Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Back in the system

Last Saturday we left Isabella & Powell in Idaho with Earle's parents Gary and Lois, transforming them into parents of young children once again. Powell should dig that one, Transformer  Grandparents!
We decided to take the motorhome this time as while we were well taken care of by the housing department (last go round) the ambiguity of where we would be sleeping the next week and the many moves significantly increased our stress levels. Beth thought we should also bring the car but I thought a few bicycles, the stroller and extra flip flops would be adequate, (and imposing on Cousin Amaya when we did need auto type transportation).

Back in the land of many suspension bridges.
And many cars to fill those bridges. We arrived Sunday and Monday met with the Cardiologist who told us the Friday surgery appointment might be delayed if Gabriel's catheter lab numbers were not adequate. Those numbers included inner pressure readings which indicate the function and delivery of the blood to the lungs and throughout the heart. This delay could be 2-4 weeks to allow his body, (especially his lungs) more time to mature so he would be better prepared for the Glenn procedure.

Beth looking at Gabriel looking at his echocardigram.
The Glenn procedure consists of opening Gabriel's chest back up, cutting his sternum open again to access his heart. Dr Reddy will then remove Gabriel's superior vena cava from his right atrium (which is actually now just the right side of one big atrium since they removed the atrial septum during the Norwood procedure) and reconnect the SVC to the pulmonary artery. This will allow deoxygented blood from the upper body to passively return directly to the lungs, thereby making his cardio-pulmonary system more efficient (still much less than the rest of us but much better for him).
After meeting with multiple folks on Monday we strollered Gabriel back to the parking lot and the motorhome. Along the way I took Beth past a few Stanford sights I had discovered on our last excursion. I figured she would like the large cacti garden...
I was right of course!
The cactus blooms and the humming birds feeding from them were lovely but served to remind us that our little flower girl Isabella isn't with us. She would love to see cactus, blooms and birds. Fortunately Grandma has been gardening and planting flowers with her.
This little guy made us think of our little guy Powell and how he would probably be chasing the darting lizards as fast as he could move and pile into cactus as he was focusing on pursuit of the reptile.
So with our parental lamentations offsetting we wandered a bit farther to the Stanford Mausoleum; Mom and Dad and Junior.
The rear is as cool as the front but with slightly different sphinx.
These sentinels guard the front.
While their feminine counterparts protect the rear.
A short distance, several hundred meters away is this beautiful sculpture surrounded by a wrought iron fence, a tribute to some guy whose name I forgot. Once again demonstrating that art is much more memorable than dead people. It (art) is definitely more attractive than dead people (most art). I've seen a lot of both and it's really true. Especially dead people that have been laying around undiscovered in their home for a few weeks, not pretty and they smell bad. While not all art is pretty most of it does not smell of rotting, decaying flesh.
Earle's  urban mobile vehicle, some people might refer to as a bicycle with a milk crate, and yes Logan that is a Trader Joe's bag full of Trader Joe's food things.
8am on Tuesday getting signed in for the cath lab.
After handing Gabriel over to the cath team we moved into the waiting room and channeled good thoughts and our inner "Dooley".
I think they call it PACU? Post-op. Gabriel was coming out of anaesthetic and was pretty grumbly but everything in his heart looked great and his numbers were all good! Getting the catheters into his femoral veins and arteries  had been quite the challenge and so he had 2-3 puncture sites on either side of his groin. He had also been intubated so his throat was raw all of which added up to some justifiable grumpiness. He was hit with a few opiates but that magic baby pain elixir- tylenol was delayed for about 2 hours in it's delivery from the pharmacy. Beth threatened a few times to return to the motorhome for our supply. 

While in the PACU a PA (physician's assistant) from the surgical team let us know that all the numbers were great and surgery was getting pushed up to Wednesday (tomorrow) afternoon! She ran through the procedure and all the potentially negative and dire consequences while Beth was consoling a crying baby.
A few hours after the cath lab we were moved to 3 west, Gabriel received his Tylenol and began to rest. I took the stroller back to the motorhome as we had planned on being discharged the following day and either (a) stick with the initial surgery date of Friday or (b) defer the surgery for 2-4 weeks. Either way we would be discharged in the morning and either hang out for a couple of days or return to Idaho for several weeks, we would need the stroller at the hospital to transport Gabriel. Instead they had thrown (c) at us and Gabriel would stay in the hospital, undergo surgery in the afternoon, move to the CVICU and then to 3 west; no stroller needed for well over a week. While I was out Beth texted "No surgery for 7-10 days" so now we were at plan (d) all of which had occurred in about 24 hours. This was less predictable than spring weather in Idaho! The Cardiologist had decided it would be beneficial to give Gabriel some more time since he was barely 3 months old and although his numbers looked good she thought we should wait a bit more and she would "split" the difference with us since we were from out of state. So now we have a week or so to kill with a baby we can't really take in public. We'll come up with some kind of a plan. Just overjoyed things are looking good from the cath lab and he's convalescing from that procedure- tubes stuck in the blood vessels of your groin sending cameras an sensors into heart can ruin any ones day.

To close on a positive note we did get to have some great Mexican food (Palo Alto Sol) for dinner with Amaya (which she delivered to Gabriel's room)!

We miss you Isabella and Powell!

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