Friday, April 17, 2009

A Brand New Day.

Am I ever glad to have the catheter behind us. The procedure itself-naturally the most important part-went as smoothly as it possibly could. The logistics end of it was a little tedious.

Luna was scheduled for the 9:30 slot, and after getting Sienna ready for her big school portraits, and then dropping her at our friend's house, then The Architect and I arguing about what vehicles to drive (he wanted to follow Luna and me in his truck, which in the end was the better idea because it avoided him having to drive the 120 round trip to the hospital to come retrieve us when we were discharged), and then battling the usual rush hour traffic; we were more than a little deflated when a nurse scurried toward us upon walking in to say there was an emergency-an infant needed an emergency cath-so could you please come back at 12.30. She gave Luna a bottle of apple juice (the last meal she had eaten was a Happy Meal at 4pm the day before, and as of this writing-Friday morning 7:15, she's eaten nothing but a few Cheerios and Pirate's Booty).

So, we gathered all our belongings and shuffled out of the waiting room and made our way down to the lobby. The lobby in Boston Children's Hospital; with its larger-than-life moving sculpture made up of pulleys and tracks where the kiddos (and adults) can spend hours following the balls' journey through the optical course; rivals the best children's museums around. Then there is a huge fish tank filled with exotic species, and of course the cushy lounge with a giant flat screen TV which airs PBS all day, until about 6pm when, depending upon the season, the janitors and service men and women change it to the Bruin's, Celtic's or Red Sox game.

We bided our time nicely during our wait. Luna watched Sesame Street, The Architect made work e-mails and phone calls, and I filled out the monster application for Katie Beckett (more to come on why it's incredibly important to enroll your special needs child-whether it be heath, emotional, or learning into this federal program).

At 12:15 we made our way back up to the cath floor-where we waited till nearly 3pm until they finally took us back. (It should be noted that Children's is a teaching hospital, and of course a major health institution mecca. Upon walking in there are signs stating that whether you speak Chinese, Cantonese, or perhaps a rural dialect of some remote country, whatever your tongue, there are trained personnel who can spring into action on a seconds notice to translate your child's medical procedure for you. Says a lot, huh?)

So, this next part I'm about to describe is a repeat of pre-Glenn, pre-cath and pre-sedated echos; and by now you're probably pretty used to hearing about Luna getting the 'happy juice'. Only this time, because she had just been napping, the happy juice wouldn't knock her out. For over a half an hour we watched Luna sway and babble, and yes, hiccup. I'm thinking if in the near future there is a roll for a drunken sailor in the pre-pre school play, Luna should try out. Remember in old cartoons when they would depict one of the character's drunk, say like Tom from Tom & Jerry? That's how Luna was acting. Luckily she's a happy drunk, and not a belligerent one, so we weren't asked to leave or anything.

Finally the nurses took her back because it was clear she wasn't going to fall asleep. Luna protested only a little, then gave Paul and me a sloppy wave, and was whisked back where the anesthesiologists would don her face with a tiny gas mask so they could then safely insert the IVs.

The entire procedure took exactly 2 hours. And it went exactly as planned. Dr. Bergersen, the cath doctor, took us back to show us the footage (which once I receive the disc, I'll post here, very amazing can see the balloon working it's magic on her left pulmonary artery-crazy!).

The best part was the results. The catheter, as I said in my last post served three purposes: enlarge the LPA, cauterize the errant blood vessels, and provide detailed information of Luna's heart, lungs and arteries. The catheter achieved all this-safely, and relatively un-invasively (is that a word?). And the results? Her heart is functioning perfectly, and her pressures, well they are just the same as someone with normal heart and lung function.

Her anatomy may look very different from yours and mine, but her body; well it's functioning just the same.


Mindi said...

I'm on the edge of my seat for the video--sounds Magic School Bus-esque. Again, thanks for making all this scary stuff look easy. I realize it's unfair that you always have to go first, but we do appreciate it ;)!

ann said...

So, so glad you had an uncomplicated stay! Blessings to you all.