Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cardiac Cath Update.

So perky for 5 in the morning, isn't she! Ava's cardiac cath went down on March 14th without a hitch! We arrived at UCD bright(actually it was dark...hmph) and early, coffee-free because if Miss Ava is fasting for a procedure, we ALL fast for a procedure, forgot our paperwork(first time EVER) and waited around in the recovery area for a good two hours before being taken back to the cath lab. While we waited and since we forgot our paperwork, Ava gave Dr. Van Gundy the painting she made him, he showed it off to all the nurses. It was mega adorable, wish I would of gotten a photo! Thanks to Ava's amazing art skills, Dr. forgot to be mad at forgetful mom and dad. Score!

Ava was big huge smiles the entire time, talking up nurses and anyone else who would listen, watched movies and when the time came, drank every last drop of her "happy juice" (I STILL really believe parents should be able to partake in the happy juice happy hour experience as well...). After that, Ava got a bit loopy and sleepy. Once the time finally came to make the HUGE trek to the cath lab, which has recently moved and is clear across the hospital from where they had us, Ava became apprehensive and nervous. We got to the hallway outside of the cath room and once Ava saw the doors to the room open, she freaked out a little bit. :( One of the anesthesiologists mentioned that they need to up her dose of happy juice because the WHOLE point of it is to calm and relax them. That hasn't ever really worked with Ava. She knew what that room meant and told me she didn't want to go "ni-ni." Just slightly heartbreaking. I asked Greg to step in and take Ava into the room this time, it's really my least favorite part of these caths and I didn't feel strong enough for it this time. Once Ava was asleep and situated we returned to the waiting area. Dr Van Gundy met us there a little after 12pm and let us know that everything went VERY well, Ava was her usual rockstar self and there were no surprises. He was able to open her LPA stent from 5 to 8(making her artery that of a young adults) and that eventually he wants to go back in and balloon her right side, but NOT now. He was very optimistic that this will alleviate the leaking conduit situation and put off the need to replace the conduit to a larger one via open heart surgery. Happy dance! Happy tears! Happy mama!!

Ava is TERRIFIED of gas masks, but gladly used it on her pillow pet, "Lub"

Watching a movie before the procedure. All smiles. :)

Daddy and Ava before going into the cath room.

My girl after the procedure. Very mad, distrusting(wouldn't make eye contact with anyone or eat/drink anything), and in discomfort. So brave, though!

From January 11, 2011 when we heard that Ava was in need of her third OHS because her conduit was leaking and heart enlargement, along with other unsavory side affects were an issue if not fixed pronto, to a few weeks later when we learned that stenting via cath may be an option, to a rescheduled cath because of a staff shortage, to March 14, 2011 and a very successful catheterization thanks in huge part to our INCREDIBLE pediatric cardiologist, I have been a huge blob of stress and optimism and emotion and worry and fret and unease and downright anger. Ava had been home for over a month, missing school, ballet, playdates with friends, birthday parties, the park. It has been trying, but everything worked out for the best and I couldn't be more thankful that we are now back to our chaotic norm. :)

Tomorrow is Ava's followup at the pediatric cardiologist. It should be a pretty short and uneventful appointment, if there is anything significant to report on, I will update everyone then. Thanks time a bagillion to all of our amazing family and friends who send prayers, hugs, vibes, chants, thoughts, love our way the last few months. Ava has so many people who care about her, it's humbling. We appreciate all of you.

Ava one week later, after her first day back to school, happy girl! Something I have learned and continue to struggle to learn on this journey is, it never really gets easier. I think every parent can claim the same. Though my children's smiles sure make each individually trying journey they lead me on SO rewarding. :)

No comments: