Wednesday, February 24, 2010

7 months of joy

I can't believe I didn't mention Abi is turning 7 months TODAY!!
What can she do now?
-  can sit by herself;
- understands what we say to her in Polish, English and sign language (including milk, bath and car-ride);
- points out things she wants to reach and/or have;
- reaches to us when we say "come to mommy/daddy";
- makes all kinds of noises, including "singing" when I sing to her and "calling" when she wants mommy or daddy to come;
- wants to eat with a spoon by herself;
- and the most recent one - she gives herself kisses when reading a book (a gift from Shari)with mirrors.

She's such a big girl.

I love Abi.


Dad's Surgery- Update

My Dad's surgery was delayed by 2 hours, but everything went well and smooth. My mom got to talk to him over the phone about an hour after the surgery so he's doing pretty well!

If everything continues going this well, he will be out of this hospital next Wednesday and back home in 3 weeks, and then here in NC sometime in June ;-)


Art's Dad at the Surgery

The surgery started at 8am in Poland (GMT+1). It was 2am here (EST).
It was supposed to last 3-4 hours, but when I was leaving home this morning (6:30am) the surgery wasn't done yet.
It's very different than here as far as passing the information about the surgery to the family members. First of all, the family has to call in to the hospital and ask for updates. Secondly, the only information they get is whether the patient is still in OR or not. Thirdly, the patients after the open heart surgery are not allowed to have visitors in CICU. How weird is that?
Anyway, we are awaiting more details.


Monday, February 22, 2010

The Dates Are Set

This morning we got the confirmation that Abi needs to be in Atlanta for her pre-op on Tuesday, March 2 and her surgery will be on Wednesday, March 3. 

At the same time, this morning, they finished my dad's pre-op and set his surgery date for this Wednesday, February 24. His recovery is supposed to take 3-4 weeks. Abi should be home in less than a week. 

We'll keep you up-to-date.

Thank you for your prayers and support!!!!


Friday, February 19, 2010

So Surgery It Is

This morning I spoke with Dr. Kirshbom and got some more information. Since Abi is doing so well and she hasn't been sick the best move would be to do the surgery as soon as possible; in Kirshbom's words better next week than in 2 weeks. The surgery itself will take about 3 to 4 hours, but most of it will be getting Abi ready. Once she's ready, and opened up and on bypass machine fixing the issue will take about 20 minutes. He said if she does as she did after the double switch she should be out in less than a week. This is what I am really looking forward to. Need to pray there will be no complications nor lung infections.

Today we have to call Atlanta and tell them if we want the surgery next Friday, Feb 26 or the following Wednesday, March 3.

We are still talking about it, since J doesn't want the surgery at all. Yeah, not that I want it, but I don't think we have other options.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

No Cath But...


The echo was sufficient and no cath is needed today. We will be going home soon just right after we schedule another open heart surgery ;-(

The cardiologist was surprised how well Abi's doing and how great everything else works, nevertheless correcting this issue should not wait longer than 3-4 weeks and can be done only through another open heart surgery.

The first plan was to do the surgery this Friday because they thought Abi was not doing well. Since that's not the case we will have to come back in couple weeks.

Another update soon.


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Right this moment Abi has her heart echo getting done. She's very calm watching the monitor and the cartoons on TV.

We talked to dr. Kim and the echo will determine whether she needs the cath done today or not. There is no doubt about the obstruction but if today's echo gives more details maybe no cath will be needed.

Once the echo is done dr. Kim will discuss the pictures with dr. Kirshbom (the surgeon) around noon and then we will talk again.

Learn from our mistakes Stupid thing to do, on the way to Atlanta we fed Abi ready formula (. For the first time. As soon as we got in she threw up all over the place and us.

More updates soon.


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Monday, February 15, 2010

Atlanta Revisit

Echo and cath have been scheduled for Wednesday morning, though the exact time remains unknown. We will get a phone call tomorrow afternoon with the details about the time we should show up at Egleston, Atlanta.

They will perform echo and then Dr. Dennis W. Kim will do the cath. Hopefully they will be able to correct the issue then and no surgical intervention will be needed.

We will keep you updated.

Thank you for your support and your prayers ! 


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Another Heart Year

I thought I would share with you all a little bit more about the past ‘heart year’ and another one ahead of us. All of you know about Abi and all that happened last year. Few of you know about my dad.

