Posted by: ourbakersdozen | June 2, 2010

One of many updates to come…

It has been a very long time since my last post and there is much to catch you all up on – too much for one post. First of all I will start with an update on Emma as many of you must be wondering how her surgery went.  As I shared earlier this month Emma was diagnosed just after Easter with bilateral reflux. She was had grade four reflux (almost five) to the right kidney which was swollen from years of reflux which we recently learned has indeed been present since birth.  She was a grade 2 – 3 on the left. We were looking in all probability at a 2 hour surgery with a 2 – 4 week recovery time. I shared on my pre Mother’s Day my only gift desired was a healthy child home from the hospital.

As I also shared in that post Emma not only received the anointment of the sick the day before her surgery she also received the sacrament of confirmation. She really was quite ill and we were facing many unknowns including whether or not  she  lose her right kidney. I took a large measure of comfort from the knowledge that she had received two very powerful sacraments and many, many people were praying for her.

We arrived on time in the hospital and there on her bed in the pre-op area was a little brown bear and a coloring book with crayons. Her eyes lit up and she cheerfully changed out of her clothes into the little hospital gown also laid out on her bed. It could not have been more story book like and she was delighted as were my husband and I.

Before long she was being wheeled away from us and I stoically held back my tears as I watched her disappear down the hall clutching the stuffed toys her older sister Bethany had lent her in honor of the occasion along with her newly adopted bear – yet un-named. Hugo and I followed a nurse to the waiting area where the receptionist who ran the desk there attempted to comfort me. Her son had had a similar operation with the same doctor a few years ago so she had really walked in our shoes.

I picked up my book and read – but I had to keep re-reading the same paragraph over and over as my eyes were constantly drifting to the clock and watching the minutes had drag its way around its face. Hugo distracted himself with news on the flat screen tv. We were both very quiet. The Dr had explained that the first thing he would do was examine her bladder to see if a simple 20 minute procedure would work or if she would require the whole 2 hour surgery. They would call out from the ER after the first half hour to let us know which direction the surgery would go in.

Thirty  minutes later the receptionist stepped quietly over to the couch Hugo and I were sharing and told us that they had called from the OR and they were just starting the surgery. We were startled as by now they should have already been 30 minutes into the procedure and known which direction they were going to have to go in – a shot of deflux to each valve or reimplantation of the right uretha and delfux for the left. My watchful countdown started again.

I finally managed to actually read a page or two of my book, ate some granola bars and supped on the coffee they had on a side table. Hugo continued his vigil with a coffee in hand and eyes on the news.  Not quite twenty minutes had passed when the receptionist was back with a smile on her face.

“Emma is out of surgery and the Dr is ready to talk to you. If you will just follow me.”

I could not quite grasp what she had said and she had to to repeat herself. If you’ll just follow me – the Dr will meet you in that room over there to discuss Emma’s surgery.”

It seemed just too good to be true. This meant that depsite all odds they had been able to do the 20 minute less invasive proceedure. Hugo and I grapsed hands and sat down in the room and waited in silence for the doctor. We began to feel nervous as we waited – the Dr seemed to be taking too long. Finally the door opened and he stepped in and smiled at us as he sat. He explained all that had gone on and I only just then realized that the proceedure they had been able to do had not even required an incesion. It had all been accomplished through a catheter. I was amazed and grateful. Hugo then asked “And her kidney- the right one that is swollen.”

“It is too early to know if we can save it – we will have to monitor it and see what happens.”

Still we were grateful that for now at least Emma was being saved many weeks of painful healing. Then he said:


But what…

“A most unexpected thing happened while your daughter was under the anesthesia. A compelte rarity. While completley she vomited up the meds that had been administered during pre-op and we had to rush to intubate her.  She is fine but will need to stay at eight hours and possibly over night as we watch to make sure there are no complicatins. We will do xrays as soon as possible and then she will be sent to the pediatric floor.”

The first few hours of her recovery were miserable for her indeed though at times she had us in stitches with the drool and comic remarks she made at times.

