Cassandra’s Post Operation Ultrasound Scan – 7 June 2016

It’s been 2 years since our last visit to Penang and follow-up check up with Cass’ surgeon.

Upon reaching Penang yesterday morning, hubs dropped Cass and I at GMC.  Along with his mum, Alycia and Sherilyn, he went on a shopping spree around Penang Island, getting all our favorite food while Cass and I were at the hospital. He patiently waited for almost an hour for my favorite Apong Guan on Burmah Road where he bought 30 pieces, which I later stuffed myself crazy after Cass’ ultrasound scan, after missing this apong (best in the world) for 2 years!  Total bliss!!

 

Photo credits – PenangTravelTips.com

At the hospital. Cass playing with her iPad and sipping on Izumio, while waiting for her turn for her ultrasound scan.

During the ultrasound scan of her kidneys and urinary tract, which was a very tensed moment for me, the same old ‘what ifs’ ran through my mind throughout the procedure.

The report would only be ready the next day, thus we were at the hospital again this morning to see the surgeon to review the ultrasound scan report.

All is looking well – the right duplex kidneys, the left good kidney and the dilated ureters have narrowed down.  The surgeon is very pleased with the progress.  Praise The Lord!!

 

Manic Month Of May

My bad guts feelings are right. I could feel creepily that the month of May is a jinx month for Cass and me.

Yesterday I went back to my dentist as my gums and adjacent teeth still hurt 8 days after my premolar tooth extraction. No doubt, it was a very difficult extraction as the tooth was in-grown. And I found out just yesterday that the dentist trimmed my adjacent teeth so that the plier could reach the ‘cacat’ tooth. No wonder there is this nagging sensitive feeling and pain in the neighbor teeth and gums! And upon checking my gums, the dentist found out that there is a slight infection of the gums. So the only easy way to go to treat the pain is oral antibiotics 🙁

Dang the antibiotics as it is now causing me tummy discomfort and diarrhea. Actually I welcome the diarrhea to purge my guts of toxins but not the nagging tummy discomfort and drowsiness.

You see, I told you this month is doomed for me!

Never mind, only 3 more days to go before June rolls in.

After the emergency dental appointment in the morning, I rushed home to get some online work done as I had to bring Cass to see the Urologist in the afternoon. After a 1.5 hour wait, we were finally called to see the doctor.

After a long chat with the doctor (never knew HKL has such dedicated and hardworking doctors!!), the doctor has agreed to accede to my request of not letting Cass go through the CT Scan with IV contrast yet. And she has acceded to my request of not starting Cass on the oral meds for her bladder until her constipation issue is sorted out. This is because one of the side effects of the oral meds is constipation. Now I am waiting for a date from the hospital for Cass to do an ultrasound scan.

If something abnormal is picked up during the detailed ultrasound scan, Cass would have to do a CT Scan with IV contrast. And if indeed the CT Scan shows a hidden duplex or triplex kidney, my baby would require another surgery to correct the problem, so that her incontinence issue is solved. If that happens, it will be the third time Cass’ abdomen gets cut up *SOBS* 🙁

Sigh…

I need loads of prayers for Cass now. And I pray that there is no structural abnormality in her urinary tract. Only a miracle can resolve Cass’ issues now.

Cassandra’s 2nd Year Post Surgery

Today marks the 2nd year my Baby was operated on.  Exactly 2 years ago today marks the change in our lives, change for the better, though the 3-week stay in the hospital was a nightmare where everything that could go wrong went wrong.  Hubs was hospitalized on the day of Baby’s surgery on suspicion of H1N1 and was isolated, I had high fever myself and was terribly weak but had to remain strong physically and mentally, Baby’s surgery had a complication and she was cut up again a week later.    But I thank God that we managed to wade through the darkness and saw light at the end of the long, long tunnel.

