Chung Shan Medical University Hospital turned out to be an unwelcoming labyrinth of poorly-lit, low-ceilinged corridors filled with assorted cripples, coughing children and their zombie relatives. That's probably how we appeared to others! I must admit I felt thankful for having opted to wear an N95 surgical mask. Kelly's mum came down for the day and accompanied us to the hospital.
I've never seen such a crowded waiting room. It took about forty-five minutes for the little red number above the doctor's door to turn from 1 to 6. Our number was 22. Kelly's mum went in and told the nurse that we didn't have enough milk powder to wait another hour so could we please jump the queue? Yes, we could! I wonder whether a study could be conducted to determine whether or not queue-jumping behaviour confers a selective advantage in homo sapiens . I digress.
The doctor said that Lucas need not have an operation right away because VUR (urinary reflux) is not life-threatening and there is no particular advantage in having an early operation as opposed to one at 12 months of age. Also, general anaesthesia in young newborns involves much greater risk than in older babies. Dr. Hsu confirmed the Jen-Ai doctor's diagnosis that he has primary VUR but only grade 3-4 in the left kidney, not 4-5. It does mean though that Lucas can't get private medical insurance for the next two years or until he has a negative VCUG test.
Lucas will need to take antibiotics for up to a year so that the infection won't return. The reflux will continue until his tubes/valves have fully matured. Most cases resolve by themselves so there is a high chance that he won't need an operation. It was a great relief to hear that. So, antibiotics for one year followed by a repeat VCUG scan. Other than that he is fighting fit. He now weighs 4.7kg.
[For those of you who are wondering, the baby paint victim shown here has nothing to do with Lucas's medical condition! I stuck this pic in purely for your visual entertainment. I got it off one of those funny picture collections on the net.]