should be immune to germs. Right?

Imagine, then, my surprise when Neviyah's supposed teething fever of 100 degrees jumped to 101.8 and then to 103.4. Not supposed to happen. Hello, universe! NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN!

The long and short of it is that she has blood in her urine and infection. In layman terms, she has a urinary tract infection. Apparently they are quite rare in infants. Because of that, there are two tests she must have done.

Tomorrow, she will have a renal ultrasound. This is a ultrasound to study the renal system, including the kidneys, bladder, ureters and abdomen. It is used to check for changes in the bladder wall, kidney size and other changes. I believe they will be checking specifically for scarring to the wall and position of the organs.

After her ten days of antibiotics are up, she will need to have another catheter in order to test the urine. If it is clean, then she will have a test called VCUG a.k.a. Voiding Urethrocystogram. It is an x-ray examination of the bladder and lower unrinary tract using a technology called fluoroscopy and contract material. Fluroscopy allows the radiologist to see the internal organs in motion. The bladder is filled and then emptied of a contract material and the ensuing function of the bladder and urinary tract is viewed. This is being done to detect if there is an abnormality in the flow of urine--vesicoureteral reflux. Urinary tract infections are the only symptom of the problem.

There are always risks involved. There is a slight risk of cancer from radiation. However, the benefit of an accurate diagnosis outweighs the risk because if there is UV, early medicine intervention can negate needing surgery. For an infant, the effective radiation dose from this procedure is 0.8 mSv, about the same as an average person receives from background radiation over a 3 month period. Still, it makes me pretty uncomfortable. You know how I feel about these things.

The only thing that perhaps makes any of this testing seem less scary is that little Daphne went through the same thing and she is happy and healthy. I spoke with Aura and I feel much better about it now. Not great, mind you. But better than before. (Thanks, Aura!)

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