Thursday, February 23, 2012

wow- it has been awhile!

so sorry that it has taken me so long to post - time just flies by here!  Let's see - where to begin.  Thank you all for all your prayers, encouragement and support during the past two months.  (did I just type that?  It seems surreal that it was two months ago yesterday that Hannah was in the emergency room getting diagnosed).  We are halfway done at this point - she has had two surgeries (one minor, one major) and has two more to go (one minor, one major).  I'll try to explain what she has and what they are doing to fix it, so if you are interested, read on, otherwise - skip to the bottom because there are some incredibly cute pictures down there!
Hannah has congenital bilateral hydronephrosis with grade 5 vesicoureteral reflux and a left-sided obstruction at the ureteropelvic junction.  Basic anatomy lesson - two kidneys, one on each side, ureters connects to the kidneys (at the bottom) at the upj (ureteropelvic junction) and the bladder (at the top).  Hannah had a congenital disorder causing an obstruction at the upj on the left sided, making it difficult for urine to pass from the kidney to the bladder, causing intense pain from the swelling/pressure, and the pain caused her to vomit.  In addition to the obstruction she has reflux from her bladder up to her kidneys, causing even more pressure and swelling.  Her first surgery in january was to place a stent to bypass the obstruction, allowing the kidney to drain and the pain/vomiting to go away.  Unfortunately - a very common side effect of a stent is the cramping/bladder spasms that mimic a uti.  Fun times here, fun times.  The vomiting went away, but getting her to pee was horrific.  Her surgery in february was a robot-assisted pyleoplasty - five incisions on her stomach, allowing the robot to go in and remove the obstruction and reattach the ureter to the kidney.  The pain in her side and the vomiting associated with it was removed completely with this surgery, although the stent stayed in to ensure that a build up of pressure did not return to the kidney before it was healed.  Her third surgery (sometime in march) will be to remove the stent (before it migrates and causes vomiting and pain).  They usually leave the stents in for 3-4 weeks after the pyleoplasty - her will have been in for 7 weeks.  Her fourth, and hopefully final, surgery will be in april,  where her surgeons will fix the reflux by changing the way the ureter connects to the bladder by creating a new tunnel into the bladder. The doctor “reimplants” the ureter to fix its connection to the bladder. Instead of 5 one-inch incisions on her abdomen, she will have a 6 inch incision below her bikini line.  Fun times I tell you, fun times.

Right now, Hannah is doing incredible!!!  She has had no pain since her second surgery, is eating again (yeah!) and being crazy with her brothers and sister.  We are simply praying that the next two surgeries will go as smoothly as the first two did, and that she will have little to no permanent kidney damage.
Okay - on to the rest of our crazy life.  The boys are doing so well - school is great, and they are ready for soccer to start in just a few weeks!  Noah prays for snow every night - we have had only a few inches since the 16 inches in October:).  Alle is getting so big!  She is over 16 months now, and as rotten as ever!  She is still slow with her talking, but can sign everything that she needs to communicate.  I have been experimenting with her hair, and did finger twists for the first time yesterday.  She is so stinking cute!!!   Life with 4 kiddos is never dull!!!!