Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Quest #2

I decided to post on a Facebook group called The Whole Network about my son's problem. A response I received suggested I contact the people at NOCIRC. So, I did that. I received an email back quickly. I was given a few names to contact. 

The next day we called one of those doctors, a pediatrician in another state. This doctor answered his home phone to talk to us. He explained that he was not a pediatric urologist, he was very foreskin friendly, but he was pretty sure that the chordee surgery would require a circumcision. He recommended that we call a foreskin friendly pediatric urologist. He gave us two names.

My husband and I called one of the doctors who wasn't in that day and emailed the other one. The one we emailed responded within a few hours. He said that because he couldn't see Lucky, he couldn't tell us for sure what to do. I understand that. I just wanted a general recommendation. He said that a circumcision is done with the chordee repair but he can do foreskin reconstruction IF there's enough skin. He also said he recommends surgery if there is a 30 degree bend with an artificial erection.

Neither of the doctors we saw did and artificial erection. So I'm not sure what to make of that. 

I also read this page where men talk about having hypospadias (hypospadias is common to have with chordee, although it can be separate and in Lucky's case it is, however you can't find a lot of info on just chordee alone). It seems like you can't win. Some men are happy their parents had the surgery done when they were little. Some men were mad at their parents for having the surgery done. And some were happy with their decisions. I read about men who were made fun of and boys who were deeply scarred - inside and out. I also read about men who had no problems at all. 

I still don't know what to do. My husband and I keep going back and forth. It's miserable.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

One Mother's Quest #1

We finally have a son. After five daughters, we were blessed with a little boy. I was shocked to say the least when the ultrasound tech told us it was a boy. I didn't think it was possible. I honestly thought the miscarriages I had were gender related.

Lucky came into this world in a birthing center. He was beautiful. I got to cuddle him right away and we were on our way home 2 hours later.

Fast forward six months...I asked the doctor to schedule a VCUG for him as well as one of my other children. My oldest daughter had a renal reflux which means urine goes back up to the kidneys and if it goes untreated can cause kidney damage. Hers was caught early and she was put on antibiotics and a few years later had surgery. Because there is a high risk of siblings having this disorder, we had to have each of our kids tested.

I slacked.

Well, no, the pediatrician in Virginia slacked. When our fourth daughter was born in Virginia, the pediatrician said they didn't routinely do VCUGs to test siblings. This was news to me. The state we lived in before highly recommended this test. Not really wanting to put her through the testing I stupidly caved and let it go.

Then we moved to the state we're in now. Our fifth daughter was born and was tested. Then came along our son. When daughter #4 had some toilet-ing issues, I asked our doctor to get both her and our son tested at the same time.

Our daughter is fine - thank goodness - if she had the reflux I probably could have gone ape on the pediatrician in Virginia.

Our son has renal reflux. Bilateral. Grade 2. This apparently isn't as big of a deal in a boy as it is in a girl. However, it's still recommended that he be on antibiotics until the reflux resolves on its own or surgery is done.

This was told to us by a pediatric urologist. He then discovered Lucky has a chordee. I asked him to write it down so I could research it. He said Lucky should have surgery to fix it soon. They would also circumcise him.

I shut down right there. I am intact friendly :) I believe little boys should be left alone. I do not believe we as a society should routinely cut off foreskin. I've heard all the arguments. And my response is and always will be "it's not my body" or "it's not my choice". This is his. If he wants to cut off a body part, he can when he's 18. This is not something we should do to our babies. There's nothing wrong with them!

I can't understand it. It's cleaner? Easier? Really?? You females out there... if someone cut off your labia because it was cleaner and easier for you, would you be okay with that? What about how it looks? If doctors and society cut off our nipples so that our breasts would be nice and smooth to the touch, would that be okay?

NO. No it wouldn't. No. No. NO.

So why is circumcision okay? Routine circumcision. I'm not talking about people who do it for religious reasons or people who have to have it down for medical reasons. I'm only talking about the routine circumcision.

Back to my story...I don't want my son circumcised. However the medical community seems to only know one way to fix a chordee and that happens to include circumcising. Now I have to decide whether he should have this surgery at all and if he should, do I allow the circumcision to be done? What if I can't find a doctor willing to do it that way?

I'm going to try and keep this blog updated with what's going on so if anyone else has this problem, they'll know they're not alone.