June 3, 2014

heart catheterization // angiogram // trans-esophageal echocardiogram

Ruthe had a heart cath on Friday.  And she totally rocked it!!  Her doctors wanted to get some more accurate measurements and images so they could plan for her next big surgery.  

We got to the hospital at about 5:45am, got our "members only" wristbands and then sat and waited for a nurse to bring us back into pre-op.  I've decided that the surgical staff just wants to psych you out before surgery... because all they did in pre-op was have me change Ruthe into a hospital gown, get her height, weight, blood pressure, and oxygen levels.  And then we just sat there.  Oh, right, a nurse asked me like thirteen questions about Ruthe's life at home and development.  

Then the anesthesiologist came in to tell me how they'd put Ruthe to sleep, manage her pain, and keep her asleep.  I warned her (Dr. Wang, who looks almost exactly like Lucy Liu) that Ruthe is a tricky stick for IVs, and to be prepared.  She said she'd be careful and try to get her on the first try (both hands and a foot later...).

Dr. Galindo is Ruthe's interventionalist.  He has done both her caths, and placed the bands on her pulmonary arteries in her first open-heart surgery.  He's really nice, and always explains things carefully, and always makes sure we're on the same page.  After he came in to get the consent signed we took Ruthe into the cath lab.  They let me carry her there and hold her hand while they used gas to put her to sleep.  

And then I got to sit and wait. For three hours.  So much fun.

After the whole thing was finished Dr. Galindo came in to tell us everything went perfect and then Dr. Wang took us back to see Ruthe.  That poor sweet baby.  After a cath you have to be on bed rest for at least six hours.  And you can't move the appendage (in this case Ruthe's right leg) or sit up or roll over or anything.  So my baby was basically strapped to the bed, and we had to hold her down of she tried to get up.  :(

Luckily Ruthe is a fast-learner and stopped fighting us after a few tries.  Her nurse during that six-hour stretch was very impressed that a 10-month old would be that still and quiet.  She had about seven other patients in recovery while we were there, mostly boys for circumcisions, and a couple other random things, and they ALL cried like little babies.  (OK, so they mostly were little babies, but the biggest complainers by far were the two boys, around six or seven, who spent the whole time just wailing!!  Ruthe literally rolled her eyes at them - she's got sass.). All of the other patients were only there for around twenty minutes, so we were pretty much constantly entertained.

All-in-all the day went fine.  It was long, and exhausting, but we are one step closer to being done with surgeries for at least a little while, and that made it all worth it.

OH!  And John surprised us by driving down for the weekend!!  He's pretty much the best thing ever!!

((That pic is from lunch on Saturday, in case you were worried about Ruthe's recovery at home. It was nothing a little dad-snuggling and soda-sipping couldn't cure!!))

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