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.


  1. So glad to hear things are going well for Caleb! Gives hope to those of us who are about to start this adventure. I will keep praying that Caleb maintains this positive path...he's doing amazing!

  2. Wow, so happy to hear everything went well with his appt. and I love to see and hear about his third surgery, and know I'm not alone other families that are in the same route that my family and Javian are going through. It's never wrecking for me to sit and wait to schedule knowing in the back of my mind there's is a 3rd surgery in play but don't know when, happy to hear your surgery will be in the spring time, My prayers are with you Jen and the family. Javian sends Caleb a big high five.
    Love the Rodriguez-Villodas family :)

  3. Jen,
    Caleb looks great! Ben hates the ekgs as well. I will pray for your family. We are not at that point yet and thinking about scheduling the surgery makes me scared. Let me know when it is planned. We go to Ann Arbor to visit my sister a lot and I would love to help out in anyway I can.
    Liz McCarthy