Friday, April 10, 2009
Kate's Pre-Op Visit
"Dr. Kate" listens to her panda's heart.
Kate was an amazing trouper today! We were worried that she would freak out the minute she got to the hospital, but she only wimpered a bit and got tears in her eyes. I think that made my heart ache worse than if she had gone into screaming meltdown mode.
"Please tell me I am having a bad dream and I'm not REALLY at the hospital again!"
We were there from 10AM until 3PM, so it was a long day for her. They are so thorough--I am very impressed. She had an EKG, echocardiogram, chest x-ray, health exam (three different times!), and blood work. Thankfully, the blood work was last on the agenda.
"This EKG is a piece of cake, especially with my panda beside me!"
Two different cardiologists talked to me, explaining things about the surgery. Both of them had been at the conference on Monday where her case was discussed, so they were fully aware of the details of her heart condition and surgery. Again...impressive to have doctors who hadn't just read a chart before they walked into the room and who FULLY understood her.
We had good news and not-so-good news, but most of it was good.
-Her heart cath showed that she was a good case for a full repair
-People come from all over the world to have her heart surgeon operate on their children
-The procedures he is doing on Kate are his specialty
-She might not have to spend 3 weeks in the hospital--it might be more like 10 days if everything goes perfect
-Our hotel bill will be $40 per night--not $70
-8 out of 10 children come through this surgery very well
The Not-So-Good News
-One of the cardiologists very frankly told me that this surgery 'is a huge deal.'
-One in ten children die from complications of this surgery (This is the biggest on the not-do-good news for me. Despite the fact that 8 out 10 children come through the surgery well, my mama's heart fell to my toes when he said this. I know 10% is a low risk, but....)
They have given us a link to a video of what to expect her to look like after her surgery, which was very helpful. She will have three chest tubes draining fluid from her lungs and (I think) the area around her heart. She will be on a respirator for probably two days, so will have a tube down her throat, helping her breathe. One cardiologist told us that he wasn't sure if her chest would be closed up or if it would need to remain open for a few days. He assured us that there would be something covering it so that we wouldn't be looking down into her open chest cavity.
As long as we can keep her healthy until Monday, we are good to go for surgery. We are able to have our laptops with us in the waiting room, so I will be able to post to the blog every time they come out and tell us how the surgery is going.
***Note: I know most of you read this blog when it comes to you via email subscription. The subscription service only sends email to you once every 24 hours. If you want to read the updates as they are happening, you will need to go to the blog and read it there. If you wait for the email, it will probably not come to you until Tuesday morning. The blog address is: www.jacobsjourneyhome.blogspot.com . You can click on it from this post here, or scroll to the bottom of the email posts and click on the blue 'Treasures from Afar."***
All tuckered out on the ride home. She was playing with her sticker and fell asleep with it on her mouth.