Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hearts and Lungs

This week, besides haircuts, we also had some doctors appointments. Fun to take photos during the haircuts, but the doctors appointments really rock our world :)

George had a follow-up cardiology appointment from his surgery back in December. The doctor said we can now consider him normal! ha ha! If there's one thing we've learned, there is no normal :) Back in December George had two devices placed in his heart to close two holes, an ASD and a PDA. Through echo and xray, the devices look great and George's heart seems to have done what it's supposed to - there is no leakage around the devices. It's incredibly interesting - the tissue grows around the devices, they essentially become part of the structure of his heart. The devices shouldn't have to be replaced - EVER! George's next heart follow-up will be around the time he turns 3.

Samuel had a cardiology appointment, too. His heart is also looking good! His PDA was ligated back when he was about 2 pounds, and more recently his ASD has popped open, but we aren't particularly worried about the ASD right now (George had his closed at such an early age because we had to close the PDA and the ASD was large enough that they wanted to try and do both at one time). The body is amazing... Samuel's heart can use the ASD/hole to relieve pressure if necessary. The biggest thing we watch for with Samuel's heart is his pulmonary hypertension, and after the echo, it appears it has stayed the same, if not gotten a little bit better. Woo Hoo!

Samuel's heart is a big deal. I know that sounds weird, everybody's heart is a big deal :) But in Samuel's case, one of the reasons he is alive is because his pulmonary hypertension didn't get worse last summer. Many times babies with such bad lungs have so much pressure put on the heart that the hypertension gets worse and worse and the heart just can't handle it. So to now hear that his heart is stable and may even be getting a little bit better is huge! Samuel doesn't have another cardiology visit for six months... so exciting, but also makes me a little nervous. Sad, I'm so used to seeing docs often that not going kind of stresses me out :)

Samuel also had another pulmonary follow up visit. It's been six weeks since the last one. His CO2 was higher then we wanted it to be, but luckily it appears it was high because he was really unhappy when getting his blood drawn. So they did send him home after the visit :) YEA! The visit was good... not as great as the last one during which we were told to really push progress... but good. I am happy because we're still progressing, but not as quickly as the last couple weeks.

Our marching orders are to keep Samuel off the vent, and on the thermovent/HME or trach collar, for as many hours a day as possible... but with a 2-hour break in the middle of the day during which he is on the vent. So far we've been consistent at getting in 10, sometimes 11 hours a day off the vent. This is great news! Also, we have lowered his oxygen level a ton! Still more than 21%, but less then 30% :) We will have another pulmonary visit in three weeks, so hopefully the CO2 will be lower and we can get back on the fast track.

A few pre-haircut photos just dying to be posted...


Check it out! Dad's in the mirror! And who is that handsome baby? He's funny!

George loves a good book!
This is actually my chair from when I was a little girl... it has recently become one of the favorite items causing many opportunities to learn how to share. ha ha!

Finally! We have been trying to get Olivia into the tunnel forever!

I think she likes it :)

George has always loved the tunnel... he would play in it all day if we let him!

Sweet Olivia reading... and trying to squeeze herself into a bumbo. She loves these chairs! I'm just hoping she doesn't get stuck in one...

Olivia and George always stop in Samuel's room on their way to breakfast...

... I think Samuel enjoys their wake-up call :)

Sweet George with his pre-hair cut, after bath, 'do :)

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