Wuan and I got up extra early today to go for my scheduled ultrasound of kidneys and bladder at the University Malaya Medical Centre/ UMMC (Pusat Perubatan Universiti Malaya / PPUM). The procedure took extra long as the radiologist referred the anomalies she saw in my kidneys and bladder to her colleagues. When I asked her the condition of my kidneys, all she could offer were that my kidneys were echogenic. I did a search at Google and the one of the listed websites said that echogenicity of the kidneys is not normal. That I know of my kidneys already. She also mentioned something about what appeared to be cysts in one of my kidneys. Apparently, there is still some swelling in the left kidney. What I do know is that I have hydronephrosis of both kidneys and that the left kidney is athrophied at 7cm compared to the normal size of 10cm or more. I will have to wait for the full report when I go back for my scheduled check up at the rehabilitation clinic next month.
Peter took me to see the urologist this morning. This is the follow-up to my previous consultation with the doctor and to receive the results of the x-ray and ultrasound of my abdomen.
The diagnosis: I am suffering from hydronephrosis and atrophy of my left kidney. The flow of urine begins in the collection system of the kidneys. It then flows down the ureters to the bladder. Hydronephrosis is the dilation of the kidneys. This could be due to the collection system being obstructed, or when vesicoureteral reflux occurs.
Vesicoureteral reflux is the backflow of urine from the bladder into the kidneys, caused by a neurogenic bladder. I have a neurogenic bladder because of my spinal cord injury. The abnormal pressure in the kidney caused by the reflux and the stagnation of urine will damage and eventually cause the kidneys to fail.
The treatment: Continue with intermittent catheterisation. My bladder does not empty completely. I use a catheter to drain it to prevent a reflux. This I perform every three to four hours throughout the day. I am to take bladder antispasmodic medication to relax the bladder and to prevent it from involuntarily contracting. The bladder antispasmodic I was taking produced uncomfortable side effects such as drying of the eyes and mouth, blurred vision, decreased sweating and nausea.
I was also advised to prevent bladder infections by taking potassium citrate (pot cit) which will make my urine alkaline. Now, pot cit is the most awful tasting liquid I have ever taken, but that is a little discomfort I have to endure to continue maintaining my urinary system?s health.