Hospitals are funny places aren’t they? Such a mish-mash of people. I’ve spent quite a significant proportion of my day today (I’m writing this on Tuesday in, you guessed it, the hospital waiting room) at the hospital. Not entirely pregnancy-related and not all for matters pertaining to myself (which I won’t go into, because it’s not my business to share) but it has reminded me again how great the NHS is (even though my consultant is delayed) and what a huge cross-section of the community it serves.
I quite like our hospital. MiL commented to me recently that she thinks she doesn’t like hospitals because people always seem to come out more unwell than when they went in. But that hasn’t been my experience. Growing up my mum was in and out of hospital and had a number of large operations (most notably a kidney transplant when I was seven) but she always instilled in me that the doctors know what they’re doing and will make her better. And fortunately, thus far, she’s been right. She celebrates 25 years post-transplant this May. To say we are grateful to her donor would be a massive understatement.
I’m waiting now for an appointment with my kidney consultant. I have an annual appointment with him to check my kidneys are still functioning well (I’ve mentioned here before that I have ADPKD) and this time I want to know how (or if) the pregnancy and birth will impact on my kidneys.
I already know that I’m at a higher risk of pre-eclampsia because of my kidney disease and I take a (small) aspirin daily to try to prevent this and help the blood flow through the placenta. I’m under the impression that pregnancy could potentially speed up the development of the cyst growth on my kidneys and I’ve also heard about a new drug so I’ll be asking about that. I’ll update this post when I have the answers.
Update: I’m not leaking any protein in my urine (a very good sign that my kidneys are performing as they should be) and the consultant said that while there is a risk of pre-eclampsia, I’m at the low risk end of being a high risk patient, if that makes sense. So all good news.
Interestingly, while I had been led to believe by obstetrics that they would be able to detect cysts on the baby’s kidneys via ultrasound scan, the consultant told me that this is not the case, and would instead be determined via genetic testing, if I so wished. This is in line with what I knew previously about ADPKD, which is that cysts sometimes don’t become apparent until a patient is in their twenties. Whether we decide to go ahead with the testing is another matter. All food for thought.
What’s your view on genetic testing? Would you want to know?