Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Stuff from before Surgery

Aili was on the CPAP for a day or two. I think they lowered the PGE again during that time and her stats improved a lot. She came off of the CPAP. Then her stats got too good, so she had to be put in what they call the 'dog house'. Which is like a plastic tent and they pump Nitrogen into it to lower the oxygen. By doing that they can keep her stats between 75-85%.

On the night she came in they did an x-ray. I'm not sure for what...I think it is just a normal thing. Anyways, on that they noticed that she is missing a set of ribs. It is her floating ones. We found out about this a few days later though, when the nurses were trading off and exchanging information. We also found out that she has a heart murmur, but that is normal for any baby with this heart problem. On the x-ray it also showed that she has a slight curve in her spine. It is right about where her heart is and from the looks of the x-ray it is caused by one of her vertebraes. That vertebrae is sort of shaped like a wedge that would hold a door it causes her spine to curve. They told us that usually they just watch it as a child grows and they can either do nothing, if it isn't too bad/doesn't cause problems, they can put her in a brace or even surgery if it is bad enough.

Since they had done a few echocardiograms after her birth, they saw that the left side was larger than they originally thought. It was still small, but not as small as they thought. Because of this they weren't sure if they should do the single open heart surgery, where she would have two working ventricles or go the route of the three open heart surgeries that results in a single ventricle heart. To help them determine which would be better for Aili, they did a procedure called a Heart Catheterization. ( While they did this they accidentally poked a hole in one of her atriums. This really upset Clay and I. The doctors assured us that they kept her back there for longer and watched on ultrasound to make sure she wasn't bleeding and causing a fluid build up around the heart. They also did another echo about 4 hours later to double check for fluid around the heart. Everything checked out OK!

They used the information from that procedure to determine that it would still be best to go ahead with the three open heart surgeries. So we were scheduled for Monday December 8th in the morning. On Sunday the surgeon came in and explained what he planned to do, the benefits, risks, what to expect, etc. He was really thorough.

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