hospital, kidneys, MRI

MRI of a 16 Month Old

Yesterday was Lorelai’s scheduled MRI Urogram at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles.

We arrived at Children’s at 6:30 a.m. for a scheduled appointment at 7:30 am- the first of the day. So, everything went quickly and was right on time. She was first looked at by a Nurse Practitioner where she ws weighed, had her temperature taken…all the normal vitals and medical history documented. We got her into her hospital gown, and she played with some toys while the N.P. checked her out.

Then, we went into the prep area where our poor little girl cried painful tears when they inserted an I.V. into her right hand and then flushed the unit with saline (which hurt even more). I held her while they did the procedure, and SG stood beside us. We were all in tears. It is so difficult to watch someone inflict pain on your baby, when all you want to do is save her from it. They then tied her little arm up to a short board to keep her from bending her wrist, and then wrapped the entire lower arm and hand in a towel, to keep her from pulling out the I.V. The poor thing was so upset about all of it. And, it killed us that we couldn’t explain what was happening to her. She’s so aware of everything around her now. But, she’s still too young to understand why they were doing what they were doing, and why mommy and daddy were letting them. All we could do was comfort her with hugs and kisses and let her know we understood she was hurting and scared.

We had a talk with the Anesthesiologist, who promised to try and hold back the amount of propofol they used to sedate her this time. Last time she had an MRI, she had a very difficult time coming out of the sedation. And, that had scared us. For those wondering why she needed to be sedated, it is a necessary evil for children this young. An MRI requires that the patient stay completely still for the entire 2 hour procedure. So, little children are forced to be put to sleep and temporarily paralyzed to prevent them from disrupting the imaging.

We said goodbye to her daddy (since only one of us could bring her into the MRI) where we met another group of the staff. I was instructed to hold her as the anesthesiologist attached some tubing to her I.V., and administered the propofol. I tried to keep it together as Lorelai looked around the room and gazed at the big MRI machine. She was scared. And as the propofol went into her arm, she screamed in pain. Within a couple of seconds, she fell limp and I had to hold up her heavy head since her neck muscles had given in. I then put her down on the table and was asked to leave the room. Lorelai was then prepped with a catheter and all the necessary components to keep watch of her vitals while being sedated.

Tears were streaming down my face as I left her. I hated every second of what we just saw her go through. And now, we had to wait 2 hours before we could see her again.

SG and I attempted to stay calm. I could tell he was upset, as he became very quiet. And I was an endless fountain of tears. It felt strange to spend so much time without her. And, each time I thought of her sweet face, I’d start to weep all over again. I love her so very much. And, before having her, I never knew love could be this strong or painful.

We ate. We had coffee. We paced back and forth. And, we looked at the clock every few minutes to see how much time had passed. We finally were able to find a little distraction when we stumbled into the gift shop and chose a little purse and stuffed dog to give her when she got out.

The hospital had given us a pager and it would light up and vibrate when she was ready for us to come get her. At exactly 2 hours after the procedure began, SG took out the pager and put it on the table in front of us. We stared at it, impatiently waiting. And within minutes, the red lights started flashing and buzzing, and we jumped to our feet and started walking furiously to the radiology department.

We were relieved to find a very healthy, yet drugged out little girl. She still couldn’t hold her head up, or focus her eyes. But, we could tell she was fine. Over the course of a few minutes, she started to come out of the sedation more and more and was soon sitting up with assistance and drinking some juice. All of her vitals were fine. And, since she was able to swallow (a requirement before releasing her) they sent her home with us.

As we carried her out of the hospital and to the car, she started to get combative. We had a lot of trouble getting her into her car seat with all the wiggling, complaining, kicking and flailing of her arms. But, that state of recovery went by quickly and she was soon relaxed during the ride home. It took a couple of hours before she was back to her old self. And by this morning, was as active and talkative as ever.

We are currently waiting to hear from her urologist about the results. I am normally anxious as we wait for any results regarding her kidney. But, since this result will determine the date of her surgery, I’m in no hurry to find out. He can take a year to call us back, for all I care.


My Growing Girl

This post is going to be short and sweet…

Here is a photo of Lorelai at the Science Center in Los Angeles today. It was her first experience seeing an aquarium. And, she was completely mesmerized.

