Yesterday’s surgery truly marked the end of an era; the end of Brennan’s kidney-babyhood.
Brennan was in good spirits despite fasting for 12 hours and actually drove his Cozy-Car right back into the OR. After seven hours of waiting, his surgeon called us back to give us the best possible news—everything had gone according to plan. Furthermore, he was thrilled with Brennan’s bladder capacity as it can now hold three times more than what it did in January. The disappointment of the January surgery not going to plan is slowly but surely being replaced with the joy that comes from being done with surgery—at least for a little while.
Yesterday the surgeon reversed the right ureterostomy and re-implanted it back to the bladder. He also redid the left implant to reduce the risk of reflux and to give the bladder the best chance to continue healing. This involved opening the bladder and weaving the ureters into the bladder muscle so we will expect to see bloody urine for about three weeks. For the first time in my life I bought disposable diapers and I am SO glad we finally have that option.
As expected, his first night was sleepless and long but Liam said he did a much better job staying calm than in January. We are hoping to get him walking by Saturday and perhaps home sometime early next week. His bloodwork looks great and his vitals are right on target for where they should be. In about six weeks, he will have another small outpatient procedure to get the stents taken out of his kidneys and then we will follow up with renal ultrasounds twice a year…imagine that! What will we do with all that extra time not traveling 70 miles to and from these doctors? (I’m sure you can guess 😉…)
The big question we are getting now is, “Is this it?” Our answer: yes and no. This is his last surgery to save his kidney function. We are immensely thankful for his care team who has done everything in their power to bring him from 10% to 40% kidney function. We will continue to monitor his bloodwork as well as issues that are comorbid with Chronic Kidney Disease (diabetes, anemia, high blood pressure, etc). We have given about 10 years with these kidneys and then he will need a kidney transplant. In September we are traveling to Chicago for our first Kidney-kid conference where we will meet many families who have already been through that and will find out more about that process there.
The timing of these surgeries couldn’t have been better as Liam was picked up for an early promotion to Captain. We will be moving back to Missouri in October for Liam’s Captain’s Career Course and Master’s Program.
For those of you following Brennan’s story since the beginning, thank you for sticking with us and covering us in prayer and well-wishes. 100+ nights in the hospital, 48 renal ultrasounds, 27 in utero ultrasounds, 10 surgeries, 5 ER trips, 3 VCUG’s, 2 home nurses, and 1 central line later… and we are hole free! I have waited my entire motherhood for this and am filled with more joy than I could have ever imagined—I am so grateful to share that joy with you, too.
Goodbye, ‘#kidneybaby’. I will not miss you.