Friday, March 27, 2009

Meet Jack's Surgeon

Dr. Kouretas has been there since the beginning. He knows Jack inside and out. (Literally.)

This man is responsible for Jack's life, and we trust him with it. I can't imagine the pressure these doctor's feel each day, with so many special lives in their hands, but it is absolutely phenomenal that they do this service to strangers. It is something they are so good at that they make a living saving lives. I hope they get to go home and get a good nights sleep doing what they do. Because I don't know if I could.

Dr. Kouretas will be performing the Fontan on Jack. It is where they attach the inferior vena cava to the pulmonary artery. That way, Jack's heart won't have to work as hard as it is (being that it's working twice as hard already.) Once this surgery is complete, Jack's oxygen levels should raise from the 80's to the 90's, he shouldn't get as winded doing normal acitivities, and he should visually appear pinker. (Rather than the dusky blue he is sporting right now...)

For those of you who are asking us what you can do for us during this hard time- of getting through this last surgery, please pray for Dr. Kouretas. He is the miracle maker in this combination.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Fun Begins

We had a successful echo, and ekg.

However, Jack can be quite belligerent coming off of a heavy sedative.

Next up will be pre-op, on April 6th.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Got it.


Sedated Echo, March 19th

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Packin' the fun times..

(Preface: Jack's Dr. told us they would be calling monday for the echo date, and the surgery date. So please stay tuned for those announcements.)

About two weeks ago, Jack and I visited Griffith Park a couple of times. It is a very large park, like Liberty Park, that has lots of places to do fun things. (Only much bigger.)

Jack and I went to the Train Museum, where he almost jumped out the window of a train. The train cars are old, and non-functioning, and people can wander about them with little to no restriction of where they can go. So Jack had a super time, and finished it off with a train ride around the museum.

Then, on another day we visited the LA Zoo. It is a very nice Zoo, but kind of confusing and hard to navigate. So we just followed the signs with animals and arrows, and we did end up seeing some fun things. It was raining a little, but still a nice day. (To see the animals MUCH BETTER, click on them, and you'll get up close and personal.)

(Jack took this himself)

(Kind of a rough day for the gorilla..)


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Act II

So Dr. Su (Cardiologist) spoke with Dr. Kouretas (surgeon) ... TWICE, just to make sure- and we are a go for surgery. Though Dr. Kouretas would like Jack to be bigger, Dr. Su pointed out that if we wait till Jack is of "optimum weight" he will be 7 years old. So Dr. K said that he feels comfortable putting in the 18 gauge, versus the 20 gauge- which is the size of choice, so as Jack grows, there will be a good flow of oxygenated blood. So though we will most likely be putting in the 18, Dr. Su says that he has many many patients that have had an 18 put in that have not needed to come back for an upgrade.

If, for some reason Jack DOES become some, huge adult (by some anti-genetic miracle), then the risk of having another surgery to upgrade the 18 to the 20 is just the same as the surgery he is about to have, but as Dr. Su said, "the more times you open the chest, the riskier it gets."

SO, we are hoping that the 18 will be perfect for Jack, and last him his whole, long life. I also asked Dr. Su about the distant future, and what he projects, and he said he can't really predict the long-term outcome, but that Jack won't necessarily be one of those 50 year-olds carrying around an oxygen tank. He also agrees with me that Jack is one of the better candidates for this surgery, as his half-heart is very strong.

So now, we are scheduling a SEDATED echo, (because there is no chance in the world Jack would hold still enough for an awake one..) which will be next week, and tomorrow the surgical nurse will be calling us to set a date for surgery. I anticipate that it will be middle to the end of March, but I will certainly let you all know when we find out.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Visit to Dr. Soup

Today we went to Primary's to see Dr. Su. Jack was pretty good for him, I can't really say the same for the poor nurse. Taking Jack's blood pressure is like pulling teeth. Heaven forbid we wrap a peice of fabric around his arm. I won't even mention the O2 sats thing we attached to his toe for a minute that sent him over the top.
All drama aside- Jack looks great, I think he is doing as well as a kid with a single-ventricle heart could BE doing. Dr. Su said he looks ready to go for surgery and will be putting in a request to Jack's surgeon Dr. Kouretis, to schedule Jack's FINAL surgery. It could be as soon as a couple of weeks, but it all depends on how the surgeons feel he is doing and whether or not he'll need another cath (
So stay tuned, we should hear in a couple of days when the date will be. And I really think....this is it this time folks.