In addition to our sightseeing adventures today, Lorelai had tooth number thirteen come in. Just three more to go, and she’ll be done for a while.

Oh. And, my dear sweet darling has started saying her name.


It has been a beautiful week. And, every day just keeps getting better. I really don’t understand how it happens. But it does.


Oh The Blood!

Lorelai had her first real toddler accident this week. And boy, was it a doozie! She had climbed up onto one of our arm chairs in the living room, and was bouncing on her knees. As I was warning her that she may hurt herself and was telling her to stop, she went flying over the arm rest and hit the floor face first.

I can see it in my mind’s eye in slow motion. And, the episode scared the living daylights out of me. After her face smashed into the wood floor, the rest of her body flipped over and came crashing down. My heart leaped out of my chest. And, I immediately thought she’d done something serious, like broke her neck. I swept her up quickly and stabilized her head and neck with my arm until I could assess her.

SG heard it happen and came running into the room only to find Lorelai crying in my arms with blood rushing out of her mouth. The blood was substantial and was dripping out of her mouth and onto her pajamas and my nightgown. It was frightening. As we calmed her down and attempted to clean up the mess, the blood suddenly stopped. She pushed us away, and walked over to her books and started playing again, just like that. She and I were covered in blood, and I was still shaking from the fear of it all. But, little Lorelai was already over it and on to the next thing.

Once she allowed me to take a look, we were happy to discover that her teeth were all intact and fine. Then, I noticed that her labial frenulum (the bit of skin that attaches her upper lip to her gums) had broken, and there was still a piece of skin hanging from the tear. Before the accident occurred, we had noticed that her frenulum was quite tight and very low, attaching to the gums in between her two front teeth. Now, it was ripped to shreds.

So onto the handy dandy internet I went, in search of some answers as to what should be done. Though I was unable to find any professional documentation, I came across scores of forums with stories from moms and dads looking for answers to the same problem. Everyone said that their pediatricians or dentists said the same thing. Toddlers breaking their frenulum from a fall is a pretty common thing. And, there is nothing to be done, but wait for it to heal. So, we’ve decided to keep an eye on her and make sure no more issues crop up.

The next day, little Lorelai had a big swollen upper lip. She’s had a few doses of Tylenol to help dull the pain. And, she’s been eating without any real problems. She’s whimpered a couple of times after she’s accidentally hit herself in the mouth while playing. And we can tell it is still sore. But, we hope she’ll be much better by tomorrow morning.

You spend every waking hour of the day trying to protect your child from a fall like this. But, they move so quickly at this age. Eventually, the day will come when that dreadful split second occurs and you can’t get there quickly enough to save them.

She didn’t come within a foot of that armchair today, which tells me she may have finally learned a very difficult lesson about the pains gravity can bring.


So much fun

So this week, Lorelai has been developing by leaps and bounds. She’s been climbing like crazy. She’s chatting up a storm using Italian style gesticulations. She’s got another tooth emerging. And, she has started putting on her own shoes.

Whenever I bring a pair of shoes into the living room, Lorelai immediately knows what that means. Woo Hoo! We are going somewhere! I set some shoes on the coffee table. And, when I came back a few minutes later, she had already put one on (on the proper foot), and velcroed the strap correctly in place. Then she called me over to show me. I was floored!

And yes, the climbing has begun. She started about 2 weeks ago. And now, she’s up on top of the couch in the blink of an eye. But, this makes it all the more important for me not to leave her alone for more than a minute. We caught her trying to climb a tall bookshelf. And, it isn’t secured to the wall yet. So, it makes me terribly nervous. If you want to get an idea of how easily she is climbing now, here is a photo of her at Jumpin Jammin last week. She climbed this tall ramp of “stairs” in one quick motion, and didn’t stop to ask for help.

One thing that has begun truly melts my heart. She’s started giving hugs with her kisses. Sometimes when I pick her up, she’ll throw her arms around my neck and hug me so incredbily hard. Then, she’ll plant a big kiss on my cheek and hug me some more. If there were ever a day when someone asked why having a kid is so awesome, I would have to remember this. What an amazing thing to be the recipient of your child’s love.

She’s also gone from saying, “Da da” to “Daddy”. And, she is quite proud of herself that she’s accomplished this. Now when I say, “Lorelai, can you say Mommy?” She looks at me very seriously and says, “Dadeeeee!” Then, she laughs at me. I think she knows how to say Mommy. But, she’s purposely making me wait it out because she knows I’m jealous. And, that is just plain funny.