Last year, around this time, on a Saturday morning, I woke up to a text message from my sister saying my dad had a heart attack and was in a hospital. Not the best way to start your day. Fortunately it was a mild heart attack and they ended up putting 2 stents in. Couple weeks later he was back home with a tiny pacemaker placed in his chest. Couple months later he went back to get the pacemaker adjusted and some tests run and even though he felt great and was doing really well, it was obvious it won’t be long term and one more stent would be needed. They scheduled the procedure for January 12 this year. It usually takes only couple days from planting a stent for the patient to be sent back home, so my parents started planning their visit to North Carolina. They pre-booked their tickets and planned on being here March 11th. On January 12th, my dad went to see his cardiologist, they did another cath just to find out they couldn’t plant another stent and he would require an open-heart bypass surgery. Yes, you read that right. We just can’t get a break.

He has already seen the cardio thoracic surgeon, talked everything over and just this past Wednesday found out he will be admitted to the hospital in a bit over one week, February 22nd and the surgery will be done on the 23rd or 24th.
Even though it’s a more routinely performed surgery, it’s still dangerous. The surgery will take about 3 hours and will have to stop the heart for some time. The good thing is, he’s still young, in a great physical condition and in good health, so the perspectives are really good and he should recover quickly, if there are no complications.

If everything goes well, they will be here May or June this year, to see Abi first time live (so far it’s been video conferences only and she’s almost 7 months old now).

So if there is still some room in your prayer books, on your prayer lists, whatever you have, I will appreciate if you squeeze him in and keep him in your prayers.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Atlanta Again?

Today’s cardiologist appointment didn’t go as well as we hoped :-(
Last 3 days we’ve noticed Abi started breathing a bit faster. Well, most of the time it was ‘a bit’ faster, but sometimes the rate was double what it used to be after the surgery. Since it was just 2-3 days to the appointment we decided to wait until this morning.
The appointment started as usual. Weight check, Abi gained a bit over 1.5lb, which is great. Length check, she grew one inch which is good and saturation – 99% which is perfect. Then echo. Abi did great during the echo, watching TV and being fascinated with the monitors. After all this was done we talked to Dr. Greene. One of the things noticed on the heart echo raised some concerns and if not the additional information from us, maybe we would just watch it for some time. Unfortunately, it seems to be directly connected with the breathing rate. Basically, one of the pulmonary vessels that was cut during the repair 2 months ago, while healing is scaring inwards, obstructing blood flow from Abi’s lungs back to her heart. This wouldn’t be too bad for now, if not the fact that it increased the pressure in her lungs and heart, causing lungs stiffness, accumulating fluids around lungs and making her work harder to breath.
Dr. Greene, Abi’s cardiologist, discussed this with the team in Atlanta and they decided it wouldn’t be smart to wait even one month, so they will talk about it more, call us on Monday and most probably will want to see Abi on Wednesday next week. Yes, next week.
There are two possible ways to deal with it. If it’s only possible, they will try to fix it with a cath. If they can get to this place, they will inflate a small balloon in this part of the vein and this should resolve the issue. If it’s too dangerous to get there with the cath, or impossible to get there, then they will need to do another open heart surgery :-( They will have to open her up again, put her on the by-pass machine, stop her heart and repair this vein.
There is no comfort in knowing this surgery would be simpler than the first one; the risk is the same; the pain is the same; her fear will be the same.
Today, with Dr. Greene we were looking at her scars and talking about how wonderfully she healed.

She just healed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Two months later

Just a quick note. Tomorrow morning we are taking Abi to another cardiac follow up appointment; second after the surgery. Last one was one month ago.

Abi started breathing a bit faster past couple days, but she is also moving more, growing, reaching for everything she sees.

Hopefully everything is fine. Please pray for a good report.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kissed by Angel

I hardly even notice the birthmark on Abi's forehead anymore. It's barely visible. It usually becomes more pink when she gets worked up or mad :) 
I haven't checked it before, but today, I went online to learn more about them... Honestly, some pictures of babies with birthmarks on their bodies I found made Abi's very insignificant, to say the least.

What are birthmarks?
They are small salmon-colored marks most often found on the forehead, eyelids and back of the neck. They don't need treatment because they usually fade as the child grows.
In general vascular birthmarks are the most common and are caused by irregularities in the capillaries or vessels that supply blood to the skin.

The kind Abi has between her eyes (among other names) is called... ANGEL'S KISS....

Wow, kissed by an angel... It makes you wish for one too, eh?

Good night,