Last week Maraea started exhibiting symptoms of a UTI, so I brought her to the doctor. They informed me that they would have to catheterize her to collect a urine sample, to test for bacteria. The doctor assured me that "it doesn't hurt" and "they just don't like it" at this age. Well, I've never heard of anyone actually liking a catheter, but, I digress.
The first attempt at catheterization was not successful. Maraea screamed. And kicked. And cried. And wailed. For several minutes, till Dr. Dipshit decided that "it won't go in" and called it off. So instead, they taped a plastic sterile bag to her poor baby girl anatomy, strapped her diaper back up, and sent us out into the waiting room to wait for her to pee. About 45 minutes later they brought us back to check, and she had peed, but it missed the plastic bag and instead filled her diaper. Which was awesome, because, you know, I left the diaper bag at home. Since the bag didn't collect any urine, they decided to catheterize her again. The second time was even more traumatic than the first. It took three people to hold my baby down. I had to hold her arms and try to comfort her and keep her calm -- yeah right. Two nurses held her legs and her hips.
I have never heard a child scream like she did when they inserted the catheter. I will never let anyone do that to my child, ever again, unless she's sedated.
She was inconsolable when it was over. And covered in urine -- all up the back of her dress, all over the inside and outside of her diaper -- which again, was awesome, because I left the diaper bag at home. I was crying right along with her and probably was of no help in calming her down. All I could do was hold her and let her kick and let her scream and let her fight against me. I had helped hold her down, after all. I was one of the bad guys.
I got her calmed down enough to collect a doctor's note, hear that they had phoned in an Rx to Target, and leave the office, but then she screamed the entire 20 minute car ride home. Right into the house, right through a diaper and clothes change. She was utterly hysterical. And her legs kept jerking as if she had shots of pain coursing through her body. She was gasping for breath and breathing rapidly. I held her and apologized to her over and over and stroked her hair and tried to calm her down, and finally she exhausted herself and fell asleep on me.
She was not the happiest camper when she woke up, but she was at least calm. She wouldn't let me let her go. Poor thing clung to me for the rest of the afternoon.
Today, the pediatrician's office called me and told me they are switching her antibiotics because the one they put her on was not strong enough to kill the bacteria growing in her urinary tract. They also informed me that they recommend "that all children under 6 who've had a UTI" get an ultrasound of their bladder, and a VCUG. I had no idea what a VCUG was so I Googled it as any good parent would and found out that it involves -- guess -- yes -- another catheter! I practically started crying a that point, because there's no way on God's green earth that my daughter is gatting cathed again. The site even said that "sedation is rarely used". And really, is all this necessary for a child who's not yet potty trained who has only had ONE UTI?
I talked it over with my Motherboard Mamas (bestest friends in the universe) who all feel that it seems a little excessive. My husband also thinks it's excessive and I think what we'll end up doing is taking her for an ultrasound but cancelling the VCUG. We can revisit that procedure if she starts to have recurring UTIs but I really see no reason to traumatize her (or myself) again with catheters. I suppose I could call and ask that they would please sedate her, but I would really just rather not go through with it at all. She's had one UTI. Not several. And with potty training starting in a few months, maybe the risk will lessen as time goes on.
As a parent, what would you do? Would you put your child through a medical procedure that you know would cause her pain and anguish, if it seemed useless to you?