For those of you who have been following my blog, you will know what Baby and I went through from the moment my gynae detected that Baby’s right kidney was dilated at 14 weeks of gestation while she was still in-utero.  That moment in the gynae’s clinic up until the the surgery at 13 months old had been very tough on me. The gynae even feared that the baby would have Down’s Syndrome coz a dilated kidney is often one of the symptoms.  I subsequently went for an Amnio which confirmed that she’s one normal baby girl.   Happiness only resurfaced in our lives after the post surgery MCUG scan which revealed that Baby had no more kidney reflux.  Baby was 2 years old then.  The latest MAG 3 scan that Baby went through also showed that her right kidney is functioning and draining well and once again confirmed no more reflux and no blockage.

My very expensive Baby girl. She overcame all odds and all obstacles that were in her way. She’s one little cili padi, the bravest baby I have ever met.  Notice the scar below her navel?  That’s the cut for the 2nd surgery she went through 2 years ago.  I pray to God that He will bestow Cassandra with good health, happiness and no more surgery ever.


Cassandra’s Post Operation MAG3 Scan

Baby’s post operation MAG3 scan of her urinary tract went almost without a hitch on Friday. My motherly instinct was right. Baby was very, very, very brave for she did not let out any cry or whine during the 20-minute IV insertion session on her hand. First the doctor poked her hand with the IV needle but later discovered that it was not properly done and had to remove the line. The IV site on her hand bled quite a bit. The doctor then took 15 more minutes to look for another vein. She had to find a straight vein so that the radioactive dye can go into her veins and into her kidneys and urinary tract. Wavy veins are not suitable and Baby seems to have many wavy, branchy veins. This also explained why her surgeon needed over an hour to find a proper vein during her surgery 2 years ago. Anyway, Baby just lay on the bed, all wrapped up like a mummy and she did not move a bit and throughout the 20-minute ordeal, just let out a soft whimper and grimaced in pain when the doctor poked the IV needle into her hand the 2nd time. She appeared scared but was very very good and quiet. I don’t think any 3YO child or probably adult would remain this calm, quiet and still during such a scary and painful moment. All my mental prep for her for the past 4 months had been successful. Even the doctor was very surprised that a toddler could remain so calm, composed and quiet in such a terrifying moment.

A happy Cassandra moments before the IV-insertion session…

My brave cookie lay as still as a sleeping child on the bed, all wrapped up tightly like a mummy but there wasn’t a cry, a fuss or a whine from her. My presence made a big difference.

Our initial plan with the doctor was that we would not use any sedative on her. But the radiologist strongly encouraged oral sedative so that Baby would not move or chicken out during the procedure. If this happens, the procedure has to be called off and we would need to bring her in again on some other days. And we would even have to pay double. Each procedure costs over RM1,500, excluding doctor’s fees and miscellaneous charges.

And here she is, with daddy bribing her with her favorite Magnum ice cream. She almost puked twice but thank GOD she didn’t. I think it also takes a strong mind to control the vomiting. When Baby was on the verge of puking, I told her sternly that she would need to swallow another dose of meds if she vomited… and she tried very hard to restrain the vomiting. After I had finished feeding her with the 1st dose of the sedation meds (2 doses were needed actually), I told the radiologist to allow me to lull her to sleep. Fortunately she konked out very quickly as I kept chanting to Baby that she had to sleep so that we could quickly go home. See how cooperative my little trooper was!

MAG3 scan in progress, which lasted 40 mins from the moment the radioactive dye was injected thru the IV line until it enters the bladder.

Diagnosis:
Left kidney and urinary tract perfect function. Right dilated duplex urinary tract and kidneys – functioning pretty well, no reflux and no blockage. I pray that this will be Cassandra’s very last MAG3 scan and last ever procedure she has to go through, apart from the yearly ultrasound scan of her kidneys until she turns 12YO. Thank you Lord, Amen.

Pictures are not very clear as they were taken with my Blackberry and sent from the phone to my Facebook and then from FB copied and pasted to my blogspot blog to be re-sized before transferring them here.


Cassandra’s 4th Post Ureteral Reimplantation Surgery Ultrasound Scan

We had to make 2 trips to the hospital this time as the ultrasound scan report was not ready yesterday. Thus my anxiousness was protracted. I never like the feeling of waiting for reports or results. It makes me sick.