Yesterday, we went to see my sister and had her take some passport photos for us. SG is applying for his permanent residency status. And, we figured we should get some done of Lorelai, so we could get her passport ready. Here is our favorite shot…

I love this photo because it seems to capture the essence of her emerging personality. She is so much fun, filled with mischief and curiosity, and has the sweetest little heart.


The Phone Call

Yesterday, Lorelai had her ultrasound on her kidney. And today, we got the call we were hoping to avoid. It looks like it is time to go forward with the surgery.

Though there is no significant change in her kidney, she is at an age where she’ll tolerate surgery much better. And the longer we wait, the more opportunities there are for infection or other complications if we just let things be. She’s doing well now. But, her ureter is incredibly large and it is filling up her entire abdomen. The doctor said there is no real danger of it bursting on its own. But, a good blow to her belly could do it, like a long fall or a car accident. Both of which could be devastating to any child.

The question is whether or not to try and save part of her kidney. The last MRI showed she had about 15 % of it working. The upper pole is completely destroyed. But the lower pole is putting out some urine. And, it appears that one of the duplicated ureters may be properly dumping into her bladder. The other ureter is blocked, filled with fluid, and absolutely gigantic, with pressure pumping back up into kidney. At only 15%, the doctor is not sure it is worth going through the effort to save that small of an amount. It means having to “shave” the kidney down and removing the bad ureter. This takes a lot longer to do and subjects Lorelai to a lot more time under anesthesia as well as more complications for blood loss and extended recovery. But, if they remove the entire kidney, the surgery will be much shorter and less risk is involved.

To save 15% may not be worth the effort since it couldn’t sustain her life should her other kidney get damaged at any point. But, it is a whole different story if we are talking about a 20-25% working kidney. That could mean all the difference in how he makes his decision.

There is a chance her kidney has grown over the last 9 months. And, perhaps the amount of viable kidney has increased. But, we can’t know anything until we look at it closer. That means she has to undergo yet another MRI to get the answer. Our last MRI experience was not a good one. So, we are dreading having to go through it again. She didn’t do well with the sedation and had trouble coming out of it. What was supposed to be a few minutes of recovery time, ended up being many hours. She had some trouble breathing and was “spacey” for a long time. SG and I were afraid there was some permanent damage done. But, eventually the drug went out of her system and she got back to her old self by the next day.

All to say, an MRI is going to be scheduled soon. And then, the surgery will take place after final decisions are made. SG and I are incredibly sad any of this has to take place at all. We’ve been going through some difficult trials lately. So, this all couldn’t come at a worse time.

But let’s face it. No time is good to have your baby undergo surgery. I’ll never be ready for such a day. Never.

Development, kidneys, Uncategorized, Video

The Impending Surgery

It has been ages since I updated. Sorry about that. Little Lorelai is now 15 months old and doing fantastic!. (The photo above was taken about 2 weeks ago) And, she is walking like crazy and giving us a run for our money. It is amazing how fast she’s been able to get around!

Here is a video from 2 weeks ago of her marching down to the dance floor at the concert in the park:


This Monday, August 2nd, she is scheduled for an ultrasound to see how her kidney and ureter are doing. We have no idea what the doctor is going to say. But, we are hoping he thinks she can wait at least another six months before having the surgery to remove her kidney. We’ve fallen so deeply in love with this little girl. And, the thought of having to hand her over to a bunch of people to cut her open scares us to death.

Knowing we’ll have to face that reality someday. But, hoping it will be later than sooner.

Development, Video

For Granny

Lorelai’s Granny lives in the UK and is especially fond of our little girl. Now that her internet is up and running, she’s salivating for more videos of Lorelai. And, my schedule lately hasn’t been allowing me to satisfy her addiction! Sorry Granny. These are for you…

In the last couple of weeks, Lorelai made some huge leaps and bounds. She got two more new teeth (her top center ones), started crawling forward, pulling herself up and is already cruising. Here is a video of her about a week ago. She had just started learning how to stand and move by holding on to things. This week, she’s already gotten a lot faster at it. Before we know it, she’ll be walking.


And this one is just because….