Rough Day

When I last updated, I said that there was a minor complication.  Unfortunately, we found out after the post that the complication wasn’t so minor, but fortunately it’s all been fixed now.

The initial word we has was that there was some minor oozing behind the heart, so it was going to take longer than expected for us to be able to see him.  His blood pressure also dropped, but it responded to treatment well.  However, during physicians’ rounds, they discovered that there was more fluid than they expected, and that his blood pressure dropped again; his surgeon decided to go back in.  They quickly turned his ICU room into an operating room, and there were two cardiothoracic surgeons, three other doctors, and several nurses all working to make Douglas better.

Because of the swelling that happens after open-heart surgery, they actually had left Douglas’s chest open yesterday (a sterile fabric is sutured in over the opening, so there’s minimal risk of infection).  It was a good thing, because it made it easier to get back in.  They also needed to put him back on a heart and lung machine to be able to find the problem.

What had happened was a small leak in a repair on the aorta from the major surgery – a ‘bleeder.’  He was only on the heart and lung machine for only about 15 minutes, and everything is better now.

After they cleaned him up, Jenny and I and the grandparents were able to go in to see him.  It was a very difficult sight for me.  The little guy is swollen and fully sedated, and his chest is open to allow for swelling.  They had told us that it wasn’t going to look good, but I still had to cry – Jenny was my rock.  Seeing him was a shock, but not surprising, if that makes sense.

We’re going to head back to the hospital soon (we finally slept at home last night).  We called first, and they said that Douglas had a good night; his blood pressure is stable, he is starting to move again, and his fluids are good.

It was a tough first 48 hours for our little man; 3 surgeries totalling 12 hours.  But it looks like everything’s on pace now for a full recovery.  And we have lots of family here to help us help him get through it.

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About Lance Finney

Father of two boys, Java developer, Ethical Humanist, and world traveler (when I can sneak it in). Contributor to Grounded Parents.
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