Her test results are pretty similar to last time:
Creatinine: 220 (normal is around 60 for a child)
Urea: 8.6 (normal is <6.5)
Sodium: 143 (normal 135-145)
Hb: 137 (normal >100)
While we were there I took the opportunity to ask the specialist the 'big' question. For those who haven't been following, the 'big' question is:
"What do you estimate Ashlea's life expectancy to be?"
While the doctor can't obviously see into the future and answer specifically for Ashlea, she said that children born with renal failure often live to their 30's or 40's, depending on a number of factors:
If you have a transplant you are less likely to die than if you remain on dialysis - a transplant patient is 10x likelier to die than a person without kidney failure, a dialysis patient is 40x likelier;
If a child has a transplant that lasts much longer than usual (not unheard of) then they can do very well for a long period of time. The problems arise when the transplant fails (which most do eventually) and they need to be either re-transplanted or dialysed. I think around 10 years is average for the life of a transplanted kidney although some last much longer - and some much less.Obviously all us kidney mums expect our kid's transplants to last for at least 20 years...if not longer.
So, it would seem that the answer to the unanswerable question is.... 42? Well, not quite (sorry don't know how many people will get that reference). Seriously though, if 30 to 40 is a realistic life expectancy for Ashlea, I am pretty happy with that. It is a lot more than we ever thought we'd get.
And as much as the thought of your child dying before you is awful, in some ways it also provides a measure of comfort. Ashlea would be lost without Murray and I - our family is her whole world. At least if she were to go first, we could understand what had happened, we could know she was at peace, and we could look forward to our reunion in heaven. Ashlea may not have that ability. I would rather that I experienced the grief of losing her, not the other way around.