Thursday, April 24, 2008

And now for the technical stuff...

A few weeks ago at one of Luna's appointments, her cardiologist drew a picture of her heart. This is not anatomically correct as she wanted to make sure I told everyone, but it does give you a pretty good idea of what Luna looks like on the inside.

And this is a normal heart...

As you can see right away Luna's heart is flipped. That is due to her dextrocardia. Then you'll also notice she only has one ventricle, rather than two, and in fact where you see four chambers in the normal heart, Luna really only has one big one. (I know, it's almost unbelievable...I often look at her pink smiling face and think in amazement of how different her heart is from mine or Paul's or Sienna's). I am slowly understanding her anatomy (or anyones for that matter...why or why didn't I pay attention in biology class??...the fact that I can't even remember who my teacher was or whether or not I even took it is not a good sign!)

As I am finally understanding all this, most of Luna's surgeries are/will be like re-routing the plumbing of her arteries. One of Luna's diagnosis is Pulmonary atresia-turns out pulmonary simply means lung and atresia means 'missing'. Translation: Luna is missing a piece of the branch that goes to the lung. That was the first correction she had in her surgery at 2 days old. Now, as it turns out, she also has pulmonary stenosis...stenosis means narrowing. Translation: the branch leading to her left lung is narrowed. For this we'll all head back into Children's this coming Sunday so Luna may undergo a balloon catheter. This is a procedure that's been around for over 20 years. Luna will be admitted Sunday so she may be sedated and set-up on an IV of fluids for the night. Then on Monday morning the doctor will insert the cath into her groin, specifically into the main artery called femoral artery. The cath will have a tiny balloon on the tip. Once the cath is snaked through her body and up into her left pulmonary artery the doctor will inflate the balloon in attempt to enlarge the 'branch'. When I was first explained of this my stomach sank, but it turns out our arteries, and particularly those of babies', are really resilient. Realistically Luna may have to undergo this procedure a few times before the artery finally stays open on it's own, allowing for blood and oxygen to once again flow freely into her left lung.

So, please be thinking of lil' Luna this coming Monday. Hopefully this balloon is going to work it's magic and open up that pesky artery!

"brand new"

Here's Luna just yesterday...she's a big 5 weeks old now!

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