Update

Over the last couple of days the doctors have been busy with me again. I’ve had another MAG3 renogram, a gastrografin test, and a detailed MRI of my pelvis, kidneys and ureters. It’s been a fun-filled couple of days.

I’m now waiting for all those diagnostic tests to be interpreted, and feedback to go back to my surgeon, who will coordinate that and pass it all back to me along with whatever recommendations he thinks most appropriate.

The radiographers running the MAG3 renogram were first up. And very close-mouthed too. They wouldn’t tell me anything, or show me any of the pictures they were taking, which was a bit frustrating. Especially as the whole process took 4 hours. Mind you, a good proportion of that was them trying (and largely failing) to cannulate me, which was quite amusing when viewed in retrospect. Not quite so much fun at the time when I’ve got two of them working on both my arms at once, vying to see who can find a usable vein first. Now I know what a pin-cushion feels like!

Obviously, I know that my left kidney will be reduced function compared to my right. It won’t have improved since the last test. But the key question is, is it now stable, even though they have removed the stent? If it is, then all is good. If not then the urologist is going to want to take some actions fairly quickly to try to rectify the situation. And if he can’t solve it, my surgeon will want to start thinking much more seriously about moving me along to the colostomy. So I’m really just hoping for signs of stability.

The gastrografin test was as unpleasant as usual; having said that, it is somewhat mitigated by the delightful staff who administer it. The radiographer and consultant radiologist are lovely, and genuinely make the process a lot easier to bear. The consultant radiologist tells me that the abscess looks very well defined, but couldn’t say (immediately) whether the cavity is healing up or not. He’ll need to compare the scans with the last set to be able to give me that information. I expect that will come via my surgeon in a couple of weeks time. One thing that dealing with the medical profession teaches you; patience.

The MRI scan was much longer than normal. This was because they wanted a much more detailed image of the ureters and kidneys than previously, as well as the whole of my pelvis as before. In the end I was in the machine for about 45 minutes. I always used to think of myself as being quite claustrophobic, but actually once in the machine I found it quite relaxing. It’s a chance to turn off the outside world and actually think about some of the problems that I’m working on at the moment. I’m not sure I came to any successful conclusions, but at least it distracted me from the confined space I found myself in!

One thing of note, in addition to all the standard programmes that I’ve been through before, they also ran a special programme on the machine where it monitors your breathing, and then automatically and repeatedly scans you at the same point in your breathing cycle, eliminating the movement caused by your breathing. Very impressive stuff.

So now I just have to wait to see what the tests have shown, and what the surgeon and his team of experts think is the right next step.

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