Friday, September 29, 2006

Day 4 - First Heart Surgery

It is 1:42pm and Harlie is now in surgery. I can't believe that my 4-day old baby is going through this. Today, they are putting a band around her pulmonary artery to reduce the blood flow to her lungs. This will help her overall blood circulation and will reduce the amount of work her heart has been having to do. They are also going to implant pacemaker wires (not sure if they are going to be installing the recording/battery device at this time). I am told that this is really no big deal and that she will never even know that its there.

She is having to receive blood transfusions. Unfortunatley, we just found out today. If we had known, we could have given her our blood because Harlie, and Tom and I are O Positive. The nurse said that if any of our loved ones are O Positive, and want to donate to her, they can. You just have to come here to do it - they don't take any blood given elsewhere.

Her recovery time after this surgery is 4-6 weeks. It takes 6 weeks for her sternum to completely heal, since they have to cut it to get to the heart. I wish they could cut mine instead, but clearly that wouldn't do her any good. Because the risk of infection is great after heart surgery - nothing can be done to her until after she heals.

So, the critical airway tube will stay until she can have a tracheotomy installed. They really want to get this done because she will be much more mobile and then we can finally hold her. This also means that she will stay here for at least 6-8 more weeks. The goal is to get everything done that we have to have done in DC, and then the other things, hopefully Richmond (or even Norfolk) will be able to provide. We all need to get home and be a family again. It has been 3 weeks since I left and I really want to be a mom to Murphy again. I miss him terribly.

6pm - Well, she's out of surgery and in CICU recovering. That CICU is a crazy place - way too stressful for a mom and dad. She looks good. Dr. Jonas said that she did great and all went well. They might have to go in later to adjust the band, but that's no big deal he said. (HA! - I love how these doctors keep saying that all this stuff is "no big deal") WHATEVER!

Now Dr. Jonas is saying that he wouldn't have a problem if they wanted to put the tracheotomy in after the next 10 days. See how the information keeps changing?? And let me just explain that I have NEVER been in the least bit interested in the medical field. The word "challenging" just isn't strong enough!

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