Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bad(dish) news... With a plan attached

At my appointment on Monday, they said that the amniotic fluid level looked better. Still low, but within normal range, which is awesome. They still drained about 30ml of fluid from his bladder. There was some fluid in his abdomen, which, the dr said, likely leaked out through the puncture made the last time they drained the bladder, but it wasn't dangerous because the fluid is sterile. They tried to drain that as well, but couldn't get the needle to go through the abdominal wall.

They sent that fluid to be tested for kidney function (electrolytes, proteins, etc...) and said they'd call me when they got the results back. He also said that he'd call the surgeon in Denver first thing Tuesday morning and discuss the case with him. I was expecting a call today, or just to have the conversation when I went in for my appt this afternoon, but the dr called yesterday afternoon.

The kidneys aren't functioning well... The results from the test were not good, showing moderate kidney damage. There's really no way to to fix or reverse that at this point - it's something that's going to have to be dealt with after he's born.

The goal now is to preserve lung development and respiratory function, and deal with the kidneys later. The only way to really make sure the lungs can develop normally is to keep enough amniotic fluid around the baby. They're not going to do any more bladder taps, because it's irrelevant. They will, however, monitor the amount of amniotic fluid weekly. If it gets low enough (I'm not sure how low that is...), they're going to send me to Denver to have the stent placed. This will allow the bladder to drain, hopefully increasing the amount of amniotic fluid enough to sustain the baby long-term.

Once they determine that the fluid is low enough to do the operation, it will move fairly quickly. I spoke with the patient care coordinator in Denver this morning. She explained some of the process to me. They will be able to get me in immediately, how soon is dependent on us being able to arrange travel to get there. They will want to do the operation within a week, or a week and a half, at the most. Once I get to Denver, the first step will be doing some more intensive imaging - an MRI to get a better picture of what they're dealing with. A more detailed ultrasound, and an echo cardiogram on the baby's heart. The next day will be the operation. They usually keep you in the hospital for about 24 hours for observation, and want to follow up 24-48 hours later. We'll likely be in Denver for 5-7 days.

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