Sunday, January 3, 2010

Better, but still waiting...

Judah is looking better all the time. His color is great and he is becoming more alert. He is also a pro at nursing, which is something we had been told would take a long time to get the hang of after surgery. He's breathing well and only has to be on limited oxygen through the nasal canula. The x-ray of his lungs this morning looked "worlds better" than Saturday's, according to the doctor. In fact this morning they mentioned we would move out of the ICU into the regular children's floor of the hospital. Until....

So you know that blood clot I mentioned in the last blog post? The cardiologist was determined to find out if it is in the left atrium of Judah's heart or not but after trying for well over an hour, they still couldn't tell. In the end the cardiologist felt that the risk of it being a blood clot is too great to not treat it. The only reason the doctors didn't automatically start medication is that the medications we can use aren't easy to administer. This means that he will stay in the PICU at least one more day while they monitor how he does on the anti-clotting medication. This medication will be something we will have to go home with unless they can get a definitive picture that shows the clot outside of the heart. That said, it is unlikely that we will ever know whether it is inside the heart or not because the time to dissolve the clot inside or the topical hemostatic (material the surgeon packed around the heart to stop the bleeding) outside the heart will be about the same. The medication is a blood thinner so we will have to do blood tests after we administer it to make sure it's not working too well.

So here is the current list of medication we will have to do when we go home:
1. Aspirin -- this helps with the blood flow and is standard after heart surgery.
2. Digoxen -- this helps prevent the SVTs we had earlier. It kind of up in the air whether the digoxen stopped them or his heart had finally recovered after the surgery but again, better to be safe than sorry. I think he will be on it for about 6 months.
3. Blood Thinner -- This will last about 3 months and, as I said, involve administration and blood testing.

Thankfully, all of these drugs only have to be given once a day and it's a lot less then some heart patients which can easily go home with more than ten or even twenty medications.
Going into this process we were told by other parents to expect the unexpected and we are hoping that we are done with our unexpected complications. Pray that there would be no more and we can progress "normally" now. :)

Finding the blood clot was disappointing but a blessing. The ultrasound they found it on was one that was not even suppose to be given. It was only ordered because he had the bizarre chest x-ray yesterday, which by the way, no one can explain because it was completely different today. They may have found it later, but with a blood clot the sooner it starts dissolving, the less danger of a stroke or embolism in another area of the body. I guess it's hard to detect a clot unless it's seen on the an ultrasound. Much like the pre-diagnosis of the his heart defect, it was disappointing to hear but makes a world of difference for Judah, especially if it is inside the heat. Praise God.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us.


1 comment:

  1. I cannot begin to imagine how exhausted/drained you guys must be feeling, even with the positive updates. We're praying for you guys!