Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pre-cath, check!

It always feels so good to get through a day a Children's. The anticipation, the preparation, and just thinking about whether I'll get there on time (which today, I was 45 minutes late), is stressful.

After the 2 hour trip from NH and snaking through Boston traffic, Luna and I arrived to the hospital at 8:15 this morning.

Each step is a mini process from admitting to checking-in to Cardiac Pre-Op-and saying Luna's birth date and our home address about 14 times before I even sit down-each transaction feels like a mini-triumph.

First on our list was X-Rays. We were whisked away quickly to radiology and taken into the sterile room almost immediately. Luna was swiftly undressed and put into compromising positions so the X-Ray techs could take good pictures. I donned a lead apron and held her tiny arms above her head, while her feet dangled off the edge of the bench. The images of her were quite startling. I mean, I really don't think of her having...and I loathe this term, half a heart. And then the fact that's it's on the 'wrong side'. Well, you just can't ignore it when you looking at the X-Ray photos, when there is a big 'R' for Right, and there Luna's heart, rather apple-shaped, sits, just under the big 'R'.

Next was blood work. Another fun procedure. The wait was long so there was plenty of time for both Luna and I to study those in the waiting room (really, let's face it...but isn't so fascinating to study the others waiting in the stiff blue chairs and wonder why they are here?).

After about an 1/2 hour Luna was called, or rather 'Laura' as the nurse hollered out. I carried my bundle back and we both sat in the 'blood chair'. All in all it was quick. Luna cried, but honestly, she's so good natured (read, not like Sienna at her age), that it was all over in the blink of an eye. The best part was all her labs came back as normal as could be. Despite her croup-y cough, this kid is just healthy.

Then we were ushered back up to Cardiac Pre-op for EKG, height and weight. I guess I was wrong to think Luna would never seen the teens in weight again; she weighed in at about 19.13 and is just about 29 inches tall (or long as they say before one can walk).

After some waiting, and protesting from Luna, the cath doctor came in to explain how tomorrow would all go down. As I said in my previous post, her errant blood vessel will be cauterized. What I was wrong about is this actually happens often in kids and adults with these type of heart issues. The body thinks it's being oh-so-smart in sprouting an oxygenated vessel down to the lungs (when ones sats are low), but really it's not good for the lungs-and heart. The lungs receive this oxygenated blood and thinks, "what the heck is this? we only take blue blood, and then blow oxygen into it and send it back out to the rest of the body. why are you sending me this blood that we already worked on?". And then the body responds with elevated blood pressures, and suddenly the lungs and the heart are duplicating their very perfected and very efficient work load, and they don't like it. That's how the cath doctor explained it to me, and strangely, it made perfect sense. So, tomorrow when Luna is in la-la dream land, the doctor's will insert 2 caths-one in the groin, and one in the neck. One cath will go to work with the balloon in an attempt to enlarge her left pulmonary artery, and the other will go to work in cauterizing the blood vessel, the one that thinks it's oh-so-smart and sneaky.

Still the body feels nothing during this. Nothing. Years ago this would have been an open heart surgery (the cath will casually snake through Luna's heart-while.it's. still. beating. to get to it's final destination (artery going to the left lung).

The whole sha-bang should take about 4 hours-tops. After that Luna will drowsily come to, and be instructed to lay flat for 4 hours; and then stay a night for observation. Come Thursday she'll go home and play with Sienna like nothing ever happened.

So, what are your plans for tomorrow?

1 comment:

Mindi said...

I am in awe of our little ones and those who take care of them. You seem in good spirits. Always a better approach to the hoop-jumping at the hospital. Soooo much love coming your way from way out West...

Mindi and McKay