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Posts Tagged ‘tests’

  1. Preparing for my Baby to Have Anesthesia

    March 10, 2012 by Michelle

    More than a month of sickness and two weeks after I first called to schedule, it’s done. The endoscopy/lower colonoscopy is scheduled. (The lower colonoscopy is actually called something else I can’t remember at the moment.)

    Getting the call from the scheduler yesterday saying it had made it through the channels and we could set a date was a relief at first. Finally! But anxiety crept in shortly after.

    My bunny will be put under anesthesia.

    It’s real. Less than two weeks away. She’s just 21 months old. And though I know this procedure will give us some answers blood work couldn’t, it’s still stressful. I’m tempted at times to just exercise my parental right to say, “She’s just small, no more tests!” But that would be denying her care if it turns out there is something that can/should be done.

    I’ve met moms who’ve told me they’ve been through rounds of tests to eventually find out nothing is wrong. But I’ve met the flip side also. Gut may say everything is ok, but I’ll feel a lot less guilty if I do all I can.

    I’m told someone will call before the procedure to discuss it. In the meantime questions run through my head.

    • Will I be with her the whole time? And do I want to see the procedure if I am allowed with her?
    • How long will she be out?
    • Will she wake up calmly, crying, screaming?
    • Will she feel any pain afterward?
    • what side effects might she experience?

    A friend knows an anesthesia nurse I may talk to. But I’m curious from you. Has your child ever had anesthesia? What was it like?


  2. Sweat Test, Not So Easy

    January 7, 2012 by Michelle

    Ok, so this post is about the sweat test, which we did to rule out cystic fibrosis, but I’ll start with something light from our visit.

    Just before the test, I took Bunny to the family restroom to change her. It’s a nice restroom with an adult height toilet, a kid height toilet, & a changing table. After I change her, I put her down on the ground so I can throw out her diaper. In about 3 seconds, the following happens:

    Bunny dunks her hand in the kid toilet. I hear the splash and say, “No!” quickly pick up and throw her sippy cup (instead of diaper) in the trash. Reach in to get it back and turn around again to her splashing saying, “water!”

    It was almost a nice, funny little moment before we started in on an hour-long test.

    Sweat Test Procedure, 20 Minutes of Screaming

    Once we washed hands after the toilet incident, it was time to get started.

    While the test shouldn’t be a painful one, the first 20 minutes or so was miserable. The test was in a similar room to where they draw blood, so the crying started when the technician started wiping her arms clean with water.

    After cleaning, the technician placed two metal plates, with a piece of gauze in a solution to encourage sweat underneath, on her arm. Then she attached electrodes to each one and turned on a light current (which can cause a tingling sensation) for 5 minutes. I got to hold her and the free arm down, the technician held the arm getting stimulated.

    This is when the technician brought out the iPad. While a cool concept, (they have a few kids apps loaded up and it’s wrapped in plastic to clean between kids) bunny wasn’t interested. We got a few seconds distraction at one point, but it was pretty much red face screaming, crying, and drooling.

    After 5 minutes of stimulation, she removed everything and taped a special sheet to her arm to absorb the sweat. The technician then wrapped the arm in a blanket.

    Then, it was time for arm two.

    Waiting for Sweat

    We left the room, two arms wrapped, and instructions to wait for 30 minutes. I quickly found a place to sit and nurse. Thank goodness for still nursing, cause no saying how long it would have taken to calm her down otherwise.

    After that, we managed to relax and I even got some smiles out of her. 🙂 Here’s a photo from our wait with the giant armbands. She’s looking out into the open lobby area at CHOP.

    20120107 181322 Sweat Test, Not So Easy

    When it was time, the technician came out to get us. Bunny was walking in her direction, saw her, and turned around. Smart kid.

    Anyway, the technician said it looked like we got enough, so hopefully we’ll get a conclusive result this time. Hopefully results come Monday.

    Update Jan. 14, 2011:

    Test results came back normal, not inconclusive, normal. No cystic fibrosis. Phew.


  3. Test for One Thing, Find Another

    September 8, 2011 by Michelle

    After a little bit of procrastination & getting through a summer cold, I finally bit the bullet and did the urine test with Grace last week.

    This was not a fun test. To do it, we had to literally attach a bag with adhesive to her and wait. She took it much better than I was expecting, and once we managed to collect & get it to the doctors office, I relaxed.

    Test Results Call – “Good News and Not-so-good News”

    As baby bunny was racing around downstairs and I was gathering the energy to put her to bed last night, the pediatrician called. “I have good news and not-so-good news.”

    Good News – She does not have what we were testing for, Renal Tubular Acidosis (RTA).

    Not-so-good News – She was positive for a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).

    Ugh. As if having a UTI isn’t bad enough on it’s own, if she’s had it for a while undiagnosed, it could contribute to low weight gain. However, it’s a very unlikely cause she tells me. Could be totally unrelated and caught by chance!

    She also tells me, it could be a false positive. The only way to know for sure is to catheterize her and test again. She asks us to come in as soon as possible. Double ugh.

    Rush to the Doctor, to be Sent Home

    Tonight, after work (and two awful commutes with the flooding everywhere) I rushed right back out with baby bunny to have the follow up test done. Unfortunately, one of the docs never made it in today and when we showed up, no one could take us. So now, this semi-urgent test is delayed at least one more day, possibly two.

    Until then, I wait, wondering if she’s in pain and uncomfortable or perfectly fine. Though I don’t know anything yet, I can’t help but feel guilty that she may have been in pain for a long time. I can only hope the next test shows the first one was a false positive, then I only have to think about her being small.

    Update 9/9/11
    Second test showed no UTI. Phew.


  4. Blood Tests Inconclusive – More Tests to Come

    August 11, 2011 by Michelle

    After 3 phone calls in 5 days from my pediatrician (love that she’s giving us this much attention) I know very little. I’ve been up and down as she’s told us the results are mostly good but after consulting with others given us more things we need to test.

    Thyroid, blood count, and liver function were all good. However, her Celiac panel and Metobolic panel each had something that we’ll have to look into further.

    Disclaimer: The following is a summary as I understood it when it was explained to me and is unique to our situation. If you are in a similar situation, please speak with your own doctor.

    Celiac Panel – Low IGA

    The baseline IGA level (a type of antibody) was on the low side which apparently makes it hard to interpret the rest of the panel. According to the pediatrician, children with low IGA usually also have other symptoms such as chronic ear infections, which Baby Bunny doesn’t have. So it could be a fluke, but we’ll have to run this blood test again in a few months. Celiac faqs.

    Metabolic Panel – Low CO2

    Her CO2 levels were a little below the normal range. Apparently low CO2 could indicate Renal Tubular Acidosis (RTA), a disease of the kidneys. We’re doing a urine test to rule out this uncommon cause of slow growth.

    GI & Nutrition Consult in a Month

    With an inconclusive Metabolic panel, the pediatrician went ahead and ordered a Gastrointestinal and Nutrition consult. Those were difficult to schedule, but after half-an-hour on the phone I managed to get them back-to-back on a Friday morning in September. I’m grateful to have them scheduled finally so I don’t have to think about them for a while.

    I’ve included links for more information on both of the possible diseases, but I have not looked into either extensively because it is not worth it! I’m doing pretty well not freaking out, so why worry myself with details of diseases she might not have? The tests can rule things out, eventually leaving what I believe in my heart to be true, she’s perfectly fine.


  5. Doctor Orders Tests – Daddy Gets the Dishes

    July 23, 2011 by Michelle

    16 lbs. 6.4oz – I win the bet and am dishes free for the weekend.

    Of course, as predicted, our pediatrician went ahead and ordered a round of blood tests to test for Celiac, thyroid conditions, kidney function, and some other things I don’t remember. (Which is good so I don’t obsess over it.) Her reasoning, rule out the medical causes before we can say she’s just a petite baby and will catch up.

    But the reason for these tests is not so much weight, she told me, but the height, which has dropped off the curve a bit more, and isn’t in line statistically with my and my husbands adult heights.

    Personally, I have to say I’m not as concerned about the height either, just watching my Baby Bunny over the last year, she tends to get pudgy, stretch, pudgy, stretch, so depending on when the doctors visits land, the curve could be way off.

    WHO Growth Charts Drastically Change The Picture

    One HUGE revelation at this visit, is that her weight is not quite as dire as we thought. The lactation consultant at the last breastfeeding support group I attended tipped me off that the CHOP Care Network had recently added the World Health Organization (WHO) growth charts to their computer system, however, the default is still the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) growth charts. (Read more about pediatric growth charts.)

    So, when we plotted her Friday, she was 0.21 percentile, a drop from the 0.35 percentile on the CDC charts. Then, at the end of the visit, I remembered and asked about the WHO chart – which is much more accurate for breastfeed babies, with a click of a button, we went from a view of dropping off the chart, to a perfect 3rd percentile curve on weight. Phew. Where were these charts 6 months ago?

    Though as I mentioned above, even on the WHO charts, there is a length drop, hence the testing. If I can find the time, I plan to download the software from WHO to do some of my own plotting.

    Other Notes from this Visit

    At the last visit, Tom (hubby) accidentally left every weight check slip from support groups I had saved for her baby book. Turns out, the pediatrician had saved them! She’s a mom, too, and figured I’d want them. Hooray!

    The pediatrician is NOT concerned about breastfeeding as a problem. She told me her 2-year-old still breastfeeds and is a beast. So grateful for a pro-breastfeeding doc.

    If the blood tests come back normal, next steps are GI and nutrition consult. I’d actually love a nutrition consult anyway, but apparently they are tough to get without the blood work and a GI consult first.

    Docs and nurses agree, watching my tiny tot walk around the office is just plain adorable. 🙂

    Dishes, Dishes, Dishes

    So far Tom’s honoring the bet and doing the dishes. Of course last night he got off easy. We ordered pizza because it was too darn hot to turn on the oven. Tonight & tomorrow, I need to come up with some complex, multi-dish meals.