Saturday, March 9, 2013

Echo Results

This appointment was full of good news.  During the six months since we have been seen, Kimble's heart has continued to make great strides in growth and function.  So much so, that everything looks really good for the surgery that they want to do, which is to reverse The Glenn.  The Glenn surgery was done when he was 7 months old, and it re-routed half his body's bloodflow to bypass the right side of the heart and go directly to the lungs.  This puts extra pressure and workload on the left heart, as well as the pulmonary arteries and his lungs.  However, because Kimble's right heart wasn't developed at birth, this is what needed to happen if Kimble was going to live.

During the time since he was 7 months old, and really since birth, his heart has grown significantly.  What was once an unformed right ventricle is now  relatively within normal size limits, and is pumping like a champ.  Likewise, his tricuspid valve and pulmonary opening (he doesn't have a pulmonary valve) are functioning as well as can be, despite their defects.  The best news of all, however, is that his tricuspid valve is letting through a normal amount of bloodflow through to the right ventricle.  This is a huge development, as it's always been "that faulty tricuspid" that was the root of all Kimble's heart defects, and has been the biggest limiting factor in what his surgeons can do for Kimble.

All of this gives a big thumbs up to his team of doctors that Kimble's heart will be able to handle the entire body's blood supply.  By reversing The Glenn, Kimble's heart would then function just like a normal heart would, and although Kimble still has heart defects that are limiting, the point is that his heart would be able to manage well enough, and hopefully through Kimble's life, it  would continue to grow and adapt to the demands placed on it, even with the defects.

The plan is to have another heart cath/MRI in early June.  After those results, his team of doctors will tell us that we are good to go, and we'll schedule the surgery.  When the surgery will happen, whether it's later this year, or next year, we don't know yet.  It's all to be decided after the cath/MRI.

Now, for my thoughts and feelings.  I'm really happy and positive about this surgery.  I feel, for the first time since before Kimble was born, that he is going to survive this next surgery.  That may be surprising to you, for me to say, but with every procedure and surgery that Kimble has had to undergo, I've always had a terrible feeling of doom, like this would be the thing that would take his life.  Feeling like your child isn't going to survive childhood is a heavy weight to bear, but in all honesty, that is how I've felt.  Now, I feel like that weight is lifted.  I'm encouraged by the growth and development that Kimble's heart has had, and I don't feel terrified for this upcoming surgery!

We have another appointment scheduled for June, along with said cath/MRI up in Denver.  As for now, Kimble is happy and so ENERGETIC and is doing great. 

One more positive thing came out of the appointment, and that is that we can stop giving Kimble one of his daily medicines, which releases extra fluid from his lungs, to keep him from getting pneumonia and help minimize that fluid that isn't squeezed out with every pump of his heart, which his heart can't do because of the re-routing.  This medicine, as a result, makes him pee constantly for about 3 hours post dosing.  It has made potty-training very difficult for me.  However, we can now stop giving him the medicine.  You know what that means?  It's undie time!!


Colleen said...

So many great bits of news! A wonderful appointment and so much promise for the future!

Sue5007 said...

That is amazing news!