January 6, 2010

Heart Catheterization Date

Since last Thursday I knew they would be calling.  I was a bit anxious every time the phone rang and didn't ring.  I called today myself to make sure I wasn't suppose to be the one calling, they said no, they would call but would be more than happy to transfer me to hospital procedure scheduling so I could speak with them.  I said 'sure' and hung up.  I was scared.  Scared to bring this day on any closer than it needed.  Scared to actually have to put it in writing in my calendar.  So I nervously took a breath and waited some more.  A bit happy to have escaped facing this for a little longer - although I knew it was coming, they would be calling.   

The call came as I was driving to rehab therapy for my leg. I quickly parked and messed with my crutch and pulled out my planner.  I had already thought of some dates I wanted, early in the week so all the normal docs are there and I still had a whole week of normal business days ahead of us in case I had questions or needed to take Alexa in to be seen for some reason.  Also, not to soon, but early enough to have the cath results ready for our consult with her cardiothoracic surgeon on January 22.  Well, they said they only had Friday, January 15th available, this would give enough time to get the info to her surgeon but alas not provide me the reassurance of the 'regular business day' instead it's on a Friday, right before not just a weekend but a holiday weekend.  I know it may sound insane to some, crazy, petty but when my child is in the hospital having an invasive heart procedure that will require anesthesia etc.  I want all the top docs present, not home or possibly on vacation.  But I guess I will not jump to conclusions that I will be needing them, instead I will just pray/hope/assume that all will go well.   

So again, Heart Cath Date is on Friday, January 15th check in time 7 a.m.  Alexa cannot have anything to eat or drink after 2 a.m.  The cath should last about 3 hours.  She will also be given an echo while she is out.  The scheduler told me they would most probably be keeping her overnight for observation in the PICU.  So I have to plan on sleeping in the hospital that night with my baby.  I'm hoping she is doing fabulous they let us come home but I guess we shall see.  Did your kids need to stay over night?  Her cardiologist also mentioned that, sometimes, but rarely, the children come out of the cath lab with lower oxygen.  He said if this happens he would send Alexa home on oxygen and we would have to schedule her surgery sooner.  Hope again, this is not the case.

Now, why does Alexa need this heart cath?  Well, this is to provide information to the surgeon before surgery on the inside workings of her heart including pressures and blood flow.  During surgery they cannot collect this info as the heart is stopped and not beating

It hurt's to type those words. 

To think of my baby's beautiful heart being stopped and not beating is VERY SCARY!  So very sad.

So anyway, that's all I can take talking about right now.  I need a break from these thoughts and to have some lunch.

As a side note, therapist thinks it will take me about 12 weeks to be able to walk normally again.  He said I have lost a lot of flexibility and strength in my leg.  He said I need to get it to neutral position meaning -8 to be able to walk again.  Right now I am at 38 degrees the wrong way.  So I have a lot of foot exercises to do.

And one last thought, last time Alexa had a heart cath, back when she was a newborn, she had her artery nicked and developed a blood clot. So another reason why I worry.  Just so you know.


  1. Just the thought about her little heart being stopped is SCARY!! My hands got cold and my heart starting beating fast. Can't imagine what your going though. We know that Jah will be there with her and all the family. Positive thinking will give a good vibe back to her. Keep being strong. We are here for you.

  2. We're sending you lots of hugs, prayers, and love right now. I know this part is terrifying! It's all so overwhelming but know that you truly are doing the very best thing for your baby. We'll keep you in our thoughts and prayers ~ for a smooth procedure, for a quick recovery and discharge before bedtime, and for lots of good information that will help the surgeon do the very best job possible!

    Please feel free to email me if there's anything I can do to help.


  3. HI Michelle,
    yesterday-on Wednesday, it was exactly 1 month from her OHS. She was only 4 months old. The surgery took 9 hours and her heart was stopped for 142 minutes and then again when during the surgery she was bleeding too much. She came out just fine, without complications and 1 week later we were home. It's unbelievable how well our babies do. Your Alexa will too. Before you know it, you will be posting about her smooth recovery, which I wish you from the bottom of my heart.

  4. Thank you Betty, Josie and Joanna I really appreciate your words of encouragement and support. They mean more than you know.


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