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Riding Out Another Storm

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After Cassie’s accident, I immediately disposed of all of her footie PJ’s. This was perhaps me being a bit neurotic, but I wasn’t going to leave anything to chance. Plus, I’m a planner. You know the old saying that “people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan”? Of course, the funny (or maybe not so funny) part is that things don’t always go according to plan. 

I put Cassie down for her afternoon nap. She was her usual happy self, but I noticed she felt a bit warm. I took her temperature and it was 101. I called our pediatrician and spoke with his nurse, Emily. She was so efficient and helpful. Jonathan and Cassie were new patients, but she acted like she’d known us for years. 

She told me to keep an eye on Cassie and to call immediately if her temp spiked. I wasn’t too concerned as she had had fevers before, and this appeared to be similar to those previous times.

That is, until she awoke from her nap. One touch and I knew her fever had spiked. It was now 104.5. So I called back and Emily was on the line within less than a minute. I told her about the fever but noted that Cassie was acting fine: she was alert and responsive. She put me on hold to talk to the doctor and when she came back on the line, told me to bring her right away. So once again, I packed her and Jonathan into the van and off we headed to UW (University of Wisconsin) Hospital and Clinics.

The UW is a big facility, with clinics housed on one side and hospital on the other. Therefore, trips to our pediatrician’s office were always quite the excursion, walking from the parking garage to the skywalk, then navigating numerous floors to his office. But he was a good doctor, kind and understanding, as was his staff. With a grip on Jonathan to my left and carrying Cassie we eventually made it.

We were escorted to an exam room where Emily and a resident entered shortly upon our arrival. The resident asked me a few questions and then took her temperature, which was now 106.5! He went into a panic. Clearly I was going to have to be the calm one, so I reminded him that while it was high, she was alert and responsive, as opposed to lethargic. 

When Dr Williams arrived, he quickly deduced it was a kidney infection, given her age and ordered tests and treatment for her fever. The test results confirmed his diagnosis, but it did not explain the cause. That would mean we had to try another test, and this time it would be performed by radiology. The upside was my husband was coming the next day, so he could stay with Jonathan.

Two days later, Cassie was given what the radiologist referred to as the “Baby BBQ”—his own daughter had the same procedure. Once again, I had the lovely job of holding Cassie’s arms still above her head downed in a lead apron, as dye was injected. Then the machine turned her side to side—indicative of the nickname given to the procedure— so the contrast dye could reveal the issue. Immediately the radiologist saw the problem: she had double ureters on both kidneys, all of which were currently refluxing. Urine was backing up, causing the infection. I was alarmed given it was her kidneys, but the doctor informed me it could be resolved typically within a few years of treatment. Ironically, his own daughter also had the same issue. It also explained why Cassie had a cast iron bladder!

She was put on a regimen of daily antibiotics and scheduled for the same procedure a year later. By the time of the second visit the issue had resolved itself and she luckily no longer needed to continue with medication. 

Needless to say, I was feeling battle fatigued from the onslaught of medical mishaps that kept popping up!  Add to that, there was still no word on Jonathan’s waiver application, so the pressure was mounting. I was also dreading the upcoming week when I would have to return yet again to UW to have Cassie’s stitches removed and with Jonathan in tow. In my mind, I was gearing up for another test of patience, fortitude and faith. What I was about to discover was something I never expected.

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