Saturday, June 6, 2009

Achy breaky heart

Jason and I met with the cardiologist today. Dr. A was present for the meeting as well (as was Lexi--she was very attentive and asked good questions). The cardiologist spent most of the time explaining the details of the heart defect, drawing pictures, explaining the blood flow, etc. It didn't sound quite as grim when he explained things as when Dr. A explained things yesterday, but I never know when a doctor is just trying to make things not sound so scary. Remember--we were originally told the duodenal atresia would keep Lexi in the hospital for 3-4 weeks and she'll be 2 months old tomorrow. Anyway, he said that if Alexis continues to put on weight and eat well, she can probably go home in the next week or two and when she's 5 or 6 months old, she will return to St. Vincent PICU for the heart surgery. Now--he said she could go home if she continues to eat well and gain weight, but she only eats so-so and hasn't put on any weight this week. She's still at 6 lbs 13 oz. So I'm not going to anticipate a discharge in the next week. Also, he said that there are times that a VSD can get smaller and maybe wouldn't end up requiring surgery. However, I'm under the impression that we should not expect this to happen. There are of course risks with every surgery--especially heart surgery. This is one of the most common heart surgeries and has about a 95% success rate. I couldn't bring myself to ask what happens if the surgery is not successful. If everything happens as expected, during the time Alexis would be home before her surgery, we'd have check-ups monthly with the cardiologist to monitor her heart.

Regarding her feeding, she's still at 50mL per feeding. They stopped the continuous feeding at night and she gets fed by mouth every 3 hours. When I nurse, we still offer her a bottle afterwards. The tube is out right now (yeah!!!) but if she has a bad feeding (which happens frequently) they would put the tube back in for her to get a feeding that way. Since she doesn't have the continuous feeding any more, she may be hungrier now and this may change her feeding habits, but who knows. So right now, it's just a whole lot of "wait and see."

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