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“Wrinkled Kidney” Never Sounded So Good!

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Just a quick update for anyone who actually reads my blog and is curious. In Tuesday’s blog “When leaving on vacation feels like going to the hospital”, I mentioned that my son had a follow up with his pediatric urologist on Wednesday.

And, wait for it…

We got GOOD NEWS!!! Where as our previous pediatric urologist only ever gave us bad news using his bad beside manner, the current pediatric urologist has only ever given us good news! He said my son’s left ureter seems to be working properly. His left kidney has shrunk from 3.8 to 2.5. I don’t know what unit of measure that is or how they can think that is reliable from an ultrasound, but I DON’T CARE! Good news is good news.

They said his kidney showed “wrinkling”. Think deflated balloon. Which is good, because that means it is no longer dialated (experiencing pressure stretching it out), which could do permanent damage. My son’s left kidney has been dialated since it was created, and he is 16 months old now. That is a long, scarey time. This is the news we have been waiting for since he was in utero! And now he can quit taking preventative antibiotics! Which he has been on most of his 16 months on this planet.

Next up is another ultrasound in 6 months. So happy! Ya!

We totally should have hugged the doctor. Heck, I should have kissed him. I did throw up my hands and yell “ya”.

I’m not stalking you. is NOW ON FACEBOOK! “Like” that I’m not stalking you and get an update when there is a new post to read. (It is sort of like YOU are stalking ME.)

Rating Hospital Rooms

I have spent a lot of time in hospital rooms over the past year and one month. In three different hospitals. In two different states. It seems only right to write a blog where I rate them, as my husband and I are constantly comparing them in our heads anyway.

Apparently the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital has been totally rebuilt and has only had the new building open for about three weeks. The room is a nice size. There is plenty of room for a crib, stroller, the sleep chair, and the obligatory rolling hospital table. There is also a couch that folds into a twin bed. In our twelfth floor room is a half-window which overlooks…a cemetery. Kinda morbid.

There is a super fancy multi-media TV system in the room. It lets you watch television, get on the Internet, watch a few pre-selected family movies, and watch videos on hand-washing. But you either have to use a keyboard to navigate it or the TV remote. If I am holding my son (which is all he wants after being sliced open), I can’t put a keyboard in my lap and it is hard to use the TV remote when it is attached by a cord to the wall—on the OTHER side of the crib. Also, there is Surround Sound. That makes it very difficult to watch TV while my kid is sleeping. Also, the speaker on the TV remote has static –very sad considering it is supposedly only three weeks old. And it is missing obviously useful buttons such as “mute” and “closed captioning”.

The fold-out couch has a design flaw where you can’t lay too close to the back of it. The bathroom is private with a shower, but it is made so that you could probably use the toilet and take a shower at the same time. The rooms also have a wall of windows open to the hallway. There is a curtain you can pull, but we all know that it is opened again as soon as the first nurse pops in. It makes you feel a bit like a zoo animal.

The Toledo Children’s Hospital can go either way. You can end up with a room no bigger than a closet—so small there isn’t even room for the obligatory rolling hospital table. So small it has a tiny shared bathroom, no shower.

You can end up with an average room, which will barely hold a crib, two sleeper chairs, a stroller, and the obligatory rolling table. It had a roomy private bathroom, but no shower. There was a shared parent shower available. Which can be very inconvenient if you stay multiple nights with your child.

If you are super lucky, you will get one of the new rooms at the Toledo Children’s Hospital. They have a full wall window, a couch that converts into a double bed, a bathroom with a tub and shower, and a large flat-screen TV. That room felt like a hotel. Especially since by the time we got into that room my son wasn’t very sick and the staff mostly left us to ourselves. OK. Correction, like a VERY EXPENSIVE HOTEL.

The most spacious hospital room I have ever had the pleasure of staying in was in the maternity ward at Bixby Medical Center in Adrian, Michigan, when my son was born. There was a hospital bed, obligatory rolling table, a small round dining table, two chairs at it, two rocking chairs, a fold out couch, and an entertainment center. At one point, we had an electric wheelchair and a wide wheelchair in there too yet. It also had a private bathroom with a shower stall.

You will notice that I only rated the rooms themselves, and not the service. I believe your service depends on who your nurse or doctor is and what their mood is that day. I have noticed that you can ask any employee at Toledo Hospital how to get somewhere within the hospital and they will not only help you, they might walk you there personally. At U of M Hospital, I have asked people how to get to the main cafeteria and where the billing department is. Both people said they would let me know…I am still waiting for that information.

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