And here he is right before bedtime tonight:
Our sweet boy is back!!! I'm happy to report that he was completely weaned off his oxygen today and is holding his own! His o2 saturation stays around 80, which is fantastic! He's eating well, resting well, and even playing and smiling well! We're so happy!
So I'm also super-happy to say that all the "drama" of Dr. Jerk is finally over. Hubs and I have spoken with several other docs over the past 24 hours and ALL of them have been extremely encouraging and put our minds at ease. Here's a quick breakdown:
- Chase is ready for the Glenn. It's the 2nd of 3 surgeries he'll undergo to ultimately re-route his circulation so his blood will automatically flow to his lungs, freeing up his single-ventricle heart to pump blood to his body.
- The issue with his pulmonary arteries is very normal for hypoplastic heart babies. In fact, patching the pulmonary arteries is essentially a component of the Glenn surgery by Dr. Bradley here at MUSC. It's not uncommon. It's not weird or different. It's NORMAL.
- The issue with his coarctation may in fact still exist, but it's not as bad as Dr. Jerk made it out to be. I believe there was SOME improvement simply because it affected Chase's oxygen saturation to where his new "normal" is high 70s to low 80s versus the normal 88-89 we'd been seeing for the past 3 months. The coarc will NOT be addressed surgically. Really, there's no reason to. If his coarc becomes a problem in the future, he'll simply come back for another cath to balloon the narrowing. We've been told it's not unusual to have more than one balloon procedure and that it's not uncommon for the issue to go away completely as Chase gets bigger. Again, it's NORMAL.
- The issue with his leaky tricuspid valve (that we weren't aware of) is also something they see often. Since it's the valve between the right atrium and right ventricle, it's been working REALLY hard since Chase's first surgery. It will get some relief after his second surgery so it will most likely improve (or at least not get any worse). I've heard the valve insufficiency is considered mild to moderate, and it also will most likely not be addressed surgically at this time. For the love of all things, this too is NORMAL.
Lastly, I wanted to mention that The Man, Dr. Bradley (Chase's surgeon) stopped by our room on 7C today. Hubs and I had a chance to talk with him and he basically said what I listed above in the bullet points. Whew! Also, he said he will most likely put Chase on the surgery schedule for Wednesday, March 3rd. There's a chance we'll get bumped or postponed until the following week, simply because Dr. Bradley is the only cardiothoracic surgeon at MUSC right now and there are a LOT (unfortunately) of little ones that need his surgical expertise. But for now, we've been told our plan is to sit tight on 7C until the big day arrives.
So that's the latest and greatest. By George, I think I've finally caught you all up to this very moment! Now it's time for some SLEEP for this tired mama! :)