Monday, June 19, 2006

Back to Crisis Mode

Three weeks of normal baby stuff, and then suddenly everything changes.

On Friday Logan started passing some little specks of blood, and by that evening we were in the hospital. The thinking was that the bleeding was being caused by the aspirin he was taking to keep his blood thin and passing well through the shunt. He might well have gone home from the doctor if his weight had not appeared a good bit less than the previous Friday. Once we got to the hospital, his weight turned out to be not less at all, and it seemed like he might just need an overnight stay to make sure his bleeding stopped.

But his blood oxygen readings were low. He received some oxygen, but when it was reduced, he couldn't maintain the readings he needed. So the pediatric surgeon ordered an echocardiogram, and that revealed that his atrial septal defect (ASD) (a hole in the wall between his left and right atria) was getting very small. On an otherwise normal child that would be a great thing, because it would mean the defect was sealing without surgery. But because the plumbing in Logan's heart is all screwed up, he actually needs the defect in order to survive until the next surgery; in fact, if the defect hadn't been there, one would have been created, providing there was sufficient time to do so.

So this morning Logan had the catheterization to widen the hole, a non-surgical procedure using a balloon. The procedure went well, but in the process the cardiologist discovered several things. One, the shunt that he received on May 1 is narrow at one end, reducing the blood flow. Two, he has pulmonary hypertension, a result of (as I understand it) the heart having to work harder because of the defects. These two factors combine to make the major surgery more urgent. The third thing they learned, however, is that the two ventricles are of equal size, and there is no stenosis (constriction) of his pulmonary artery, meaning that an arterial switch is perhaps the desired course of action; such an operation, if successful, would basically give Logan a normal functioning heart. The other alternative, which would be necessary if the left ventricle had remained small and/or the pulmonary artery was still small, would require two operations and leave him with only one side of the heart doing all of the pumping—not the ideal outcome.

The cardiologist thinks that Logan should stay in the hospital and undergo the arterial switch in the next several days. Unfortunately, the surgeon has been out of town throughout all that has happened in the last several days, but he’s returning tonight, so we’re very interested to hear what he wants to do. I’m concerned that Logan may be weakened by all this stress and not really up to such a major surgery that involves a heart and lung machine. But the alternative may be that he stays in the hospital for weeks.

So in the meantime he has two IVs, tubes down his nose and throat, and a catheter. At least he seems pretty much out of it. We, on the other hand, can do little but sit, wait, and worry.

5 Comments:

Blogger GoofyJ said...

hang in there, we're praying for you. A vote of confidence, Jacob had been under major stress before the surgery and they were trying to put it off as long as possible, and even then had to bump it two days earlier than they wanted to, everything went well. I just mention that in the hopes that maybe it will relieve you at least a little, I know how difficult these times are.

10:11 PM  
Blogger PDS said...

Keep your chin up. I will continue to pray for Logan.

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Heather said...

Thoughts and prayers are coming your way from Colorado. I hope the surgeon helps you make the best decision you can, and that Logan can go home soon.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Pursuit said...

We're pulling for your little guy. Positive thoughts dude; we're praying for Logan.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Erin Monahan said...

I'll keep Logan and the two of you in my thoughts and prayers. I know the worry and anticipation that you're all under is so difficult, especially when it comes so unexpectedly.

I'll be thinking of you all.

10:06 PM  

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