Thursday, August 25, 2016

Cardiac Cath Tomorrow

Well...the time has come and Cain will be going in tomorrow morning for a cardiac catheterization.  Some may be familiar with a cardiac cath and some people may have questions so I thought I would try to answer as much as I can by writing a blog post.

When Cain was 3 years old he had a stent placed in his left pulmonary artery.  This artery needed to be widened at the time because the narrowing was causing Cain's blood pressure to increase.  We were told that as he grew the stent in the artery would need to be widened again.  At his annual cardiology appointments each year, we always hold our breath waiting to find out if this would be the year he finally needed the stent widened.

The following is a picture where you can see the stent he has.  This is an xray from his last cath. The stent he has already will stay in place and they will balloon it open to widen it.  Or at least that is what I think will happen. Always so much to understand.

He had his yearly cardiology appointment earlier this year and we learned then it was finally time to go ahead and schedule his next cath.  Thankfully this isn't an open heart surgery.  A cardiac catheterization is a procedure where a long thin tube called a catheter will be inserted in Cain's artery in his groin and will be threaded through his blood vessels to his heart.  Cain's cardiologist is the one who will perform the cardiac cath.  He will widen the existing stent in Cain's left pulmonary artery. Cain has yearly EKG's and Echo's but the cardiac cath will be when his cardiologist can get the best pictures of Cain's heart and how everything looks right now.  The cardiologist said he may find other things that need to be "tweaked" during the cath.

We have to be at the hospital at 6am and the cath is scheduled for 8am.  If all goes well (which we fully expect that it will) Cain will only have to stay one night in the hospital.  Another heart friend of ours had a cath earlier this week and was able to go home that night so there is the possibility he could even be discharged tomorrow which would be nice.

I was so nervous about telling Cain about the procedure.  I think we told him as we were driving to the hospital for his last cath but he was only 3 years old at the time.  This time he is 7!!!!  7 years old & in 2nd grade---I still can't believe that!  He understands so much more now.  We sat down with him over the weekend and told him he would miss school on Friday because he would be going to the hospital.  We told him the Dr's needed to get pictures of his heart from the inside of his body and that he could see the pictures afterwards.  He thought that was so cool.  Talk about a huge weight lifted from our shoulders.  His only concern was would he have shots.  One day this week he even said.."I can't wait to go to the hospital Friday."  I asked why he was so excited and he said, "I love spending time with just you and Daddy at the hospital."  Ha!

Cain and all the heart kids continue to amaze me daily.  I have no doubt that he will amaze us again tomorrow.  As always, thank you for keeping Cain and his medical staff in your prayers.

Sunday, February 28, 2016


I was recently asked by American Heart Association if I would like to be a contributor to a blog post. And not just any blog post.  A post that would be in the Impact Series on Huffington Post!  Are you kidding me?!  Of course, I would like to write a blog post for Huffington Post.  Seemed simple.  Then I started sweating as I looked at the blank page trying to decide exactly what to write about.  Obviously the post was about Cain and the AHA/CHF partnership but getting started took a little work.  Thankfully the words started to flow and in the end I was very proud of the blog post.  And grateful for the opportunity to share our story on something as big as Huffington Post.  I hope you enjoy it too.

You can click on the following link to read the post I wrote for Huffington Post.