Today was the day of my 2nd surgery, and all went well. It was important that my doctor was able to see everything going on inside of me. He was able to see many things with a scope he put into an artery that ran through my groin muscle all the way to my heart. He also placed another through my neck artery and I had an IV in my left lower leg near my ankle. This was my day and how it all started.
It started a little after midnight, bright and early Tuesday morning on the 8th of January. I was letting mommy know I was hungry and she fed me oatmeal and of course I nursed as well. After we finished, mommy was quietly explaining to me that we would have to wake up early but this was my last meal for the day. As soon as she is allowed to, she would make sure I would eat all I wanted. So, mommy and I went to sleep and even though mommy doesn’t know this but I knew she got back up to do what I don’t know but I suppose to make sure all things were ready for we had to leave early and the day before it snowed quite a bit for this area and the roads were looking quite nasty. Earlier that evening Daddy came in surprised–we are used to accidents in front of our home because the road seems to become ice and stay that way for a long time. But Daddy said, “Wow, the friendly police officers made sure the road crew took care of our road and sanded it several times.”. That never happens and daddy told us he sure thanked one of the police officers taking care of the accident.
Anyway, daddy got up early and headed for the coffee pot and started to make sure everything was ready to be packed into the car. We brought more than we needed. Not sure but ready for any situation that may arise and ample snack foods to keep brother and mommy full for awhile. We needed to be ready to leave by 6 a.m. because our scheduled time to arrive at the hospital for checking in. After a cup of coffee, daddy went out to survey the roads and they sure were slick. It usually takes us 45 minutes to get to the hospital but he felt assured all would be okay if we left at 6. Daddy then went and got cleaned up, mommy did that last night and while daddy was getting ready she was preparing us. I got to taste something mommy called special water called Pedialyte. It didn’t taste so bad so before 7 a.m. I was allowed to drink clear liquids. I wanted to nurse a couple of times but mommy wouldn’t sit down long enough for me to get my way, so special water was all I was getting for now.
At 6 am, daddy brought all the bags to the car and went to warm the car up. It wasn’t until 6:20 a.m. before we all got to the car and all snuggled up in our car seats I heard daddy say–there is no catch up time this time I am afraid, prayer is all we have to make it on time he was afraid — I wonder what he was afraid of but I didn’t ask him I was still a tad sleepy.
We made it to the hospital and daddy kind of giggled happily–our prayers were heard! We made it with minutes to spare. Unpacking the car and preparing Christopher and I, daddy and Christopher walked in with the stuff and mommy carried me into the hospital. What neat doors they kept on spinning and daddy made sure mommy and I knew how to walk in with them spinning so no one would be hurt. We made it but the doors kept on spinning — fascinating!
The Check-in point proved to be helpful though it was the wrong check-in area we needed to be at. They had parked the car for us. Daddy remembers when I was born and he and brother went to park the car and when they got to the birthing room–I was already born. He missed it all. They did usher us to the right area. We waited for a short time and were called in to a private room and a nice woman was explaining several things to daddy and all I heard well was that daddy was going to be held responsible for the entire bill if they could not get the proper authorizations for our insurance. Daddy assured them he would ask the doctor as soon as he seen them about this matter. This woman was really nice, while we were in the waiting room waiting on the pre-op crew to call us back she came out and gave Christopher a little rubber ducky. He smiled but he is shy like me to people we don’t know.
We finally made it into the pre-op room. This is where they brought me some toys to play with also and since I am not too keen on new people, they gave me something to relax and boy did it relax me. Dr. Womack came in to discuss the surgical procedure and how long. It may take, a couple of hours, he thought. He spent a good amount of time with us, and then he went out to the desk area and discussed what his plans were with the other people who were there to assist him. Around 10 am then they came to walk us up to the third floor where mommy, daddy and Christopher would be waiting for me and then they took me from mommy and we went one way and they went another.
What seemed like seconds to me was I guess about 3 1/2 hours and before mommy and daddy could come and greet me I had awakened because there were people taking pictures of me. I took out my breathing tube and handed it to the startled nurse–I guess I did something that they were unprepared for. Not many of my size and age simply take out their breathing tube and politely hand it to them. Hehe if you could have seen her face–it was something she definitely had to share with my parents and the doctor when they arrived. I was soooo very happy to see mommy. She gave me a bottle of that glucose water again but I was thirsty and my voice and cries and grunts sounded so funny. It sure did not sound like me, it was the same words I was saying and copied my cries but it sure did not sound like me. Well, the lady that was taking the pictures got to take all the necessary pictures but after I finished the water I wanted to move. I felt funny too, but that couldn’t hold a good boy down!
I moved and moved and even tried to have mommy hold me but I was scolded because I was supposed to lay down flat and still. I guess no one warned them that I did not know what flat and still is when I am awake. I wiggled and then I took a break. The doctor had explained everything to mommy and daddy when they were downstairs but daddy and mommy shared with me everything they had talked about. They had gone through my groin artery but also had a neck catheter installed as well. They saw many things such as the blood flow and was able to measure my blood pressure and the direction of flow when they injected the dye into me. They also seen the replacement parts and the work done to my heart so it would work just as if my heart had nothing wrong with it. Originally, the artery (conduit) they used to rebuild my heart was at about 10 mm but had shrunken to 4 mm. It was about 20 something mm long and they had a stent that was a perfect match. They were able to place the stent and after positioning and ballooning several times they got it placed and enlarged to their satisfaction. Later, Dr. Womack said it was enlarged to 8 mm. He did some research and concluded someone my size normally with the optimal heart structure would have a 12mm diameter. So, I am shy as having a perfect scenario heart structure but better off because the diameter was doubled from 4mm to 8mm and all seems to be working fine and satisfactory. Don’t really know what lays in the future or how soon something will need to be done again but I do know I don’t need a full-fledged open heart surgery for now. Maybe in this short period of time they will have a conduit that will grow with me and last for many many years. That would be awesome!
Later, we went to another room before going home where mommy and daddy and Christopher ate a nice dinner and then it was my turn to eat and eat I did! Before we left I was given a prescription of 40 mg of aspirin regime to keep my blood from clotting. It was hard to fill the prescription and insurance would not pay for it since I was an infant and aspirin and Reyes syndrome. So Daddy got children’s aspirin and they are cutting it in half. I don’t mind the taste especially when I get to have applesauce with it yum-yum.
Update: 01-10-2013 I am healing nicely from the wounds on my neck and the IV site but mommy and daddy are a bit concerned about where the entry point from the catheter was placed. The day after there were two distinct dark bruises and today the two bruises became one and dark black and purple. Daddy seems to think it is because of the blood thinner they used through the surgery and of course keeping it thinner with a 40.5 mg aspirin regime. So he will be watching it more carefully to see if the color starts to fade or an undesired effect where it would still be growing. Oh, dear me, I am a bit chunky but still a growing BOY!