Cardiac Catherization

Olivia’s procedure took about 2 hours in total. Dr. Leopold came out and said everything went according to plan. They didn’t need to go through the shunt so we were able to go home the same day.

Only one surprise which had even the doctor’s surprised.

All along we’ve been told that Olivia’s IVC (artery carrying returning blood from the lower half of her body) was “interrupted” meaning the blood didn’t go to the bottom of her heart but instead branched off to the top of her heart. Which meant that her body attempted to “fix” itself. When they did the second surgery, 90% of the third would be completed as well.

Her IVC is NOT interrupted. When they put the cath in and it went right into the bottom of her heart, Dr. Leopold was very surprised.  Only three separate doctors diagnosed the interrupted IVC so they’re going to go back and review all the tapes to see how they missed it.

The IVC not being interrupted isn’t a bad thing or good thing. I’ll admit at first I was almost disappointed it wasn’t because I liked the thought that she had tried to correct herself. But in reality, had her IVC been interrupted, it would have potentially made the Glenn surgery very hard on Olivia because that’s a lot of blood to adjust going to her lungs at once.

The next surgery will be taking her SVC artery (returning blood from the upper half of her body) and connecting it directly to her pulmonary artery. They will cut the shunt as well and tie it off.

Everything is ideal for going forward and having the next surgery. They are meeting next Tuesday (October 26) to present her cath report to all the cardiologists and the surgeon. At that point we’ll be getting a call from the surgeon’s assistant about scheduling her next heart surgery.

We actually got to view the pictures they took. It was soo amazing to watch her heart beating on screen and then watch the blood flowing through her veins toward her lungs (they inject dye and take xrays).

When Olivia had her first heart surgery done they had to fix one of her pulmonary arteries because it was too small – Dr. Leopold said he couldn’t tell which one it was because they all looked the same and great.

We were discharged at 3:30pm.

The staff at CCMC is just amazing. They remembered us from the other procedures. We met the other anethesiologist (Dr. Mathew) who was with Olivia during her first surgery. Apparently the first anethesiologist was a bit nervous about Olivia’s case so Dr. Mathew stayed longer to assist.  Dr. Mathew was so positive and oohing and aahing over Olivia … it made both Arnie and I so happy. I thanked him for taking such good care of our baby.

Cardiologist Appointment

Olivia now weighs 10 lbs, 12 oz! She’s gained a half pound in the last two weeks.

They first did an EKG which went just fine. It was the first one Olivia’s had outside of anything they may have run when she was first born. The tech said everything came back just fine. I noticed her heart rate was in the 150’s.

We then met with the medical student and then Dr. Heller.

Olivia’s oxygen levels have started to drop – she was measuring between 66% – 74% which did not surprise me as I’ve noticed she’s been a bit “bluer” recently. Dr. Heller commented that her lips were a bit raspberry colored (purple) versus a healthy person’s lips which are normally strawberry colored.

Based on the oxygen levels and the fact that Christmas is only two months away, we all agreed that it’s time to start thinking about the Glenn procedure.  I would rather spend Thanksgiving at CCMC than Christmas. And I would hate to push it off and then end up in an emergency situation where we need to do the surgery NOW.  I’d rather plan …

We’re planning to have the Glenn at the end of November give or take a week. This depends on the OR schedule and Dr. Mello’s schedule.

Our next step was to set up an appointment for a cardiac catherization which Dr. Leopold would perform.  Dr. Leopold will be checking the pressures in her arteries and taking blood samples to check the oxygen levels in different parts of her body.

They had a cancellation for Tuesday so we’ll be taking her in then. This will be a most of the day event – have to arrive at CCMC at 7:30AM for a 9:00AM procedure.  The cath takes about 2 hours during which Olivia will be sedated.  She’ll recover for 4 hours before we can take her home. The only way she’ll be at the hospital overnight is if they have to go through the shunt and then she’ll be on a blood thinner overnight and can come home the next day.

We have a pre-Cath appointment with Dr. Leopold on Monday afternoon at 2:30PM.

Flu Shot-gate 2004

Or how the government affected our family:

Dr. Friedman has been very insistent that everyone in our family who is in close contact with Olivia needs to be vaccinated for the flu. Arnie and I were lucky enough to get to a clinic the day they announced the shortage of flu shots. Maddie has an appointment with Dr. Friedman on Monday evening for her shot.

Yesterday I received an email from Dr. Friedman. The government had confiscated all their private insurance patient’s supply of flu shots. If we had medicare or medicaid they would be able to give her a shot (ARGH). But other than that we had to hope we could find one elsewhere. I spent the better half of yesterday afternoon on the phone with our care manager, Jean trying to find a flu shot clinic that would administer a shot to Maddie. I was getting borderline hysterical..

Jean was awesome. She is so resourceful and keeps me calm when I’m ready to pass out from fear and hysterics. She went so far as to call the Director Of Health in our town to see if he could help us. He gave us the names of three pediatricians in town who had the vaccine and suggested we have Dr. Friedman’s office call one of these doctors to see if they would give us a dose for Maddie.

I called Gloria and gave her the information. They were going to call around for us.

Not 10 minutes later Gloria called me back. The government decided to release the private insurance patients supply to the doctors and they are getting their vaccines in within 2 – 3 business days! We scheduled an appointment for Monday, October 25th.

While I was on the phone about the flu shots, Dr. Friedman picked up the phone to talk. She wanted to make sure I understood she does NOT want Olivia in her office during flu season. We rescheduled her 4 month checkup from December 1 to November 10th so we can hopefully avoid the entire winter flu season in the office. She told me she is planning on setting up special “checkup” hours in the morning where no one who is sick is allowed in the office in order to keep the babies healthy.