Well, unfortunately we didn't get the exact results we wanted this morning at Chase's cardiology appointment. I would've loved to hear, "Everything looks great! See you in six months!" But it was not to be so for us today.
We managed to get his height, weight, o2 saturation (81) and bp's on 3 of his 4 limbs. He was NOT a happy camper through any of that! We didn't have to do an EKG (yay!), so we waited and waited and waited (about an hour and a half) to do the echo. Between a bottle, paci, monkey and PlumVision on my iPhone, he managed to lay pretty durn still for the echo! I was very pleased and surprised!
We returned to the exam room and waited to see Dr. Horne. When he came in, he had a pretty good smile on his face, so my heart leaped for joy! Then he started out by saying those echo pics were THE BEST pics he's EVER SEEN of ANY HYPOPLAST! I was elated! I thought he was saying that Chase was in tip-top shape and couldn't BE any better if he tried!!! But quickly, I realized he was just commenting on how great the pictures from the echo were and not necessarily WHAT the pictures revealed (does that make sense)? Basically, he got FANTASTIC pictures of Chase's pulmonary arteries -- pictures of things he's never been able to see before on previous pics. With that being the case, what he was able to see was that Chase's left pulmonary artery has a narrowing in it of about 3mm (the right side is about 7 or 8mm). He hadn't seen this before because he had never seen good pictures of Chase's pulmonary arteries. What this means is that his left lung is not getting as much blood flow as the right lung, and in the future if this were to be left untreated, it could cause some real issues. Dr. Horne is planning to contact the staff at MUSC and discuss Chase's case, but most likely they will want to send him down for a cath procedure in January. This will allow them to get a better look at his PA's and potentially do some repair work if necessary, such as ballooning the narrowing (not likely since this is a VERY temporary fix) or inserting a stent to help widen the narrow section. Interestingly enough, the narrow section of his left PA is the exact spot where they would be connecting his IVC (inferior vena cava) to his PA during the Fontan surgery, which he'll most likely have around age 3. So I don't know what (if any) impact that has, whether it's good or bad, etc. We'll obviously know much more after the cath procedure in January.
Unfortunately this is not at all the news we were hoping and praying for. Those of you who have been following Chase's story for a while will know that he is NOT good with anesthesia, so we'll most likely have a 3 or 4 day stay at MUSC for his cath procedure. I HATE HATE HATE knowing they'll have to intubate him again. I hate that he'll have to go under general anesthesia again. I hate the risks involved with cath procedures. Hate it all!
SO, on the upside of things, Dr. Horne didn't see ANY (other) issues, problems or concerns, which is GREAT news! And honestly, there is only one way to look at the problem that was discovered today: It is a blessing. Plain and simple. Long story short, they've NEVER seen such good pics of Chase's PAs. It could be that the narrowing has been there for quite some time, and maybe it's narrowed more over time. Without the great pics we got today, we would've left with a great report and been blissfully ignorant, until all of a sudden who knows how long from now we discover his left lung isn't getting adequate blood flow, and suddenly there's a HUGE problem to address, rather than a little "issue" to correct at this time. God is truly in this. He helped Chase be still and helped the echo tech get good pictures and showed Dr. Horne exactly what he needed to see to prevent a little problem from turning into something much, much worse.