Thursday, January 17, 2013

We Have a Date

I talked to U of M yesterday and we set a date for Caleb's next (and hopefully last!) surgery. We will be in Ann Arbor on Monday, April 15th for pre-surgery appointments. Caleb will have a heart catheterization on Tuesday, April 16th and if everything looks good, the surgery will be on Wednesday, April 17th.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Update on Heart Stuff

Caleb had his routine 6 month cardiologist check up yesterday. His blood pressure, heart rate and EKG were normal for him. His oxygen saturation was about 80%. This is about what it was at his last appointment. His cardiologist said that his oxygen saturations will probably hold steady or continue to drop as he gets bigger and faster.

Caleb did very well at his checkup, but he is not a huge fan of the EKG. He did cry at first, but when the nurse brought out his favorite toy, the tears stopped. He even helped pull off the stickers.

Caleb's weight was 24.2 pounds and his height was 32 inches. That puts him at the 3.3 percentile for weight and 0.4 percentile for height. His cardiologist was excited that he was on the chart for weight. He is a good eater and will eat almost anything, although he prefers chocolate. It seems to be working for him. He can still wear 18 month pants and the 2T underwear I bought him for Christmas fall off, but we do get our money's worth out of his clothes!

The plan right now is to go ahead with his third stage surgery this spring, hopefully when the cold and flu season has wound down. With three older siblings in school, someone is usually sick in our house all winter long. We would like to have the surgery early enough so he will be healed well enough to enjoy his summer.

The cardiologist is contacting Caleb's surgeon and they should be getting with us soon to schedule the surgery. We will go to Ann Arbor for a heart catheterization and if everything looks good with his pulmonary arteries and lungs, the surgery should be the next day.

Scheduling an "elective" open heart surgery is more stressful than I expected. With the other two surgeries, they had to happen when they did and we didn't have any choice in the matter. This time, we have a say. Phil and I agree that Caleb is as strong and healthy as he can be right now and he doesn't seem to be suffering from the lack of oxygen yet, so now is the time. It will be nice to have the surgery complete because it has been on our radar for a long time now and is often in our thoughts.

Here are the surgery details. The surgery will involve re-routing Caleb's Inferior Vena Cava from his heart and sending his blood directly to his pulmonary artery which then flows to his lungs. This will result in all of his blood flowing through his lungs. Currently, only a portion of his blood gets oxygenated. This will improve his oxygen saturations, although they will probably never be as high as someone with normal blood flow. The good news is that there are alot of active people with this type of blood flow in their 20's that that are living normal, happy lives. It is anticipated that the hospital stay will be 10 days to a month.

I will post an update when we officially have a surgery date. Thanks for your thoughts, prayers and support for our family.

Nearly 29 Months Old - Little Boy Stuff

Because I have not updated in a while, there have been many new developments in Caleb's life. He is doing amazing and is a healthy little boy that enjoys doing little boy things.

Caleb got to participate in his second Dougherty Family End of Summer Tomato Smashing Event. This year he even got his own croquet mallet.

For Halloween, Maeve was a cowgirl and Caleb, Sam and Ella were a Mariachi band. Caleb even had a mustache. Unfortunately, drool is really hard on your mustache.

Caleb is now talking and singing up a storm. We understand more and more of what he says and he loves to sing "Happy Birthday". The words aren't quite right and he sounds like he has been drinking, but we know what it is.

Caleb has officially moved out of his crib and is sleeping in his big bed. He is doing really well with it. We have noticed that he needs his sleep more than the other kids did, but it does make bedtime and naptime easier. We have been told by other heart families and his cardiologist that this is common in kids with his heart defect and he will probably have more stamina after his next surgery. He goes 100 miles an hour all day long until naptime and bedtime and then he is ready to sleep.

Caleb is finally growing some hair. It is very fluffy and is always sticking out. He will be getting his first haircut shortly. That means he is nearly 2 1/2 and is just getting enough hair for a haircut.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas. The kids enjoyed themselves and made it through the two weeks off at Christmas with no bloodshed.

We are looking forward to a new year with all kinds of new adventures.