We were back at Cardinal Glennon today for Charlie's cardio-thoracic surgical follow-up. Walking in the front door of the hospital felt almost surreal. It was the first time I carried Charlie through the doors of the hospital. It was the first time I checked in at the front desk for an appointment as opposed to flashing my "we're here every day indefinitely" ID badge that I had for the last few weeks. It was the first time Charlie was seen in the Dallas Heart Center.
Dr. Huddleston was very happy with Charlie's progress since he's been home. Charlie has gained some weight and showed off his stellar bottle drinking skills. His chest X-ray looked good from all angles and his blood pressure was spot on. His oxygen saturation and pulse looked as good as can be expected with the current anatomical set up of Charlie's heart. Dr. Huddleston even decided to discontinue Charlie's diuretic. The remainder of Charlie's meds will most likely be long term/lifetime meds.
We wrestled with the pulse oximeter as a group in an attempt to come up with a battle plan that doesn't make us want to throw it out the window. Ultimately we (myself, Dr. H, and the CTS nurse) decided it was best if we switched to spot checks for his pulse/ox readings as opposed to continuous monitoring. At night we'll do a spot check before bed and one first thing in the morning...then we'll only use continuous monitoring at night if Charlie is sick or we have other concerns. Praise God!
Dr. H's only concern was the scar tissue building up at the surgical site. But after close examination it was determined that it is just that...scar tissue. So we'll watch it and hope it doesn't build up too much as it will make the subsequent surgeries a little harder to access and the new sites won heal as nicely. A small price to pay for keeping our little man's ticker ticking!
Our path over the next few months will be dictated by Charlie. We are basically waiting for his oxygen saturation levels to start declining. His cardiologist, Dr. Peterson, will be responsible for monitoring this and will help determine when to schedule Charlie for surgery #2, the Glenn. He'll have a cath somewhere around 4 months old if not before to prep for the Glenn.
Our new goal is to keep Charlie as germ free and healthy as possible as we navigate cold and flu season....
A positive appointment overall! Thank you for the continue prayers...