Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rebekah's Reflux

When Rebekah was five months old, I was feeding her one morning. I noticed she felt hot. Sure enough, she was running a fever. I called the doctor and miraculously they had an immediate opening. We were called back quickly and were there for about two hours. At the end of the two hours, Bekah was lethargic and ashen gray looking. The doctor (not our pediatrician), did not like to looks of her. She went to get Dr. Miers, our pediatrician, and Dr. Miers took one look at Rebekah and said she was septic. We were told to immediately go to the hospital. I was scared to death! Long story short, we had one sick little baby. She was in the hospital for three days and on some strong IV antibiotics and fluid. She had gotten a urinary track infection that had turned into a bladder infection that had done into her kidneys and her system was in shock. Dr. Miers was 99% sure that Rebekah had urinary reflux.

What is urinary reflux? Well, Rebekah peed, some of her urine flowed back up into the kidneys instead of it all draining out her urethra. Urine normally only goes one way. And when urine flows back up, germs can get into the kidneys. If it isn't noticed soon enough, infections can lead to scarring and kidney disease. We were referred to AR Children's Hospital for a voiding cystourethrogram (
VCUG) and a kidney ultrasound to confirm our doctor's suspicions. Her pediatric urologist, Dr. Redman, said she had grade 4 reflux (5 being the most severe) and a duplicated renal collecting system on her right side. The course of treatment is to take a low dose antibiotic everyday. She was put on Bactrim and all was well for a few months. She had a breakthrough infection so a second antibiotic was added, amoxicillin. She has been taking these two antibiotics everyday since she was eight months old! I hated giving her these, but I must say, she has been extremely healthy! She has only had two ear infections and that is about it (until this past week!).

We went back last year for a check up. They repeated the VCUG and ultrasound and said she was getting better, but it wasn't gone. Most kids will outgrow the reflux over time. She was at a grade 2 and we were told to continue the medications and come back in a year. Well, we went this past Tuesday to get checked again. She did great through the tests. The VCUG is uncomfortable (they have to use a catheter and fill up your bladder!) and she was hesitant to go potty in the bed. But she did and they got great pictures. And the best news yet...SHE IS NO LONGER REFLUXING! She has outgrown it. Praise God!

So, when she finishes the current antibiotic she is on now (zythromax), she won't have to take any more daily medications!! On another note, she scared us early Monday morning. She woke up at 3am and was on fire. I took her temperature with a temporal thermometer and it first read 106.6 - HOT! I immediately took it again and it read 105.8 - STILL HOT! I went and found our oral thermometer and tried to take it that way. She wouldn't cooperate and I just got it in her mouth, but not under her tongue. It read 104.5. I really believe it was at least 105. We took her to the emergency room and she had a bad throat infection, the doctor thought it was the front end of something and put her on the zythromax. She completely lost her voice and ran a fever for two days, but she is MUCH better now. We only have one more day of the medicine.

So, we're thrilled that she is better. We're thrilled her urinary system is working properly now. We're thrilled she no longer has to take two medicines everyday. We just hope now that she is off the medicines, she doesn't catch every little bug that is going around!!

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