Friday, February 5, 2010

Cardiology Appointment

Chase had his bi-weekly cardiology appointment this morning at 9:30 AM. I always expect his appointments to take a while (hours) and this morning was no exception. It was about 3 hours! Here's how it went:
  • His o2 saturation was 88. That's really great! Dr. Horne mentioned he didn't want it to be much higher than that because it would mean too much blood is going to his lungs. His o2 saturation will trend downward as he gets closer to needing his next surgery.
  • His blood pressures were great! They check blood pressure on both arms and both legs and all of them looked super!
  • His pulses were great as well. Dr. Horne checks his pulse in both is wrists and groin and was very pleased!
  • His weight was up to 13 lbs., 3 oz.!!! He was wearing a diaper but I'm guessing he's right close or right at 13 lbs. My big boy!!
  • His length was up to 24.2 inches! He sure is getting long!
  • We went back for an echo next. I though it was funny that the tech came in and asked me if Chase takes a bottle. It was a strange question and a bit out of context. I said yes. Apparently she was expecting me to feed him a bottle during the echocardiogram?? I told her he just ate before we left the house and she looked disappointed and asked if he had a paci. I said yes. It was weird. I've never been asked/told to feed him during the echo before!? Not surprisingly, he did fantastic. He slept through the majority of it, but did wake up and fuss while she was trying to images from the top of his chest (near his neck). Since he freaked out a bit, she went on and got images from near his stomach and never went back up near his neck. We finished up and went back to the room.
  • We waited in the room for a good 20 minutes and still no Dr. Horne. Chase was hungry so (as much as I hate to do this in "public") I went ahead and was nursing him in the tiny room. Oddly enough, the echo tech stopped by a few minutes later and informed me we needed to repeat the echo to get some images of the top of his heart (the part he flipped out at earlier and she never went back to). So, I asked her to give us a few minutes so I could finish nursing him; otherwise, he'd never sit still through the echo a second time. The echo only took about 5 minutes and Chase cooperated very well!
  • Back to our little exam room. Dr. Horne came in and we had a nice chat. He was very happy with Chase's blood pressures and pulses. He left the room for a second and said something about getting a heart diagram. I was a bit concerned because this made me think he needed to describe a problem with Chase's heart and needed a visual aid. Sure enough, he found something not awesome on the echo. Apparently Chase's descending aorta has a narrowing that he hadn't seen before. The section measured 4.3 mm across, where it should be between 6-7 mm. At this point, he wasn't concerned, but said that we'd repeat an echo at our next appointment in 2 weeks (usually we only do an echo every other visit, or once a month). Obviously I am concerned/worried because this is not what we expected and not what we wanted to see. Dr. Horne plans to go back and review Chase's previous echos (the ones done at MUSC and at Dr. Horne's office) to see if his aorta has slowly narrowed over the past few months, or if has always been that way and they never noticed it or had a good picture of it, etc. He said the section could be "ballooned" or expanded during Chase's heart cath in March but he didn't think it would do any good and that it would just return to being narrow. Ultimately, this appears to be an additional item they'll need to address during his Glenn surgery (probably in April). If the narrow area continues to get more narrow over the next few weeks, Dr. Horne will move up our cath date and possibly move up his next surgery to be sooner rather than later. All of this doesn't give me a warm & fuzzy feeling, but ultimately I know it's good that we found it now and will be watching it closely.
  • Other than the coarctation of his aorta, everything looked great. When I asked Dr. Horne how he felt about how Chase was doing at his last appointment, he said he was "thrilled." Today, we were downgraded to "very happy." I'm okay with this and will keep telling myself that over and over again every single day until if/when I truly am okay with it!
So please keep Chase in your prayers over the next several weeks. Dr. Horne said it is possible that his aorta will grow so that it isn't narrow anymore in that one section, so I'm going to be praying for that to be the case!