Friday, June 15, 2012

We made it!

After what felt like a marathon traveling experience...we made it to Philadelphia. We got to sleep around 3 am after dealing with the world's dumbest people at every turn. Poor Jensen traveled in too many types of transportation for one day...strollers, car seats, planes, trains, and automobiles (literally)! Our trip also involved a mad dash through Atlanta. Here's a visual: Jeremy has a back pack and diaper bag strapped across his chest like some warrior from Braveheart (if only we had some face paint). In one hand he's carrying a car seat, in the other the folded-up stroller frame, each weighing about 20ish pounds. I'm running behind him precariously holding a 15 pound wiggly kid that for some reason is still awake at 11pm and a bag filled with milk and tons of medication. Jeremy holds the folded-up stroller in front of him like a shield and literally pushes people of the way. If I weren't so out of breath from sprinting with a chunky baby, I would have laughed hysterically. Thankfully, we did catch our connection in Atlanta. We showed up out of breath, sweaty, and frantically looking for our boarding passes as we were one of the last people to board. 

Jensen's pre-admission testing went as well as could be expected. He had an echo, chest x-ray, EKG, and blood work. He was happy, he was sad, he was tired, he was hungry...the whole spectrum of emotions. Monday we have to be at the hospital bright and early to start an IV to hydrate him (since he can't eat starting the night before). He will then have his cardiac cath. This will tell us if he is ready for the surgery or not. His docs will also look at his stent in his left pulmonary artery and decide if it needs to be dilated. If the pressures in his heart show that he is ready for surgery, the team will likely hold off on any intervention during the cath. 

If he is ready for surgery, we are hoping that it can be scheduled quickly. Otherwise, we will have to weigh our options of flying home and then coming back to CHOP later or waiting in Philadelphia for the surgery. We don't, by any means, want to rush him in to surgery however, this is definitely going to put a strain on us. 

As's the info about the surgeries.

Healthy heart

In the Norwood (stage I repair), Jensen received a Sano shunt which connects his pulmonary artery to his right ventricle (this is his only pumping chamber). He also had his aorta enlarged with a graft and then the aorta was connected to pulmonary artery. There were a few other details in this surgery, but those are the main repairs done.The whole goal of this surgery is to make his only pumping chamber pump blood to his body and to to his lungs. 

In the Glenn (stage II), the superior vena cava is attached directly to the pulmonary artery. This allows for the systemic blood from his upper body to bypass the heart. This deoxygenated blood can simply go straight through the pulmonary artery and into the lungs. This decreases the workload on the right ventricle. 

This surgery is the "easiest" of the three. It involves less micro-stitching and shunts and grafts...all the things that make the Norwood so risky. However, it is still open heart surgery. And a repeat surgery. That means the risk of bleeding and issues with scarring will be great. 

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