Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Updates On Baby C’s 1st Post-Surgery Ultrasound Scan

Baby had her first post-surgery ultrasound scan of her kidneys today. She is required to have an ultrasound scan every 6 monthly for the first 2 years after the surgery and thereafter once a year until she turns 12 years old! What a loooooong time! She is also required to have a DMSA scan of her right kidney in 1.5 year’s time to check the function of her right duplex kidneys. Anyway, the ultrasound scan today showed that the muscles surrounding her right duplex kidneys look good. This normally suggests that the kidneys are growing and our doctor was optimistic on the pictures of the scan.

As regards her weight, which I had highlighed to the doctor as I have been quite worried that her weight seems to be climbing up pretty slowly, our surgeon is not at all concerned. Baby only weighs a pathetic 9kg at 20 months old. He reassured us that Baby is thriving as she looks pinkish and healthy. He said that I cannot expect her to be ‘big’ as both hubby and I are not ‘big’, especially me. After what she had gone through for the first 14 months of her life, I cannot expect her to be chubby. He would prefer Baby to be petite than ‘big’ and obese.

I was really amazed that Baby could remember the X-ray department vividly though her traumatic experience had past 6 months. She was bubbly and cheery the whole day but the moment we brought her to the X-ray department, especially the dimly lit ultrasound scan room, she freaked out, whimpered and ran away. From a bubbly, active child, she instantly transformed into a passive, frightened child who clung on to me like a koala bear, refusing to let go an inch. She had an expressionless look on her face and nothing we did could bring a smile on her face. She was paralyzed with fear and looked exactly like how she looked like during her 3 weeks nightmarish stay in the hospital in May this year.

My poor frightened Baby, with her head on daddy’s shoulder. She was so petrified that she fell asleep on my shoulders.

Before the ultrasound scan started, she was yelling away the moment I tried to place her on the examination bed in the ultrasound scan room. I knew she would resist, so I asked the doctor if I could hold her. Thankfully the doctor said yes and I carried her. When I placed her on my lap, Baby pulled my blouse down and wanted to nurse! I asked the doctor if it was ok to nurse her and she said yes. And so the procedure went quite smoothly with Baby latched on lol… and all the nurses were staring at me lol!

Back at the surgeon’s office, Baby again refused to be placed on the examination bed, so Daddy had to carry her whilst the doctor checked her wounds…. and mummy was busy at work… snapping pix away like a papparazi.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Baby Is Now Free From Kidney Reflux!

My 16 month old toddler went for an MCUG scan 3 weeks ago in August. As expected, Baby remembered the procedures room in the pediatric ward - wailed the second she was placed on the bed. She also remembered the X-ray room super vividly. The moment we stepped into the cold room with ginormous machines, she bawled!

At the procedures room in the pediatric ward, it was yet another traumatic moment for Baby when the doctor inserted the IV line onto her hand for the antibiotics jab to be administered. She screamed her lungs and throat out when the doctor inserted the catheter into her down under. Baby clung on to daddy and me like a koala bear each time we carried her. She looked exactly like how she looked like when she was hospitalized after her surgery in May - a face that was paralyzed with fear, eyes red and swollen and a face devoid of a smile.

In the X-ray room, she struggled. Good thing this hospital allowed me to be with her in the X-ray room and procedures room, unlike other hospitals that have rules of not allowing the mother/father in. My presence, singing and talking to Baby throughout her ordeal did help allay Baby’s fears.

After 2 hours of anxious waiting, I finally heard the best piece of news from Baby’s surgeon thus far. When he told me “the result is fantastic”, I could not believe those words. In fact, the good news still hasn’t sank inside me yet. Praise the Lord Jesus, He is really great. After going through 14 months of agony and nightmare with Baby, it feels surreal that Baby is finally well now. I think I need time to accept the good news LOL! I can’t believe that from today onwards, I don’t have to go through the gruelling process of feeding Baby her prophylactics antibiotics anymore every night. I hope that Baby will not get anymore UTI attacks ever again, ever. Our next appointment with the surgeon and for Baby to do an untrasound scan (to monitor her kidney) is in December this year.

UTI Preventive Measures

1. Drink plenty of fresh clean water and barley water, up to 10 glasses a day if you can. Drinking plenty of water will flush out the bacteria and other micro-organisms which can cause bladder cystitis and chronic UTI. Barley water is very good in cleansing the bladder. My baby drinks barley water everyday after her Ureteral Reimplantation surgery and thank God, she has not gotten any UTI attacks.

2. Don’t resist or ignore the need to urinate! If you need to go - then go! Holding it back can lead to Urinary Tract Infection symptoms. Potty training your baby/toddler at an early age will help reduce the risk of UTI. Also train your child to 'double pee' or double micturition each time he/she pees. The lesser the urine in the bladder, the lesser the risk for bacteria to breed.

3. (Ladies in particular) Avoid douching with scented sprays which irritate and lead to recurrent bladder infections. Do not use baby bath / shampoo to wash your baby's / kids' genitals. The chemicals in the shampoo will irritate the genitals. Also try to avoid using wet wipes on your child's genitals.

