“My Story… ” Monday: G — Her Kidneys

(You can catch up on G‘s story right here: A Third Baby, Fighting Panic, Connecticut to Oklahoma, You’ve Got the Job, The Birth Story, 95 Degrees, She struggles to breathe, I struggle to walk., The Liquid Diet, Not Enough Oxygen, Getting Out of There, Let’s Party!, Fitting Our Lives into a Minivan, Finding a Home, Remarkably Unremarkable, The Fever and the Screaming, One Answer Leads to More Questions)


So, in August of 2010, I prepared to take my sweet little one-year-old in to the hospital for tests. I tried (and failed) to avoid Dr. Google and had, as a result, gotten myself a touch worked up about the whole thing.


You see, quite frankly, I felt like G. was my first “typical” baby. With A., we had all the speech delay worries and autism tests and what-not. With C., we dealt with extreme prematurity and all the lingering effects thereof. G? Had been our “easy” baby with no issues or concerns.

But there I sat, watching her play with waiting room toys and fretting. There was a special on the TV about Albert Einstein. I don’t know why I remember that.


The ultrasound was no big deal at all. If you’ve ever been through an ultrasound then you know that they are not painful procedures. The worst part is often the cold jelly and, with my baby girl, they used some heated stuff and she didn’t seem bothered.


Watching the VCUG was brutal. There were two nurses (?? maybe? or some specialized technician? I’m not totally sure. I don’t mean to misspeak. I’m going to just call them nurses for the fluidity of the story, but I’m not positive about it) who were doing the procedure.


It was one of those brutal combos: one was sweet but not particularly competent, the other was competent but very harsh and brusque. When G. cried and squirmed as they catheterized her? The very capable nurse got angry with her. When I told them that G. had never been interested in a pacifier and, thus, that wouldn’t help calm her? She got angry at me.


The temptation was great to want to deal only with the other, kinder nurse. Still, I’m not stupid. And I am observant. I knew who was going to be the one to actually get this test done. So I stood up for my little girl, but maintained a level of respect for the rather abrasive nurse.


“If you’ll let me stand closer– maybe give me one of those lead aprons or whatever– I think I can help soothe her. She’s a mama’s girl. Always has been. I know when she writhes, it makes your job harder. I also know she doesn’t understand why she’s being hurt.”


And, with that, we sort of “teamed up” and got the job done. (Okay, really, I wasn’t doing any significant medical work, but my presence soothed sweet G. and that helped get it done.)


The one good thing about a VCUG? You get results on the spot.


No reflux. G’s little kidneys were just fine and did exactly what they were supposed to do. Her urinary tract infection? Just a fluke-y thing. It happens.


And, when she got another one at age 3 (just over a week ago, in fact!), we were able to treat it with no worries– kidney reflux is something you’re either born with or never have. Some children outgrow it, but they don’t “develop” it.


We were back to “typical.” And it felt like a blessed place to be.

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3 comments to “My Story… ” Monday: G — Her Kidneys

  • Deanna

    Praise God it wasn’t reflux! Our little one DID have reflux (plus a duplicated kidney) and it was the pits. We had to administer daily antibiotics for her first 3.5 years (it was discovered at 6 weeks), she had to be cath’d in the doc’s office with EVERY FEVER, she had 5-6 VCUG’s (they’re AWFUL!!), and eventually had ureter reimplantation surgery when she was 3.5 years old. She now has only a c-section-type scar to show for all of that but she’s 9 years old now and hasn’t had an infection since. She’s “typical” again and we’re grateful.

  • Oh my goodness Jessie. Rachael’s VCUG was nothing like that. There were 3 nurses in the room and one of them was there solely to entertain her. She even had a portable DVD player that she held above Rachael’s head during the entire procedure. It was a great distraction. They even gave her a brand new, very nice stuffed animal for comfort! Rachael does have reflux, but we’ve been blessed that she hasn’t had a kidney infection in over a year.

    I’m so sorry the procedure was that rough and you had to deal with ridiculous nurses.

  • sonja

    So glad it wasn’t reflux! It is awful watching our babies in pain! Only people who have experienced atypical know how wonderful it is to be typical!

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