Friday, June 4, 2010

Roller Coaster Rides

Ginny is doing well this morning. She is 8 days old today and has already developed quite the talent for scaring the crap out of her parents, as well as some very talented doctors.

Yesterday the team discussed whether or not we should perform the septostomy that afternoon, or wait until Monday. After consultation with Dr. Fricker - one of the best pediatric cardiologists in the country - we decided that Thursday was the day. Ginny caught wind of this plan and decided she would make it a little more interesting.

Cardiology had two other procedures to do before they could get to Ginny, so we knew it would be late afternoon. About 2 o'clock Ginny decided to spring her plot. Her oxygen saturations took a dive and she turned blue. The doctors and nurses immediately started working to get her sats back up. They took the ventilator off temporarily and were using the bag to breathe for her and cranked her oxygen up to 99%. She gave them a run for their money. Although Dr. Baines remained calm and professional on the outside, and the entire team did a great job, by the time her sats came back up everyone was clearly rattled.

We really didn't have much time to recover from that scare when the cardiology team showed up to do the septostomy, with the anesthesia team close behind. They explained the procedure. They would insert a line in Ginny's femoral artery and run it up to her heart using echocardiography to guide the way. Once at her heart they would inflate the balloon at the end of the line and use it to enlarge the ASD. They thought her ASD was about 7 mm, and they wanted it to be a little bigger than 1 cm. Making that hole bigger will allow more mixing of oxygenated and unoxygenated blood within her heart.

So far as we can tell this morning it has really helped. Her oxygen saturations have remained high even as we have weened her down to 60% oxygen through the vent. Her color is much better. Her hands and feet still have a little purple, but mostly she is a beautiful shade of pink.

Wednesday was such a good day, and yesterday was very stressful. It really is like a roller coaster ride with the ups and downs. It's not like one of those new high-tech roller coasters, either, with their fresh paint and safety features. It's more like the rickety old wooden coasters with bolts loose and a clanging chain and a rusty piece of metal for a seat restraint. Kind of makes you question your own sanity while you're on it, but its worth the ride.


  1. Geez, Ginny. Your dad was already going grey, but you're going to make him go bald too! I'm sure mommy is going a little grey too, but my guess is she'll wear that a bit better (Just kidding, Jay)! Your Auntie Cole and I can't wait to meet you!

  2. Ginny, Grammie loves coming to visit you. You are doing great considering all you went through yesterday, you are young and strong and we know you are fighting. I gotto tell you that you have awesome parents!! I Love You all very much.


  3. Ginny, You need to stop scaring your parents! You need to save some of that for when you are a teen!

  4. Jason, you sure hit the nail on the head, it is all worth the ride. Keeping you all close in thought and prayer. KZ