The kidney reflux progress tests for my Potato Bug Boy are all over and done with (for now, at least). We had the VCUG this morning at the hospital, where he got to be immobilized on a board while they stuck a catheter all the way up into his bladder and pumped a lot of liquid into it and then tried to take pictures before he peed it all back out (they were not successful with the getting him to not pee part). They were very nice, and put on Finding Nemo for him to watch, and tried to help me distract him, and gave him a beach ball when we were all done so he could play with it while we waited to get the CD of images from them. He was fairly good, though as to be expected he cried from the moment I set him down to check his diaper to several minutes after I pciked him up after the test was over, and sporadically after that whenever he remembered that he was supposed to be traumatized. The doctor who did the test told me that he still had reflux, but that because he peed during the ENTIRE test, they weren't ever able to get his bladder completely full of their contrast dye and so he couldn't tell me what grade the reflux was.
Cue the sorrowing and worrying on my part.
Once we finally got the CD and got back to our house, it'd been just about three hours since we left, and I had half an hour before I wasn't supposed to feed the kiddo anything anymore, and approximately an hour before we had to leave for the second appointment of the day. What's a mommy to do? I stuffed him full of banana and milk and put him in his crib so my super-sleepy boy could take a short nap.
Then I had to wake him up to go to the next appointment. Still sleepy baby who's already been traumatized by tests once during the day = a bad patient. We got to drive right back to the hospital (actually, to a building next door), where I got to refill out all the exact same paperwork they had me fill out LAST TIME. Cue more frustrated mommy. At least the babykins enjoyed crawling around while we were waiting for them to call us back (they need to clean their carpets though, his knees were BLACK by the time we got to go back there). And then we had the ultrasound. Ultrasound = needing to hold still to get clear pictures. Grumpy baby who has to (gasp!) LAY DOWN on his BACK on a PAPER SHEET = wiggly. And crying. Lots and lots of crying. I think he remembers the paper sheet from the doctor's office when he got his shots last week. Traumatic. Even though the ultrasound was so totally painless, as far as physical pain goes. I cannot speak for his emotional pain (he was upset), nor for the pains of the technician, who was having a horrible time trying to get clear pictures of his bladder and kidneys (I got to hold him for the kidney ones, and he wanted to crawl all over me and was still being very wiggly, poor ultrasound tech). Of course, he had pooped right before the ultrasound, so we both got to deal with diaper stink the whole time. Once she was done, I got to lay him BACK DOWN ON THE PAPER SHEET (oh noes!), which of course, caused great amounts of crying, so that I could change his stinky diaper. And he, in retaliation, peed all over the paper sheet in the middle of the diaper change. And for once, I was not responsible for cleaning up his mid-diaper-change pee.
Poor, poor ultrasound technician. At least I had a plastic baggie for the stinky diaper to go in.
Then we got to sit and wait in a small room (not the lovely waiting room) for the nurse to come and tell me what was what and how he was doing. The room, of course, had an exam table in it, with a paper sheet. Potato Bug took one look at it and started wailing. I eventually managed to more or less distract him with the "I'll hand you something that you can throw on the floor for me to pick up while still trying to hold you" game. We played it with almost everything I had in the diaper bag and in my purse.
Finally, the nurse came in, only to let me know that she was getting errors from the disc from the VCUG and needed to go call the radiology department at the hospital to get the doctor's write-up or a new CD. So we got to sit and wait a couple more minutes. And then she came back in, with the doctor's write-up. And he had Grade 3 reflux at the last test, in his right kidney. And now he has a trace of Grade 1 in his left kidney, and she couldn't quite tell exactly for sure what the Grade was for his right kidney due to the CD problems, but she felt like classifying it probably as also Grade 1 (though it could feasibly be Grade 2, she said). Anyway, either way, this is a HUGE IMPROVEMENT. Cue happy mommy. Ultimately, we decided to call it Grade 1, and give him 2 more days of his antibiotics (due to the catheter that morning), and then, just, stop. No more daily medicine. Call it good. He's growing out of it.
Of course, I still have to watch, and if he gets a high fever (anything over 101.5) I have to go get him catheterized to get a urine test done to see if he's got a kidney infection, and if he does, then we will have to admit that he still has bad reflux.
But we're all hoping (of course) that that never happens. And in the meantime, we will be assuming that it is Grade 1 and that it will disappear completely as he continues to grow. (Grade 5, by the way, is the worst, and takes surgery to fix. Grade 3 gave him a 50% chance of outgrowing it on his own.)
So, I am no longer feeling like a bad mommy. And I am not carrying around that constant worry in the back of my head anymore that he will not outgrow it. And he's happy because we're staying home the rest of the day. And I am happy because I am incredibly relieved.
He got a banana in the car on the way home from the ultrasound and follow-up, because he was still extremely tired and kind of grumpy and undoubtedly hungry. And I learned an important lesson. Do not give your child fresh fruit (particularly not bananas) to eat in the car when they're prone to throwing their food to the side sporadically for absolutely no reason. I got to fish banana bits out from under the passenger chair of our truck once we were home and he was in bed. And the truck, I suspect, still probably smells like banana.
Which, by the way, is Potato Bug's first word (other than Uh-oh and mamamama and dadadada). He sees bananas, and he says "nana nana nana nana" and gets very excited. Oh, my funny little babykins. I love you so much.