Friday, January 18, 2008

Zachy is home!

Whew, what a couple of days this has been.
Zachy's surgery was scheduled for Wednesday at 10:30. We arrived at the hospital at 9 am. While we were working on all the vitals and whatnot, the doc came in to talk to us. We talked about all the risks and whatnot. He told me he didn't expect any complications and that it should be pretty straight forward. He figured it would take 2-3 hours from start to finish.
We then moved upstairs to the cath lab, and they gave him some versed. He had been totally silent before the versed kicked in. Finally, he started smiling. As soon as the versed kicked in, they took us to the lab where they would do the surgery. They put the mask on him to gas him down, and he started laughing. It was so funny. Matthew has always fought the gas mask, but Zachy just laughed and laughed. He had the hiccoughs from laughing so much. Finally, he was asleep and we kissed him goodbye.
The plan was to get an IV in and shoot contrast up his arm to make sure his veins were open enough to get the leads in. After a bit, the doc came out to tell us that the veins were indeed wide open and he would proceed with the surgery as planned.
The next update was from a nurse who told us he was making the pocket in his chest where the generator would be placed.
I don't know how much time went by, but the next update was from the doctor. He came out with an x-ray to show us what was going on. He had been having a hard time getting the leads through his veins and couldn't figure out why. So he decided to do a heart cath and find out why out. He tried in his right leg, but for some reason was unable to get anything in that vein. It's a mystery why that artery is so small. But after that he went to his left leg and was able to go in that way. Once up there, he was able to see that while the veins were wide out far from his heart, closer in it was very narrow. He told us he had called in another doctor to decide if they should just balloon up the vein and leave it, or balloon it and place a stent to hold it open. The concern was that if they ballooned it and didn't put a stent in, then the vein would eventually collapse around the lead over time. My understanding is that this wouldn't be a big deal, but they would like to avoid that.
We waiting for probably an hour for the other doc to get there. We saw her come in, and it wasn't long before she came back out. The two of them told us they decided the best thing to do would be to place a stent, so we agreed to that. They told us one of the risks would be the stent being pushed out of place, but they said there was a very small risk of that, like 2%. So we consented to that part of the surgery.
The next update came when the second doc came out and told us the stent was in place and the first doc would be proceeding as planned. PHEW!!
Time went by, and I told Matt something must have gone wrong, because it was taking too long.
The second doc came back out to let us know that while they were feeding the lead through, the stent was pushed out of place. They decided to pull it down to his leg so that if he needs another heart cath, they will have a place to get at.
It wasn't too long after that that a nurse came to tell us he had been able to get the leads across the narrow vein. It wouldn't be long now.
But that wasn't the case. Again, I told Matt that something was wrong and it was taking too long.
Finally, the nurse came and said the doctor was closing up.
When he came out to talk to us he told us that due to all the scar tissue in his right atria it was very hard to place the lead. It finally got placed though, and they were done.
A 2-3 hour surgery ended up taking 8 hours. My poor baby. He went through so much.
Since then he has done really well. He stayed in the hospital about 48 hours to get IV antibiotics. But has really done great pain wise. The thing that bothers him the most is his back. He has red marks on his back from being on the table so long. And they are very sensitive. That's all that he really complains about. Right now, he is telling me his armpit is hurting, so he's had some tylenol.
Matt was able to stay with him both nights at the hospital.
While in the hospital they had his monitor showing when the pacemaker would go off. It was really interesting to watch. He would go for several minutes just fine. Then he would be paced for several minutes. They have it set for if his rate falls below 80 beats per minute.
We go back to the doctor next week, but for now he is comfortable at home.
Thank you for all your prayers. It was hairy, but the end result is good.


Anonymous said...

I'm so relieved, I've been waiting for news!!!

gina (uk) said...

OMG 8 hours ! Poor little lad and let alone goodness knows how u coped through all that. Glad all is well now :)

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