So I decided to write this while it was still fresh in my head. I really should do that more often, but it all ends up being said in the end regardless, so it’s ok.
Today was a check-up appointment for Patrick with Nephrology. This is the second time in a row I’ve come out of an appointment with information I didn’t have previously. I am known to ask questions of the doctors and nurses, and they know I will continue to ask questions and talk to them till I am comfortable in my understanding and knowledge of whatever the issue is. It looks as though I will need to start asking more detailed questions about reports, tests and scans. I have also requested all clinic and hospital reports for the past year and all scans since 2005.
Let me start by saying that the update I’m about to give, may not sit well with many and I will emphasize repeatedly that we are/everyone is to dwell on the positive aspects of this information.
Without going into extreme details, I will begin with a bit of history that perhaps some don’t know or didn’t realize. One of the ‘symptoms’ that typically goes with Patrick’s diagnosis of Meckel Syndrome, is polycystic kidneys. This means that it is common for the kidneys to have and/or be covered in cysts. The cysts get so bad that the kidneys end up having problems functioning and eventually shut down. When Patrick was born, no cysts were detected or found. A few years ago, a few started showing up on his ultra sounds. There were only about 3 in total. There had been no real issues with his kidney function…till about 4yrs ago. It started to decrease.
In April of this year, we found out Patrick was in Stage 2 Chronic Kidney Disease and his kidney function had decreased to 60-65%.
Now, let’s jump to the present.
The appointment this week has brought some more information to light and also given us a bit of a reality check about this issue. We’ve always known his kidneys were and were going to be an issue, but it’s always been tucked in the back of our minds as there hadn’t been any major issues and he was being managed well to look after them as best as possible to prolong them as much as possible.
Information this week has told us, Patrick’s kidney function is now 50%. He also has more cysts on his kidneys. The bigger Patrick gets, the harder it will be on his kidneys.
The Doctor told me that when his function gets to 30%, we will begin having talks about what will be the options for Patrick and what will be in his best interest. A number of factors will come into play at that time, so it’s not something that can be discussed to much this early on. The Doctor also mentioned that sometimes it is good to begin to discuss some of these things now, as it is generally more difficult in the ‘actual’ moment and our judgement can be ‘clouded’ sometimes in those types of situations.
They are managing him as best they can, as I mentioned, to prolong his kidney life as long as possible. Some of the things they monitor are his phosphate and potassium levels, his blood pressure, his meds and a few other things. Patrick’s ‘numbers/levels’ are good at this time under the circumstances, and that’s a great thing!! It means he’s being managed well! Let’s keep that in mind!
Not to put a damper on things, or to sound morbid, but to a degree the reality of the situation has been brought a little closer to the front of our minds now. The reason being, if his function continues to decrease at the rate it is now, we’ll be having these talks within 2 yrs.
But let’s try not to dwell on the future too much at this moment. Patrick is a happy boy! He loves school and being around his friends and family! He loves to do crafts and bake! He loves going for drives and music! He’s an amazing young man! He’s doing better and being looked after by the best people! His numbers are good at this point as mentioned previously, so again, his health is being managed well at this time!
How can you smile not smile at this guy?