This little bubba of mine like to give us all a run for our money and is clearly a Plan B kinda guy.
First it was the feeding tube that didn’t work first time, and now it’s dialysis! It turns out that peritoneal dialysis just did not work on Finn.
The past few weeks have been a series of complications and operations – by far the most frustrating time yet. Not just for us but also for the surgeons and doctors who have been at a loss to understand why.
For whatever reason his body was not playing ball. Peritoneal is the more gentle form of dialysis which involves fluid going in and out of the peritoneum (abdomen area) to expel waste that his kidneys are unable to filter out.
Here’s how the nightmare played out… one week after the catheter tube was fitted he had a nasty infection of the surface wounds. Then when they inserted some fluid into his peritoneum it went straight into his testes (yep, that actually happened, poor Finny’s balls!!) So he had surgery to stop it from happening again. There was also scar tissue attached to the tube inside which needed to be removed, along with severe inflammation. And his body was basically absorbing all the fluid since nothing was coming back out, it all went to his face and feet. So in a nutshell it was a complete disaster!!
Now we are onto Plan B which is hemodialysis. This is the one they don’t like doing on babies because it’s so technically challenging and hard going on little people.
The last operation was out with the catheter and in with a permacath – this is a small tube fitted into a main artery and comes out of his chest which transports the blood in and out of his body. The doctors originally told me it would be in his neck, so thank goodness it’s not! I was imagining my baby to look like Frankenstein!! If anything is going to set off the waterworks that is it.
Hemodialysis involves blood being taken out of the body to be cleaned in a machine and a special filter called an artificial kidney, or a dialyser.
The main problem with hemodialysis on babies is the blood loss. Because babies only have a small amount of blood and not a lot to lose, having a large amount of blood outside the body can have dangerous side effects such as high blood pressure.
So today Finny also had a blood transfusion to give him some extra blood since his blood count has been very low. Especially after the infection and all the operations over the past few weeks.
It’s not great having someone else’s blood in your veins when your preparing for a transplant because it can make you resistant to certain things, which has the potential to affect how the body responds to someone else’s organ. The chances of this causing Finn’s body to reject his new kidney are very slim, but it’s still a risk.
One hemodialysis session down and three sessions a week for the foreseeable future to go…
As usual, despite everything Finn has been putting on a good show of smiles and giggles, and now his big fat cheeks are nice and rosy again.