It’s never just one thing is it? Mason had three tests today to evaluate how his bladder and kidneys are functioning. First up this morning was a renal ultrasound. He did great with this and really didn’t mind the test.
Next we headed to fluoroscopy in the radiology department for a VCUG. This test combines injecting a contrast/dye into his bladder with a catheter and taking x-ray pictures. Daddy came along today so Mason wouldn’t be alone in this test (pregnant women are not allowed in during x-ray). It took a little over 15 minutes to get all the pictures they wanted. Then the doctor showed us what he saw.
First, Mason’s kidneys look fine. He is not having urine reflux into his kidneys and damage them. That is wonderful! Mason’s bladder is getting thicker though. The bladder is a muscle and the more it spasms the thicker the wall gets. This limits how much urine his bladder can hold.
The unexpected thing we learned is that Mason’s left hip is currently dislocated. You can see it clearly on the x-ray, one hip ball is in it’s socket while the other is not. What does that mean? Well, we don’t know yet. We are waiting to hear back from a different doctor about that. It isn’t surprising because Mason’s quite flexible and can’t feel when he’s overstressing joints. We just are not sure what needs done to help him.
The last test Mason had done today was a urodynamics study. By the time we got situated for this test he had had enough of doctors. He fell asleep. I don’t blame him! Because he was asleep we got the most accurate pressure readings possible AND they ran the test twice to be sure. This was an answer to prayer because I knew that if he was awake and crying during the test it would mess up the readings, and doctors would be basing medication decisions on this test in combination with the other two.
In the end we came home with changes to our days. Mason is to begin taking Ditropan. What it does is relax or paralyze his bladder so it isn’t spasming all the time. That means the muscle isn’t working overtime and thickening. It also means we need to begin cathing him more often (4-5 times a day instead of 3) because his bladder won’t be working. It stinks because medications bring side effects, but it’s important to keep Mason’s bladder as healthy as we can.
The side effects vary a bit by child, we’re expecting to see the following:
- constipation – this is on top of his current constipation struggle, so we’re going to become more aggressive in our Miralax use to combat that. If it doesn’t work we will look into different measures like regular enemas.
- flushed cheeks
- dry mouth – we’ve got to keep him drinking.
- overheating – this is a possibility and one we’ll have to watch closely as summer comes because we can’t just look at his face as a basic gauge, it will already be flushed most likely.
I think that’s all for this update! In general Mason is doing wonderfully. He’s growing and hitting milestones like a champ. We are enjoying every day watching his personality show more and more as he grows. And we are so grateful for doctors and medications that can help our sweet son’s body function and protect vital organs like his kidneys.