Baby was mighty brave this time. Albeit the long wait for the radiologist to come and Baby who kept pestering us to go home, when the time came for the radiologist to scan her abdomen, she lay still without fussing a wee bit. Instead, she kept saying “I’m not scared, I no need to be scared!” After the scan when we were back in the hotel room, she told me “my kidneys are good!” LOL!!

The ultrasound showed that her right duplex kidneys are doing very well. The meat surrounding the duplex kidneys are growing thicker and the kidneys are growing well. The dilation has not increased on the right kidney, which confirms that there is no more kidney reflux. The surgeon is very pleased with the ultrasound scan results.

My next big worry is that Baby has to go through another round of MAG3 scan next June. The MAG3 scan is to see the functionality of her right kidney and to see the flow of urine in the urinary tract system. I know that this procedure will be very traumatic for her as she will need a catheter to be inserted on her down under and another IV line on her hand. Radioactive dye has to be injected on both tubes. However the radiation is very low. This MAG3 scan costs a fortune and again it’s not claimable from our insurer. We had spent a BIG portion of our savings on Baby’s surgeries last year but it’s worth it. Hubs and I would do anything to save our little girl’s right kidney. We are happy with the progress. Luckily we did not listen to the advice of the first surgeon and have part of her right kidney removed last year.

Hospital trips aside, we are having a food marathon here. I am so stuffed I feel like puking. Can’t wait to go back to Ipoh tomorrow and back to KL next week so that I can start my gym and jogging regimen again, this time I must work doubly hard.

Updates On Baby C’s 1st Post-Surgery Ultrasound Scan

Baby had her first post-surgery ultrasound scan of her kidneys today. She is required to have an ultrasound scan every 6 monthly for the first 2 years after the surgery and thereafter once a year until she turns 12 years old! What a loooooong time! She is also required to have a DMSA scan of her right kidney in 1.5 year’s time to check the function of her right duplex kidneys. Anyway, the ultrasound scan today showed that the muscles surrounding her right duplex kidneys look good. This normally suggests that the kidneys are growing and our doctor was optimistic on the pictures of the scan.

As regards her weight, which I had highlighed to the doctor as I have been quite worried that her weight seems to be climbing up pretty slowly, our surgeon is not at all concerned. Baby only weighs a pathetic 9kg at 20 months old. He reassured us that Baby is thriving as she looks pinkish and healthy. He said that I cannot expect her to be ‘big’ as both hubby and I are not ‘big’, especially me. After what she had gone through for the first 14 months of her life, I cannot expect her to be chubby. He would prefer Baby to be petite than ‘big’ and obese.

I was really amazed that Baby could remember the X-ray department vividly though her traumatic experience had past 6 months.   She was bubbly and cheery the whole day but the moment we brought her to the X-ray department, especially the dimly lit ultrasound scan room, she freaked out, whimpered and ran away. From a bubbly, active child, she instantly transformed into a passive, frightened child who clung on to me like a koala bear, refusing to let go an inch.  She had an expressionless look on her face and nothing we did could bring a smile on her face. She was paralyzed with fear and looked exactly like how she looked like during her 3 weeks nightmarish stay in the hospital in May this year. 

My poor frightened Baby, with her head on daddy’s shoulder. She was so petrified that she fell asleep on my shoulders.

Before the ultrasound scan started, she was yelling away the moment I tried to place her on the examination bed in the ultrasound scan room. I knew she would resist, so I asked the doctor if I could hold her. Thankfully the doctor said yes and I carried her. When I placed her on my lap, Baby pulled my blouse down and wanted to nurse! I asked the doctor if it was ok to nurse her and she said yes. And so the procedure went quite smoothly with Baby latched on lol… and all the nurses were staring at me lol!


Back at the surgeon’s office, Baby again refused to be placed on the examination bed, so Daddy had to carry her whilst the doctor checked her wounds…. and mummy was busy at work… snapping pix away like a papparazi.

After we left the hospital, we went to the nearby Giant to buy diapers as hubs had forgotten to put the bag of diapers into his car boot this morning. Baby was happy, bubbly and all smiles again, running around Giant and grabbing things.

