Thursday, April 30, 2009

Life is Blue-tiful!

The day before yesterday, when it was 90 degrees in April, in Northern New England, I took the girls to Luna's follow-up cardiology appointment. This was her big follow-up appointment to see how well the catheter worked. Maybe because both the girls are getting older-a full year older than when I first started bringing them-(and I always have both, mostly because I don't want to pay to have our beloved babysitter take Sienna, but also, these girls are two peas in a pod; neither one likes especially to be with me alone). Now that the girls are 13 months and 3, not 3 months and 2, it's almost getting....dare I say fun?

Due to the sweltering weather, I had brought the girls to the beach in the morning and as beach time goes, I happened to look at my cellphone while they made sandcastles, and realized it was already time to leave. I quickly dragged the girls off the beach and whisked them to Dr. G's, sandy bums and all.

Luna suffers through her appointments. She has been poked and prodded her entire life, and whenever someone starts to bring a stethoscope to her chest she screams at the top of her lungs. It's interesting to me that doctors can even hear what's going on inside of her, let alone listen for a dull heart murmur.

But not this time. Luna cried a bit. But once we got her settled down on the exam bed, in the darkened room with Happy Feet on the big screen-she sucked her bottle and giggled at the silly penguins on the screen. This meant that the echo, that normally takes over an hour, only lasted about 15 minutes. And because we didn't have all the screaming, squirming and hysterical gag-crying, Cindy, the sweetest echo reader in the world, got amazing shots.

The prognosis? Luna is looking great. The balloon dilation of her left pulmonary artery worked beautifully (to quote Dr. G). The run-away blood vessels, those are all gone, and best of all her heart function is perfect.

Dr. G and I talked about the road ahead. Right now Luna's sats are back down to the low 80's. This is fine and where we want them. Once she starts getting really mobile they will drop a bit, and yes, she will get blue. As Dr. G put it, 80's blue is somewhat undetectable-especially to the untrained eye. But 70's blue is blue. Like standing in the grocery aisle-your-kid-looks-awfully-blue blue. But fear not. This is normal. And all part of the plan. For the next year, up until Luna goes in for her last repair, that of course being the Fontan, the child is going to look rather indigo.

I say blue is beautiful. I declare Blue Is The New Black. Don't hate me because I'm blue-tiful. You get my point. The worst part will be for me, having to explain to mere strangers why my child's lips are purple.

Luna's vein in her neck will also become more noticeable as she grows and her body thins out. This is because her vena cava-the big ole vein coming down from the brain-is routed straight to her pulmonary artery (thus the Glenn Operation). So if you see a blue-ish child with a bulging vein in her neck, don't fret, it's just my child, pre-Fontan. I have the same mega-vein and I didn't even have the Glenn. Luna will match Sienna, who also has the 'neck vein'. When the older child has a toddler tantrum, her jugular jiggles and bulges, displaying a mini tantrum of it's own.

The other tidbit of information we learned is when we fly, Miss Luna will need to wear oxygen. Cabin pressure is not kept to normal-sea-level oxygen levels. Basically it's kept at an altitude equivalent to standing on a really, really tall mountain. The result? All of our sats drop. So if you were to slap a monitor on every index finger on the plane, everyone would read in the 80's rather than the high 90's where most folks hang. This of course explains why one Dixie cup of wine feels like you just drained the entire bottle-by IV-in 5 minutes. So, because of the already dropped cabin pressure, Miss Lu will have to wear oxygen when we take our first family trip as a foursome to Jamaica. The Architect, along with a few friends, suggested why can't Lu simply activate the drop down oxygen masks. This struck me as really funny and immediately conjured up scenes from the classic movie Airplane where Vicky from Love Boat is sucking in her cheeks, making fish face because the cabin pressure had dropped so low. We don't want Luna to suffer fish face any time during the flight, so when we check our baggage and make sure all our shampoos fit into a zip lock, we'll also have to 'clear' the oxygen tanks with customs. THAT will be the really fun part.

But we've got plenty of time before January. The entire summer is before us, and not.a.single.cardiology.appointment.till.August. (!!)


Mommy said...

Blue-tiful! I love it!

Can I hate you because you're going to Jamaica? Just a little? :)

Lyndsay said...

Those photo are gorgeous! As far as Jamaica ... can I hide in your suitcase?

Angela said...

Great update! How nice to read that she's doing well. :)

SteveC said...

The Blue Crew rules! :)

Steve - Sats 80%