In 2011, when my daughter was only a month old, she was diagnosed with a condition called hydronephrosis. She had a very severe case of it in both kidneys.
She could not help what was happening to her, but that was the very first time she ever broke my heart.
Before they knew what was wrong, she had to have a multitude of testing done, including a lumbar puncture.
They wouldn’t even let me in the room, even when I said I would scrub for it.
She was all alone in there with about 10 strangers holding her down, and hearing her scream that was was the nost traumatizing sound I have ever heard.
The doctor told us they found ecoli in her blood, and had we waited until morning to bring her in, she would have died.
After almost 12 hours in the emergency room, multiple tests and ultrasounds later, they transferred her to a hospital in another county to see a urologist after reading on her ultrasound that her kidneys may have some damage.
From there, it was a long, vicious cycle. That same day, she was admitted into the NICU and stayed for 2 weeks, where she suffered multiple IV sticks and finally, a PICC line.
That was their last resort, as she kept moving enough to irritate the IV site.
A month after discharge, she was hospitalized again, this time only for three days.
The urologist had her on two different medications at this point, and stated if she didn’t grow out of this by age two, she would need surgery to narrow the ureter that was causing the problem.
She had to go to the ER once a month for the next six months where they gave her a shot in her leg to stop her fever and projectile vomiting. Her kidneys were categorized as “stage 4” in the right, and “stage 5” in the left – with stage 5 being as bad as they can possibly get.
And finally, a month before her second birthday, she had her final appointment with the urologist, who said her kidneys were both back to stage 1.
22 months of crying, suffering, and testing.
At the time, I thought I had it the worst with her. I was so distraught for her and I felt so helpless that I couldn’t do anything to help her – except take her back to the hospital for more pain.
Today, I realize other parents and their children have much worse going on. I am thankful every day we took her to the emergency room that night and that she is still alive.