Thursday, April 19, 2012

When you don't know the difference

A few of you may know that my son Jasz had surgery.  Most of you didn't know the reason why as I didn't want my son the butt of future anatomy jokes.  A recent discovery made me realize though, that the correction which was made was not a cosmetic thing.  You see my son was born with a condition called  Hyposadias.  In laymens terms he had two urethral openings.  Only one was functional and it wasn't even noticed until he was nearing two.  At the time the Dr. who discovered it thought there were no pediatric urologists locally and we would need to go to LA.  He did not seem alarmed however, so we kind of put it on the back burner.

It wasn't until a friend was talking to us that we discovered there was a good pediatric urologist right here in town.  I took him in and it was about a two month wait to get in.  He looked at him and said sure enough he does.  He said it required surgical correction and it was a medical necessity.

I didn't understand why it was a medical necessity though, but trusted his expertise on the issue.  I doubted myself right up to the day of the surgery. Was I just having my son mutilated, was it really necessary?  I had nightmares over it.  Every worst case scenario went through my head. The only thing I had noticed was his pee stream angled up...I didn't think that a medical urgency.

Thank God my husband took the day off to help his basket case wife.  I could have done it alone, but it sure nice to have him there.  My son had no fear and was his usual charming self.  After the surgery, he even groggily said that the Dr. was nice.

The end of that day he was hurting and we had to give him the pain medicine they prescribed.  Come the next day we no longer had to.  It stung when he urinated so he could tell when he had to pee.  He mentally prepared for it and by the end of the second day was peeing on the potty like a big boy.

Once the intial pain left, there were a few things I noted.  One my son told me, "the Dr. fixed my penis"  Okay well that tells me he noticed a difference and it was a good thing.  Secondly, my son used to wake up with a beyond saturated diaper in the morning.  I mean the diaper, his jammies, and the bed soaked EVERY morning.  I was doing laundry A LOT!  I also had noted when he was around 18 months that his morning urine smelled like Maple syrup.  Well we had him tested for all kinds of things based on that and all came back negaitve. No answer to that question that kept nagging me, "Why?"  Well after the surgery, that morning smell went away as well as the overloaded diapers. 

At the post op appointment I asked the urologist about this.  He told me that for Jasz this surgery was medically necessary.  When he began operating he found the problem was more severe than originally thought and he has a SEVERE blockage.  That means when he peed it likely hurt every time.  It also meant that he was likely unwilling/unable to completely empty his bladder.  Likely the urine was backing into his kidney's thus creating that sweet smell and the overloaded diapers in the morning.  Likely the night time was the only time his body could relax enough to emply the bladder.

I have been pondering this for a couple of weeks.  There were times when my son was less than a year that he would scream his head off uncolsolibly all night long.  It would happen about once every couple of weeks.  He would sleep well for two weeks and then we'd have the scream night.  After we learned of his muscle issues, I thought "oh he must have been having muscle pain...poor guy."  We had taken him to the Dr. many times and no answer was ever found.

Hind sight happens again and I wonder if when my little guy was less than a year the pain of peeing was keeping him up and after a year he got used to it.  So by three he knew nothing else. It was just how life was to my little guy.  He never told us it hurt to pee...he assumed it hurt for everyone. 

I really have a better understanding of how kids and people in general cope with many horrible things.  When you know nothing else, that's just how life is.  I've heard that said by many a victim of child abuse, they assumed it happens in everyone's home.  They didn't know the pain was unusual.

I feel great now knowing we made the best medical decision we could for our son.  I am so thankful he doesn't have to hurt like that anymore.  I looked up my sons issue on google so I could remember what it was called and stumbled on a posted question by a mom whose son is my sons age and has the same issue.  The responses boggle the mind.  Things like, you should do nothing as it will cause trauma and nightmares and he'll blame you; or you should let him decide when he's old enough to; or it's not causing harm leave it alone.

Well speaking as a mom whose son had that issue, we thought our sons was minor and not really causing a problem either.  I also wouldn't leave medical decissions up to a Yahoo question board.  But realistically we didn't know anything was truly medically wrong in that department. We didn't know the difference. 

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