For instance when she learned there was no incision she looked the nurse accusingly and asked her most seriously “then if you did not cut me what did you do – just shoot me?” She was, of course, refering to the “shot of deflux that she knew was an option but the nurse did not know this and was horrified to think that Emma that she had been shot by them!

Later in her room as she was overcome with another coughing and gaging episode as she vomited up the little fluid she had on her stomach the pediatric nurse asked her if she was alright.

Emma looked at her as if she had two heads and replied “No!” in a tone that clearly  implied – “Do I LOOK alright?” The other nurse working on her IV laughed outright as did Emma’s nurse. They were all wonderful and very caring. Soon we were ready to be released as no fever started and her chest xrays came back clear.  Emma was bundled up into her wheelchair with the two toys hse had brought and TWO litlte brown bears as one had also been waiting for her in her new room. They have been named Jane and James and Jane sports a little pink braclet around her neck that was a gift from Jenny who drove to the hospital to have a short visit with her god-daughter/baby sister.

Three days later we back in the doctors office for a post op check up and ultrasound. The ultrasound revealed that so far the new plugs of delfux were still in place and… her right kidney was no longer swollen and the large black spot previously sitting in the middle of the kidney was gone.

In July Emma will have another VCUG test done – which is an extremly unpleasant and very uncompfortable test but it is necessary so that we can know for sure that the plugs are working correctly. Otherwise in a few months we could find oursleves back where we were at Easter and no one wants that!

Thank you all so much for your prayers – they along with the sacraments had a profound effect on the whole scenario. I think with out them we would have been looking at a 2 hour surgery and possibly severe results from her vomiting on the surgery table. Please continue to pray so that in July we can close this chapter once and hopefully forever.

Emma just before they wheeled her down to the OR, after giving her medicine meant to relax her body.

Settled in her hospital room cuddling her sisters special toys and her new twins that has just been happily name. Jane was named in post op shortly before heading up to her room.  She was so miserable at the moment and focused on the idea that going to her room would make her feel better that she was quite anxious to be moved out of post op.  At one point she cried Oh WHEN am I going to my room – I don’t feel well!” I responded but we can’t go until we name your bear.

“What?” she exclaimed. “But why?” Hoping to distract her from her ardent desire to move NOW I began to suggest names. She quickly dismissed each one and her nurse began to play along. Suddenly Emma interrupted us to suggest; “Jane – how about Jane?” Both the nurse and I agreed that that was a nice name.

“Good!” – Emma exclaimed in relief.” Now the bear is named and I can GO TO MY ROOM! Lets GO!!!”



  1. I hope and pray everything goes well for you and yours. You are much stronger than I think I could ever be.

  2. Glad to hear that all went well !
    BTW was wondering is the girl on the front of Faith and family your daughter?

  3. Is this the issue you are referring to? If so – while she is a very adorable little girl – I’m afraid I can not lay claim to her! 🙂 No one has asked permission to use any of my childrens’ photos so I don’t think they are on the front page of any magazine – but WOW wouldn’t that be a cool thing to brag to the grandparents about – eh? 🙂
    I have to admit – I am so busy these days between ill children, end of school yr activities and working on my own business that I am barely online and it is a rare day indeed that I even get to read MY favorite blogs!

    • Yep that is the one…. I seen it in passing the other day ( kids brought it in and layed it up and now I forget where I seen it)and she reminded me of pictures that I had seen of one of your girls. Just curious 🙂

  4. You don’t know me but I am friends with Beth (beautiful day). I was reading your post and my daughter is about to go through all that Emma has gone through. My daughter, Quinn, had a horrible UTI and has had itching and redness since she was a baby. With this UTI we were sent to the Urologist and we are now scheduled for the ultrasound and then possibly later the catheterized x-ray.
    I will be keeping Emma in our prayers for a quick conclusion to this ordeal.

    • Oh dear! I know well your worries. We will keep Quinn in our prayers that if she has reflux they are able to use the “quick fix” for her and it is successful! Thank you for your prayers! 🙂 We greatly appreciate them!

  5. Keeping ya’ll in our prayers. What a sweetheart your little Emma is!

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