We will be checking out of Northam Suites tomorrow morning and will be checking into Hard Rock Hotel. Stay tuned for my updates!

We Are Back In KL

We were finally back in KL yesterday afternoon. Back home, we feasted on all the famous Ipoh goodies that the hubs had spent his whole morning driving from one shop to another to buy. When it comes to food, his level of patience is incredibly high. He can spend hours traveling from one place to another just to get his favorite food or queue up for an hour just to get the doughnuts that he loves. But when it comes to shopping with me, he has totally no patience for that, sigh…..

Anyway, here are the pix taken at the hospital in Penang:


The nurse administering the antibiotics jab through the IV line on Baby’s hand.


A very frightened and traumatized Baby after being poked on her hand for the IV line and inserted with a catheter on her down south.


Me in the special heavy protective jacket made of plumbum in the X-ray room, waiting for the radiologist to come and perform the MCUG scan. Thankfully I am half way through potty training Baby and she knew how to wee wee when being asked to. For the scan to be complete, Baby has to pee. When she pees, the screen will show if the urine refluxes back to the kidney and a picture will be taken. Thank God, there was no reflux shown.

Update On Baby C’s MCUG Scan

The MCUG scan went smoothly today.  As expected, Baby remembered the procedures room in the pediatric ward – wailed the second she was placed on the bed.  She also remembered the X-ray room super vividly. The moment we stepped into the cold room with ginormous machines, she bawled! 

At the procedures room in the pediatric ward, it was yet another traumatic moment for Baby when the doctor inserted the IV line onto her hand for the antibiotics jab to be administered.  She screamed her lungs and throat out when the doctor inserted the catheter into her down under.   Baby clung on to daddy and me like a koala bear each time we carried her.  She looked exactly like how she looked like when she was hospitalized after her surgery in May – a face that was paralyzed with fear, eyes red and swollen and a face devoid of a smile.

In the X-ray room, she struggled.  Good thing this hospital allowed me to be with her in the X-ray room and procedures room, unlike other hospitals that have rules of not allowing the mother/father in.  My presence, singing and talking to Baby throughout her ordeal did help allay Baby’s fears.

After 2 hours of anxious waiting, I finally heard the best piece of news from Baby’s surgeon thus far.  When he told me “the result is fantastic”, I could not believe those words.  In fact, the good news still hasn’t sank inside me yet.  Praise the Lord Jesus, He is really great.  After going through 14 months of agony and nightmare with Baby, it feels surreal that Baby is finally well now.  I think I need time to accept the good news LOL!   I can’t believe that from today onwards, I don’t have to go through the gruelling process of feeding Baby her prophylactics antibiotics anymore every night.  I hope that Baby will not get anymore UTI attacks ever again, ever.  Our next appointment with the surgeon and for Baby to do an untrasound scan (to monitor her kidney) is in December this year.

I had taken some potshots in the pediatric ward and X-ray department today but you guys would have to wait to see them coz I had left the camera cord behind in KL, bummer!  So you guys would have to wait until this weekend to view our pix taken in Penang.  

Baby C’s Post Surgery

Hi peeps, just a quick update on my sweetie-pie, before she wakes up or pukes again. 

Baby C was carried by me into the OT at about 8:30am on Tuesday.  I was with her in the OT room and witnessed the prepation of the surgery and only left when the anesthesiologist had administered the GA.  The GA worked pretty fast and within seconds after administering, she completely knocked out.  I then left her on the OT table and leaving her behind was a very tough thing to do.

I was told that the surgery will take about 2.5 hours but it took longer than that coz we were told by the surgeon that Baby C’s problem was really complicated and hard to fix!  She was only wheeled out of the OT at about 1:30pm, i.e. after 5 hours.  That 5 hours was the longest 5 hours of my life.  We were told by the surgeon that baby’s right duplex ureters were badly dilated and stuck to each other.  The surgeon had to do quite a handful of cutting, reconstruction, drainage, stretching, reimplantation and stitching up.  Nonetheless, he assured us that the surgery went well.