4. Wash your genital area before and (particularly) after sex. Also try to urinate before and after. This can avoid the transfer of UTI bacteria between partners and could flush out any bladder cystitis bugs that got through

5. (Ladies in particular) Take a shower instead of a bath, this prevents the possible entry of bacteria into the urethra (a cause of Chronic UTI / Cystitus)

6. (Ladies in particular) After a bowel movement, always wipe yourself from front to back, this prevents the entry of bacteria from the anus into the vagina and thence into the urethra.

7. (Ladies in particular) Avoid tight, thick underwear, as this creates the perfect hot and humid atmosphere which bladder cystitis bacteria need in order to breed.

8. Avoid known bladder irritants such as citrus fruits and juice, tomatoes, mature cheese, chocolate, spicy foods, alcohol or nicotine. These are all known irritants.

9. Avoid caffeine - most commonly found in coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, chocolates etc…

10. If you feel the onset of urinary tract infection symptoms or bladder cystitis, take vitamin C as a drink or a tablet. This increases the level of acidity in the urine, which some urinary experts believe helps in reducing the number of chronic uti bacteria in the urinary tract.

11. If you have a painful urinary tract infection or chronic cystitis infection, and cannot immediately obtain urinary tract infection treatment, you can ease the pain by applying a hot-pad, a hot water bottle, or something similar to your abdomen.

12. Spices like cinnamon or juniper can act as natural UTI antibiotics for a mild bladder infection, and can also help to flush out a urine infection from kidneys and bladder.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How D-Mannose Works In Removing Bacteria From The Urinary Tract System

According to researchers at the Washington University (WU) School of Medicine in St. Louis, most UTIs start when Escherichia coli (E. coli)—a microorganism that lives in the digestive tract and is found in the anal area—invade the bladder and penetrate a protective coating of the superficial cells that line the bladder. In most cases, urine flow washes out bacteria from the bladder. But the cell wall of E. coli bacteria has tiny finger-like projections that contain complex molecules called lectins on their surface. These lectins are cellular glue that binds the bacteria to the bladder wall so they cannot be easily rinsed out by urination.

The chemical structure of D-Mannose causes it to stick to E. coli bacteria, maybe even more tenaciously than E.coli adheres to human cells. Although the mechanism of how it works is complicated, theoretically, if enough D-mannose is present in the urine, it binds to the bacteria and prevents them from attaching to the urinary tract lining

E. coli cells coated by D-mannose in the urine become unglued and get flushed right out of the body. And the beauty about D-mannose is that you can take it year-round without any side effects. You don’t have to wait until symptoms appear. From what I have read, D-Mannose only works on E-Coli and Klebsiella bacteria, the 2 most common bacteria that cause UTIs. So if you have other types of bacteria in your urinary tract system, the bacteria would not be ‘attracted’ to D-Mannose and cannot be flushed out from your body.

Baby has been taking D-Mannose for almost 2 months now and with God’s blessings, she has not gotten any UTI attacks for 3 months. The Ureteral Reimplantation surgery has been a success too and I was told by our surgeon that the ‘dirty’ urine that I’ve been seeing on and off for the past 3 months could be the ‘debris’ from the urinary tract system as Baby has had bacteria in her urine from day 1. Our surgeon knows that Baby is taking D-Mannose and he has no objection to it since D-Mannose is just a type of sugar that is found in many fruits like apples, peaches, blueberries, oranges including cranberries - the most popular fruit known to help prevent UTI.

Disclaimer : This is not intended to be a medical advise. If you have urinary tract infection, please consult your doctor.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Symptoms Of UTI

These are the common symptoms of urinary tract infection :

# Frequent urge to urinate
# Incontinence
# Painful, burning feeling in the area of the bladder or urethra during urination
# Fatigue, lethargy
# Women feel an uncomfortable pressure above the pubic bone.
# Some men experience a fullness in the rectum.
# Despite the urge to urinate, only a small amount of urine is passed
# Milky, cloudy or reddish urine
# Foul-smelling urine
# A fever, which may mean that the infection has reached the kidneys
# Pain in the back or side below the ribs
# Nausea and/or vomiting

For my baby, each time there is a large amount of bacteria in her urinary tract, these symptoms would appear:

# Foul smelling urine.

# Cloudy urine .

# 'Dirty' urine - many particles floating in the urine. To check clarity of the urine, get your child to pee into a transparent bottle. Hold the bottle against sunlight or under the ceiling light and look at the urine. If the urine is cloudy, not crystal clear and has many particles floating inside, bacteria is most likely present.

# Sore labia.

# Diarrhea and very loose stools.

When these classic symptoms appear, I wouldn't wait until she gets a fever with vomiting. I would bring her straight to our pediatric nephrologist's office to get treatment by way of antibiotics administered through jabs or through IV.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How My Baby Ended Up Taking D-Mannose To Prevent Her Recurrent UTIs

When Klebsiella bacteria with a colony count of greater than 100,000 was still detected in my baby's urine 1.5 months after her Ureteral Reimplantation surgery, I was devastated. Despite the 2 torturous surgeries that she had gone through recently and despite being told by our surgeon that the Ureteral Reimplantation was a success, there was still bacteria in her pee. It clearly showed that the bacteria in her body has now become resistant to the antibiotics that she is taking orally every night.

