This week we had another appointment with the consultant for Aran, and things are all very positive.
It's almost a year since Aran was hospitalised with bronchial pneumonia and post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, and whichever bugs were destined to send him into renal failure on New Years Eve were already on their damaging path this time last year. It's been a long and agonising 12 months as we've seen how the most common of chest or throat infections can have worrying effects on already damaged kidneys. We've learnt to monitor and check and wait; we've learnt to just get on and deal with chronic illness, all the time being aware that this could be for life, or it could be not. We've learnt that this has all been down to an over-active immune system, and when the 2nd related condition, henoch schonlein purpura, was diagnosed we mostly gave up asking why, as the more we learnt the less we understood.
Aran's urine results have been clear for two months. He's had the snots and the sniffles and even a touch of what looked like impetigo this season and none of them have resulted in a hospital visit; they've not even registered on the dipsticks. We'll likely never get an all clear, that's not how it seems to work with the kidneys, but nonetheless, these results are the best we could have hoped for. Despite all the relapses and uncertainty, we've made it through and Aran's kidneys are functioning normally. We're back in clinic in 6 months, and if all continues to be well, we'll be discharged to our GP for annual kidney function tests; the consultant thinks it's very unlikely that Aran will develop chronic kidney disease.
To say we're relieved would be an understatement.
Last year I planned a break over Xmas but that didn't really happen, and this year I didn't want to plan the same incase I jinxed things. And with the EU VAT mess of a law, I can't really have a full break as there's a million and one things to be done before January 1st. But we are going to have a great Xmas with family, see friends, laugh and play, and generally try to make up for all the things we couldn't do last year. (in Aran's case I suspect that means eating all the chocolate and saying hell to the potassium; for me it'll mean having a drink on NYE knowing that we won't be woken by the doctors every two hours)
I'll be around, but I won't be answering non-urgent emails now until the New Year; a bit off time off is long overdue!