So here are all the details from Tuesday’s cardiac cath…
And next … Cardiac Cath
We had to check in at 7:30AM for a 9AM start. Tricia was our receptionist again. Of course she remembered us although it’s been 3 1/2 years since we were last at day surgery. We registered and Tricia gave Olivia a ID band for Ra-Ra (her stuffed dog). Carla was our nurse and she got us all settled in with Olivia’s cute sumo wrestler clown jammies and everything. Olivia weighed in at 30.2lbs so we have some weight to regain after her stomach bug a few weeks ago.
Olivia held court and was her normal silly self. Carla wanted to keep Olivia around all day because she is so entertaining (that’s our girl!). Olivia got to ride around in an Escalade (surprisingly, she chose the black and not the barbie pink one like we have at home).
Finally it was time to head to the Cath Lab. They had come in earlier to see what movie Olivia wanted to watch and she chose her own Dora movie that Nana and Poppy had given her last week. I carried her in and she was fine until she saw the room, the “bed” (read: table) and the cameras. She got very scared and didn’t want me to sit her on the “bed”. She put the leads on herself and then took them off and then went through a bunch of their lead pads (LOL). When Dr. Leopold came in we had to force her to allow them to put the mask on her. She fought that a lot and it was heart breaking. Even after she was asleep she was still holding on to me. I was hanging over the bed and hugging her and I could feel Coleen from Child / Life hugging me (probably to make sure I didn’t pass out). Finally they told me she was out and I could go and they would take very good care of her (sob). I kissed her hand and her belly and told her to be brave. Coleen told me I did awesome.
The hospital has made some cool upgrades since our last visit to surgery. 1. We have a beeper now that allows us to be paged when she comes out of surgery if we’re not in the waiting area. 2. They have a patient tracking system on a monitor in the waiting area that shows us Olivia’s status (well, it shows the surgeon’s name and a code that identifies Olivia). The color of the number changes when she’s out of surgery and in recovery and then when she’s ready for us to see her. It’s nice because then we can see exactly where she is at all times. bonus for someone with control issues
They also added wireless access for the floor (PICU, OR, Day Surgery waiting areas). Allows us to keep in touch with the real world while we’re waiting.
We were told it would take 2 – 3 hours. And they took 3 full hours. The three hours seemed to take FOREVER – especially when we’re sharing the waiting room with families who are having ear tubes done. I said to Arnie after the third family saw the same surgeon “that guy is an ENT and it’s “ear tube day”. HA’ It was nice to have my laptop and so I could play mindless games to pass the time.
Finally (!!!!) Dr. Leopold came out. Everything went perfect. No surprises. No collaterals to plug (that was my concern as things seemed to take so long). We had just finished talking to him when the nurses came to get us – things happened REALLY fast at that point. I was worried that I hadn’t made all my calls!
Olivia was a bit “grumpy” at first – she was confused and wanted that IV OFF. We tried distracting her and finally juice worked. She had a croupy cough coming off the anesthesia. I was worried she was coming down with a cold and told everyone “I swear she wasn’t doing that last night or we wouldn’t have come in” (Olivia is prone to croup at the beginning of a cold). Thankfully it was from the irritation of the breathing tube.
Carla was our post-op nurse as well. She wanted Olivia to go slow on the juice because we didn’t want her throwing up … but Olivia wanted NONE of that. She ended up having TWO popsicles before nicely reminding us that she wanted juice. Carla found her hysterical LOL.
Our “neighbor” finally went home so they gave us a TV and Olivia perked up as she started to feel better. Arnie was trying to crack her up by putting a Dora sticker on his head and everytime he touched it, he would say a dora phrase “vamanos” or “buenos dias”. It was really funny. Once Olivia was more herself I ran to grab a quick bite. I ran into our neighbor AnnMarie who works as a dietician and happened to be in the PICU for the day. She kept me company while I ate and then stopped by to see Olivia. Olivia was happy to see someone she recognized and after she left Olivia was asking where her son was:). Scott from the Foundation also visited us and we chatted with him.
Carla ordered Olivia a tray of food – we got to choose what we wanted. Olivia chose “hot dog, fries AND corn (only supposed to choose one side ;)); yogurt and milk shake”. She at almost everything (left most of the fries). This was AFTER she had eaten almost a lb of blackberries that Arnie had picked up for her from the cafeteria – they were a STEAL at only 1.50!!
Dr. Heller stopped by later in the afternoon and we started to discuss the Fontan. I told her I was ready for it the week of March 24. She was shocked I wanted to do it so soon – I reminded her she started the boulder by pushing it down the hill – let’s get it over with rather than fight it! LOL. I’ll never be “ready” but now that it’s time, let’s do it! The plan is that she’ll present Olivia’s case to the Dr’s at their Tuesday meeting and then we’ll hear from the office about scheduling the surgery (gulp).
We also talked briefly about my email to her requesting that while we’re in for the Fontan, they do another test on Olivia to determine if she has a spleen and if so, is it functioning. While they did a ultrasound scan of her when she was born – it’s not 100%. And I’d like to know for sure because if she doesn’t need to be on the antibiotics, then let’s get rid of it Dr Heller is looking into a couple types of tests they can do to determine whether or not her spleen (if there) is working – and she needs to determine if they can do it post-op.
We finally got released at 5:30PM. We stopped at my parents to pick up Maddie and it was so good to be home.
Maddie has had a harder time with all this than I had anticipated. I think she understands a bit too much and so she asks questions and then when we answer her she says “can we stop talking about this?” She gets squeamish a lot. She couldn’t look at Olivia when she had a bandaid on her neck … poor Maddie!!!
Olivia today was feeling really good – she took a good nap and once we took the bandages off she was beepopping around the house. She’s feeling good and seems no worse for the wear.
Thanks for reading!