First off, my apologies for any typos. I’m working on my iPad and I find it really difficult to edit on here.
Most importantly, we have decided to have the surgery re-done here. Surgery is scheduled for October 30 at seven AM.
Why stay here and have it done? Even yesterday afternoon, sitting in the consultation room waiting to see the surgeon, I wasn’t convinced we’d have the surgery done here. It would be sooo much easier to have it done in Seattle. Less time off work for Chuck, less time away from my other children. A smaller, more familiar hospital. Texas Children’s Hospital is HUGE! On Tuesday we asked for directions to his appointment and were told, “take the elevator to level 3, cross the bridge, then take the express elevator to level 12.” That’s right, cross the bridge.
Whe the surgeon, Dr M, came in he first started asking about Apollo’s feeding issues. He asked every imaginable question. He was very methodical and thoughtful. Not in a hurry but truly listening to everything we said. He discussed what he saw in the CT scan and GI images of his esophagus and how it really doesn’t match up with what should be there post-surgery. He have us his opinion on what he saw and what he thought could be done.
He plans to remove the diverticulum which he believes is still pushing on his esophagus. He may reattach his left subclavian artery depending on whether or not he has enough length to work with. He will also check and see if the ligmentum (a fiber us band) is still left from the vascular ring.
The big reason we are staying here is Dr. M has done a this type of re-operation before. That is the exactly what we were looking for, a doctor who has seen something similar. To put it in perspective, the doctor told us Texas Children’s Hospital does about 900 heart surgeries a year and about one double aortic arch division a month. So about 12 out of 900 surgeries are for a double aortic arch. As for a re-operation, Dr M has done 5 or 6 in the last fourteen years.
But five or six is more than the zero the doctor in Seattle has done.
Dr M will be going in between the ribs again, just like was done the first time. This is excruciatingly painful. Worse, we’ve been told, than sawing open the sternum. The reason is that while its true the incision is made between the ribs, they take metal spreaders and separate the ribs to give them room to work.
Specific prayer requests:
1. Wisdom to guide the doctor’s eyes and hands.
2. Pain control- this was one of the worst parts last time. Apollo’s spinal didn’t work and no amount of medicine was controlling the pain.
3. Safety and health, obviously.
4. Sleep. Apollo has been doing great but I’m not getting much sleep. Chuck,Apollo and I are all sharing a bed and we are in the middle of a huge medical center with ambulances going by all night.