When Charlie was in the NICU, his doctor ran a routine renal ultrasound because Charlie wasn't voiding. This scan revealed that Charlie, among his many other health issues, has a duplicate collecting system in his left kidney. Turns out this is pretty common. About 10 percent of people have an extra urine tube that connects their kidney to their bladder. This extra system is refluxing urine from Charlie's bladder into his kidney which puts him at high risk for urinary tract infections. Charlie has been on a low grade antibiotic for the past seven weeks, which is causing distress in the lower regions. Basically, he's constipated because of the meds. Yesterday, Charlie saw his urologist for a follow-up. They did another ultrasound that showed some abnormal swelling at the mouth of these tubes which denotes that the reflux might be worse than we previously thought. So, Charlie came home with a stronger dose of antibiotics and a promised return visit in three months for another renal ultrasound and a test called a Renal DMSA, which is a scope that will go up inside the tube looking for scar tissue and determine kidney functionality. The doctor will make a decision at that time about how we'll proceed. If he "grows out of it", she'll leave him be. If the swelling is still present and the kidneys show scar tissue from infection, she'll do surgery to eliminate the extra collecting system. The doctor said that with all of Charlie's other issues, he shouldn't have to expend extra energy dealing with infections. The last thing Charlie's doctor ordered was a spinal ultrasound. She noticed that his spine has a disc that is out of alignment and that his torso is very very long. Charlie's bladder, kidneys and digestive tract are set lower in his body than other babies and she's concerned that he is a little out of proportion. Charlie will see an infant chiropractor and also have a spinal ultrasound sometime in the following two weeks. So now, in addition to his regularly scheduled visits with the pediatrician, Charlie's fall line up looks like this:
October - spinal ultrasound, chiropractic care, repeat sedated MRI, ECI physical therapy
November - repeat Echo Cardiogram, meet with Craniofacial surgeon, continue ECI
December - renal ultrasound, renal DMSA, continue ECI
Again, thank you for your continued support and good wishes. Charlie is doing very well at home with his family and is now topping the scales at 12 pounds! He looks great and is showing all sorts of wonderful connected signs of health, personality and chutzpah!