Sunday, August 11, 2013

Pre-op and Prepping

It feels like we've been preparing for the Fontan forever.  Since before Zoe was born we knew this day would come.  In the list of options presented to us to treat Zoe's Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome was a three staged series of open heart surgeries, culminating in the Fontan.

Most of you know Zoe's Fontan is scheduled for Tuesday, August 13, 2013.

We arrived in Philadelphia on the evening of Thursday, August 8.  Zoe, while being scared to get her "heart fixed," was excited about the journey to Philly.

Spoiled on the plane: Watching Wizard of Diz while getting a foot massage from daddy

On Friday morning, we had Zoe's pre-op appointment.  The appointment consisted of a check of vitals, EKG, echocardiogram, chest x-ray, blood work, and consultations with several researchers regarding ongoing research studies that Zoe qualifies for.   Zoe did great on all of it, but was obviously not a fan of having her blood drawn.  Fortunately, we saved that for last and they got all the blood needed on one stick.  

Afterwards we asked Zoe what she wanted for lunch, "mac & cheese and frenchies (french fries)."  So we walked into Center City to get Zoe her requested lunch.  While we were eating, a lightening and thunderstorm started.  We took our time eating hoping the storm would move on.  When the sun popped out, we decided to make a break for it and head back to our hotel.  On the way back, the rain returned and we got a nice shower (we're Arizonans and don't know what umbrellas are).  On the bright side, it was nice and cool for the remainder of our walk.

On Saturday, we met up with Stacie and Tommy Jackley, who live near CHOP, and have a little man, Kellen, who has the same heart condition as Zoe.

We ate lunch at Max Brenner's and topped off the lunch with a giant syringe of warm chocolate, served with powdered sugar, and gummy bears.

Deep conversation over a bowl of waffle fries.

 After lunch, the kids played in the Rittnehouse Square Park.

It was a fun day that kept Zoe happy and mommy and daddy distracted from the upcoming surgery.   Today we plan to have brunch at one of our favorite Philly restaurants, do lots of walking, and again try to stay somewhat distracted, to the extent possible, from the events of this upcoming week.

Speaking of those events, we will report to CHOP at 5:30 a.m. on Monday morning.  They will prepare Zoe for general anesthesia and once she's under, she'll have a cardiac MRI of her heart, which will provide clear pictures of the heart to assist Dr. Spray for the Fontan surgery.  Dr. Glatz, Zoe's interventional cardiologist at CHOP, indicated that immediately after the MRI, while Zoe is still under anesthesia, he may perform a cardiac catherterization.  He indicated that he will only do the cath, under a couple of scenarios: 1) If he feels like they need to measure the pressures in the heart (which the MRI can't do); 2) if there is some narrowing of Zoe's aortic arch, in which case he would go in and balloon (angioplasty) the arch, to allow for better flow; or 3) if they see a decent amount of collateral vessels that are affecting blood flow, he will go in and coil or embolize the extra vessels, which recent studies have shown, if done, can improve recovery from the Fontan surgery.  Given the amount of collateral vessels present in Zoe in July of 2011, when she had her last catherterization procedure, it is likely that they will want to perform some coiling tomorrow.

Off for one more day of fun, and hopefully a good night's sleep before we get serious on Monday. We'll be at CHOP bright and early and once the MRI is over and we find out if they want to cath Zoe, we'll update the blog.   In the meantime, please keep sending Zoe positive energy and keep her in your thoughts and prayers.  

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