Monday, March 9, 2009

Brooklyn finally crosses the finish line!

Brooklyn post-surgery at Primary Children's-Aug. 2007

We received some very good news this past week, in fact I feel as though it is a miracle. For those who are unfamiliar with Brooklyn's medical history, it was discovered that she had something wrong with her kidneys when I had my first prenatal ultrasound at 20 weeks. They sent us to a perinatalogist for a follow-up ultrasound, who confirmed that her kidneys (in particular, her right one) were larger than they should be for a baby in utero. Of course, the news was both frightening and concerning for us, and until she was born we couldn't find out what the cause or prognosis was. We were told that her condition, known as hydronephrosis, often resolved itself after birth, with only 5-7% of cases actually requiring surgery. At only 7 weeks old Brooklyn underwent her first series of tests to pinpoint what was causing the swelling in her kidneys, including an ultrasound, renal scan and VCUG. They were able to determine that she had blockages in both of her ureters (the left one a mild case and the right one severe) which was causing everything to back up into her kidneys, however her urologist was hopeful that with time she might outgrow it.

We followed up with renal scans at 6 months, 1 year and 2 years, and things unfortunately did not improve. The urologist recommended surgery to repair her right ureter, and in August 2007 we went up to Primary Children's in Salt Lake for her surgery. She did amazingly well and was in the hospital for 2 days. Two months after her surgery we had a follow-up ultrasound in which the ultrasound technician errantly told us that her kidneys were looking really bad and that she couldn't believe that Brooklyn had already had surgery (in reality they looked exactly how they were supposed to look post-surgery). I think that this unprofessional "mistake" took 10 years off my life! Three months post-surgery, it was back to Primary Children's for another renal scan to check up on how her kidneys were functioning and to consult with the urologist. He said that she was doing great and that her kidneys seemed to be functioning well. He recommended one last renal scan to be done the next year, which we did last October. Once again, we suffered another setback when the results came back. It appeared as though her right kidney was digressing in function. The doctor said that she might have some scar tissue built up in her ureter causing blockages once again, or there was a slight chance that maybe she was just having an off day. He recommended yet another renal scan in 4 more months (February).

We have prayed, fasted and given numerous blessings to Brooklyn over the course of her nearly 4 years of life, but I must admit that I felt fairly unoptimistic about the chance that the test results from October were just a fluke. We headed back up to Primary Children's AGAIN for her 7th renal scan and another ultrasound 2 weeks ago, and had to wait until last Wednesday to consult with the urologist about the results. I about fell over when her doctor looked at the test results and said that her kidney swelling had gone down "enormously," and that her functioning on both sides was excellent. In fact, the results looked so good that he pronounced her kidneys "all better," and said she didn't need any more tests or surgeries. I am still having a little bit of a hard time accepting that it is really all over, and obviously we still need to be watchful to make sure that she doesn't have any further problems, but the prognosis seems favorable. My heart is so full of gratitute to Heavenly Father for seeing us through all of this, and especially for our little girl who is stronger and tougher than I think I could have ever been. She has been stuck with more needles, IV tubes, and catheters in her short life than I hope I ever have to be, and yet she has such a sunny and infectious personality and keeps us laughing. Since the urologist pronounced her healed, she has been saying "Kidneys are all better! No more pokes, no more surgery, no more hospital!" Amen!