Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Heart Cath Results

Harlie's heart cath was today. It went well. Her doctor came out after it was done and said, "she just got a little more complicated". She never ceases to amaze me. This is her 4th cath and each time gaining access to her heart has gotten more difficult. I won't bore you with the medical jargon (sometimes I think I do that - but the reason I do is because this is my journal, and I need to know that kind of detail).

But, they insert a catheter into a vein (takes the blood to the heart) and as they go through the heart they inject dye and take pictures and measure the pressures and oxygen saturations, etc. At first they went through her femoral veins. But they have since scarred down, and cannot be used again. Then they went through her subclavian veins (under your collar bone). But, they were not usable today. I say "today" because he said that maybe next time he could get it to work, but today it just wasn't going that way. Her pathways to her heart are not exactly normal I believe. Anyway, they have to get an arterial line anyway (standard for a heart cath) so he had to go in that way, through the arterial line. Veins take the blood to the heart, arteries carry the blood away from the heart. So, he basically had to go against the flow and backwards into her heart. So, gaining access to her heart is getting pretty tricky. I'm sure this is normal for kids like her that have to have a lot of these type of procedures. But, for some reason, it just kills me to think that major veins are damaged to this extent. She's only 2 years old!

There is another procedure that she will have to have about a year after this next heart surgery. And he said that if they have the same problem, they can go through her liver. Her liver! Ugh. But, we'll have to cross that bridge later.

Anyway, the good news is that everything looked great and she is all set for surgery (the Fontan) on April 16th.

I'm not really sure what happened after they took her away, but her hair came back a tangled, matted mess. I can only assume that she was fighting something they were doing to her. The nurse did say that she was strong and I wondered how she would know that. Anyway, here's what she looked like today (the gauze patches are from where they tried to gain access through her subclavian veins)...

I think she was trying to smile for the camera in this one.

Brandy and Harlie.

She came home wearing a holter monitor to record her heart beats for 24 hours. Just gathering some data for her surgery.
Well, it's late. Time to go to bed.


Tracy said...

Aww. Gotta love the wild woman look. I wonder what they did to make her hair look like that. Silly girl.
I'm sorry to hear things have gotten more complicated. Seems to be the theme for our VACTERL kiddos.


Kim said...

Glad it went well. I love Harlie's hair - you can NOT cut it!

Donna said...

Sorry about the complications, but I'm so glad everything went well and the surgery is on schedule! I was keeping my fingers crossed and saying a prayer for you guys yesterday.

PS - I love her crazy hair!! :)

Susan said...

I LOVE that picture! It speaks volumes about the whole heart cath I gave a good chuckle and then awwhhh poor babe. I can only imagine what went on with the nurse and the reason for her comments. But Miss Harlie takes it like a trooper and is so dang cute doing it!

Wish things went easier but the important thing is that the surgery can happen and wow that's coming up quick. I'm hoping they just had a rough time this time and any future caths will go much easier.

Anonymous said...

I gotta get girl with big curls and bows. Boy hair is boring!