Yesterday we had another echo done and a lung scan. The echo was to find out how the new heart anatomy was functioning and the lung scan was to see how well the blood was flowing to the lungs and it's distribution.
The echo showed the new conduit from the right ventricle to the pulmonary arteries was functioning well! Even after three years of misuse, the pulmonary arteries seem to be functioning well also under their new structure. The right ventricle(RV) doesn't appear to be over-pressurized based on the fact that none of the valves show leakage and the area is not enlarged. The best gauge of RV pressure is doing a heart cath...which at this point isn't necessary to do again. The re-routing of collaterals (some have narrower paths) at this point doesn't seem to be a hindrance either as the heart function was good. If these had been too narrow for good function then Shane would have had another cath to expand those narrow places. A re-evaluation between 3 and 6 months will determine how soon that might need to be done. The VSD was patched closed, too, and still the RV is maintaining reasonable pressure...a small incision was put in between the right and left atria as a "pop-off" should the pressure get too great...this will protect the heart from overworking. A collateral to the lower portion of the left lung was " ligated" or cut as this part of the left lung ( and vessels to it)had been hit for so long time with high pressure and a repair to this area would have extended surgery a good bit with not much, if any, gain as the docs explained to us. the echo also showed that there was no fluid around the heart...a good thing! Praise the Lord!
Next was the lung scan. radioactive isotopes are injected into the bloodstream and then a scan is done of the lungs---front and back. a very quick procedure. Unfortunately, all of Shane's IVs had been pulled a couple of days before so he had to have another IV inserted just for this test. : /. The doctor came back a short time later to let us know that Shane's scan showed flow to the right lung was 55% and to the left was 45%. I must have looked bewildered because she followed that with " your right lung has 3 lobes and the left has 2 lobes. his lung function is like that of any normal set of lungs.". Wait. Did I hear her correctly? Normal lungs! Only God!!!
So with that wonderful report, we were discharged this afternoon. We will remain in the area for another 7-10 days with appointments next week to follow-up and appointments for the me when we rerun home. Shane will receive another EKG and chest X-ray to make sure everything is still looking good before we have the doctor's blessing to return home. Shane still sometimes breathes a bit rapidly and coarsely so we have a nebulizer to treat him. This is why he was on the steroids before. We don't know yet if these asthma-like symptoms are residual from surgery or something new. Could be he has twitchy lungs like his oldest brother, Zachary.
Shane will remain on Lasix for any fluid retention and a daily baby aspirin. Tylenol and Motrin as needed for any pain. The nebulizer as needed to help with breathing by relaxing the airways.
Our prayer requests at this time should the Lord place Shane on your heart are:
1. The healing to continue on steadily
2. No fevers, etc. that could send us back to the hospital
3. Supernatural protection of the surgical site--- He is a an active 3 year-old boy!
4. For his lungs/breathing to settle down--- airways to stay open and NO wheezing
5. Now that we are not under the ever-watchful eye of nurses and docs, for me to be attentive but not overly concerned : ) !
Thank you once again, dear friends and family, for all of your prayers and words of encouragement!!! Please rejoice with us as we give thanks to the Father for his faithfulness and mighty work in Shane's life! We believe it is miraculous!
Celebrating!! This was the beginning of our discharge party.....Decaf Pumpkin Spice Latte...Oh yeah!...
...followed by pork dumplings, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon and a chocolate brownie! yum!
"All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord
they will bring glory to your name.
For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.
Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name."