Friday, November 2, 2012

Cain's upcoming cath...

Week before last Cain had his 6 month cardiology appointment.  He is still at a stage where he is seen by his cardiologist every 6 months.  Eventually he should only have to been seen once a year but for now it's still twice a year.  And to be honest, I'm okay with that.  I was so proud of Cain during his appointment.  He did great throughout height, weight, blood pressure and oxygen checks and laid perfectly still for his EKG.  He even pulled off all the sticky electrodes himself when the EKG was finished and handed them to the nurse.

Our last few appointments have ended with Cain's cardiologist saying "Everything looks great.  See you in 6 months."  However, this appointment didn't go quite as well.  Cain's blood pressure was slightly high and apparently had been at his appointment 6 months ago and his oxygen saturations had dropped from 88 range to 83.  They didn't worry about his blood pressure at the appointment 6 months ago because he had been a little fussy while they took it so they thought that could have been the cause.    I was shocked to see that his oxygen saturations were only at 83.  We tried several different probes on different fingers and even let him walk down the hall and back to see if his oxygen changed but it remained at 81-83 range.  I've noticed Cain getting a little more out of breath when playing with friends but even with him breathing hard nothing really stops him.  And Cain's coloring has been great so I was surprised about the low oxygen saturations.  Since Cain's oxygen had dropped and his blood pressure was slightly high on top of the fact that we have already met deductible.  Cain's cardiologist suggested we move forward with Cain's fenestration closure.

Cain is now scheduled to have a heart cath this Monday, November 5th.  We have to be at the hospital at 6am that morning and the heart cath should be a very simple procedure compared to everything else he has been through.  Cain's fenestration closure had always been planned to take place next spring but since his sats have dropped and his blood pressure is up they will go ahead with attempting the fenestration closure while a diagnostic cath is done on Monday.  I know many of you are wondering what I even mean by fenestration closure.  So, a fenestration is a hole that was intentionally left in Cain's heart after the Fontan procedure (which was his last surgery).  The new circulation after the Fontan created pressure, in which Cain's little heart and body wouldn't have been quite ready for.  So to relieve some of that pressure, Dr. Bichell (Cain's surgeon) left the fenestration (hole) to release some of that pressure with plans to close it later when his body was ready.  The fenestration closure will increase his oxygen saturations but they still shouldn't have been dropping like it has since his last check up.  Especially with his new physiology.  During the cath they should be able to determine what is causing his sats to drop and his blood pressure to increase.  Cain's cardiologist has a few guesses and those would either be collateral vessels that have formed that need to be coiled off or his Pulmonary Artery may be narrowing again and need ballooning to make it wider again.  Those are both things that could be taken care of during this cath, thank goodness.

I wasn't nervous going into this checkup but obviously left a little down.  I know it will be a simple procedure and hopefully only an overnight stay in the hospital but I hate to see Cain have to go through anything else.  Especially now that he is older and understands more.  I've kept him out of school since last week.   I had decided after talking to his dr's and nurses that it would be best to keep him out the entire week before the cath which we have done.  But, he ended up with an ear infection and a tiny cold last week so we kept him out most of last week too and have been giving him a strong dose of antibiotics to get him well and keep him well.  We had a recheck this week to make sure his ear infection was gone and thankfully it was so we can move forward with the cath on Monday as long as he stays well with no fevers, ear infection, colds, etc over the weekend.

If all goes well and they are able to close his fenestration (hole) on Monday, this would be the last PLANNED procedure that he needs.  I have known since September of 2008 that he would need 3 open heart surgeries and the Fenestration Closure.  As nervous as I am about Monday's cath, it is also a wonderful feeling to know we have come this far and this could be his last procedure for awhile.

We have had so many people ask about helping us with Callie next week and I can't thank each of you enough.  Thankfully, my parents are driving up on Sunday and will be here Monday and Tuesday to help us with her.

1 comment:

Carly Ragragola said...

I'm so glad to hear this can be done in the cath lab! I'll be praying for Cain and that no setbacks come up.