Friday, April 26, 2013


Caleb and I made it home on Wednesday evening, only seven days after his surgery!  For reference, we were told to plan on 10 days to a month.

After Caleb's chest tubes came out on Tuesday morning and he was on room air with good oxygen saturations, there were only a couple of hurdles standing in our way of coming home.

The first hurdle was a chest x-ray.  It was supposed to be at 9:30 am on Wednesday morning.  At 9:40, no one had come to get us, so I started getting antsy.  I finally found a nurse technician and after a fashion, we got a ride down to x-ray.  Caleb did a great job and the x-ray went smoothly, but you have to have someone else read the x-ray to tell you if it is good or not.  The x-ray was done, but we didn't know if we would be staying or going.

Caleb's blood work showed that his potassium level was low again.  When he is on diuretics, he loses potassium easily, then they need to give him more.  Caleb got two rounds of potassium over a course of two hours.  We had to wait another hour until they could draw more blood and check his levels again.  At 1:45 pm, the blood was drawn and we found out his levels were still low.  No one was sure if he would need two more rounds or not.  I was really getting antsy now as this would add at least three more hours to our stay.  At 2:30, we still had not heard whether they were going to give him more or not.

We went down to get Caleb's prescriptions from the pharmacy and they had missed one of his medications.  The pharmacy closes at 6:00 pm and this is an uncommon medication, so I got even more antsy.  I didn't want to spend another night in the hospital because we were waiting on a prescription. 

Around 3:30 we found out that they had not ordered more potassium, so they were going to call it good with his levels.  We have to go to the lab and have his levels checked on Friday.

Around this time, we found that the x-ray had been read and looked fine, so we went through the discharge process.  The nurse practioner pulled Caleb's central line out of his neck and we were free leave.  We had to wait another 45 minutes until someone was available to walk us out because we were using the hospital's cart to move our stuff.  Caleb was very tired of being in his room, so I pushed him up and down the hallway in a stroller. 

We finally made it out, got his last prescription from the pharmacy and hit the road at 4:45. We missed the bulk of rush hour traffic and made it home around 7:00 pm.  Phil and the Big Three were at Sam's baseball game.  Caleb was pretty excited when they got home.  He was feeling good, even after the long car ride.  You really couldn't tell anything out of the ordinary had happened in the past week.

We are so thankful to be home.  Thanks so much to everyone that has helped us with food, gifts, prayers and words of encouragement.  We are blessed to have so many great friends and family members!

If you are willing, please comment on this post so when Caleb reads this when he is older, he will know that there were a lot of people pulling for him.  If you click on the word "Comments" you can write your message.  You can comment as Anonymous (it may be the easiest way), but please put your name in the message so we know who you are.  This blog will probably serve as Caleb's baby book - he is the fourth child after all - so you will be an official part of his story.  Thanks again for following Caleb's story!


  1. Caleb, we are so happy you are home. We have read your Mom's notes every day to keep track of your progress. You are a very brave boy to go through all those tests, tubes and pokes and still keep smiling. We're all wishing you good health from now on --just enjoy your family and have lots of fun!
    Aunt Marie and Uncle Bill

  2. Caleb, you are absolutely amazing. I am so proud of you. I can't believe you are growing sooooo fast. Even if you don't like it, you are my baby brother,just like Sam. I love you sooooooooo much Caybee!!!!!

    Eddie (Ella)

  3. Caleb, I am so happy that you are home and doing well. I am a school friend of your Grandpa Gary and I have been following you since you were born. I feel like I know you. Love seeing your pictures. Hope you keep doing well. Wanda from Alabama

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  5. Caleb,
    You did it so quickly and gracefully! We are all so happy for you. Your heart buddy Benjamin throws you a huge high five!

    The McCarthy Family

  6. Yay! You made it through the last one with flying colors! What a relief for everyone that has followed your adventures since you were born. You are such a cute little guy, after all you have been through, you still have such a great personality. Glad the crazy ride is finally over for you and your family. Love you all, Jim, Kathy & Kaden

  7. Caleb, Uncle Chris and I are so thrilled you are home! You are so strong; it is amazing to see you running around with all your cousins only one week after having your 5th open heart surgery. We love you so much and will be continuing to pray for you as you grow older. Hugs from all of us! Love you lots- Chris, Hallie, Audraya & Kenley

  8. Caleb D,
    We met you and your family when you were just a few weeks old, at the end of August 2010 when our son, Caleb R (big Caleb, as your mom calls him) ended up in the PCTU. There were actually 3 Calebs out of about 11 patients at that time in the PCTU.
    Our families bonded: your mom recommended the cafeteria's chocolate cake, we were all leaning on our faith, and we found out that both Caleb D and Caleb R have a dad and grandpas that are firemen/first responders.
    We've followed your blog ever since and emailed occasionally to keep in touch. Your parents obviously love you and your older brother and sisters very much. It's been really fun to hear about how you are growing and developing such personality and charm.
    Keep up the good work!
    Jay, Rachael and Caleb Riggs
    Marshall, MI

  9. Yeah, Caleb! We are so happy to hear Caleb is home & doing great! Colton's Fontan surgery is scheduled for July 12. We are encouraged by how well Caleb recovered & will pray for his continued recovery. You have a wonderful family & we pray for your special little Caleb daily along with all the other heart babies/children.
    Madonna, Cliff, Colton & Clayton Smith

  10. Caleb, we have yet to be able to meet but I have been following your story since I spoke with your mother back in October of 2012 when I discovered my soon to be daughter had the same CHD that you do. I've been able to bond with your mother virtually through phone calls and emails. She's been an amazing resource and listening ear to me as my family started our journey with Sloan. You have one amazing mom who I can see loves you (and your brothers & sisters) dearly. She also has been more of a support system to me than she knows and I can ever thank her for. I just wanted to tell you what a speical mom you have...but I am sure you alreaady know that!

    And for you, your strength and determination can be seen through your mom's story of your journey. I hope that Sloan can follow in your footsteps and have just as a fantastic of a story that you do. You are an inspiration to me and I hope to be able to meet you and your mom very soon!

    We are sending lots of love, prayers and hugs to you as you continue your story. You are doing amazing little man....KEEP IT UP!