I was determined that I did not want my baby to go through another torturous surgery. I surfed the internet to read articles after articles on how to prevent UTIs. It was then that I stumbled upon a supposedly miracle cure called D-Mannose. I did a google search on D-Mannose (which is like a cousin of glucose) and what I read convinced me. I emailed the owner of a company in the UK that produces D-Mannose and asked if it was safe for toddlers to consume D-Mannose. The owner of that company replied me the following day and told me that D-Mannose is absolutely safe for babies. She also said something that I had least expected from her. She told me that she did not want to make a fortune out of my baby's misfortune and she was going to send me the D-Mannose for free, but I had to pay for the shipping charges. I quickly accepted her offer and paid for the shipping charges. Within a week, I received my D-Mannose, not 1 tub but 3 tubs! I was really grateful and thankful to her.

to be continued.....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kidney Reflux, UTI And Prevention Of UTI

My 15-month old toddler has been having bacteria in her urine almost all her life. She was first diagnosed as suffering from UTI when she was 7 weeks old. She had high fever, vomitting, loss of appetite and was listless. Her pee also smelled terribly foul, like some rotten fish. I kind of expected her to get UTI when our paed broke the diagnosis to us as our Ob & Gyn detected that our fetus had a dilated right kidney when I was about 14 weeks pregnant with her.

Since she was 7 weeks old, my baby girl has had countless urine samples taken, endless trips to the hospitals, countless number of pokes, pricks and prodes on her hands and feet, a daily dose of prophylactic antibiotics (which by the way, those pesky bacteria has already become resistant to, but our doctors are still of the opinion that she should continue eating the antibiotics), countless number of scans (from ultrasound scans to MCUG to MAG 3 scan) and 2 months ago, she had a Ureteral Reimplantation surgery done to fix the problem.

We had found out from one of the many scans that our baby has a duplex right kidney, in addition to a Grade III kidney reflux on the right kidney. Thank God that her left kidney is spared from kidney reflux. A MAG 3 scan showed that her right duplex kidneys are still functioning pretty well, praise the Lord!

In May this year, my baby underwent a 5-hour Ureteral Reimplantation surgery to fix her ureters which were very dilated. We were told that the surgery went well but our baby developed a complication after the surgery. She developed an adhesive intestinal obstruction and she kept vomitting for 2 weeks. Adhesive intestinal obstruction is a documented complication of any abdominal surgery. She was suffering and had lost a lot of weight. Everything that she ate and drank came out from her mouth. The vomit was greenish stuff and that sure wasn't a good sign. Her tummy looked distended and she had fever which would not subside. Her 2-week stay in the hospital was like living hell for her and me and I pray that she never ever have to go through this again, ever. There were tubes everywhere on her body and a nasogastric tube (NG tube) on her nose. Keeping the NG tube on her nose was a challenge as my baby kept trying to pull it off. Long story cut short, she had another surgery 2 weeks after the primary surgery to fix the gut problem.

Over the past one year, I have tried many products that are supposedly well-known for preventing UTIs and to fight infections but sadly, none of those worked. My baby had bacteria (with colony counts of greater than 100,000) detected in her pee every single month. At times, none of the safe antibiotics were sensitive to those pesky bugs as those bugs have become resistant to almost all the antibiotics. With prayers and by forcing gallons of water down my baby's throat, those bacteria were eventually flushed out from her body.

Even after the Ureteral Reimplantation surgery, there was still bacteria (Klebsiella) detected in my baby's pee. I was really devastated and lost hope. For days, I did a lot of research over the internet to read up more on UTI prevention and discovered D-Mannose. I was really doubtful about D-Mannose as I've never heard of this name. I was apprehensive that all the positive reviews and comments about how effective D-Mannose is in treating and preventing UTI were only marketing gimmick and tactics. But what I had was only hope and I decided to send an email to a company in the UK that sells D-Mannose online. The owners were kind enough to send me 3 tubs of D-Mannose. With a tad doubt, I still fed my baby with it.

Today is almost 1.5 weeks since I fed my baby with D-Mannose and all the classic symptoms of bacteria in her pee had sort of vanished. No more smelly pee, no more red and sore labia and no more purging. Her pee also looked clear. I shall continue to feed my baby with D-Mannose in the hope that it can prevent those pesky bugs from invading my poor baby's urinary tract.

On top of D-Mannose, I am also feeding my baby with barley water everyday, fresh coconut water, E-Excel's Millenium (cactus juice), Manuka honey, boiled lemon grass water and lots of water to flush out those pesky bugs from her body.

My baby's next post-operative MCUG scan is scheduled for end of next month. I am praying hard that it will show NO MORE kidney reflux.