Post surgery was bad.  Baby C had high fever since Tuesday and I was really worried.  Thank God, her temperature came down to 37ish degress Celsius this morning.  The first night post surgery, she kept fussing and crying as I think she felt pain and had some bladder spasms.  The 2nd night post surgery (which was last night), she puked the whole night.  Since she ate or drank nothing, she could only puke out yellow bile liquid and lots of phelgm (which is one of the side effects of a major surgery).  Today, she even puked ‘coffee ground’, i.e. vomit which looks brownish and reddish and is a mixture of yellow bile liquid and stains of blood.  She has not been drinking and has been puking and my poor baby is so terribly weak, so weak that she could not even muster a cry whenever the doctor and nurses did anything to her.  She looks really listless and weak and my heart aches to see her like this. 

When the surgeon check on baby this morning, he said that her tummy is really bloated (full of gas). Since she’s throwing up non-stop, he inserted a nasal gastric tube through her nose to aspirate out the gas. The tube can also be used to feed her oral meds and tube feeding. The surgeon also ordered that she be given Vamin Glucose drips, which is drips consisting of vitamins to give her some strength. My poor baby looks so sick now, with 4 tubes hanging from her tummy, 1 tube on her hand and 1 tube together with a bottle on her nose.

I forgot to mention that everyone in our family is also down and out. On the day we arrived in Penang, hubby was admitted to the hospital for high fever, throat infection and flu. The next day, my mum, my maid and I got bitten by the virus. All of us had high fever, except for my maid who only has a cough. But I don’t have the luxury of having complete rest and sleept.  It has been terrible for me.  I felt cold and shivered when my temp shot up to 39.5 degrees Celsius.  Also had a throbbing head, a backache that felt like my back was going to break when I stood, sat or walked and bodyache. I felt so weak that I didn’t have the mood and strength for anything but to sleep.  Not wanting to spread my virus to my baby, I quickly went to the A&E Dept and consulted the MO.  The consultation and meds cost me a whopping RM208!

Thank you to those who have prayed for my baby.  I really appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers.  Please do continue to pray for Baby C to have a really speedy recovery without anymore puking, without any infection and an almost pain-free recovery and a 100% successful surgery (i.e. no more kidney reflux and no more UTI attacks).

The 3 urine bags hanging from her tummy through the incision and 1 pump-like plastic bottle hanging from the belly button (I think).

Poor, Poor Baby C

We were at our pediatric nephrologist’s clinic again today. I was told by our doctor to bring Baby C to her clinic for an antibiotics jab 2 days ago but I decided to wait until today as baby’s pee did not smell foul anymore. Furthermore, I wanted to wait for the urine culture report and sensitivity report to be ready (out yesterday) so that we are certain that she’s getting the right antibiotics. The sensitivity report showed that the bacteria is only resistant to one type of antibiotics. This antibiotics has to be given via IV or IM thrice a day, which is not feasible. After a discussion with our doctor, we decided to have baby’s pee collected again via catheterization this time. Urine collected via catheterization is a clean catch and does not risk being contaminated, thus we will have a more accurate results. Our doctor also wanted a few more types of antibiotics tested for their sensitivity so that there will be more options to treat Baby C.

As usual, Baby C screamed her lungs out during the procedure. Darn those nurses who were not well prepared for the procedure, more than half of baby’s pee was not collected in the specimen bottle as the bottle wasn’t even opened yet when the catheter was already inserted inside.  Consequently, the pee was splattered everywhere on the bed. Luckily the very little pee collected in the specimen bottle was still enough for the tests to be carried out. My poor baby has to endure yet another round of torturous procedure. When she came home, she wanted to be carried all the time. I am now typing this post with one finger as my other hand is carrying Baby C. I guess the rest of my day would be spent carrying my poor sweetiepie. I can forget about painting my nails with nail varnish from nailsinc. I am drop dead exhausted now and all I need is a forty winks. And if you are wondering what nailsinc is, it is the world’s largest nail bar chain offering quick, affordable, high-quality and branded nail care products and services.