Our 23 month old daughter has vesicoureteral reflux (VUR). Simply put, it's a condition whereby urine that's already in her bladder will reflux back up into her kidneys and collect there, increasing the risk for urinary tract infection and potential kidney damage. There's a small defect in her ureter that allows this to happen and, statistically, she should outgrow it by the time she is 6 years old. Until then, she requires yearly testing and has only recently stopped taking a daily low-dose antibiotic intended to help prevent frequent infections.
She was diagnosed when she was 2 months old and has thus far had no issues relating to this condition at all. She's only had one urinary tract infection and it was so minor that it didn't even require treatment. The tests done a couple of months ago showed no change since last year, leading her urologist to believe that she's going to be one of the 75% of kids who outgrow it, not need surgical intervention, and have no long term effects. Obviously, this has been an answer to our prayers.
Recently though, we've been experiencing one of the common issues relating to VUR: difficulty in potty training.
G completely gets the concept of potty training. When she began showing signs of potty readiness, I began taking her, going through the same steps I did with W and H. She knows that when she has to pee, the potty is the place to go. And she's verbal enough to tell me so. She recognizes the need to potty and will say (or scream at me, depending, ha!): "I need to go potty, Mama". And she gets SO excited when she pees in the potty. There's cheering and dancing and her excited little voice telling everyone that she used the potty. Sometimes, she misses the mark and tells me after she's already wet her Pull-Up, but that's part of training. It's normal.
Sometimes, though, she'll be cruising right along, wearing her big-girl panties cause she's been doing so, so good and then: Pee. She'll pee, a ton, seemingly without realizing that it's even happening. The look of surprise on her face tells me that she didn't know it was coming. She didn't feel the normal hey-I-gotta-pee urge, yet the pee came anyway. This is one of the side effects of having VUR.
In the grand scheme of things, I know that this is totally a minor thing. A little difficult potty training versus having a surgical correction? No question. But, still, I hate that she has to deal with this. The same way I hated that she had to take a medication every single day. I didn't want that to be her normal. And this, I just crave normalcy for her and I thought we were nearing that when she was able to come off the meds. I want her to be able to wear big-girl panties and not be confused by the fact that Mommy keeps putting Pull-Ups back on. I hate that it might be confusing for her. She's just figuring out how a part of her body works and it's not working properly. I know she'll adjust and that, in her 23 month old mind, it's not even an issue at all. The issues are all mine, I get that. I'm just one of those crazy Mamas that wants nothing but the absolute best for her babies and I hate that this condition even exists.
And, obviously, it's easy to surmise that all of this "hate" is really just fear and worry in disguise. I worry about what the future holds as far as her VUR goes. I know that she's on the good side of those 75% statistics, but still. I'm also one of those crazy, neurotic Mamas that worries about everything. Will her condition worsen and require surgery when she's in kindergarten? Will her kidneys become scarred and leave her at risk for more serious complications later in life? Will I be buying Pull-Ups for the next 2 or 3 or 4 years? These are the things I'm thinking about right now. Most of the time, VUR rarely ever crosses my mind. But, sometimes, out of the blue, it hits me like a truck, and I just feel haunted with worry and anxiety and all the what-ifs.
That's where I'm at right now. G, on the other hand, is trucking right along. She doesn't care that she pees freely all over the carpet or her booster seat or my lap. She's cool with all of that, in fact. ;) So, I'm trying really, really hard to just go with the flow (so to speak, ha!) and take her easy-going attitude and know that it's all going to be okay.
That and these, of which I am continually reminding myself:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11and
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28and (especially)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6