Friday, March 2, 2012

The Glenn

Tuesday morning started like any other, except that I noticed Christopher's oxygen saturations were down again.  I had to turn his oxygen up to 1.5 liters per minute to even get him up to the minimum acceptable level of 75%.  So, I called the cardiologist and they wanted him seen that day, but just in the clinic instead of the ER (yay!).  I took him in and the doctor, pretty confident that this wasn't a cold or something else, wanted him admitted for the night so that they could try to figure out what was going on.  Wednesday came, and to make a long story short, they decided to go ahead and schedule the second heart surgeries.  I was thinking it would be in the next few days, but when the nurse came in and said "We have him on the schedule for tomorrow" I about fell out of my chair.  I couldn't believe they had gotten him in that quickly.  Matt was able to get out of the rest of work (which he was not sad about) and brought Shannon up, since Leah was already with me.  Here is our family picture the night before surgery:
 Here is Christopher at 7:00 the next morning in the OR holding area.  
Off he goes!  It's the hardest thing ever to kiss him and say goodbye, but at least he has no idea what's going on.
I seem to have a hard time explaining these surgeries to people, because I have been around them so much that they make complete sense to me. I mean, doesn't everyone know what the superior vena cava is?  Here is a fantastic website with animations of each phase of these surgeries that I told my dad a long time ago I would post.  Hopefully it will explain things a bit and help you understand why Christopher is experiencing some of the symptoms that he is.

It's kind of hard to tell from this picture, but from the rib cage up, including his arms, he was really red for a little while.  This is due to the new way his blood is flowing.  As the sedation wore off he got very mad and the top half of his body turned a REALLY dark purple. That was scary!  We tried what we could to calm him down, but it basically came down to us leaving because we couldn't take it anymore and I think our being there and not holding him was bothering him more than it was helping.  The goal is to try to remove the breathing tube very soon after this surgery because it helps so much with the pressure in the lungs, but he wasn't doing well enough to have it removed for about 24 hours.
 This morning when I got there he was still intubated, but looked 100% better.  He could actually look at me without throwing a complete tantrum.  When they took the tube out he again got very mad and turned that ugly color again, but he was quickly consoled and when I offered him his binky he greedily took it.  Since then he has been waking up periodically and just looks around.  His surgeon said he is much more calm than the majority of post-Glenn babies, because they have a raging headache for a month or two afterwards.  It was such a relief to see him acting like himself again.  Here he is watching his mobile.  I sure do love this little guy!